Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Where Do I Come From?

Who came before me?

Who has influenced my life?

Well, I've been spending quite a bit of time working on our family tree. I've spent time at the Australian National Library looking at old newspapers from 1864.

And what have I found?

That while some things change, some things stay the same. Families loved each other and mourned  when they were gone. Some things then seemed better and some things seemed harder.

Just like now.

While I look back with a nostalgic "how much simpler it seemed then" view, advertisers were still telling you that you needed this or that, that you'd look, better, fitter, taller, thinner with this or that. That your home or life wouldn't be complete without the newest this or that.

It's interesting to me to put into perspective the life experiences of my ancestors and see how some of those events would have strongly influenced the following generations. It's funny to feel such a strong identification with generations long since gone and never known, but I do.

This genealogy research can just consume hours and hours without me even realising it. But I like it. I just need more hours in the day now!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Civil War Catch Up - Blocks 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28

It's catchup time - I have been sewing, just not blogging! So here they are - the next installment in the Block of the week from Barbara Brackman . . .

Block 24 - "Ladies Aid Album"

Block 25 - "Calico Puzzle"

Block 26 - "Barbara Frietchie Star"

Block 27 - "Irish Chain"

and Block 28 - "Next Door Neighbour"

Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 24 - "Ladies Aid Album"
Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 25 - "Calico Puzzle"
Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 26 - "Barbara Frietchie Star"
Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 27 - "Irish Chain"
Pattern: Civil War Quilts - Block 28 - "Next Door Neighbour"

Designer: Barbara Brackman
Publication: http://civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/

Monday, 18 July 2011

Remember Me . . .

When this you see.

That's the verse on the top of this gorgeous little pincushion. It's a Leanne Beasley design from Issue 3 of her Vignette magazine. I love the design. And the story that Leanne shared of her father-in-law struck a chord with me too.

As I was stitching away on this project I found my mind wandering to thoughts of my "stitching" grandparents - 2 are gone now, but I'm still fortunate enough to get to make memories with one of my grandmothers.

One grandfather worked as a tailor's cutter. He actually bought a Singer treadle machine a few weeks after they were married and taught my grandmother to sew! Some years later they got a motor for the treadle and converted it. She went on to make her own clothes and even earn an income from doing alterations for a local fashion store.

My other grandmother had a treadle sewing machine which I never saw anyone use, but I certainly loved to "treadle" it when I was little. Apparently she did use it to make curtains and things for her home and later on got a "modern" electric machine. I didn't really know her as a sewer until she was well into her 60s and joined a local patchwork group. I think of her often now that I'm a "patchworker" myself and wish that I'd had more time to share a common interest with her.

So the back of this pincushion remembers 2 grandmothers and a grandfather with their initials and years of birth.

The stitching was done using a Japanese thread, Moco. I loved the variegated mauves and greens, so I thought I'd give it a try. A word of caution, though. This thread is 100% polyester and does NOT like a hot iron. I pressed the stitching the right way - from the back, using a towel . . . but I made the mistake of going back for just one more little press! Without the towel! Lucky it was on the back and there wasn't too much damage, but it did melt the thread a little. A trap for young players!

I filled the pincushion with silica sand, so even though its quite petite (about 4 1/2" across), it weighs 460 grams (about 1 lb). I really like the substance of a weighty pincushion - and it comes in pretty handy as a paperweight, too!

Pattern: Rosemary for Rememberance Pinchusion
Designer: Leanne Beasley
Publication: Vingnette Magazine, Issue 3 http://leanneshouse.typepad.com/leanneshouse/

Fabric: Hanky Linen
Thread: Moco, Colour 819 (100% Polyester)
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