Quilts for Sale

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Our only child is 31 years old today.  Thirty-one!  Just before our son was born, my Mother told me, "Your lives will never be the same."  How wise she was.  There just aren't words to express how we feel about Matthew.  I would never have believed it possible to love someone that much.

July 29, 1979
The first time ever I saw his face.

My DH Bill holds Matthew for the first time.

Matthew and his wife Suzie
outside Thai Bangkok
July 28, 2010

We had an early birthday celebration yesterday.  It was grand!

Happy Birthday, Matthew.  We love you to the moon and back!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thrifting Mondays

I've been told my computer is a dinosaur, even though it seems I just bought it.  My DH has found it has almost no RAM.  Consequently, it has begun to "act its age" - grinding slowly away.  My son worked on it recently, pronouncing it a "major fail" and advising, "Mom, you need a Mac."  The CD burner and scan functions have disappeared.  Today, it refuses to read memory cards.

So what we're left with for Thrifting Mondays are photographs of things already uploaded.

 Thrift shop quilt.
It's just big enough to cover a double mattress.

 I bought this humble quilt just to use as a snuggleup.  The fabrics are unusual - both cottons and flannels.  I'm usually pretty good at dating fabrics, but came up empty on this one.  New? 1980s? Curious minds want to know.  What do you think?

Target of Love - a clue to newness?

Maybe it's made from scraps - old and new.

The white designs are actually machine-embroidered on the red fabric.
I'm leaning more towards "new" all the time now.

Should have rotated this picture for you.  Sorry.
The quilt backing is also pieced.

Let me know what you think about this quilt's age.  It has no label, no ID of any kind.  But it just felt cozy, so came home with me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thrifting Mondays

I've set daily goals for myself, attempting to get a lot of things out of the way before hand surgery later this summer.  Yesterday's "assignment" wasn't completed until after midnight, delaying my Thrifting Mondays post to today.

I'm drawn to quirky items, especially if they're red and especially if they're kitchen or advertising related.  I have no idea where this coin box was used, but the word HONOR pulled me in.

When I enter a thrift store, I always check the linen racks first.  No longer easily found, vintage percale sheets are prized.  Nothing feels as good and restful on a warm night as slipping between cool, cotton sheets.  Chenille bedspreads, found for just $4.50 back in the day, are now scarce, as are vintage pillowcases.

Quilts keep popping up, but 90% are not great.  I cannot remember the top, as I bought a "cutter" quilt simply for the backing fabric - whimsical circus animals and dancing marionettes - circa 1940.  

A "cutter" quilt was bought just for its backing fabric.  How fun!

Until next week, good thrifting!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lovely Day

Our son Matthew had an appointment in Charlotte so spent the day with us. It's always great to relax and visit and to laugh. Matthew has a great sense of humor and a quick wit. Always fun.

We enjoyed a great Vietnamese lunch at Lang Van, then relaxed at home, taking lots of pictures.  Matthew got together tonight for dinner with an old college buddy.  They planned to hear a friend play in a local club.

Father and son reunion.

My favorite from today.
Photo credit: Bill Guerrant

DH and moi.
Photo credit:  Matthew Guerrant

Family - the most important thing ever.  We are truly blessed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ice Box Pickles

Pickles, 1 of 10

Several asked for the pickle recipe mentioned yesterday.  I'm guessing this is very old, as the name is Ice Box Pickles, not refrigerator.


7 pounds (approximately) pickling size cucumbers w/skins on
3 large Vidalia onions
4 C. sugar
4 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. uniodized salt
1 T. turmeric
1 1/2 T. mustard seed
1 1/2 T.  celery seeds

Wash and slice cukes and onions in a food processor.  Layer and pack down mixture in quart or pint canning jars.  Heat remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Stir and be sure sugar is dissolved.  Pour liquid over cukes/onions in jar, filling to the top.  This step is easiest with a wide-mouth funnel.  Cap jars.

Cool.  Refrigerate and marinate for two weeks, inverting jars several times every few days to mix ingredients.

Pickles are good for six months in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Note:  Ten pounds of cukes made 10 quarts of pickles.  We needed an  additional 1/2 recipe of the brine in order to fill all the jars. 

Pickle Time

Love the little tendrils on the cucumber vines.

We love gardening.  Well, let me rephrase that.  I love reaping the benefits of our garden.  My DH has been amending the soil here with organic materials since 1972.  With the addition of compost, leaves, grass clippings and scraps such as egg shells, peelings and coffee gounds, he's turned the formerly hard red Carolina clay into wonderful, fertile, 97% organic soil.  An entire year's worth of rich compost, as well as leaves are double-tilled into the earth each year.  We have an agreement with a neighbor to pick up his bagged grass clippings for soil amendment.  It makes it easy to gather the bags once his gardeners complete their work.  We also pick up bags of grass put out for trash pickup.  Many on our street use commercial lawn crews, making it easy for us to obtain other organic materials.

It's always a struggle for me to convince my DH that my perennial garden needs compost too.  I may have to begin my own or start buying mushroom compost - the best! I don't work my area of soil as diligently as Bill.  After all, I grew up on a farm in Illinois which has some of the richest, black dirt anywhere.  One could dig it with a teaspoon - effortlessly.  Trying to dig the hard clay is very labor intensive.

Our bounty is great, so we share veggies with neighbors.  My DH, Bill, has a reputation for being the "garden authority" on our street.  He's even conducted tours for the little kids and their parents, hoping  to spur them on to having gardens themselves one day.  Several have started, but have either not amended their soil enough, planted cool weather crops in the middle of summer, or tried to grow veggies in shade.  They'll come around, I'm sure.

Ten pounds of sliced cucumbers and onions!

Today was pickle making day.  Bill was given a recipe for refrigerator pickles which have become his favorite.  I like them too, but not the fact that they take up so much refrigerator space.  My favorites are the bread and butter pickles from Irma Rombauer's "The Joy of Cooking."  Those pickles can be stored in the pantry.

Figs next door are almost ripe.  Few people know, but the place has been unoccupied for over 15 years.  The owners show up occasionally to do yard work and have given us total access to their figs. Tomatoes are coming in like gangbusters.  And I'm determined to freeze more blueberries.

I'll be freezing peaches soon, a task postponed from a few days ago.  My concentration these days is trying to find our diningroom table.  I know it's in there somewhere!  Tomorrow will be day three.  Just ridiculous, my inability to throw things out!  I see a giant yard sale in my future!

I think we'll have a tomato pie very soon.  Check back tomorrow for the pickle recipe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sentimental Journey

Today would have been my father's 97th birthday.  He's been gone since 1983, but I still miss him every day.  Here he's shown sitting in a car in front of his boyhood home in Cortland IL.  My sisters and I stopped to get photos of the house when home for a family event.  It was a beautiful, big old home on Pleasant Street - still standing until it was torn down to make room for airport expansion in DeKalb. 

Standing in the picture are friend Harry Olson and my father's older brother Floyd on the extreme right. Note the knickers and caps.  Too cool.

August 10, 1920

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thrifting Mondays

Chinese Coins thrifted quilt top - my latest one!

One of my favorite thrift stores sells huge bags of fabrics for $3.50.  The bags are clear, allowing a look at some of the contents before committing.  Sometimes it is all 1970s polyester double knit, sometimes towels, sometimes old upholstery fabrics or scraps of doilies.  On occasion I've really lucked out and found quilt tops. 

My first were a very poorly stitched double wedding ring and an equally bad grandmother's fan - in the same bag!  Since each had the same pale yellow fabric, I asumed they were madc by the same person. Shown below is the next bagged up charmer I found - a crazy quilt with some very nice sections. 

Although the overall look of this crazy quilt is primitive, I loved its innocent quality.  Note the bunnies nibbling a carrot in the middle block.  The leaf next to them is bigger than they are.

My last find was the quilt shown at the top of the page.  I'm guessing the fabrics in the Chinese Coins piece were from the 1990s.  Can anyone give me a closer date?

This latest top is fairly square - not all wonky as the first quilts were.  It will be a good practice piece for machine quilting. 

What exciting finds have you made recently?  Would love to hear about them.  And don't forget to check Selena who gave me this great Thrifting Mondays idea.  Her blog is one of my favorites. http://apronthriftgirl.typepad.com/

Sleep tight, babycakes. xoxox   Ellen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sarah's Art Car

I believe we always end up where we're supposed to be, that so-called coincidences happen for a reason.  Yesterday, I met the most wonderful young woman when we both "just happened" to pull into the credit union at the same time.  She was driving an older, brightly painted Dodge Caravan.  As I got closer, I saw what I hadn't previously noticed.  The background of the driver's side was covered in car art script.  This is a person who obviously has a lot to say.

I told the driver and artist, Sarah, how much I liked her car.  Soon she, her father Eddie and I were chatting as if we'd known each other forever.  From her father I learned Sarah's Honors Art 4 project had been her car, on which she'd earned a grade of 100. Sarah will be attending college this fall in Ohio - also the home of acclaimed quilt artist Susan Shie. Susan is perhaps best known for the air pen writing which covers every square inch of background space on her quilts.  Who knows - maybe Sarah and Susan will run into one another in Ohio.  Wouldn't that be cool?  susanshie.blogspot.com

I wish I'd gotten a close-up of Sarah's writing.
What looks like a person examining the roof of her car, is actually
 sculpture at the credit union. 

I was caught up in conversation and so quickly taking pictures, I was looking without seeingIt wasn't until I loaded the shots into my computer that I saw this was an anatomical painting of a heart with wings.  With our family history, you know that's the first thing I would have asked about.

Sarah's garden of flowers.

Sarah's car is a feast for the eyes and brain, coming and going.

Sarah and Eddie - Thanks for taking so much time to talk with me yesterday. You both blessed my day!  I'd love to hear back from you.  Please contact me by email:  ellen@ellenguerrant.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Stash Reduction Sale Pix

As promised, here are a couple more photos from last night's sale.  Above is an overview from one of my tables.

Nancy Cook's stash was very well organized into bags. 
Here she refolds a gorgeous piece of wool twill.

Nancy Edmiston and I caught up with what's new in each other's lives.
Jane Godshall must have spent weeks measuring and organizing her stash.  She has gotten such a head start on her future Etsy shop. 

Sorry about the out of focus photo.  That's what happens when I try to take a picture while laughing!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stash Reduction Sale

The stash reduction sale at my quilt guild tonight was fun, but attendance down during this holiday week.  I did sell all my stretched canvases, several vintage linens and trims (always my best sellers), a very nice tabletop quilting frame, fabrics and some hand-dyed wool. 

There were incredible deals - beautiful fabrics, antique quilts, books, vintage buttons, patterns.  Members not there missed an awesome sale.

We were set up next to Nancy Cook, quilter extraordinaire. http://www.nancygcook.com/  Her DH went to school with my DH's brother, so the guys had a great time visiting.

Here are a couple of pix: 

Nancy Osterberg's stash

Karen (Center) Ponischil's collection included a few familiar fabrics -
such as the chicken print Vicki Amon is holding.  The coral hand-dyed wool in Vicki's hand came from my stash.

My DH was kind enough to help me on this very hot day. After he'd set up my tables and unloaded the car, I noticed him helping set up AV equipment. He also helped those without "man power" set up and tear down.  Thanks, honey.

We don't keep ice cream in the house, but tonight was an exception. I picked up his favorite - buttered pecan - and mine (at least for tonight) - strawberry.  Can you believe he resisted?  Not me.  I haven't had ice cream in forever, so savored every spoonful.  YUM!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thrifting Mondays - Week Four

I loved this primitive quilt the moment I saw it.  Problem was, it was in the hands of someone else.  I was determined to have it, deciding it was a matter of will.   From several aisles away, I just kept looking at her, quietly repeating, "Put it back.  Put it back.  Put it back."  She was with a group and on  the phone with another. "Put it back."    My heart jumped as she put the quilt on its hanger, hung it up and walked out of the store. In seconds it was in my hands.  Apparently, she (or her friend on the phone) had decided $8.00 was too much to pay for this  country quilt.

Who doesn't love dogs?

The big appeal for me was the folk-art quality of the puppies.

They were hand appliqued and quilted - in a Baptist fan design.
Circa 1940

Sunday, July 4, 2010

KEB MO' - America the Beautiful

This great music by Keb Mo was posted to my FB book yesterday.  It's a continuation of my thoughts on our country.  Enjoy.

Happy 234th Birthday, USA!

For many years, I've collected flags and flag images.  Among them are an old postcard with words I love.

My country 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty!
Of thee I sing.

This framed WWI era image is one of the first "antiques" I bought.
I remember paying $4.00 in a very old store on Brevard St. uptown.
Sadly, all that is now gone.

Several 48-star versions, once easily found at estate and yard sales, are in my collection.  We also have the faded flag which hung at my husband's boyhood home the entire time he was in the military - night and day. 

A very old paper flag once hung upside down in the window of our son's room.  A sign of distress, the flag hung with an xray and a button which read, "Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first."  Words to live by.  Of this I am more than sure.

We fly the flag every day and always have, mostly in honor of those who serve.    

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Happy Birthday to my great niece - four years old today.  Word is there's a pool party!  What fun!

 Grace's Mom is my niece and God-daughter, Kari, daughter of my baby sister Patty.  Aren't they cute?

Photo credit:  Josh Chenier