Monday, April 12

What's on the line?

That's the title for a new feature that I am going to add to my blog. Inspiration for this little feature came when I thought about the laundry that I'll be doing today, Monday. Actually, I do laundry whenever it needs to be done, but many years ago Monday was THE day to do the laundry. And when the laundry was done, out it went to be hung on the line. I remember when I was young that there was often a scramble to get the clothes off the line if a sudden rain shower developed. I loved watching sheets blow in the wind and the flapping sound that they made.
Nostalgia is great but I must confess - I don't hang my clothes on the line, because I use my dryer. I could hang them on the line if I actually had a clothesline because we live in a neighborhood where they are allowed (yes, sad to say, there are some communities where you cannot have a clothesline). The line I hang my quilts on for photo-ops is just a clothesline strung between two nicely spaced trees in our backyard. Ever since we moved here, I have had fun hanging quilts and other linens on the line for pictures. With that in mind, I thought.......hmmm, let's do a special something every Monday.....maybe quilts, quilt tops, vintage linens, anything that would be fun to hang on the line.......yes, I think it's a good idea..........and so here is the first item, a quilt top, that is hanging on the line.

If this quilt top looks familiar to some of you, well, you are right. I took this photo in August of 2008. This one was featured in a blog post here and here but it's a favorite so I'm posting it again. I always thought it was made by my Great Aunt Bell Blair but my mother corrected was made sometime in the late 1920's to early 1930's by Aunt Bell's mother-in-law who was called "Granny Blair".
My mother was raised by my Great Aunt Bell and my Uncle John following the death of her mother. Great Aunt Bell - she always called herself "Ain't Bell" - was more like a grandmother to us. We saw her everyday, for she lived next door to us all the years of our growing up. My mother believes that my Aunt Bell might have ordered pre-cut squares for this quilt-top from the Spiegel catalog. She said she often ordered fabric from the catalog and sometimes special dresses for my mother. They were not wealthy by any means but Aunt Bell doted on my mother. Her own daughter had died in a fire as a small child. Each needed the other.
I've never quilted this top because I love to look on the back and see the hand-stitches of Granny Blair and perhaps Aunt Bell, too. I wonder what they were thinking as they worked on the piecing. Don't you just wish you could know the thoughts of some of the women who stitched those vintage quilts? Ah, yes, the stories they hold are many!
I also wonder what thoughts were on women's minds when they did the laundry, oh, so many years ago. I can remember a little something from my childhood that has to do with laundry....and a wringer washer......and yes, I got my arm caught in the wringer. I can't really remember it, but my mother says it happened. I can see the washing machine, but I don't remember getting my arm caught. I do remember the chickens on the small farmstead where we lived but that's another story. :-)
When I decided to do this little Washday feature on my blog, I googled this question ...... "Is Monday Washday?" Several sites came up but this link -click here - will take you to some memories of Monday Washday that were gathered for a project at UNI (University of Northern Iowa). Enjoy!
I'll be back next Monday with something else "on the line". :-)
In the meantime, I have a busy week "Tuesday Crazies" friends are here for some stitching fun on Tuesday. I'm planning something good for lunch, too. Then on Wednesday, it's off to Firefly*Quilt*Shop for "Wooly Wednesdays". Come Thursday, I'm presenting a program for the Sibley County Extension Banquet. And I get my dinner! I love it when someone else cooks! :-) This lovely spring weather that we are having has just really got me energized! Love it! Have a good Monday everyone!

Note: I've added a button that you can copy and post to your blog to remind you to check back on Mondays to see "What's on the line?" :-)


Lindah said...

that is a beautiful, colorful quilt top. I kinda like the idea of being able to see the stitches on the back side. Maybe not everything needs to be quilted? Monday "What's on the Line" sounds like a fun idea. I'll look forward to that.

Pat said...

What a fun new "feature" for your blog! I loved hearing the history of this quilt. Be sure to take photos when the "crazies" are there tomorrow....and let us know what you serve them for lunch, too!

Crispy said...

What a fun idea Sandi. I love all you stories of your family. I wish I had quilters in my family. The only thing I put on my clothes line are my heavy bathroom rugs :0)


Mary Grace McNamara said...

Great idea Sandi! I will enjoy seeing what's on YOUR line, but I must admit, some people's clothes lines should be kept indoors out of view of the public eye!

What a great place to hang quilts for pictures too. Can I bring mine over when I need a good picture?


Anonymous said...

Ahhh...I remember those days of scrambling to get the laundry off the line when rain was threatening.
Thanks for the memory. The quilt is beautiful and incredible! I'm looking forward to your new weekly blog feature.

Villa-loredana said...

Don't need to sign, it will be my obligation to come back evry Monday, because I like so cold old stories. Thanks a lot. Regards. Loredana

House of Mouse said...

Love the the new idea for the blog....
We have something in common..I caught my hand in the wringer washer that my mom used until the day she passed at 72. I was told never to go near it and of course I had to and then I was terrified to show my mom my hand, as it took much of the skin off the palm of my hand. I never went near it again!

Anonymous said...

love this idea for a new weekly feature! Monday washday is so nostalgiac and evokes sweet memories.
What a wonderful story behind that quilt, I can understand why you don't want it quilted!
Have a great week!

Owl Lady said...

I was happy to see that beautiful quilt again. Perhaps sometime you could show us a picture of some of the stitches on the back.
I like the new feature, seeing a project and reading the story behind it.
I went to the university site and read the three washday stories. They told of even more rustic conditions that Mother and I had when I was a child.

Joy said...

What a t'riffic post Sandi!! Here in Australia we are more likely to hang the washing out to dry than use the dryer, they mostly get used in rainy weather. I can't believe there are places where that's not allowed!!
I'll be checking back on Mondays for sure :o).
Joy :o)

CreativeHands said...

Oh Sandi, what a great idea!! I love to see other people's beautiful quilts!

Joanna said...

Hi Sandi:
Your quilt is precious, and I too love the clothesline idea. My mom also had a wringer washer, and we always had a clothesline. Sometimes we even had frozen towels - too funny. I will check on Mondays to see what's hanging on the line.

Karen said...

We aren't allowed to have clotheslines in our neighborhood. But I well remember sheets & towels hung on the clothesline. Smelled so clean and fresh when they were folded & brought inside.

Valrie said...


I am so glad I visited you today! I do Pink Saturdays and last week I forgot to publish before going to bed. After reading ypour post I now know how to schedule publishing. I love you blogland buddies!

I tried posting on the newer post and kept getting an error message...

Love your quilts!


Wayne said...

Sandi, I bought an old quilt top with that same pattern in the 1920 or 30s time period and fabric. I believe it is called Round the Mountain. I am going to quilt it by hand, because all the stitching is by hand and give it to my daughter. It is almost the same colors as yours. What a surprise to see it on your line.
Helen in Idaho

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Trying to catch up. Love seeing what you are up to. Another wonderful vintage quilt here.

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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