Monday, October 4

"What's on the line?"

There was just a slight breeze when I went out to the line to take photos of the quilt I wanted to share today. I like watching the quilts blow lazily in the breeze.............
There was just a tad too much sun, though, so I should have taken the photos earlier or later in the day.
So, what's the story behind this quilt? Well, it definitely has a connection to most of the friends that come to the retreat at Villa~Maria. It also has a connection to Murphy's Landing (now known as just The~Landing). The Landing is an 88 acre Living History site with homes and buildings where the local history of the Minnesota River Valley is interpreted by costumed staff. The time period is about 1840 to 1890. I began volunteering there in the summer of 1994. Our son had gone off to college so we had an "empty nest". I had a need to find some peace, not because of the "empty nest" but because my Grandma Goldie had passed away the day our son graduated from high school. And then a very dear friend from church was diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes, I was just sad and needed quiet. Whenever I volunteered at The Landing, there was this sense of peace because there were no cars on the road, no phone to ring, no modern conveniences. It was so peaceful. Granted, I was happy to go home to creature comforts at the end of the day, but I liked being at The Landing.
Six months after our son began college, I got laid off at the computer company where I had worked for several years. They gave me lots of "good-bye" training so I would have even more computer skills but I decided to try something different. I decided to take a paid position at The Landing as Martha, the dressmaker. I chose the name of Martha because it was my great great grandmother's name and she had been a dressmaker in the little town of Lehigh where I grew up. I made myself some clothing for the late 1870's to 1880's for the Harms house (from the Harms family located in Norwood, MN) where I worked and I enjoyed sharing the history of the house and information on what women were sewing in those years. A group of young girls who were home-schooled visited The Landing regularly as part of their studies. They enjoyed coming to visit "my house" and would sit on the floor in the kitchen area and make things from my basket of scraps. It was almost like "Little House on the Prairie".
It was during this time at The Landing that I really went back to my "quilting roots". I began teaching beginning quilting at Michael's, then in Community Education classes and as a volunteer in the Scott County Library system. I also taught penny rug classes at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop. It seemed that each class led to an idea for another one and along the way, many of my students became friends. In 2000, I taught a series of twelve small quilts and it was there that I really made some of my "bestest" quilting friends. In 2001, I designed several mystery quilts and also decided after that experience that I would never teach mystery quilts again. More to that story at another time but it's funny, so I will share one day. Anyway, in 2002 some of my friends suggested I do a block of the month. I thought that was a great idea and thinking of the time spent at The Landing, I drafted simple blocks that I thought some long-ago quilter might have used in her quilt. I gave it a modern twist, though, by choosing a bolder color scheme and I off-set the blocks with a panel that has my favorite Bible verse on it .........
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven........"
Ecclesiastes 3:1
I pieced the quilt and my friend, Sara Peterson, did the machine quilting. I bound it and it was all finished except for adding the casing on the back so that I could hang it. In January of 2002, we began meeting once a month on the third Thursday in the Hearthroom at my church. Everyone got the block pattern and paid $3.00 which went in a collection and was donated to the church. Sometimes there were more than a dozen of us, sometimes only half that number. Each month, though, blocks were made and other projects were also shared. We had potlucks and I always had a doorprize. For some, those nights were the only time they could set aside to quilt. Life was too busy the rest of the time. I remember that Jenny came and worked on projects for both her son and a daughter-in-law who were serving in the middle east. Others came because it was great stress relief from a stressful job. And as time went on, our friendships grew and we made a point of staying connected. I will admit, that I was often the instigator of our "staying connected" but my friends thank me for that. And I am thankful that I made such wonderful friends while doing what I love......stitching, quilting, sewing, piecing, anything that has to do with fabric!
During this past retreat, my friends found it interesting to hear how I knew each person that attended the retreat. For a long time, I have wanted to share about some of those friends so that is what I am going to do this week and maybe a bit next week. You'll see them in more retreat photos and you will love some of the quilts that they have made!
Now, if you want the patterns for this quilt, it is the block of the month that I am offering in my Seasons BOM Yahoo group. You just need to go to the sidebar and click on the Angel button. That will take you to my BOM group. In addition to the pieced blocks, I am sharing Redwork Angel blocks that I designed in 2006.
Now, here is one of the things I like about blogging.......it makes me finish things. LOL! That's right! You see, I bound that quilt but as I mentioned above.......I had never added the casing so I could hang it. Guess what I did yesterday afternoon? Yep, I added the casing to the top of the quilt because I thought if I was going to hang it on the line, I should really have it be finished!! And now it's completed and I just have to decide where I will hang it. It's nice to know that it will no longer reside in my "to do" pile. YAY!!!
That's all for today. Next post will be more retreat photos and meeting my stitching friends. :-)
Have a great Monday!
Sandi
Thank you for all the comments on my Giveaway post. I am flabbergasted at the number of comments and have enjoyed every one. I get hungry just reading all your favorite treats!! I am thinking that I may have to figure out another prize or two so that there can be more than one winner. Hmmmm.......we shall see..........

10 comments:

Winona said...

Sandi, I loved the story behind this quilt. It is so interesting to read the story that goes with the quilt. There is usually one. (grin) Beautiful quilt as well. The Landing sounds like a great place to visit. Is it still open to the public? Have a great day. Winona

Pat said...

Do you have any photos of yourself as "Martha"??? I think it would be fun to see more about that time of your life.....what fun that must have been. This is a wonderful quilt you are showing us, too. Thanks for sharing!

Joanne Lendaro said...

Love the quilt colors!

annemarie said...

So interesting - I have really enjoyed your last couple of posts!

Mommarock said...

You are a very busy and kind hearted lady! I'm so excited about this quilt and glad that I'm already a member of your yahoo group. Can't wait for it to be the BOM. I think I'll be able to fit that in along side the quilt that I'm currently starting. Two quilts in progress isn't TOO bad.

Crispy said...

What a lovely story for a pretty quilt. It would be fun to pretend to be from a older more slower time, but I would have to have a computer if I ever time traveled back :0)

Crispy

Beth said...

What a wonderful quilt. I would love to see a photo of you as 'Martha" too. You are so amazing, always on the go, and so many great ideas. What an inspiration! Thank you

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

What a delightful sampler. It has a wonderful, old fashioned look about it.

Needled Mom said...

What a great story, Sandi. Isn't life interesting?

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

A very sweet story. So glad you showed it.

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