Thursday, November 22, 2012

more of mom's scraps

I made some more spools with my mother's scraps. Some of our childhood clothing in this group. Also, some feedsacks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

grandmother's choice--flag, schoolhouse, corn and beans, northwind

I see there are several others of you out there substituting blocks for those where Barbara Brackman uses sadistically odd measures.
I made my own schoolhouse block, and, in honor of our corn harvest and preparing for a soybean crop, chose a Corn and Beans variation. With the Ken Burns' Dust Bowl series on tv this week, I chose a Northwind block. Mom pointed out to us several places along the fencerows of the farm where the dust that built up in the mid 1930s remains and where volunteer trees grew to now large ones. She said at times the dust was red from land in Kansas and Oklahoma, so unlike the black dirt of Iowa.

Here is my mother as a schoolgirl in pigtails, about 1940.

Her memories of the Dust Bowl years:
 I remember Papa talking about the government ordering all those cattle and hogs to be killed.  It seemed such a waste to do that while many people were going hungry.  Some of the dust that came to Iowa was the red dust from Kansas and Oklahoma.  The Milwaukee railroad went through our land, after the dust storms there were big banks of dirt and dust, just like snow banks.  Those banks are still there the little saplings we saw in the thirties and forties are large trees now.  There were a lot of prairie flowers along the tracks too.  

It was dry and dusty here too, but not as bad as in Oklahoma.  Later the grasshoppers came and ate the grain.  I think it was in the thirties that they started planting all those big windbreaks in South Dakota to prevent erosion.  Hubert Humphrey was a big advocate of that and it did help.  Now in the last twenty or thirty years a lot of those windbreaks were destroyed.  We saw that in Alaska too, some of the windbreaks were not taken care of and just gone wild.  
In North Dakota where they first started mining coal, they did not clean up the area after they removed the coal and that land is full of hills with trees and bushes.  But now when the mine is finished, they level the land and plant crops on it.  We belonged to the Lyon County REC and our electricity came from those coal mine areas in North Dakota.  Dad and I took a couple of bus trips to that area several years ago.  It reminded me of the polders in Holland.

 The Farmers’ Holiday Association’, it was a movement in 1932 – 1934 that got kind of rough in the LeMars and Sioux City area.  They even put a noose around a judge’s neck, he was ordering foreclosures on a lot of farmers.   I remember hearing about dumping the milk.  The Depression was a difficult time.  Some people got very desperate.  A lot of anxiety in those days.  We were poor, and so was everyone else.   We felt sorry for the city people.  The farmers had cattle, hogs, and chickens to butcher, we canned the meat, because we did not have electricity and freezers.  We also had big gardens so we canned a lot of vegetables and applesauce.  I remember Mama used a kerosene stove in the summer time to do her canning, cooking and baking.  The big stove that used cobs and wood would make the house too hot in the summer.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

making a tree--with apologies to Joyce Kilmer

This block finishes 16 inches. I developed this pattern, adapting several antique blocks. Use at your pleasure.
I used a Timeless Treasures red--this was on the label:
Timeless Treasures 239930 Tonga red B9390
Here is the thing with red--always buy a fabulous red. And lots of it. I bought the bolt. (14.7 yards)
I used about 7 different green batiks. In the quilt I put one lighter green in a different place on the left side of every tree.
(I use the EZ angle in cutting my triangles and will put those measures in parenthesis.)
3 triangles cut from two 6 7/8 squares, cut once diagonally--one left over (cut from 6 1/2 inch strip) I see that two triangles didn't make the picture. They will show up later.
24 triangles cut from twelve 2 7/8 inch squares, cut once diagonally (cut from 2 1/2 inch strips)
3 squares cut 2 1/2 inches
2 rectangles cut 4 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches
30 triangles cut from fifteen 2 7/8 inch squares, cut once diagonally (cut from 2 1/2 inch strips)
4 squares cut 2 1/2 inches
1 triangle cut from one  6 7/8 squares, cut once diagonally--one left over (cut from 6 1/2 inch strip)
One 4 1/2 inch square

Piece 24 squares with the smaller triangles
Piece one square with the large tree and one of the large background triangles
Use the small tree squares to make sew-and-flip triangles on the 4 1/2 inch sides of the two background rectangles.
Lay out the large pieced square, the 4 1/2 inch tree square, and the two backgrounds with the flipped triangles out to make the trunk.
Lay out the tree, watching placement and directions of the triangles.
Piece the rows, put the rows together, and put the large background triangles onto the rows.
Assemble and press and admire!
I used this block for a pillow to be presented to the Schuenemann family. I added 2 1/2 inch strips on each side before quilting, trimming it all to about 20 inches after quilting then making a lap-back pillow.

Here it is on our new white sofa--are we crazy soon-to-be empty nesters or what?
The quilt has 9 blocks, with 4 alternating plain blocks plus setting triangles. I used an 8 inch border and used the red in the binding. It measures about 82 inches square.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

morgenrot (red sky at morning) 2012

Morgenrot (Red Sky at Morning) is a quilt commemorating the Schuenemann family and their contributions to the City of Chicago and to St Pauls Church. They sailed the Christmas tree ship on Lake Michigan for many years. The Rouse Simmons went down in 1912 and all aboard were lost.

St Pauls is having a Shuenemann festival this month and asked me to make a quilt to help raise funds for a plaque honoring the family and the ship on the 100th anniversary of the loss. The plaque will be placed on the Clark Street bridge.

Quilt is about 82" by 82".  Block is 16 inches finished.
Quilted by Suzette Fisher.
It was a joy to make.
I'll post soon with block instructions.