Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Swedish Grandmother - Final

Margreta's and Mira's Swedish Granmother Quilts...  They are complete and ready for their new homes.  It's been a short six months preparing these two quilts for Margreta and Mira.  Their Swedish Grandmother passed away back in 1962 and left behind 62 dresden petals.

I went shopping with Margreta at a local fabric shop and she picked out the extra fabric needed to complete the quilts.  I attached the petals to cream and white squares and dogeared the corners, lightly quilted them in echo stitching as to give them a very 'antique' look.   They are so pretty and I will miss working on them; however, I'm so very pleased to have brought them to completion.

Swedish Grandmother must have been a pretty amazing person.  Stories have been passed down about her; sweet memories of games, dress styles, and of course Christmas time.  When her daughters were older, Swedish Grandmother would give them 5 cents to go to the park and swim.  The girls could either use the 5 cents on ice cream or a street car ride home.  It was a long walk to Lake Superior, but the girls usually chose the Ice Cream cone.  I can just see them, 'water wings' in hand, trotting off for a day of fun.  

I will miss these quilts and I'm so happy and honored to be apart of their story.  I hope that they will warm many hearts and help keep sweet memories of Swedish Grandmother living for generations to come.  Life is so full of beautiful surprises that keep us looking for hope and love...

Always quilting,
Little Mama Hen

Tennessee Bound

Have I mentioned that I homeschool?  Best decision ever.  One of the perks of homeschooling is that time off is flexible and school can be taken with you.  My eldest, Ladybug, made sure all of her work was done, before we headed to Tennessee.  My youngest, Mountain Goat, was not so focused.  But to be fair, he did get sick a week before and was a little behind on his work.  We packed up and headed to Happy Valley, Mountain Goat's Math work included!

We were hoping to see a little snow, and we did...a little.  But who cares when you're in a gorgeous cabin with a mountain view.  We ate, laughed, hiked, and sat around the camp fire all...week...long!  It passed way to quick.

I wanted to finish up my Swedish Grandma Quilt Project before Christmas, so I packed her up and she came along.  It was really a sweet way to finish her up, surrounded by laughter, games, and joy.  Now she's ready to be packed up with her twin and given to two very sweet sisters.  I will miss working on them, but I'm so happy to have brought them to completion.

I'm usually the photographer in our family.  However, my daughter has been taking photos since we gave her one some seven years ago.  So cute to see a 4 year old's perspective...feet, legs, and a few butt shots, what do you expect, that was her eye level.  lol  She's in middle school now and took an online photography class and whoa...she's amazing!!  Of course, she always amazes me.  She's so sweet and quiet with this HUGE personality and talent just bursting from within her.  You only get to fully enjoy my little Ladybug and all her glory if you're patient and quiet.  It's like waiting for the sun to rise, just sit quietly and with time she'll shine so bright and strong...so full of hope and adventure.

My husband is also a pretty amazing photographer.  He denies any form of accomplishment in art, but boy is he wrong.  He's so full of amazing artistic talent; it amazes me that he doesn't see it...he doesn't seem to grasp how talented he is.  He catches moments and makes them so lovely.

My Mountain Goat, hasn't displayed a fascination, with photography like his sister; however, being the only extrovert in the family, he pretty much runs the roost.  ;)

Until Later,
Little Mama Hen.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Swedish Grandmother -Part 4

While working with Swedish Grandmother's (SG) dresden petals, I noticed something.  Look closely at the stitching on the above picture.  Can you see that there are two stitch lines?  One stitch line is very wonky and doesn't even go all the way to the end.  Then the second line is straight and strong.  I was so puzzled when I first saw this.  Everything about SG's sewing has been so neat and well, perfect.  I sat down and just stared at the stitches for a bit.  Why in the world?  I couldn't believe that SG had made a mistake so drastic...and why leave these wonky stitches there?  I never was able to meet SG, but after spending so much time with her dresden petals, I have a feeling she was the type of sewer to 'redo' and 'undo' any unsightly stitches...even if no one would see the seam.  Then I started looking closely at several of the other dresden petals.  Holy Moly, there were about 7 or 8 (out of 62) dresden 'flowers' that had these double stitches.  

Then I started thinking about my little Ladybug.  When  I first started sewing she was always under foot.  She wanted to see what Mama was doing.  She played with the fabric and even sewed a few things...I've saved those sweet little wonky stitches...Then it hit me!  SG wanted those wonky stitches there!! She must have been teaching someone to sew?!  Maybe a grandchild or great niece/nephew?  She knew no one would every see the imperfection, but she would know they were there. She would know that whoever helped her that day would be apart of the quilt.  Of course, I'll never know for sure, but this is what my heart tells me...what the dresden petals tell me.  

Look at this fabric!  One of my favorites so far.

I've been busy... cutting squares, clipping corners, making centers for the dresdens. 

She's coming along nicely.  I just couldn't wait to get a glimpse of what she'll be.  So, once I had all the dresden petals sewn onto the background squares, I laid her out on the floor...she's so lovely.  If you look closely at the top, you'll see the first row has the corners already sewn in.  So exciting.

 Well, it's the last weekend of summer for us.  I start school with the kiddos on Monday, so I'm off to make some memories and cherish all those wonky stitches that pop up in life.  -Little Mama Hen.

Swedish Grandmother

Friday, July 21, 2017

Swedish Grandmother Part 3

Through my local quilt guild I have made a lovely new acquaintance, Margreta. She in turn has a sweet sister, Mira.  I've only just met Margreta and I only talked to Mira for a few moments on the phone.  They are women with very kind personalities.  I also hint a bit of 'fun' and 'adventure' in their tones with each other.

These women have a most wonderful treasure.  Their Grandmother left behind 62 dresden petals that need a home in a warm and loving quilt.  Well...actually two quilts.  I'm going to make two quilts from these gorgeous dresdens and plan to have two left over for a couple of pillow shams.  Each sister will have a keepsake from their Grandmother and these dresdens will finally have a happy ending.

This is Swedish Grandmother (SG).  She was born in the midwest in 1887.  Grover Cleveland was president.  Her parents were immigrants from Sweden.  They were early pioneers.  SG spoke Swedish and cooked many Swedish dishes.  Margreta says that, besides her snoring (so endearing), what she remembers most was her old fashioned pedal sewing machine.  Margreta and her cousin use to visit SG on her farm.  She made Muumuus for them, aprons, and monkey sock dolls.

What sweet memories.  I have no idea what it's like to be an immigrant.  My family has been here in Florida since the early to mid 1800s and in Georgia before that.  I can only imagine the excitement, anxiety, and all the jumbled emotions that must go with starting a new life.

I've had such fun going through each of these dresdens, trying to decide which remnants were from aprons and maybe which one were dresses.  Which fabrics did she love? Since these were fabrics from her many projects, each one must hold a memory...a special event...someone she loved.  I can tell that she loved her fabric; she sewed and pressed them with great care.  She took the time to save such tiny pieces and join them together to make something so beautiful.

Now that I have them...now what??

Well, these lovely little dresdens have been sitting still for quite some time (over 50 years).  So the first thing was to take a look at the petal's points.
I took my tiny thread scissors and ever so gently made the petal points sharp.  I went under the fabric and pressed gently with my scissor point to make sure that each petal had a point at the end.  This will make sure that each dresden looks crisp and it will also make the sewing go more smoothly and straight.

I also trimmed little threads so that when I sew the dresden to a block these threads wont be peeking out at me.
Then I needed to decide what top thread I wanted to use.  I tried out yellow, white, blue, and black.  With all of SG vibrant colors, I felt that the blue would blend in best.  We shall see.

I'm taking my time with these beautiful treasures.  They will reside with me for a short time in their long life; I'm honored to be a small part in their story.

Life is sweet and the rain just stopped.   The weekend is starting and I can't wait to see what memories I can make with those I love.  Life is but a breath and I cherish each one.  -Little Mama

Swedish Grandmother Part 1
Swedish Grandmother Part 2

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Swedish Grandmother - Part 2

Someone once told me that every quilt has a story.  I had just started my quilting adventure about 5 years ago and I had no idea what that meant. Sure, quilters have stories, but Quilts?  I didn't get it.

Then I made her ... my first quilt.

I look at her and my heart listens; she whispers so many things so me. Such sweet memories pull my mind to observe other quilts in a new light, a new perspective. I'm continuing to grow as quilter, a wife, a mama, a daughter, a friend.  Which brings me to the new bend in my path...Swedish Grandmother.

Swedish Grandmother

A meeting by chance...a lovely lady, whom I will refer to as Margreta (pearl), needed some help.  She reached out to a local quilt guild leader, who then reached out to other members.  Margreta had some antique Dresden petals that needed completing.  Of course, I was immediately intrigued. The Dresden was not only my first quilt, it is my most favorite quilting block...




I am always trying to fit her into a quilt, a purse, a pillow sham...

I knew I needed to at least find out more about Margreta and her Dresdens.  After corresponding over emails, I discovered that Margreta's Grandmother had passed back in 1962 and her Dresdens had been resting safely for over 50 years!  I was so excited and honored to have such an opportunity!  Margreta and I met up at a local quilt shop to buy some fabric.  I was also able to meet by phone Margreta's sister, whom I will refer to as Mira (happy).

So here I am, starting a journey to give Swedish Grandmother's quilt a happy ending.  I am beyond delighted and look forward to being apart of her beautiful story.

Swedish Grandmother's beautiful and ever so lovingly cared for Dresdens...

If there is one thing I've learned so far about Swedish Grandmother, is that she new how to sew!

Her stitches are neat and her pressing is impressive.  Even after being tucked away for 50 years her pressing is straight and beautiful.

All these fabrics were remnants from other things she had sewn...clothes, aprons.

I love just going through them, wondering what it was like 50 years ago.  What it meant to sew, to create, to love fabric.  :)

Stay tuned for more.  For now, I am called away by two sweet lovies that need their Mama.

-Little Mama Hen

Swedish Grandmother Part 1
Swedish Grandmother Part 3

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Swedish Grandmother - Part 1

Upon rare occasion, we find a treasure along our path.  For me, I discovered a pearl that I feel will lead to an entire cavern of treasure.  This beautiful story, that I'm not even entirely aware of yet, will begin to unfold under my headlines, Swedish Grandmother.  For now, I just want to share a pearl that I've discovered on this sweet journey we call life.
62 gorgeous dresden petals

So many memories, time, and dedication.

Waiting patiently for over 55 years
It's time for her story...her happy ending.

Margreta's and Mira's Swedish Grandmother.

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