Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vintage photos...I have no shortage of them

This week at Take A Word it's all vintage! At least 90 percent of what I make is using something vintage, usually from my family. This week I had pulled out some old photos when cleaning up my craft room and found a spiral bound book of black and whites.  It would appear that my Great Grandma ( or someone...have to check with my mom) was pretty proud of a new TV set. The back of the picture says March 1956.
I transfered it onto fabric and made this needle case for my new love of embroidery.

Also, I had to include a couple others from the book; the dining room and their car parked out on its Pittsburgh, PA street.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Civil War Quilt Top Finished

All fabric and pattern by Jo Morton
Rejoice! Rejoice! I finished my quilt top for January's small quilt club. I may never do a large quilt again.  Jo Morton has some wonderful Civil War reproduction fabrics to choose from and these small quilts are so fun to do. The finished size on this one is 21 1/4'' by 21 1/4''.

As I have been posting my progress,  I have also been sharing some excerps of letters by Confederate soldier, Eli Pinson Landers,  from Weep Not For Me, Dear Mother by Elizabeth Whitley Roberson.   Here are a few more...

" It makes me feel very bad just to think how many of my old associates is gone and they are all experiencing Eternity while I am yet on Terms of Time and Probation."
August 28, 1863

" All military duty is suspended for today. President Davis has proclaimed this day for fasting and prayer throughout the whole Confederacy, but I think the most of the boys eats a heap and prays but little, but I believe that we will have to be more obedient than we are before we can expect to be delivered from this state of trouble.  We will have to deny our strength and acknowledge the Almighty's."
August 1863

Now, all that's left is the quilting...I'll get to it soon, hopefully.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hanging at the pub,embroidering

this hand pattern is from stitchers revolution

My friend's makeshift loom...another use for cardboard

playing around with drawing faces to embroider

What better place to sit and embroider, and share projects, than an Irish pub? A nice Wednesday evening.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Civil War letters and another quilt block

I tried a different fabric combination tonight which I like a lot better. I think the pinks and greens are a better fit.

General Webb's headquarters, Culpeper, Dec.1863
I wanted to share a few of the letters Confederate soldier, Eli Pinson Landers, wrote home to his mother in Weep Not for Me, Dear Mother by Elizabeth Whitley Roberson.
These ones are from the beginning of the war, before Eli had seen much action, and was getting settled into military life.

My Respected Mother,
I went up in town today and got my ambertype taken which I will send to you and I want you to keep this one for me and believe it to be the same boy that left you.  This one cost 3 dollars but you won't take $100 for it when you get it. Mamma I want you to keep my picture as long as you live and show it to all the girls.  Tell them that it is a Virginia Ranger. It is just like me now so you can guess how I look.  "It" tells the girls and you howda for me.  It can't talk with you but if I was there I could tell you a heap!  Look on the cartridge box and you will find my name which was put there with a lead pencil.  So keep this picture my dear mother for it is just like I am now.  Remember that it is a son of yours who is in the noble cause of his country and who will willingly stay with it till death if needed!

Civil War photo by Andrew J Russell
  Here is a little from a letter his mother wrote him:

Eli, you needn't be uneasy about us for we are surrounded with Christian friends while you are there with Yankeys and if we never meet in this world I want us to try to meet in a better one.

A small undated portion written by Eli:

" I was in hopes that this war would soon close but from the reading of the late papers I think we may lay down all hopes of peace and prepare for an Everlasting War.  I am afraid that we are a ruined Nation, but let us not be disheartened for all things must work out to the Will of God."

Civil War photo by Andrew J Russell

" Mamma don't be uneasy about me for we are well fixed for living with a good log cabin dobbed as tight as a tater house..."

I will include more of the letters as my small quilt progresses. I definately recommend this book for anyone interested in the Civil War. And while I may be a Yankee I am growing often fond of Eli.

Saturday at the craft factory...

A busy day! Finished two paint brush rolls, some quilted postcards, and washed, pressed, and squared up all the fabric to work on more small quilts tomorrow. I am ready to go.

picture from an old Chesterfield cigarette ad

Nesting doll is cut from a Christmas card I recieved this year.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Small quilts and the Civil War

 I have been making small quilts lately, mainly for dolls,  and I decided I needed to do more with it. I also needed to learn some techniques and tricks.  It is so difficult to get these little 3'' squares to lay flat. I enjoy classes and things to meet people so I signed up for a small quilt club in town, "Jo's Little Women". We use patterns from Jo Morton and her Civil War reproduction fabrics.

The teacher, and beloved quilt guru, suggested we also learn a bit more about the American Civil War to share at meetings. Well, aside from crafts, I also love to do research!

Within just a few days I already have a short pile of books found at a local used shop. One of the most interesting  is "Weep not for me, dear Mother" by Elizabeth Whitley Robertson. She came into possession of letters written by a Confederate soldier, Eli Pinson Landers, and has compiled them along with researching the battles, places, and conditions he wrote of. I am a sucker for old letters and his are definately worth reading.  I like to hear personal stories and opinions from these historical events. Every war has thousands of stories.

Two others I found were "Civil War Women" ( a collection of fiction) and "Russell's Civil War Photographs" by Andrew J. Russell. It's nice to see images from the day. Pretty amazing really. All of my photos of my quilt squares have his photos as the background.

These are just the first 2 squares for a 19''x19'' quilt. Much more to do!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Erosion Bundle

The Erosion Bundle happily tucked in its woodsy home!
 Last year I was too late to get in on the Erosion Bundle Project, but here is my 2011's ready to go mix and mingle with the elements and see what transpires. I love the idea of this; placing fabrics, fibers, old items, linen, ribbons, and anything you fancy together and placing it in the world to let Mother Nature work magic on it!

Here are some of the items within my linen and muslin: lace, old tin, Canadian coins, metal bits, buckles, feathers... eggplant flower, herbs, lavender, felted wool...

 ...old clasps and buttons, old postcards from decades ago...

These will be brought back inside in April and then rediscovered.  And also repurposed into new artwork. What a wonderful idea for a project. I am thrilled to take part. Check out The Erosion Bundle Project to see other bundles and what people have created in years past.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mail Art

A Butterfly for Take A Word, working on the mail art stash, and reworking an old painting...

 This is one of my favorite Kaffe Fasset fabrics- worked perfect for the background of my butterfly.

 Using old family photos and my used stamp collection for envelopes with interest.

 These birds are actually from a cutting board my Grandma gave me. I used transfer paper to make this fabric postcard.

This is a portion of a painting I did months ago. I used photoshop to cut the image down and printed it onto transfer paper to make the fabric postcard.  The matching envelope was run through the printer.

Now I am ready to send more mail art!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Stamps Arrived!

 I Love the US Postal, I really LOVE those people! And I especially love that anyone can use any photo and have stamps made! Yes, it's a bit more, but I still think mailing a letter is some pretty cheap entertainment and I have always liked writing letters, postcards, and doing mail art.

These stamps are a picture of a doll I did...the photo was actually taken somewhere along the process and I just liked this one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting ready for valentine's Day

Starting Valentine's early! Actually, I don't think I've made cards for this holiday since grade school, but it sure is fun with felt and a sewing machine! This was a project from a calendar a friend gave me. Little notes tuck into the heart pockets or envelopes. So cute!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Little magnet beauties

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Are you there God, it's me Margaret by Judy Blume

This week's Take A Word challenge is "Beauty". I decided to make a fabric magnet of the "Black Beauty" book cover, one of my favorite childhood books. I also loved Judy Blume books, and this was her best! Last, but not least, I had to do my absolute favorite "A Wrinkle in Time".

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lovely buttons

This was a project idea in an older issue of Cloth Paper Scissors- a felted quilt to showcase some of those favorite buttons we all have. What a great idea!   This pink button is one I love, and it truly is out of my " Red Tin" from Grandma.

Sunday, January 2, 2011