Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rain, rain, and more rain

This is what the skies were looking like Thursday afternoon on our way home from shopping...this is looking east. When I get done with this post, I am going to post a couple pictures on my other blog looking north...

I was going to say this is the first day without rain in ages, but actually we had sprinkles around 9:00 or 9:30. Our yard was about a foot high...notice I saw was. Roger and Sarah cut it today. Roger probably should not have been mowing, but he is a lot better. His neck just gets to feeling stiff at the end of the day.

Lorelei wanted to be right where she could see her mom part of the time...part of the time she would come in and play with me. And we watched Olivia a little bit. She is such a character...we had spaghetti for late lunch and she sure ate....but Roger had given her a taste of banana bread earlier. She was done eating, but he got that out and she says 'YEAH!' and had just a bite of it.
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I have been working on a couple little artsy quilts...just a few minutes here and there. I was at first totally disgusted with them, but like them better now. I have to find a piece of leftover batting to use for them, and decide on a fabric backing and get them finished.

I think about how different things are for me quilting compared to my mom and women of the earlier generations. I don't even know where to begin. I think about my mom...she bought very little fabric just for quilting...she did buy muslin for the backing...that is all I can remember her buying when I was younger. She used scraps leftover from making our dresses, and I think my sisters all sewed and sometimes gave her scraps they had.

About the time I started driving, one of the stores started carrying remnants from sewing factories. So, she started buying some of the remnants to use. I cannot remember the prices now...I cannot even remember the prices we paid for material for dresses..but I do know that the prices were cheaper than that. Those remnants were sold by pound. Even with buying the remnants, she still used a lot of scraps.

Then there is me. I have been buying fabric for years. Sometimes by the yard, sometimes just a half yard here or fat quarter there....all to build up my stash. I always said I was buying till when Roger retired, I would have lots to work with. I still buy fabric, but not near as much as I did...and it was all bought with the purpose of making quilts.

For the last quilt I made, I cannot remember the number of fabrics I used, but I did not buy anything new except for the backing. I used all fabrics that I already had. There are 168 squares in the top, and I only cut two squares of any one fabric, and I did not use all the doubles.

Another big difference is this: the memories or thoughts are not there with my quilts that come when looking at quilts my mom made. I look at quilts from her and I see pieces from a dress I had in fifth grade, or there...there is a fabric from that dress she had. Or look there!!! That is a piece from the first dress I made in Home Economics. Oh, and there is fabric from a skirt of one of my sisters. And over there is from a dress I had in 8th grade....and there is one from the dress my sister made me.

There are lots of other differences, but the fabric thing always really stands out for me. When I grew up, I don't even know if there was such a thing as a quilt shop. We bought most of our fabric from J.C. Penney's...they had patterns and fabric on the top floor...there just was not near the variety of fabrics to choose from...you just cannot imagine the variety available now.

However, the one thing that I think remains the same...quilts are made with love. When you receive a quilt, you are being wrapped in love. Even if it is made entirely with a sewing machine, there is still loads of work that goes into one. And that is not counting the money spent on fabric.

6 comments:

don said...

I enjoyed reading your account of quilting then and now. I had never thought of quilt squares are links and reminders in a historic sense. That is a wonderful aspect. I wonder if old catalogs from your Mom's era would be online where you could check those prices.

Barb said...

Neat blog post, it brings back memories for me too! I can remember the local *Five and Dime* store having limited fabric, but it what was available. Then finally a fabric store opened up...but it was owned by grumpy people so it was not a fun place to shop :>)!! I only shopped there out of TOTAL necessity! Have a great week, I am glad Roger is feeling better!

Mary said...

I loved reading this, of course :-) I was shaking my head and agreeing with everything you said! My mother didn't quilt, but she did sew and made our clothes. I think she bought a lot of fabric at J.C. Penney, too and all the other stores downtown Indianapolis. Like you, I have built up a stash and am now using a lot of it since I have had less money to go fabric shopping. The only quilt I made full of memories, was the one that I made for my daughter when she was about 9. It has fabric from dresses that I had made for her, and a few I had made for myself and I can look at them and remember the outfits connected with them. I think the memories I connect to my quilts now, are just of a different kind.

Gill - That British Woman said...

you are so right when you say:

"Even if it is made entirely with a sewing machine, there is still loads of work that goes into one."

great post.

Gill in Canada

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Interesting how quilting has changed through the years. People used to make quilts for warmth.. Nowadays, people make beautiful quilts --and the fancier, the better... Interesting, isn't it???

By the way, does Sarah quilt??? Hope she keeps the family tradition going...

Glad that Roger is better. Tell him to take care of himself.

Hugs,
Betsy

Jacob said...

I was struck by one of your comments here: it does make a difference the way (or direction) we look at things!

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