Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Under The Quilting Frame

Once upon a time the acceptable way of quilting was on a quilting frame.  Some quilters were fortunate enough to have a 'store' frame, but most of the quilters I knew, which were the other ladies of Grammy Rose's quilting bee, had frames their husbands had made.  Grammy always quilted in the parlor.  She had a special quilting frame that was rigged to a pulley and when the frame was not in use it was pulled up against the parlor ceiling.  It looked quite impressive when it made it's descent and made quite an interesting accessory for our home. 

Quilting day was my favorite day of the week!  Not only did the ladies fuss over me, but I would grab my quilt, a pillow, a few dolls and my color book and crayons and set up camp under the quilt frame.  It was so interesting to watch all those hands under the frame feeling for the needles....and all those legs!  If anyone dropped their thimble it was my job to find it and return it.  Miss Yarber would tap her foot and that was my signal that she was going to pass me a piece of penny candy.  I wasn't allowed candy "because it will rot your teeth!" but Miss Yarber understood that this girl needed candy. 

Quilters have so many options today...wonderful options I would say!  The rotary cutter and cutting mat are ingenious tools that contribute to the speed and overall accuracy of quilt making.   My rotary cutter is worth it's weight in gold.  I have spent countless hours tracing around templates cut from cereal boxes or tablet backs and then cutting with scissors until my hands couldn't cut anymore!  Grammy preferred the cardboard of writing tablet backs because it was so sturdy and held up better than cereal box cardboard.    

The world of pre-cut fabrics has revolutionized quilting for me and has lured many a new quilter to our craft with yummy names like jellyrolls, layercakes, dessert rolls, turnovers, etc.  These names are trademarked by Moda.  Just as we refer to any tissue as Kleenex and any gelatin as Jello, pre-cuts are referred to in most quilting circles by the delicious names given to them by Moda. 

For years I did all my quilting by hand and I produced one, maybe two, quilts a year.  A year with three quilts completed was exceptional.  Machine quilting is so popular now and in my mind quite acceptable for the most part.  I am fortunate to have a wonderful long-arm quilter who lives less than five minutes from me.  Many quilters do their own machine quilting and many do wonderful takes a LOT of practice...just like hand quilting!  Like many other quilters I have a Bucket List for quilts and being able to take my quilt tops to my long-arm quilter has made it possible for me to cross off a few items on my list!!  God bless the quilters and their machines!

Today I'm showing you an old Dresden Plate quilt.  It's my 'go to' quilt when I don't feel well.  The blocks were appliqued by Grammy Rose with black embroidery thread.  It has been machine quilted and if I had it all to do over again I would hand quilt it.  Sorry Grammy! 

The garden is taking hold and growing and the flowers, especially the hibiscus, are looking good.

I wish you a day filled with peace & plenty. 

Hugs and Happy Stitching....Barb


  1. What a pretty quilt, and I love the colour of that hibiscus......wish we could grow them here.

  2. Barb,
    love the story of the quilt frame and candy. I also would be under the quilt frame more times than I can remember as a child.
    The quilt is gorgeous.