Monday, June 4, 2012

My Ben Franklin Angel

Sundays have everything to do with going slow at our house.  Being creatures of habit, we wake up at the same time on weekends as during the work week.  A big pot of coffee for my Hubby is the first thing on the agenda.   Sunday breakfast is usually bacon, eggs and biscuits or something similar.  Hubby is the bacon and egg king and I'm biscuit queen. 

Last weekend the new public aquatic center (how's that for fancy!) opened in our little town.  It's quite a nice facility with something for every age group.  There is the requisite pool with diving boards, a water slide, a lazy river current section and bouncing seats for infants to diddle their little toes in the water and bounce around if they are so inclined.   I look forward to the day the center offers water aerobics classes.  Our town could also use a walking trail around the city park.  I see so many walking on the edges of the roads where there are no sidewalks.  Since most of our roads have only two lanes, this makes walking for your health a risky endeavor. 

Work on my sewing room is almost done.  I believe I've dealt with all the fabric I squirreled away in nearly every corner of our house.  It will soon be time to hang a quilt on the wall and plug in my old machine and sew a valance.  I haven't done any sewing for about two weeks and I'm in serious withdrawal.   Hubby tells me I've been a little edgy lately!  Thank goodness I have this blog and the wonderful forum at Missouri Star where I can at least talk about quilts!

Today I would like to show you a quilt I made completely by hand when I was 14-15 years old.  It is an embroidered project done on stamped quilt blocks from the local Ben Franklin store.  The lovely lady who worked in the fabric department, Miss Evelyn, encouraged me to sew and allowed me to buy one stamped block per week until I made all I needed (5).  She pretended to be splitting a pack of blocks with me!  Miss Evelyn was very kind to me and figured out creative ways to help me buy fabric or yarn on several occasions.  She attended my high school graduation, my wedding and my baby shower for my daughter.  We maintained a wonderful friendship  until her passing in 1969.  I remember her fondly as my sewing angel and loving friend every time I look at this quilt.


My parents supported me and spared no expense on anything I wanted to do academically ~ math camp, spelling bees, science fairs,   field trips, microscopes, telescopes, etc.  What they did not support was my creative side, which has always run strongly through my veins.  I think  Dad had a mortal fear that I might want to go to a liberal arts college, so in an effort to help keep my feet on the ground, he made me do math drills every evening after dinner rather than watch TV.  Dad was a math whiz and was determined that I could do the same.  To him sewing was nonsense (mending was okay) and spending money on fabric or other sewing supplies was wasteful.   I'm sure he felt that sewing and crafting would lead me down the road of ruination.  To acquire the money for the supplies to make this quilt I saved my quarters and dimes from babysitting ~ I would watch three children for 25 cents an hour! 

After the blocks were embroidered I had to decide on what color to set everything together with....why pink and white, of course!  For the background I chose a mix of white and unbleached muslin ~ I thought this was a pretty groovy style statement.  White AND off-white in the same quilt ~ on the cutting edge!   There was no money in my meager budget for batting  so I used flannel yardage.  I didn't like binding in the early years so I opted for prairie points.  Everything on this quilt was hand sewn and it's the first I quilted all by myself.  I even went a step further and made a bed ruffle for my bed.  Over the years the bed ruffle disappeared but the quilt remains in very good condition in my collection.  Thank you Miss Evelyn for making this quilt and many other projects possible and for talking me out of making bell bottom pants from baby flannel!! 

Thank you for letting me run a little long today ~ you never know what you will get here on Monday!! 

I wish you all a wonderful day filled with Peace & Plenty  ~  Barb


  1. What wonderful memories attached to this beautiful quilt. Your have been truly blessed to have met and been mentored by such a marvelous lady.
    As always your quilting is gorgeous!

  2. I love your stories...this one especially is so touching...Miss Evelyn was definitely your quilting angel...thanks for sharing all this...Carol