To be or not to be; an 1862 sampler. Couldn’t be or could it? That is the question.

A trip to our local Goodwill always finds me checking in to three sections, bedding for vintage quilts, linens for anything embroidered and funky fun, and the picture frame section for old lost photo’s, interesting pictures  and handcrafted picture items.

Yesterday did not let me down with a find I am questioning and asking for help from all my blogging stitching friends ~

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I found this beautiful sampler. I was first attracted to the muted colors of olive green or gray and black stitching on the brown background. The frame is not that old and the backing has been done professionally. It is in heavy black paper. Not that flimsey brown wrapping paper. The wiring seems to be quite new, redone?

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I must admit it wasn’t until I got her home that I noticed the date ‘1862’

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There are no other markings. This close up is interesting. The aida fabric almost looks like ratan fibers to me. Is that even possible? More and most importantly could this possibly be from 1862? That just doesn’t seem possible. It is in pristine condition.

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I was wondering if there could be clues with the stitching style or color pallate with this piece. Looking for help and direction with identifying this sampler.

thank-you2

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Progress In The Making On The Log Cabin Rework

I am making progress on the Log Cabin rework for my neighbor Velma. You may remember I had been gifted these hand-sewn log cabin blocks.

They reeked of moth-ball odor but stood up well to numerous washings in vinegar and baking soda and then a umpteenth rewash for lingering odor.

I decided on these two fabrics to sash the blocks together changing my mind from the bland white and brown original pick.

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All pieced together now and looking handsome if I may say so myself.

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Now to move on to the batting and backing. I am recycling a thin fleece type throw blanket for the batting and the same material as the lighter large outer L of the square for the backing. Since these blocks had already been quilted to a solid peach material, I am debating on what actually to hand quilt. I am thinking just on the outside of each square on the sashing. It’s been a fun project and I exciting to get it done and on the lap of Velma.

 

©, 2019, copyright, Sharon Haimowitz-Civitano. All rights reserved.

There Is No Place Like Home

Starting a new year is usually steeped in anticipation and excitement for what is in store, what lies ahead. This year was no exception. I am excited to continue with the T Block quilt along, improving my flying geese skills, possibly finishing Wishing You Good Will and starting the tulip quilt top along with continuing with a few other started projects but…

On January 1st I was determined to find my parents wedding album for that one certain picture I wanted to frame.

Instead of finding the wedding picture, at the bottom of the huge steamer trunk I found three cross stitch samplers I didn’t remember seeing before, but I must have. Only one had the makers initials and date.

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Eighty three years old, done by C.L., 1935 ~ who was C.L. ? I had an idea. I have quite a few things in our home that belonged to my husbands first wife who passed quite young (may her memory be a blessing) Questioning him on her parents names, I learned her mother was Kathleen Loen. I had the L and a little digging with Ancestry I discovered Kathleen’s mother was Clara Loen born 1904 in Washington. This had to be hers. She was thirty one when she did this and I can imagine how proud she must have felt to have this hanging in her home.

Mystery easily solved and I have started the new year with a priceless memory from the past. She is no longer at the bottom of the trunk!

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.

 

©, 2019, copyright, Sharon Haimowitz-Civitano. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Hand Quilt Along ~ December 2018

I have taken to bed to work on my quilt this month. The shortest of days, and the not so cold (thankfully) days have been perfect for binge watching this and that propped up with Wishing You Good Will on my lap.

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I can feel the progress being made and I am anxious to get this part of the quilting process done.

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The thought of working on her scalloped edging does have me a bit nervous as I have never worked anything but a straight edge. But deep breaths, I can do this. I used a  king size sheet for my backing but with this quilt top so massive there was one side that overlapped. I took the plunge and actually cut away part of the top – my original plan. It hurt but it was just half a loop and it turned out fine.

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What a wonderful way to ring in the new year with Wishing You Good Will and happy healthy projects started and finished in the coming New Year!

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This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  NanetteSassy , EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

December T Block – Quilt Along

It is time for the reveal of the second block in the T Block Quilt Along that I am participating in. This a block a month project organized and led by Bella of Then and Again Quilts

For twelve months I am receiving a pattern for a variation of the T bock – the T for Temperance Movement, with much written and debated about this quilt origin’s and history. Please take some time and stop by Bella’s page she has written quite a bit on its history.

So how do I think I am doing with this project? I love the block a month, no pressure and I am actually completing two. Two because the first isn’t quite right and well, I think I could go three or even four and still wouldn’t have it spot on right. Here is my second attempt. (not bad)

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First and second attempts and you can see the difference. (The color is true in this first attempt photo)

I wanted to share the block that was done by Bella – it is so gorgeous.

TblockBella

I was really excited to see this on her posting. I have a baby quilt I want to make for my granddaughter & husband who are expecting their first child – its a boy. I was going to use the pinwheel pattern but if I can get those darn geese down I think this would make a great children’s quilt. Bella called this her wonky blocks for this pattern. What do you think, pinwheel or T block ?

TblockBella2

 

The Wealth OF These Beauties

Yesterday was a busy day – the most exciting part being that I was able to pick up the framed quilt blocks that I had rescued about a month ago.  I wrote a post ‘A Neighbor Told A Neighbor’ which told of me being gifted a worn and torn quilt that was going to be thrown out. My neighbor Velma and her son Dan believed the quilt had been done by Velma’s mother, Gertrude Ernesteen Todd. I was able to save only 2 panels from the quilt and decided to have them framed.

Here they are ~

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I was so excited to finally have them home and for gift giving ~

Over at Velma’s (84) and her son Dan’s home, joined by the ‘neighbor who told the neighbor’ ~ Poodle Nancy (she show’s Poodles and you may have seen her in the ring at sometime if you watch the televised dog show’s)

I revealed the 2 beauties ~

I gave one of them as a gift and asked to keep the other. Can you guess which one Velma choose?

This gorgeous one in the reddish frame

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And I got the gorgeous peach tulip in the brown tones

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It was so hard to get a picture with out glare and as you can see out doors captured the reflection of winters bare branch trees

Spending some time with Velma and Dan, it became clear they were not sure who actually made the quilt. They always thought it had been her mother Gertrude Ernesteen Todd but it could have been her mother, and they didn’t know who she was. While talking with them I learned they actually had no information on their family history and with a few facts I went home, deciding then and there I needed to learn a little more for them and for myself. Gertrude was born Oct 30 1913 in Tallahassee, Oklahoma. She married Elbert Jackson Poynor of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

When the dust bowl hit in 1930 the family made the move along with so many for California, first settling in Dent Township, San Joaquin, CA. As our conversation had continued it was possible the quilt came from Velma’s grandmother, a woman I discovered was named Melrose (Millie) Robertson, born 1883 in Carroll County, Ark. She married Joseph Edward Todd, born 1883 Leonard, Tulsa, OK.  They too, along with the family (all in OK) made the move to CA. All of the family would eventually move into Stanislaus County and surrounding country side. Melrose passed in 1937, Joseph went on to live another 30 plus years passing in 1963.

Whether it was Melrose’s hands that pieced this quilt or her daughter Gertrude, we will never know. But as I look into the years of wear I can picture it being tucked in doorways or window sill’s to stem the tide of sand blowing through the home. Or maybe they covered themselves in it as they ventured out to secure a cow or shut the barn door that may have blown open.

Velma’s father Elbert Jackson Poynor, Oklahoma born, was the son of Thomas Wilson Poynor of Fly, TN, He married Orlena Minnie Collins born in Arkansas. They married in 1904 in Hagar, Pottawtomie, OK. Perhaps Orlena had made the quilt.

I don’t think it really matters who made the quilt. The quilt itself is the living history of an event in our American history.

Velma’s family was the family of John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes Of Wrath” journeying on to the San Joaquin Valley and then on to Modesto.

If only they could have known that the wealth and warmth (we would feel) would be in the remnants of their hand crafted quilted beauties.

 

9 Square Lap Quilt Problem

This week I began working on the small 9 square lap quilt I am making for my neighbor Velma. It started with a multiple of pre hand quilted log cabin squares done by her mother. (still no date on when they were actually made)

logcabinsquares

The squares had been kept in chest laced with moth balls.

After many washings with vinegar and baking soda I felt confident the smell had been removed as well as the quilted squares holding up beautifully to the machine washings.

This week I began piecing the 9 chosen squares together and I have the 3 rows now in place ~ a good feeling

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if it wasn’t for one small problem

Not all of the moth ball ‘fumes’ are actually gone, in fact they may be getting stronger. As I work, my eyes start burning and yes lips seem to be tingling as well. While the smell is not actually evident there seems to be residue lingering on the fabric.

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It may be back to the washing for this beauty or full steam head – damn the torpedo’s and then the washing once all is in place.

Any one have any ideas that I could try ?

 

 

Hand Quilt Along ~ December

It is impossible that 3 weeks has passed since our last posting for the HQAL. December is in full swing, the lights of Hanukkah have been kindled, latkes made, and as I anxiously await Christmas and all its festivities, my quilt ‘Wishing You Good Will’ reminds me to truly be mindful of wishing you all good will, health and happiness all year through.

‘Wishing You Good Will’ is forever in the debt of this HQAL as it was what inspired me to pick her up and begin quilting her. I had found her at our local goodwill store – lonely, scared and tossed aside. I brought her home and tucked her away for a few more years until my discovery of this group.

I joined in January of 2018 after learning discovering it through Kerry at

https://lovethosehandsathome.wordpress.com

How I found Kerry’s blog, I simply can not remember but thankfully I did.

It was back in the 70’s that I began hand quilting, taught by 2 amazing woman from Oklahoma… mentors long passed but never forgotten. There was this enormous hand made quilting frame hanging from the ceiling taking up most of the living room. I had never seen anything like this before. Sister-in-law’s Alma Ayres and Wynotha Wall were busy hand quilting something. One look and I was hooked.

My first quilt was done in my own made up pattern, hand pieced in dotted swiss material. Alma donated the material to me. Still today, I think she must have given me the material on purpose. Oh goodness, if stitching through or around those dots didn’t deter me nothing would. I am sure it was a test to see if I could truly walk the talk. I can picture Wynotha and Alma secretly chuckling over giving me the swiss as my first project.

I have never used a machine, (although I did have my first 2 quilts professionally machine quilted, Alma must have felt sorry for me, thinking quilting them would be to big of a challenge) I still have no fancy tools, in fact I bought my first rotary cutter a week or so ago, I am back to scissors, I still cut out patterns from a heavy paper template I measure and make myself, I don’t know what BOM stands for, I had to look up what Fat Quarters were, WIP meant nothing to me, and stitching in ditch – what?

Hand Quilting has taken me from my 20’s into my 60’s now, an incredible journey that has taught me many life lessons, things like: patience, beauty is not always in perfection, organization, starting over doesn’t mean it was a mistake it means making it better, thinking things through before jumping in, don’t give up till you figure it out…I could go on but I know you get it.

When I look at Wishing You Good Will – this wedding ring beauty – its center four squares  represents my parents with me and my husband, its rings all the paths in my life branching off into their specific nucleus, my children, their families branching off on their life’s paths. Quilting is an amazing life journey.

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Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all the amazing quilters/crafters I have met through this hand quilt along. Thank for an amazing year of encouragement, growth and education.

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This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  NanetteSassy , EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

November “T” Block Sew – Along

Back one month ago, I was delighted to join the “T” Block Sew – Along that is being host by Bella of

Then and Again Quilts

Some of you may remember her excellent post on the history of this block ~ The “T” possibly standing for the Temperance Movement…..

With so many projects on my plate I was hesitant but decided to dive right in and participate and I am so happy I did. Bella will be providing a new block pattern with instructions each month. I have posted from Bella’s page the following

From November 2018 – November 2019 we will be making “T” blocks: One new variation each month

T Blocks 1-4T Blocks 5-8T Blocks 9-12

THE ABOVE IMAGES ARE USED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE WEBSITE HTTP://QUILTHISTORYTIDBITS–OLDNEWLYDISCOVERED.YOLASITE.COM 

 

In preparation for beginning, I printed out the instructions, picked out my fabric, drew out and cut my templates.

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I also found it helpful to go on to youtube to look at a short tutorial on this block. I must admit I got a bit lost when it came to making the flying geese. But once I got past that success was around the corner – semi success that is. My block turned out 1/2 inch wrong, my second attempt was the right size but two corner pieces were way to short – my measurements were off again somehow but it sure looks good before assembling 🙂

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Here is my first block for the first month of the sew along

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Bella sent extremely detailed instruction and she was there to answer all my questions during the process, of which I had quite a few. I am working this project all by hand, no machine for this beauty. It’s a block in a day and even with hand stitching it was easy to get the block done in a few hours. I also may try reworking this block with the solid material as the T.

I am so excited to be participating in this sew along. I think it is going to not only be fun but it is going to improve my skill and quilting knowledge. There is plenty of time to join in and sew along so if your on the fence about doing this I say…join us.

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If you would like to participate in the sew along click here. You can also visit the other participants by clicking on their link below. Happy Quilting!

Please take a moment to jump over to Bella and Nanette’s page to see their blocks

Nanette & Bella

Fabric dating leads to an Old Fabric Mill Discovery

In my last post I wrote about the stock pile of material I was gifted by my neighbors Dan and his mother Velma.

I follow a wonderful blog by a woman named Deb. She is an amazing quilter and if you haven’t already, please stop by and visit her page at

https://abearsthimble2.wordpress.com

After reading my post Deb made a suggestion on dating fabrics, giving the dates associated with fabric widths in an attempt to help date some of the fabric I was given.

1915 under 24″, 1920 to 1930’s 30″ to 34″, 1940 to 1950’s 36″ to 39″, 1960 to today 45″ on

Well I began measuring and most of the fabric hoovers at the 1940’s to 1950’s with a width of 39″.  Two of the prints measured in with 1920 – 1930’s width but something else jumped out at me with the fabrics. Two different fabrics were stamped with the maker of the fabric, Cranston Print Works, Company. You may recognize the striped brown as one I will be using with the log cabin quilt I plan to finish.  55.jpg

But the Cranston Print Works is what caught my eye – tying in my love of quilting with genealogy I recognized the name Cranston as the town where some of my early Italian family members had settled. The Cranston Print Works – Cranston, Rhode Island? Was it the same? It sure was. A quick google search and there it was the tie in with my family history. I have added their history page of the Print Works to the bottom of this post. Many of my DeLellis Family settled in the Cranston/Johnston/Providence Rhode Island area. Many of them also working in the mills of this area. The history and workings of these mills is an amazing area of study. Family members were working as spinners and doffers (A doffer is someone who removes (“doffs”) bobbins, pirns or spindlesholding spun fiber such as cotton or wool from a spinning frame and replaces them with empty ones. Historically, spinners, doffers, and sweepers each had separate tasks that were required in the manufacture of spun textiles.  Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org )

The post card below is one I collected dated 1909. By 1909 it was already being used as the State Armory. Notice the street name.

OldWhiteMill

Our History

In many ways, the history of Cranston is the history of the American Industrial Revolution… Our roots go back to 1807 and to the establishment of a tiny cotton printing plant founded by a Rhode Island governor, William Sprague.
In order to understand how Sprague was able to build a textile empire in Rhode Island, we have to travel back to England in the late 1700’s…
Samuel Slater and the American Industrial Revolution In 1769, one year before the Boston Massacre, and six years before the colonies were to gain their independence from England, an English inventor, Richard Arkwright, patented a spinning frame that would revolutionize the production of cotton cloth. Two years later, in 1771, another invention, the spinning jenny, was introduced by Englishman James Hargreaves. In 1779, the spinning mule, a device for spinning muslin yarns, was invented by Samuel Crompton in England. The Textile Industrial Revolution in England was soon in full swing.
Even after the Revolutionary War in 1776, America was still viewed as an ideal market for the vast amounts of cloth, textiles and trims that England was producing. Industry secrets and technology were closely guarded. American mills offered “bounties” for English apprentices who could provide plans for Arkwright-Hargreaves mill works. It wasn’t until 1789, that the English methods of cloth production would be brought to America. Responding to the offer of a “bounty”, a young 21 year old Englishman, Samuel Slater, disguised himself as a common laborer and was granted access to emigrate to America. As we will see, his journey was to forever change the way in which American textile mills operated.
Samuel Slater had been a partner of Richard Arkwright, and smuggled in Arkwright’s industrial secrets in a most unusual way, he committed the workings of the mill to memory! Slater’s first American mill was constructed in what is now Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He later established mills in Oxford, Massachusetts, which is today known as Webster, MA. (One of those early Slater mills became part of Cranston Print Works Company in 1936.)
Governor William Sprague Samuel Slater’s journey and a number of other factors enabled William Sprague, a governor of Rhode Island, to take a small cotton printing plant and make it into one of the great textile empires of the day. The mill was called “Sprague Print Works” and located in Cranston, Rhode Island, the administrative home of Cranston Print Works Company today. Access to waterways, new technology and natural resources made Sprague Print Works a thriving business until after the Civil War, when an economic depression set in and ownership was passed to BB & R. Knight. The Knight corporation licensed and operated the mill under the “Fruit of the Loom” trademark. It is interesting to note that the original Sprague Mansion and other memorials can still be seen in Cranston today.
1920-1987 Expansion and Innovation In 1920, the William G. Rockefeller interests bought the Knight plant and reorganized it as Cranston Print Works Company.
Capacity increased greatly in 1936 with the purchase of the Slater East Village mill and print works in Webster, Massachusetts. As you remember, it was at this historic mill that Samual Slater developed the first American cotton-spinning machinery. In 1949, Cranston boosted capacity still further by opening a plant in Fletcher, North Carolina.
1987 Employee Ownership In August, 1987, Cranston became an employee-owned company whose fundamental and on-going mission is to continue to serve the needs of its customers, employees and the society in which we live. All of us at Cranston are proud of our rich heritage, and determined to continue our history of quality. As a new century approaches, we look forward to continuing our commitment to the environment, our local communities and to our customers. After all, “quality” is not just a byword at Cranston Print Works– it’s a centuries-old tradition!