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

Tblock1

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

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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!

 

 

A Neighbor Told a Neighbor

A neighbor told a neighbor I quilted.

While I was out raking leaves the neighbor who heard I was a quilter stopped to talk with me while they were out for a walk. His name is Dan (abt 65) and his mother’s name is Velma (abt 85). Dan told me they had a chest full of fabric and some old quilt squares that belonged to his grandmother, Velma’s mother. If I would like them, they were mine or they would be going to our local recycle store.

A few days later with the neighbor who told Dan and Velma I quilt; I call her Poodle Nancy because she shows champion Poodles and yes you might have even seen her in a nationally telecast dog show or two) we went over to their home to see the ‘fabrics and quilt squares’

What was neglected in the original invitation was that everything was in an old chest full of moth balls ~ oh goodness ~ I kid you not, I thought I would pass out from the fumes. My initial reaction was the material was ruined, unsalvageable but how could I possibly pass out this gold mine of fabric?

Fabric.jpg

Ok – it did not look like this or smell as amazing as it does now. This has all been washed in vinegar and baking soda, laundry detergent – at least half a dozen times.

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Now ironed, and folded and ready to go it has all been salvaged!

Next came the quilt squares ~ log cabin patterned, pre quilted squares in brown and soft orange fabrics

logcabinsquares .jpg

I was really nervous about washing them but in the washer they went, two, three, four washes. I thought for sure they would fall apart but look at them…gorgeous.

The oddest thing with these though is they are hand quilted already, pre sewn and fiber filled to the backing, I have never seen this done. Have you?

logcabinsquares 2.jpg

At first I tried ripping out the stitching but to do this would mean actually dismantling every square and starting from scratch. I did not want to do that. I took the risk and thankfully they came out in perfect shape. I am going to do a small lap quilt for Velma of her mothers quilt squares. I am not really sure however if they really are her mother’s or something Velma did years prior but I will get to the bottom of this at a later date and let you know. In the meantime what I do know is Velma loved that I offered to finish this for her.

logcabinsquares3.jpg

I’ll be using this brown pin striped & brown flower print material to frame in the squares  (I got from Velma) I am pretty sure I have amble amount of the peach floral of the last log above to use for the backing. The tricky part for me is the fact that the squares are already pre quilted and I will be adding the framing.  I’ll add another layer of fiber filler and then hand quilt 9 blocks for this lap quilt. I don’t know any other way to do it.

BUT

While Dan and Velma rummaged through the chest Dan pulled out something they had totally forgotten about. This actually not only took my breath literally way but it took me to a whole other spiritual quilt dazed level.

An old and tattered, faded and torn quilt most definitely done by Velma’s mother. This had to be at least 100 years old from the conversation I was listening too.

VelmasMom3

This quilt was going into the trash but not before I salvaged the only 2 squares that could be saved.

VelmasMom.jpg

I have taken the two squares to be framed behind glass. I choose this beautiful frame and I think they are going to be stunning for gift giving this holiday for Velma and Dan. I will keep one for myself but give them choice of either one. (once separated from the quilt and out in the air for a few days and once under glass, the moth ball odor should be ok..it wasn’t to bad)

VelmasMom2.jpgred tone frame

VelmasMom4brown tone frame

 

 

 

HQAL: November Thank You to Wishing You Good Will and the HQAL Crafters

Three weeks has past since my last post on my progress with Wishing You Good Will. She is a true beauty with 35 double wedding ring rings to quilt. Taking a quick look back at my posts for August I had noted that I had completed 9 of the 35 rings (having begun this journey in January)

With thankfulness I can post I have now completed 16 of her beautiful rings. I am so amazed at the progress made.

 

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Feeling like I have been hand quilting this at a snail’s pace, moving backwards at times, I am filled with gratitude for Good Will. She has given me hours of reflection and quiet solitude. She has seen the snows of past February cleansing her soiled and stained face. She has delighted in the return of spring renewed and anxious for the buds to bloom. The hot sun of August warmed and comforted her tears of memories past. And here we are coming to the end of a year ….

I am filled with gratitude and thankfulness for finding and joining this HQAL, for the woman and quilts I have had the honor of following. You have encouraged me and renewed my commitment to this craft of hand quilting. You have brought Good Will into the forefront of my life with so many lessons learned from her after sitting on the shelf for years untouched. You have reminded me that we all need to be loved and touched, hugged, appreciated for our inner beauty. Cared for, encouraged, complimented, questioned, shown interest, pushed. There is an accountability not only to the group to report on my progress but an accountability to the quilt herself. To finish her story…….

Good Will was tossed aside, left, abandoned….I know it sounds a little far fetched and perhaps silly but when I think of my project in human terms it transcends its bounded fabrics and wraps her lessons into the fabric of my life. She reminds me to check in on friends, question, encourage, show interest in their inner lives to bring out their inner beauty to make our world just a little more meaningful.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for this HQAL, all the wonderful projects and people I have met along the way.

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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