Friday, January 27, 2012

More Vintage Embroidery

As much as she loved doing her own needlework, my mother loved to share her skills with her daughters. Some of my earliest memories as a young child have me sliding around on a polished wooden deacons bench in a warm, sunny kitchen, with my mother's attentions divided between the stove, (and whatever happens to be simmering there), and the very enthusiastic, (if a somewhat restless), little needleworker absorbed on a scrap of fabric and a basket full of colourful embroidery threads.

Her favourite time of the day was the evening, when her work was done, and she could relax with her own embroidery. Here are just a few of the embroidered tablecloths that she made during those evenings.


She also embroidered many pillowcases and tea towels that were meant to be used and are still being used by grateful friends and family.


Not only has she left her family with a legacy of lovingly embroidered linens, she has also left me with a love for all things textile, and that basket of colourful threads still fascinates me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Family Album Quilt

In Tribute to Mom

My mother was a prolific needleworker. During her lifetime, she hand quilted hundreds of quilts for family, friends, on commission and for charity. For relaxation, she would spend her free evenings stitching on embroidery projects. Consquently, she has left behind a treasure trove of fine hand work, much of which is still being used by her children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, much of her beautifully stitiched work stays neatly folded in the linen closets of each of her five children.

In tribute to the legacy left by my mother, and for the love of needlework she instilled in my daughter Leah and me, we decided to honour her memory by creating a Family Album quilt using traditionally hand pieced blocks to frame some of her embroidered pieces.

The focus of the quilt centres around the 3 of the large hand embroidered blocks done by my mom. Complementing the embroidery are 6 hand pieced blocks, representing each of the 5 siblings in my family, with the top centre block representing our childhood family home.

Images of old family photos, letters, recipes, etc. have been transferred onto some of the background fabric. To frame the quilt we added 3 smaller embroidered pieces in each of the corners.


The quilt is currently in Winnipeg (my hometown and where most of the family still lives) in the care of my older sister. Every time family comes to visit her, the quilt will be a reminder of the love our parents instilled in each of us and that still keeps us close.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flights of Fancy Baby Quilt

A bright and cheery welcome for a new baby.
The baby quilt is finished and has been sent off to welcome the first child of a new generation.

Vibrant, cheerful colours take centre stage against a crisp, white background fabric. (See more on colour in my post dated Nov. 13, 2011.)

The design of this baby quilt was made using only one block pattern. My husband and I collaberated on the design of the block, which is based on a fibonacci series (1,1,2,3,5). As in most traditional block patterns, this block can be rotated, flipped and combined in a variety of designs. Here, I manipulated the blocks to create scoops of ice-cream and butterfly wings. (See more on construction in my post dated Dec. 3,2011)


The ice cream cone in the bottom right hand corner on the back of the quilt has a little inscription for the new baby.