Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Family CQ

I haven't been doing any of my own stitching this week. The mess that is the workroom has finally made me crazy enough that I have had to start getting it seriously organized. There does come a time when even I can't stand the clutter anymore and this weekend was that time. I've made a lot of progress but not enough for pictures yet. Hope to have the unveiling this weekend (although I think I've said that at least twice in the past few months!).

While I was going through and organizing my fabric, I found these pillow tops. These were made probably in the '30s or '40s by my mother's cousin, Becky. Becky was unlucky enough to be born with the umbilicle cord wrapped around her neck and due to the resulting lack of oxygen, her mind never really progressed past childhood. Every few months for many years I can remember my mother receiving letters from Becky in a child-like scrawl that was just barely legible. Becky died some years ago, but these beauties live on.

Becky's pillow 1

Becky's pillow 2

There are four of them, two backed in red and two backed in orange, each about 14" square. They appear to be made out of men's ties, the patches are handstitched to the muslin backing and the seam treatments are all variations of feather stitch, I believe. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) They are very simple in execution, yet the pairings of fabrics are quite sophisticated. I would assume she had some help with this, or, possibly it was one of those instances where this part of her brain worked quite well. At any rate, this is where my fascination with crazy quilts started. I plan to frame and hang them in my workroom for inspiration.

Becky's pillow 3

Becky's pillow 4

Click for a better look at the fabrics... I love these and will enjoy having them in my workroom with me!

6 comments:

Debra Spincic said...

I like the 2 with the prints the best! Another one of my long-term projects is to do a tie quilt. I have all the ties and some bird embroideries to go with them. Let see--will that be in 2008?

Debra Spincic said...

I have been meaning to ask you--is the CQ on the sides of your blog some of your work? It is very lovely!

Jane Ann said...

Marty, those pieces are fabulous. (Yes, that is a feather stitch she did.) Isn't it amazing how the brain can somehow compensate one area with another?

Like Debra, I like the printed ones best, but they will look dyn-o-mite framed as a group. They would surely inspire anyone. Thanks for sharing.

Allison said...

These are so wonderful. How great that you are honoring that sweet soul by framing these and putting them up in your workroom. They will indeed inspire you!

Rissa said...

I agree with them...it is wonderful that you are honoring her this way! :-)

Solveigh Goett said...

I am fascinated by textile stories and memories. I just started an on-line card index "The Textile Files"
http://thetextilefiles.blogspot.com/
Any comments, memories or stories very welcome!