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Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

First…..yep another few weeks have flown by, but before I get into that in a separate post I want to share this beauty in the making.

A couple days ago I walked across the street to touch base with my neighbor friend Hildagarde who had just pulled up in front of her home. She invited me in to see and comment on her “Ice Cream Parlor” theme quilt. Not only did I love the beauty of the design and her color choices, I became more excited about the creation when she told me the story behind the quilt.

Hildagarde’s dad (Henry) owned an ice cream parlor in Queens NY where he made his own ice cream. The store was between a bar and a shoemaker, two doors down from a pizzeria and right next to the El train. The family lived above the store. Not only did she grow up in the store, several of her relatives worked and hung out there. Her cousin has such fond memories of this ice cream parlor and her uncle Henry that she is having an ice cream parlor built into her “barn” house in NJ which is close to her grandchildren. Now Hildagarde is inspired to create this “Ice Cream Parlor” quilt for her cousin’s parlor. If you look closely at the far left of the quilt, you will see a chocolate bunny in honor of the many Easter chocolate bunnies that Henry made each Easter.

I can hardly wait to see this heartfelt quilt when it is finished!

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My recent retirement from my UC day-time admin job of nearly 8 years has been such a blessing. While I’ve never really left the knitting community, I am now diving back into it and the wonderful community that is part of me.

Some of you may not know that before my Skein Lane retail chapter, I was an employee of the YMCA for about 18 months and went onto become a Board Member after I accepted a position in the software industry……most importantly I was an active user of the YMCA programs….in particular exercise. I stepped away from this wonderful resource about 10 years ago for a variety of reasons…..mostly my schedule and illnesses in my family.

One of my first missions upon retirement was to get back into a regular exercise program. I walked into the Albany YMCA….immediately reconnected with Gail, the Director, and Mary, Exercise and Program Instructor. I was back home! I’ve been enjoying Mary’s creative exercise classes since mid-January. Not only do I feel better but I have lost some weight…yeah! There is another most wonderful benefit….reconnecting not only with Y folks but knitters who are in the Y community.

I quickly learned about the (free) Brown Bag Speakers Forum, presented on the 2nd Monday of every month sponsored by the “Y” and Albany Library.. This month’s speaker was Lawrence Rinder, Director of BAMPFA (UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive). His presentation was so informative about the history of BAMPFA leading up to its new location.

2-barbaraLast month’s Brown Bag speaker was Barbara Hazard.….a former Skein Lane customer who spoke about her art work and time spent in Russia. Not only is Barbara an artist with paints but she is obsessed “self-described” with needlepoint. I recall how many lovely pieces she brought to Skein Lane to have finished into pillows. I do wish I had taken photos back then….maybe I did but that was before I had an iPhone camera with all its storage capabilities. But wait….Barbara has posted some of her needlepoint work on her site.  I am delighted that we are in the midst of planning when we can catch up over coffee before her next upcoming trip to Russia mid-May.

 

 

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Carolyn and Jan - 1Time to let go of the temporary writer’s block…..let’s start with the trip that Jan and I took this afternoon to Oakland City Hall and the Oakland Museum to see two quilt exhibits.

The quilt exhibit at the Oakland City Hall “Visions of Oakland, Made of Cloth” was recently featured in the Art & Design section of The New York Times: Quilts With a Sense of Place, Stitched in Oakland.  We saw some beautiful quilts depicting several Oakland scenes and history…..however, the ones that were featured in the news article were not on display. Maybe the young man who directed us didn’t tell us where they were all displayed….or maybe they have been returned to their owners. Here is what we did see. I particularly liked the quilt (bottom right) from the North Oakland Senior Center because of its words. “Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces – this and that – stitched with love.”

Next stop was the exhibit of  “Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts”” at the Oakland Museum. We just happened to arrive at the same time as a local quilting group led by instructor Barbara Rydlander. Jan and I  both benefited from hearing the guided tour while hanging on the edge of this group. We also learned once again what a small world it is – I immediately saw quilter and knitter friend of Skein Lane Studio – Debbie G.  Shortly Jan saw one of her friends. Yep….a small world!

 

 

 

 

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Karen L quilts and quilts when she isn’t working. This beauty is one of her latest…..made for her sister. I love the design and the colors. The fabric is Michael Miller and the design, color choices, quilting and embellishment are Karen’s creation…..so beautiful.

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We found it!!

A baby on the horizon

The other day my sister Betty and I were going through some of her things….and much to my delight we came upon the baby quilt that I and my nieces made for the anticipated new baby to be born into this family in late Dec 1976/early 1977. Betty and I thought it got lost over the years….but there it was on her closet shelf. In 1976 I was thrilled that my sister and her husband were adding to their family of two girls. I wanted my nieces to be really engaged in this new event….I told them my plan.

“Let’s make a quilt for the baby. Draw your favorite pictures and we can embroider them. Every other square will be one of your designs offset with butterflies stitched/quilted on gingham squares.” The girls “signed” up and we were off to the drawing table. The oldest, Honara, was a budding artist and I had to reign her in a bit…..the cheerleader’s pom-pom was getting quite full and in truth I knew that I would be doing the bulk of the embroidery.

I loved stitching this quilt with my young nieces! Michael was born Jan 1977!

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Because of my interest in Quakers and quilters – both part of my heritage – I recently started listening to “The Last Runaway” by Tracy Chevalier. When I heard the words “Signature Quilt”, I remembered that I intended to write about a meeting in Summer 2012. Now I share.

The meeting…… Barbara, a friend from church, shares my interest in family history and she suggested a meeting with her friend Lynda Chenoweth, who is a quilter and a researcher. We met at Lynda’s home in Sonoma and poured over the history of  Philena’s quilt as well as Lynda’s  two published books, and her library of genealogical resources. Whoa! Who is Philena?

In 2001 Lynda and her husband attended the Annual Petaluma Antique Faire. It was nearing the end of the day when they entered a shop and spotted a Signature quilt in a hutch in the back of that shop. Upon closer examination she could see many names on the quilt and that it was stitched in 1853. The search (which took her back east a couple of times) was on! She became a genealogist of Philena’s family and friends as she learned whose names were on the quilt. It’s a fascinating story which Lynda chronicled in Philena’s Friendship Quilt Quaker Farewell, published in 2009. Lynda blogs about Quaker Quilts.

It was a beautifully sunny day …. we continued our conversation over lunch at Della Santina in Sonoma. The last two photos are of another Signature Quilt that Lynda is researching.

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My 1st Christmas tree away from home!

My 1st Christmas tree away from home!

Memory: How funny is this? I was trolling though my old photos and stumbled upon this “great design”. It was my 1st qtr at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and my roommate Diana and I got creative! Clearly we were on a budget! We lived in a relatively new dorm – Ellis Hall. The first coed dorm, Edwards Hall,  opened our freshman year. You might imagine that my parents weren’t having any of that. The joy of so many old photos is that they evoke so many memories. In this case, I so enjoyed my roommate but she didn’t make it past 1st qtr. When she left I think she was planning her marriage. We lost touch…but I’ve never lost the memory of Diana!

More memories created in 2013: These photos are a revisit to photos I posted when I returned from the Pugh Family Reunion in my home town (one of my three) of Stratton, CO. My cousin’s wife, Avril and one of my dear friends, and I visited her mother Lily. This visit and trip through Lily’s craft life of quilting and crochet will be forever special to me.

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