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This quilt was made by my husband’s maternal grandmother before he was born. It was never used. We are in the midst of gifting some of the family items to our children and I’ve taken some photos in preparation. These were taken inside with my old camera and with me perched on a chair, holding the camera above the quilt, which explains why they are not terribly clear.

The hexagons on this quilt are about 1.5″ across. On my screen (calibrated with the Huey/Pantone color calibrator), the photos seem to be a fairly accurate pink.

pink grandmothers flower garden 1949

The fabrics in this quilt appear to be mostly 30s and 40s fabrics. There may be a few older fabrics; I will check more closely if this is of interest to you. In any case the fabrics that were chosen appear to be good quality, finely woven cottons. (This is not a given in quilts this age, as many fabrics from the first 2 or 3 decades of the last century were very loosely woven and of poor quality.) The pink color is a traditional one for this pattern.

The quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted and I believe it has a cotton batting. The backing and binding is a looser woven natural muslin fabric, somewhat discolored in places. I could try hand washing it, but probably won’t.


My great aunt Martha was a tall, slender, very proper woman, born in 1896. She cross-stitched, did some white work and tatting and crochet work and had carefully saved all the lace collars and ribbons from her dresses and hats. She also had inherited a big wooden cigar box with buttons and buckles from her mother, my great grandmother Lydia. Luckily I now have some of her sewing things, among them this pincushion:


The fabrics pinned to the cushion are 1.5″ square. The cushion itself is a red cotton velveteen, I think, that is stuffed with what appears to be unbleached cotton fibers.


I originally thought maybe the pressed glass base was the bottom of a cake stand, but a few minutes ago I poked my finger into the cushion to verify that. The red cushion is hand-stitched below a square shaped border; when I felt something above that I thought it might be a candle holder, but I was wrong. It’s…


… an uneven, rough-edged broken glass post. Do you think this could have originally been the base of an oil burning table lamp that had had an accident at some point?

Serious back problems in the past 15 years or so have helped me to the conclusion that my life-long weaving dreams need to be expressed in some other way. The supplies and equipment that I purchased in the 1980s need to go to persons who will use them. I sold my Jack floor loom locally. I still have a few older shuttles of various styles, some yarns and threads, and this warp winding mill.

Here’s the LeClerc standing warping reel. I think it’s the 30 (or 40) yard model. My guess is that it was originally constructed of hardwoods in the 1960s. After I first learned to wind a warp along a series of very long tables, I was amazed to find that a person could actually stand in one place and let a warping reel do the walking for you.


Not such great photos…but you can see how this can be stored flat near a wall. I’ve even used it as a room divider and/or to display wall hangings and rugs in the past. This photo was taken in bright sunlight during our yard sale last summer; sadly, no weavers showed up that weekend…

warping reel

The reel is easily dismantled down to a bunch of wooden pieces and poles about 5 feet long for shipping. If you aren’t in a huge hurry it could probably also be delivered in person. (Our family also owns a small commercial trucking business and we might be able to coordinate your delivery with other work or maybe even an August road trip would be fun for dh and me! I’m thinking $100 for the reel and $70 for standard shipping, assuming you live in the contiguous US states.)

If you want more info on how this reel works, the LeClerc website has a pretty good schematic of the assembly and parts numbers of a similar older model. You’ll need a pdf reader.

PDF file of LeClerc vertical warping mill

or go to this page of the LeClerc site and scroll down to the bottom section, looking for the ‘vertical warping mill, floor model’

EDITED TO ADD, Nov 2009: The reel has found a new home in Texas! I’ll leave this post up for the photos and the link to the assembly and parts numbers for the LeClerc reels.

Paula tagged me for the latest literary meme. Here are the instructions:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you.

This was harder than I thought.

The nearest book on my right was Julie Parker’s All About Silk, which has 92 pages.

The book under that was Wrap and Drape Fashion: History, Design & Drawing by Elisabetta ‘Kuky’ Drudi and there are only pictures on page 123.

To my left, stacked under my mouse (I’m standing at the computer these days) is Textiles in America {1650-1870} by Florence M Montgomery. Luckily it does have text on page 123. I found the fifth sentence; the next three are on page 124:

“The reverse was also practiced; from the late seventeenth century some furniture was finished in muslin over which was placed a richer covering of damask or velvet made as a slip case. A set of Queen Anne chairs in the Victoria and Albert Museum finished only in coarse linen is provided with slipcovers of handsome red and green patterned velvet neatly fitted to the seats and backs. They are held in place by tabs of buckram with eyelets made to slip over nails beneath the seat frame.”

I’m tagging:
Eva who has the most fabulous SWAP shown on her blog, Das Morzel. Eva lives in Germany and she started sewing in 2006!

Becky of Sew and So blog who has refashioned a J Crew man’s long sleeve shirt into a Anthropologie knock off she calls the Doolittle Blouse.

MaryPat who writes her Merry Patter blog about the sewing she does for herself, is “a work at home mum, running an Irish Dance costume company.” Mary Pat writes from Canada.

Jan has a blog, jansblog, where she shows us a lot of vintage sewing articles and patterns and talks about her life as a dressmaker in Shropshire, UK.

The Everyday Sewist has been writing about what motivates us to sew and do some of the other things we know we should do; she’s trying some unusual ways to make it work… Check it out!

100% cotton pillowcases. Remember those freshly washed sheets and cases from your childhood? None of that sticky and clammy polyester for me!

I’ve been collecting (and sometimes using) older cotton pillowcases for 30 years or so. These were acquired a few weeks ago and although I haven’t washed and pressed them yet, they have some interesting embellishments that I thought I’d share.

This set has just a small line of pink embroidery and crocheted edging. Not so fancy that you’d be afraid to actually USE them, but very tasteful.

This is one of the first sheets that I remember that weren’t all white, that were actually printed with a colored pattern. It was still 100% cotton though. Now we expect our sheets to come in a rainbow of colors and prints, but when I was growing up all the sheets in our household were cotton and were WHITE.

Here’s an edging I haven’t seen before in pillowcases. Blue appliqued squares in a diagonally set checkerboard arrangement.

Here’s some more blue! the edging on the top case is made with blue and white intertwined rickrack, with edging crocheted with a variegated blue and white cotton thread.


May 2018
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In honor of my late father-in-law