This last week I have been both frustrated and joyful over the loss of electrical and technological power of my daily life. Even though my home and business had only minor power blips during the storms, I have been dealing with a dying laptop and trying to retrieve the important stuff from it before it dies. I am still writing this post from old technology. There is the frustration, but the joy is in the stitching.
So I have been thinking a great deal about how our ancestors made quilts. Yes by hand, but also cutting with scissors, without electricity for seeing to thread needles, or choose colors. Yes there are treadle machines, and I have two, but how would your color choices change if you had to spend all winter choosing colors by dim interior daylight, or firelight? I know that for myself the quilts I make this time of year are brighter than any other. That may be a hint. Just check out these new scrap pineapple blocks I made this week. Mostly purples and yellows. And boy are they bright. The photo doesn’t do justice. The other photo is the Row by Row for our shoppe for 2018. The Theme is Sew Musical. More on that coming in a future post.
So our ancestral quiltmakers used the brightest colors they could. Dyes were not always capable of producing the clear bright color we are so used to, and with the fading of age and use many antique and vintage quilts
were much brighter in their original condition. Classic combinations such as red and green on white, red and white, chrome green and cheddar orange were wildly popular in their day, partly because the fabrics were available in reasonably fast dyes, and partly because these high contrast combinations showed up better in low light. And the higher contrast may have even made them easier to stitch.
The other benefit of hand making quilts in winter weather is the quilting. There is something wonderful about sitting near bright window with a warm quilt draped over your lap as you rock your needle back and forth making lovely quilting designs. This is the joy of no electricity, and it feels powerful and peaceful.
If you are interested in trying hand work join us for our handstitchers club, our next meeting will be this coming Tuesday at 10 am. We will be finishing up some past projects, and prepping for an embroidery stitch sampler. It will begin in earnest at our April meeting. Supplies and more information is on our Club News page. We also run several skillbuilder workshops in handwork. Those run by appointment so let us know which one you want to do and when you want to do it and we will do it.
Lastly, the BOM will meet tomorrow morning. Our meeting last week was postponed because of weather so I hope to see those members bright and early!! The parking lot is totally clear so we are ready!!!