I decided in this blog to marry two of my favourite things – vintage quilts with old houses. Now as it turns out we have an old house – a 1918 Eaton’s Eager – which is still sitting at about 75% complete on the inside and a dismal 25% on the outside. We continue to press along as our time and ambition permits and make some progress here and there. Often in the winter it is uninspiring progress – the kind that isn’t really very visible to the naked eye. Hence the more visual update with the old quilt pictures as they lay around the rooms that are completed in the house. This will also give a little house “tour” which I have been meaning to do for a while. I’m working my way slowly up to before and after pictures! Then it will be on to a power point presentation at the library and … >> but alas I am way ahead of myself!!
So after I had gone for a nice little snow shoe with the dogs I got out the camera and took some pictures last Sunday in the beautiful afternoon sunshine. Now of course I have to learn to upload them with the memory chip straight into the computer as we can’t find the disc to upload the camera program on the new computer (but all of that is a really long story and I’m not going there here!). Of course this won’t happen today as we don’t have the right port so once again I started a blog but can’t post it as it turns out that no one wants a text only blog! Plus I got some really nice shots of the house so do want to include them.
Oh well Rome wasn’t built in a day and I can give the blog entry on my “to do” list a single half stroke for starting it but not completing it.
To start the tour we will do the newest vintage quilt and the most forgotten room. When we do house tours the dining room leads to the front room, the parlour and then up the stairs we go. The “gramma’s” room on the main floor often gets forgotten. It has an interesting Harry Potter “under the stairs cupboard” and now it has a strikingly colourful Around the World Quilt. This quilt was recently purchased at an estate sale of a local quilter and it pulls together the other elements of the room. This room has white furniture, a serene green wall paint, deep red lamp and throw rug as well as several photos and drawings of places we have seen/been (none of them hung yet but that is a different story!) and so, I think, the colors all pull together. The quilt is a modified pattern of around the world with rectangles instead of squares and is hand quilted. I should have asked my quilting friends to help identify the era of the material but I am thinking that it is probably 20’s – not as light in color as most of the 30’s materials but I am certainly no expert on this.
Seen here in the afternoon sun is the Gramma’s Room – so called because it is on the main floor and would save our mothers from using the stairs if they so choose to stay there.
So that is it for the main floor tour, we will now move on to the second floor. The first room on the left is the bigger of the two guest bedrooms and is furnished with my paternal grandparents’ furniture from 1926. It doesn’t have an antique quilt but it does have a quilt that was designed to fit into our house. For my 50th birthday my wonderful cousin Helen planned a surprise birthday party (and was it ever a surprise – she “got me” good) and each of the special women in my life that were invited were encouraged to give me a meter of fabric as a gift. So this is the first of the two quilts that I made with the material that I received. I did have to purchase the borders and the backing. I chose a double nine patch from a wall hanging pattern in a magazine and converted it into a queen size quilt. This was a bit of a challenge for me as a novice quilter but I eventually sorted out all the sizes, strips and spent a lovely weekend at Redberry Lake sewing the top. The borders were put on and it was then sent to the Bengough Community Quilters who did a fabulous job of the top. I hadn’t specified any particular type of quilting pattern and let them use their combined judgement as to what would look the best. They did in the ditch quilting around the double nine patch while in the setting squares they put four little hearts. On the border they did a lovely chain pattern. It looks so good in that room – now to just hang some pictures and clean out the closet (which is where all the pictures are hiding!).
This photo shows both the hearts in the setting squares as well as the border. In the background you can see the vanity unit that goes with the dresser and bed.
The next room on the left we call the kitchen attic bedroom as the closet leads to the attic that is over top of the single storey kitchen. Although this room has the same heritage red color as the previous bedroom it seems a lot darker as it is on the north east corner of the house so I knew that I wanted something light in color to go here. This room has an antique brass and painted bed and stacked suitcases for a bedside table. The dresser is a salvaged antique from an old shed and needs the top refinished. It has an Eaton’s tag on the back of it which is really cool – I shall have to take a picture of that someday. The quilt was a steal of a deal at the antique store in Lumsden – $25!! It has the most beautiful hand quilting on a whole cloth quilt which then has a Dresden Plate in every second square. There is some obvious wear and tear on some of the plates sections (which I will repair if I need to) but it isn’t a heavily used room and the colors really lighten up the space so I’m happy to use it there. The edge of the quilt is single layer and has an interesting pattern.
The bed and the quilt give this room some much needed light and pattern.
The remaining bedroom on that floor doesn’t have an antique quilt but it will have a new quilt made to reflect the values. I had always wanted a log cabin quilt for our bedroom – I used some of the birthday material and added on to it with more blues and creams. The cutting was all done at home with a fancy Marti Michelle ruler and the piecing was all done at Skenihah Quilt Retreat. Many thanks to everyone who helped me and even to those who pointed out my mistake (the one I repeated over a few times despite the best of intentions and organizational skills). It is the barn raising version of the log cabin – the same style as my gramma’s quilt that my sister has hanging on her wall in Edmonton (lucky her that she ended up with that heritage piece!). I sewed the top and the bindings on at home and once again have sent it off for hand quilting in Bengough. I designed the borders this time for plenty of space to highlight the quilting and I’m excited to see it when it returns.
unfortunately it looks like the province of Saskatchewan as it was lying on the floor. After several attempts Ron and I have finally managed to crop it but I seem to be having a bit of technical difficulty learning all the new programs that go with a new computer! AGAIN!.
Our bedroom is actually two bedrooms combined into one room which allowed us to put in an ensuite as well as a walk in closet. This also created a small reading space in our bedroom and we were so lucky to have Jackie and Colin give us two old chairs. The off white and the wood are such a great match for the space and we found a lovely little oval table to complement the space. For the first few months we slept on the floor in our bedroom as we had sold our bedroom furniture and were looking for the right antiques. We finally found a wrought iron bed at Creekside – painted black. In the way of those that have been married for a long time Ron and I both had the same idea at the same time – custom powder coating. Voila – one classy bed frame. We had a bit of a struggle finding bedside tables as they weren’t really common back then as they got up and went to bed by the sunlight – there was no lying in bed reading and no alarm clock. Once again Lumsden antigue store proved to be our source and we found two little square tables with circular insets and one shelf. They are probably circa 1940 but they work quite well. We couldn’t live without a dresser and just a few weeks after moving in we found one at Saskatoon Antique and Brass. The dresser in this room started the circular “design” as it has a curved mirror as well as a rounded front. At some point in time this room needs a circular hooked rug (on my list of projects) as well as some art on the walls but — yeah — Rome wasn’t built in a day!
It turns out that I have no actual pictures of the furniture/room but I do have this close up view of the bed with the gold fleck powder coating against the blue of our bedroom wall.
Up in the attic I have three antique quilts and two quilt tops from the Big Butte Social Club (circa 1970) of Ogema. The antique baby quilt covering up my sewer and serger is a crazy quilt with wonderful embroidery stitches and lovely hand stitching. The table runner covering up my cricket machine is a newer version as it has machine quilting but is obviously from several decades ago. The third quilt came from my sister-in-laws family – it was wrapped around the extra leaf of the table that we bought from the Oliver’s. It is a ?lone star? of very bright pastel colors. One of the diamonds is totally eaten out but the rest of the quilt is in fairly good condition except for the edges. The unfinished quilt tops cover up my scrapbooking paper and my bins for transporting to retreat weekends. They are very 1970’s with fortrel pieces and fabric markers used for the names but they are bright and colourful. I always very carefully drape them so Thelma Dunn’s pieces show (that’s my mom!). My cousin Helen and I have talked about putting them together and then donating them to the Deep South Pioneer museum. But I think maybe I am getting attached to them and they do represent one of my first introductions to quilting as they would have been created when i was in high school – perhaps my mom never found time to finish them because I made her do my home economics sewing for me! My friend Jackie loves some of the fabrics used.
The blue version with Mom’s butterfly.
The pink version with Mom’s flower.
Here is the pretty little baby quilt with the embroidery. It works perfect as a cover for my machines and has inspired me to do a crazy quilt wall hanging with hand embroidery for a friend of mine!
So that has been a bit of a house tour of the bedrooms and attics, a brief description of some of our antiques and a look at the quilts that adorn our house. I hope that some of my new quilting/blog friends have been reading. I know that my usual readers might think that I have forgotten about the house restorations but I haven’t. The next blog entry will show the little mini projects that we have been working on this winter. Perhaps it won’t take me 2 1/2 months before I update again! I admire people who blog regularly – they must either have more time, more patience or better luck with the photos although I can say that this computer is significantly faster than the old one. I spent a lot of time learning where and how to edit them and even got fancy enough to add a label to the last one.
This is a picture of our Eaton sewing machine that Ron picked up for a song at an antique dealer in Regina. It needs new “old” handles but otherwise is in great shape. Sitting on the left side of the top is material that belongs to the Friends of the Forestry Farm House. We have a 1913 bedroom that we use for our school interpretive programs which is decorated as a young girl’s bedroom (Flora). I point out this material as I need help picking out an appropriate pattern from that era and then would love volunteers to help me piece it together. Then the ultimate volunteer will hand quilt it (still looking for that person as it won’t be me!!). So if you are interested you know who I am and where to find me!!
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