Happy Father’s Day!

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My dad, ca. 1929, Webb City, Missouri

It’s Father’s Day! I am blessed to have a terrific dad. We are planning to have breakfast with him (and my mom) before church this morning, but it is a nasty, stormy morning, so we will have to see how it goes. I have always loved this photo of my dad when he was a little guy. This was taken in the backyard of my great-grandmother’s house. He spent a lot of time there as a child. I am fortunate to have memories of her, and that very house, as well.

 

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Dad’s Christmas quilt, 2013

I’ve made a couple of quilts for my dad, but I am not sure he ever has enough. I make them for him to use, and use them he does. The most recent one I made was for this past Christmas. It’s all flannels, and I managed to finish it at about 2:30 Christmas morning (nothing like being ahead of the game, right?) Since I was trying to keep it traditional in feel, it’s a basic checkerboard with a piano key border. I quilted it on my Bernina, but with every stitch, I vowed not to quilt another flannel piece at home. It weighed a ton and my machine ended up a mess! Worth it? If he’s enjoying it, you bet.

 

 

I found a few photos of the first quilt I made for my dad. It’s a 1930s repro churn dash block, set in a zigzag setting, using a yellow print for the zigzag. It has been well-loved. About a year ago I brought it home to make some repairs (his dog is also fond of it), and he was beside himself waiting for me to get it fixed. We tease him about it being his “yellow blankie.” Yeah, he likes it that much.

I finished it for him the Christmas we moved from Massachusetts back to Florida in December of 2001. I remember working on it in the car as we drove, my shingles-stricken three-year-old asleep in the backseat (heavily dosed with Benadryl). That was an especially difficult move, and I think having that quilt to work on probably kept me sane.

My hubs, on the porch of  Booker T. Washington's home, Tuskegee AL, 2013
My hubs, on the porch of Booker T. Washington’s home, Tuskegee AL, 2013

I am also blessed to have a terrific dad for my son. I could not have asked for a better husband. He has always been a hands-on kind of dad, and never (ok, rarely) shrank from parenting chores (even when things got messy!). He gets the benefit of all of the quilts I’v made for our bed, but has few that belong just to him.

 

 

 

For Daddy, 1999
For Daddy, 1999

Here’s a photo of a small piece I made for my husband way back when, with photos of him with our son, to commemorate his first year as a dad. See those little hands appliqued onto the quilt? Yes, they are the prints of The Boy when he was a sweet little one year old. Since he just turned 16, those little prints are especially sweet to me.

Bitty little hands...
Bitty little hands…sniff

How are you celebrating Father’s Day? Are you making a quilt in honor of a special dad in your life?

Appraisal Day Fun

I’m headed to do an appraisal day today and tomorrow at the Bushwhacker Days Quilt Show in Nevada, Missouri. Bushwhacker Days is a fun early summer event for the family, with vendors, music, food, and tons of activities for the kids. Problem is, I never see much of it! I will be, instead, at the quilt show, which is always loads of fun (such nice people!). Since the guild who sponsors it is just that far away from my house, I never know what they’ll have hanging. And, as always, I never have any idea what will show up on the appraisal table (have I told you that I have the best job ever?).

Becky, one of the facilitators of the show, emailed me a while back asking me to bring some quilts with stories for the bed turning she always does. Being my usual prompt (ahem) self, I pulled a few yesterday that I thought would be kind of fun. One probably isn’t the usual bed-turning-fodder. It belonged to my husband’s grandmother. Apparently she decided it was too long for the bed and just took her scissors and whacked the bottom row (and one side) of blocks off of the quilt…after it was tied. Fortunately, she saved that bottom row. I’ve had it for a couple of years now, with every intention of fixing it, but haven’t done it yet. Besides, it’s kind of funny left as-is, don’t you think? Yeah, I know, funny like a root canal.

Another quilt I’m taking along is one I just received this week. It’s a butterfly quilt that was in my dad’s mom’s things. We are pretty sure she made it, but Dad doesn’t remember her working on it. It’s in absolutely pristine condition, so I’m guessing that she made it, then tucked it away. Since Dad doesn’t remember it, I’m thinking she must have put it together after my grandfather died in 1946 (about the time my dad left home), since it does have a few 1940s fabrics in it. Most of them are 1930s dress prints, but there are just a few post-WWII prints, so it couldn’t have been finished before then.

I’m taking another, a Whirligig quilt made by my mom’s mom.
She made it with scraps of Dan River plaids that she got at the shirt factor where she worked. All those plaids! You have to love a quiltmaker with that kind of vision.

"Whirligig, ca. 1945. Made by Lillie Dingman Towner, Missouri.
Whirligig, ca. 1945. Made by Lillie Dingman Towner, Missouri.

Since the show doesn’t start until 2:30 today, and it’s about an hour’s drive away, I realized that I had time to stop off at the quilt shop (the one whose sign reads: “Scream until your husband stops the car!” I’ll get a photo to prove it, promise!) along the way and the antique store where I found this beauty (below). It’s not going with me since, sadly, it has no story at all. (Moral of this story is that you should always label your quilts.)

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Pickle Dish, ca. 1910, maker unknown, probably Missouri

So while I’d like to celebrate¬†Sewing Machine Day by actually sitting at my machine, I have plenty of other fun things to do. Besides, the weather is glorious! I hope you have a fabulous day. Ready, set, go!

 

UPDATE: See? Here’s the quilt shop sign:

Blue Top Quilt Shop, Lamar, Missouri
Blue Top Quilt Shop, Lamar, Missouri

And guess what else? Because of Becky mentioning my grandmother’s name while showing the Whirligig quilt above, a lady came and asked me what my relationship was to the maker. Turns out that she had a young lady with her, nine years old, who is the granddaughter of of my second cousin. I can’t figure out if that makes her a fourth cousin or a second cousin twice removed. At any rate, she is named Jesse after my third great grandfather. And…she wants to be a quilter! (Did I get a photo? Um, no. I was really caught off guard!)

All in all, it was a very good day!