Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strolling through the graveyard on a fine summer day....

DH and I will be traveling over the next 10 days, & as a side trip we'll be spending a day or so in rural Indiana. My objective is to find and photograph the headstones of my gg-grandparents and their parents. I already know what two cemeteries to look in, thanks to delving on the internet.

Some people think cemeteries are spooky or morbid, but I find them very peaceful. The residents are at rest now, I feel.

If we have time, we'll drive around the area. I want to get a feel for the place they lived, and I want to look at old farmhouses in search of this house, which was owned by my gg-grandfather around 1895. Both photos are probably of the same house, taken from different angles.

The close up below is of John Mason and Sarah Watson Mason, my gg grandparents. I don't know much about them, other than what I obtained through research. Sarah was born in Indiana in 1840 and married at age 18. She had 10 children that I know of, with 5 of those dying as children. She died in 1899 of heart disease at the age of 58.
I've heard the expression "the good old days", but life was really tough for women like Sarah! They had no electricity and had to work very hard to keep food on the table. If their kids were seriously ill, there wasn't much they could do to help them. Most of the property belonged to their husbands. If a woman had a kind and respectful husband, that would make all the difference in her quality of life. Sarah would have thought I had the life of a princess!
On the other hand, however, Sarah's neighbors and relatives lived the same way, so I suppose it's all relative. I don't know that I could live her life, though...I'm just too spoiled, sitting here in my air conditioned home with plenty of food in the cupboards.
I like the way they have all their plants lined up on the porch. I wonder what they were growing? Maybe tomatoes, maybe herbs? I think there might be some parsley in one of those cans, and perhaps some dill to use in canning.

The bow ties above are my take-along handsewing project. I've been working on it for about 10 years, only when I travel, and I have blocks made in New England, Hawaii, and even New Zealand. There are probably about 50 completed blocks, and some day I'll put them together. Then I'll start on a handsewing project that is a little more challenging. As you can see, these are in 1900 reproductions, which are my favorites along with Civil War and 1930's.

I found the faux tapestry bag at a thrift store. It's not old, but to me it looks old and is just perfect to store all the pieces in.
Well, time to get off the computer....thunder and lightening approaching fast!
p.s. I learned today to be really careful with the delete button on my blog entries, when I'm anywhere near a photo. The photos just disappear if I delete too much and it's such a pain to reload them!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

1900 String Quilt

Well, this is my very first blog post, so here goes......

Like many quilters, I possess lots and lots of UFOs. I dug an old one out today, and I think it'll be one of the next ones I work on. I started it in July 2004, in a Gwen Marston workshop at my former Guild. It's a string pieced quilt from Gwen's book, Liberated String Quilts. Gwen's creativity is inspiring and she helps to make quilting an adventure!

My quilt will be done in 1900 repro fabrics. I love the fabrics from that mourning prints, clear reds, claret reds, indigo blues, royal blue (I think it's called "cadet blue"), and of course I can't forget the yummy double pinks and the shirting prints, and some yellow and golds for a bit of sparkle!

Here's my string quilt UFO spilling out of it's box, and of course my cat (Tiger) had to make herself comfortable! So typical.

I'm proud of myself for getting this first post done and figuring out how to get the photos on the page. Hopefully, future posts will be more fine-tuned.

This has been fun!