Friday, August 28, 2009

Remnants of the Past

My mind wandered further than usual this week as I stitched. It traveled back to a time before my time - the 1930's and 40's. I was transported by some lovely, lively vintage fabric scraps Martha at Q is for Quilter generously shared with me. I found there to be a lot of "scope for the imagination" as I hand-pieced six of them into blocks for my bow-tie quilt.

I've always been curious about that period of time because that's when my parents grew up. Mom used to tell me about dresses made from feed sack fabrics. Her older sister would get first pick of the fabrics and usually ended up with the pretty ones. Mom didn't say it in a grudging way, she just always told me how pretty my aunt was. My dad served in WWII, as did my father-in-law (those are the latter's pictures above). I can't even BEGIN to imagine what it was like for those two boys to be plucked from the farm and sent overseas to war. The world beyond your own must have been more mysterious in those days with no 'round the clock coverage or "to the minute" updates. I think they used to watch the news reels projected on the town hall in our little home town which seems to have been more of a boom town in those days.

I also love movies from that period like "It Happened One Night" and "Dark Victory". Since most are in black and white, as are family pictures from that time, it's hard to tell how colorful the decor was back then. I look at these fabrics and think maybe there was an abundance of color, perhaps as a distraction because times were hard. Anyway, that's the trip I've been on this week in my head as my "self" sat stitching in the standstill traffic of the carpool line at school. Thank you Martha, for giving me the ticket!

I LOVE the fabric Martha chose for me! These are just the blocks I have finished. I am all excited now and looking forward to making more of them into blocks. They will add so much personality and fun to my quilt! Martha often sews with vintage fabric and creates beautiful, colorful quilts that put a smile on your face! She is currently working on an embroidered ABC quilt which showcases her talent for stitchery. It is ADORABLE!

And here is a close-up of my grandmother's tatting. This is an edging or perhaps collar (it seems the right size) which was probably made in the 30's or 40's. I may be biased, but I think it is beautiful!


Fox said...

Oh, Ann! It is beautiful! How wonderful to have this tatting from your Grandmother! You see, you have it in your genes!

Your quilting blocks are great. The finished piece is goint ot be amazing.

I cannot believe you loved "dark Victory" too! It is one of the earliest movies I remember watching on TV and I was captivated by it - especially as the light began to fade for the heroine at the end. Ohhhh, that really made a profound impression on me - and perhaps encouraged a wee bit of hypochondriacal tendencies! Loved that movie. Fox : ))

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Fox,
I feel VERY lucky to have some of my grandmother's tatting. I looked at it for years wondering how in the world... I remember seeing her tat, but I was too little. Having the pieces with me kept my interest going and is the reason I finally tried to learn myself. She also quilted, so I guess it isn't surprising that I enjoy that as well!

I don't know how MANY times I have seen Dark Victory! It gets me EVERY time and yes, I suppose I too may have been a little melodramatic once or twice while suffering from a headache!

:) Ann

Martha said...

Ann -- that's a lovely photo and the blocks look wonderful -- I'm very happy you like the old fabric. The tatting piece from your grandmother is so beautiful -- I think she would be very pleased to know that you share her love of tatting and quilting.

I still have several things my mother made and my sisters and I have all of the hundreds of letters my father wrote my mother when he was fighting in Europe during WWII. Some of the letters were written to my two older sisters who were very little -- those letters are my favorites.

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Martha!
I really am enjoying the fabric! So fun to look at and even more fun to stitch! I can't thank you enough!

Grandma died when I was about six. I think she would be very happy that I enjoyed two of her favorite pastimes.

Dad wasn't in the war very long before being injured so there is just one letter from the hospital to his mom. He talks about it a bit. My father-in-law was in Europe for four years and didn't speak of it. It is wonderful for your family to have your father's wartime letters.

:) Ann