Saturday, February 26, 2011

Home Found Treasures

Home again. My family and I hopped the border this weekend, and are hunkered down in the mountains of New Mexico. My Momma is celebrating her 50th birthday and we decided that such an occasion is just too important miss, so we loaded up and headed east. I love how we just sort of fall back into the routine of rural living even though my husband and I have been city dwellers for years now. We started the day drinking coffee and reading by the fire, breakfast at the local (and only) cafe, and then headed out to check on the cattle. It's still mighty cold up here and ice needed to be broken and the generator started to pump water up and out of the well for the cows. We were hoping to see the newest calf, born two days prior, but it was nowhere to be found. Dad hasn't seen it since it was born...we're hoping nothing got it and that she's safely bedded down somewhere.

Helping Opa break water.

Looking for the lost calf.
When we came back to warm our frozen ears (New Mexico wind is WICKED I tell you!) Momma greeted me with some of the sweetest treasures I've seen in a while. Tucked under her arm were two vintage doll quilts, an antique handmade doll cradle and a box, a whole box full of vintage patterns. It was like Christmas I tell you! I think I actually squealed. All of these most precious things came from my Momma's dear friend Patty who thought my little K might get some use out of the cradle and quilts and knew that my new found love of sewing would surely put all those patterns to good use. K, who was away from home and lacking her best baby dolls, dug a pink teddy bear out of Granny's toy box and tucked him to the new cradle with one of the quilts. It's perfect, she whispered. And it most certainly is.

The quilts are worn but beautiful. They are both hexagon patterns. Given my record with rotary cutters and my tendency to throw them across the room, I can't imagine cutting all those teeny little hexagons by hand, or stitching them so perfectly together without a machine. I've really been bitten by the quilting bug. Not so much in the making of them but in the stories of them, especially the older ones. Not so many years ago, quilts were not just beautiful but utilitarian. They used scraps from old clothes, flour sacks, worn blankets...quilts were one of the first "up-cycled" items. I love that in some of the hexagons you can see the seam of the clothing it came from. I do love all the gorgeous fabrics you can buy and coordinate these days but the vintage scrap quilts are by far my favorite. These little doll quilts are certainly special and I'll treasure them long after K quits playing with dolls I'm sure!

The pink teddy bear, tucked in to his cradle for the night!

The other hex quilt. So gorgeous!
And the patterns. Oh do I love the patterns. I love their yellowed envelopes, and the crinkly noise the aged tissue paper makes when I hold them in my hand. I have to admit I giggled at some of the styles. Hiding in that red checked box I found patterns for bell bottoms, cat suits and an awesomely hippie style poncho with an optional hood. But there were also some really cute jumpers that I can't wait to see K in and a pattern for overalls that just scream muddy little boy. J might soon get something Momma made other than pajama pants! There are a few patterns that I could use too with a tweak here and there; a skirt with classic lines, a nightgown that only needs to be shortened, a dress that looks like I could live in it. I can't wait to really dig through and see what I can make.

Three of many!
 So with teddy tucked in and visions of bell bottoms and ponchos dancing in my head, I bid you farewell. It's almost time to start hanging the streamers for Momma's party tonight! I'm not sure when I'll get to posting again..the computer has died and I fear this is it's third and final time. We have been saving for another one and hopefully we'll get a shiny, new desktop fitted in to the office within the week. Here's hoping....

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Hey those bell bottos and ponchos might come around again. You never know....Those quilts are beautful. It have one that I want to get finished someday.

  2. love, love, love the quilts and patterns! The pictures of the quilts reawakened my yearning to continue on with my very first project, so I worked on it a bit these past couple days. Thanks for the reminder!