Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cotton Warp Quilt

Two dolls I made in 2002. They have painted hair and features. They need shoes, don't they? Hardly ladylike to sit around barefoot.

One of my other interests is dolls and dollhouses. I received a dollhouse kit for my birthday last year and have been wanting to start building it. At first I wanted to furnish it as 1950's era home, but have decided against it. Now I am thinking of making it into Green Gables and am reading Anne of Green Gables again. Green Gables has been recreated in Prince Edward Island and you can visit it online. Oh, what fun!

From Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery...
'That's Barry's pond' said Matthew.
'Oh, I don't like that name, either. I shall call it-let me see-the Lake of Shining Waters. Yes, that is the right name for it. I know because of the thrill. When I hit on a name that suits exactly it gives me a thrill. Do things ever give you a thrill?'
'Well now, yes. It always kind of gives me a thrill to see them ugly white grubs that spade up in the cucumber beds. I hate the look of them.'
'Oh, I don't think that can be exactly the same kind of a thrill. Do you think it can? There doesn't seem to be much connexion between grubs and lakes and shining water, does there?...'

Well, quilts, dolls, and dollhouses give me a thrill. I'm sure Anne would come up with some romantic names for my dolls, too.

Not two pages into Anne of Green Gables Mrs. Rachel Lynde is reported to have knit sixteen "cotton warp quilts" while she sits by the window keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the community. Cotton warp quilts? What is that? Being a knitter and a quilter my interest was piqued! A search on the internet revealed only that other Anne readers are curious, too.

I wonder if I've found the answer. On the Anne of Green Gables Knit and Read-Along blog there is a link to antique knitting patterns. At that webpage I downloaded The Lady's Book of Knitting, 1886 as a pdf file. I browsed through the pages and found this:

For A Common Quilt
Cast on with cotton two stitches, use pins No. 14, and increase every row. Do 6 rows of plain and 6 of pearl, so as to make lengthwise ribs. When half a square is done decrease at the beginning of every row. When a sufficient number of squares are finished, join together with a square piece of calico between each knitted one. Thus: take a piece of calico, turn down the raw edges, double it to the size of the knitted square, and tack the two edges together. Then sew the knitting and the calico together, as if you were doing patchwork. The raw edges of the calico must, of course, be turned inward, meeting each other so as not to be seen even on the wrong side of the quilt. This is a quick and neat quilt, but is not so pretty as other patterns.

I can't quite picture it, but I am definitely going to try it. I have some dishcloth cotton, which is probably much coarser than Mrs. Rachel would use, but it will give me an idea of the technique. Knitting and quilting, could life get any better?

I'll leave you with this...
"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Checking in

Just checking in......here is the Laurel Burch panel I am working on. Just wanted to show you someting quilty.

Are you glad the election is over? Me, too! My new job as assistant town clerk has given me a new perspective on elections. I worked many hours of overtime in preparation for the big day. Many, many people came in to absentee vote or pick up/drop off ballots.

On Tuesday I thought I would not come home until 2 in the morning, but was able to leave a bit after 11. I had not been able to keep up with any of the election coverage after the polls closed, so I was surprised to hear John McCain speaking on the radio when I got in the car. Then, it dawned on me that he was giving a concession speech. The results were in already!

As some of you may know, I am very pleased with the results!

I was just listening to a knitting podcast before getting online. The host mentioned supporting local yarn stores in these tough economic times, even if they may charge a bit more than online stores. I think the same goes for our local fabric stores. We want them to stay in business, don't we?

That is not to say that we should all go out and shop. Many quilters have a more than adequate stash to ride out any economic downturn. I know I am one of them. I think that is one thing I like about scrap quilts and the little five inch blocks I have been making. It is good to be frugal sometimes and I really enjoy scrappy quilts.

By the way, Sarah Ann Smith has offered to help me find the answer to my machine quilting woes. I have been thinking of buying a new seam ripper and ripping out all the quilting in Holiday Chorus and starting again. Thinking about it....
Here I am at Basin Pond on the way up the Chimney Pond trail at Baxter last fall. Mighty fine.