This post comes to you thanks to my friend The Amazing Alice who is not only crafty, but organized! Last January, I finally got around to doing a big studio clean-up. At the end of all of my hard work, I discovered that I'd accidentally thrown out a bag of vintage linens. I was especially sad to lose the cutter quilt, that I'd used as the background for Heartfelt, and the rest of the feed sack that I'd used for Seed Sower. I told my sad story to Sister Alice, and a few weeks later, she gifted me with this gorgeous cutter quilt. (Alice actually gets rid of things on purpose!)
You can see how delicate the old fabric was. In some areas it was practically falling apart in my hands. When I looked inside the openings in the fabric, I could see that there was another quilt layered under the first one. I gently removed the green floral border, and then began the process of removing the knots so that I could peel off the top of the quilt to see what was underneath.
This is the quilt that I found underneath. The first quilt top fit a double bed. The quilt underneath was the size of a single bed. I'd like to think that a young bride extended the size of the quilt when she got married.
Guess what was used to extend the quilt? Feed sacks! I was so thrilled.
After I removed the feed sacks, I got to see the original twin-sized quilt. I folded over the back so you can see the black and white floral print fabric that was on the other side.
I can't wait to use it in a future project. In the meantime, I folded each of the pieces very neatly and put them in a clear plastic bag, so that there is no possibility that this treasure will get discarded.
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What is real?
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." -By Margery Williams, from "The Velveteen Rabbit"
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I love hunting through thrift stores and salvage yards to find inspiration for my pieces. In most cases, I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, but I know when I’ve found it because of the little jolt of excitement that I feel when I see it. It’s fun to find items that have been cast off because they are no longer beautiful or useful to their original owner, and give them a new identity. Once I sit down to start an altered piece, I feel like I am solving a puzzle as I try to fit parts together into a cohesive whole.
My finished pieces feel "real" to me in the Velveteen Rabbit sense of the word.