Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My Amish neighbor, Delila, does beautiful hand quilting.
She admits that piecing quilt blocks is not her strong point.  She purchases tops pieced by a Mennonite or Amish group and offered for sale through a brochure.  She then quilts and finishes them and puts them up for sale at auction.  I am impressed with her work and decided I would like to have her hand finish a quilt or two for me.
So, we have a 'deal' going. I created the top above, a setting of Log Cabin blocks [56 of them]  known as Fields and Furrows. She will complete the top and offer it for sale, giving me a 'credit' for the price of the top toward quilting one of mine.
Last week I dragged the numerous bins and boxes of my prized fabrics into the new family room and began rummaging out the pieces which I felt would be harmonious for this project.  The quilt will go to auction in March, so I chose lovely springtime florals.
I delivered the quilt top to Delila yesterday and her appreciation of it was heart-warming.
She feels that if ever a quilt should attract a good price this might be it.
Said Delila. "Shall we go into business?"
As I become better acquainted with this hard-working woman I have a sense that with financial backing she could make a success of the sort of emporium she would so like to have.
We'll see what happens with the quilt venture.  Sadly we both realize, as do most other crafters, that one never clears enough on a well-made item to repay the labor involved.

I had a certain amount of feline assistance during the project.
Teasel kindly waited to occupy the basket until I had used the cut strips arranged in it.

The fabrics have by no means been put away.
I have had this primitive cupboard for more than twenty years.
I purchased two of them from a neighbor, Bucky S., who bought, repaired and sold vintage pieces.
Bucky gave me a choice of colors and I chose this blue from a line of reproduction miilk paints.
The cupboard held dishes in the dining area of our small log cabin in Vermont.
In our first home in Wyoming it became my fabric cupboard.
It was in storage through the brief times in two more houses, then stood in the entry of our last WY house as a sort of catch-all.

I felt the cupboard needed refurbishing--it had acquired some scratches and scuffs, and I thought I was over my 'blue phase.'
I chose "Holly Hill Green" from the line of repro milk paint which is sold locally.
J. helped me drag the cupboard into the new family room.
It was scrubbed with Murphy's oil soap.
This afternoon I began painting.
NOT happy with the outcome!
The green is much more vivid than it appears on the color card.
J. came in and commented, "You've got John Deere green--how about some John Deere yellow stripes to go with it?"
[Above photo taken before paint was dried.]

Taken after the paint dried.  It is not so violently green, but its not the dull dark green I hoped for.
I shall ask M. S. who repurposes vintage furniture if she has a glaze I could apply to darken the color.  Otherwise I fear my persnickity sense of color will have me buying another pot of paint.
I am most anxious to sort and store my fabric, get the bins out of the middle of the floor!

The second of the two cupboards almost blends with the "Fireweed" paint color on the two sheet-rocked walls in the room.
I could be tempted to repaint this also, but J. says the scuffs from several moves add to the "primitive look."
It needs a new pane of glass on the left door.
It may eventually hold more fabric or perhaps some decorative items.
More of my belongings are appearing from packing boxes and need to find a resting place.

Yet another task was to clear off the accumulation of unrelated items which had been landing on the built-in buffet in the dining area. Since the ceramic cat was drifting about, I placed it as an ornament in the center of the buffet top.
J. says this is what has persuaded Charlie-cat and his daughter Jemima to consider this a
proper place to recline.
Living cat sculptures.
I don't suppose I will ever get the whole house sorted and looking/staying tidy.
Too many interesting projects and diversions skip through my mind--all more entrancing
 than mere housework.


  1. Gosh, it would take me MONTHS to piece a top like that. i am breathless at your speed and skill. Sounds like a good deal you have going with Delila (my step-gran's name, incidentally).

  2. Good morning MM,

    Lovely quilt. Although it might not be an enormously profitable venture I get the feeling you would be happy working alongside another artisan like Delila.

    Love the shot of the cats on the buffet. Good vantage points are so important to cats - almost a status thing sometimes - and help to keep us mere humans grounded as we realise we are under constant review.

    Have a good un.


  3. How exciting, I wonder if this business idea will grow wings?
    Love the cupboards, especially the glass fronted, perfect for crafting and fabric.

  4. I rather like the green cupboard. The quilt is going to be gorgeous!

  5. Gosh we need nine lives like cats to get all the projects we want to do off the ground.I like the green cupboard as well. Its funny we are alway planning projects or making space for all the equipment we need to do them!

  6. Love your colors on your top.
    Going into business is a leap of faith. When my mother and I were in business with the quilt shop, (she was in business with the embroidery and needlepoint 30 yrs, and 10 in the quilting). It is scary, especially in today's gloomy market. You will not know until you try it. Again, a true leap of faith.
    Love the kitties. They manage to place themselves where they are the stars of the show.
    Have a great weekend.

  7. I think it was meant that you and Delila met and you have a talent for different halves of a project ... yes I know you will never get the full worth of your labour butyou will cover the costs and have some pin money ...worth it if you both enjoy doing it.

  8. Forgot to say ...I LOVE that patern are so clever

  9. Beautiful quilt! i love everything about Log Cabin, from the many interesting ways it can be set to the evocative name. As long as you and Delila realize up front that you'll never get repaid for your labor, a joint venture sounds like a great idea and combination of your skills.

    I liked the cabinet better as blue (i'm still in the blue phase) but the green as it dried is a lovely color, too. I'd be tempted to try some stencilling on it.