Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Quilt Display at Misty Mountain Sales

Misty Mountain is a mercantile in the South Fork Amish/Mennonite community.
While its stock of goods caters particularly to locals of those persuasions it has items of interest to those of us who live a simpler rural lifestyle. 

The section of kitchenware is alluring with quality bakeware, cutlery, everything needed for canning and preserving. What you will not find there is electrical appliances.

There is a selection of fabrics used by the plain people for garment construction, as well as most of the gadgetry desired by quilters. I often buy thread, sewing machine needles, rotary cutter blades there. 

Two aisles in the store are given over to books, stationary, greeting cards, as well as picture books for small children, all of a type considered suitable for the Amish community.
A display of Leaning Tree cards is there for those who are more 'English' minded.

In the back of the store are utility items: brooms, mops, shovels, canning jars, small hand tools.
When building our present house we purchased our wood-burning stove there.

Whatever my errand at Misty Mountain I detour to the area where quilts are displayed, for sale on consignment.
Some are vintage, others more recently constructed.
Most are machine pieced, hand quilted. 
The precision of workmanship varies but is usually fine quality.

Today I noticed that the display had been altered since last time I was in. 
I'm sharing my photos for those who are interested in stitchery.
Sadly, the fabrics used in the quilts aren't 'quilt shop' quality. 
The store stocks reprints of calicos that were popular in the early 1980's when there was first a renewed general interest in quilt making. When my late friend Edie Robie and I began constructing quilts many of these same prints were produced by VIP and Cranston Print Works, but in a better quality fabric. 

A beautifully pieced and quilted Broken Lone Star; quilting detail below.

Classic 6 point Lone Star with 'clam shell' quilting in the white areas.

I believe this pattern is Wedding Ring--I should check on that.

A white whole cloth quilt, sometimes referred to as a Bride's Quilt.
The quilt is protected by a clear plastic sleeve that caused distortion in my photo, however the quality of the stitching should be evident.

Quilt constructed from identical hand-embroidered blocks.

This older quilt doesn't display the usual quality of work.
The tag notes that it was hand-pieced and machine quilted. This was done on a standard sewing machine--a difficult task. As you can see, the layers of fabric bunched creating wrinkles and wobbling lines of stitches.

A display of colorful scrappy quilts. The lozenge-shaped pieces of the one in upper left were hand whipped together with a variation of a herringbone stitch that I've not seen before. 


Monday, September 11, 2023

Another September

I have spent nearly an hour this evening trolling through journal posts from past Septembers.
Nothing much changes.
There are slight variations in the weather from year to year--drought or rain--lingering heat or a sudden downturn in temperatures.
There is a tallying of the garden, the crops that have flourished, those that have been disappointing.
My observations don't change greatly; I wake between 4 and 5, lie in bed sleepily watching as daylight leaks slowly into the room defining the furniture, picking out objects as fuzzy shapes of grey. I glance at the red numbers on the digital clock, knowing that it isn't time to rise and start the tasks of the morning. Time enough when colors return to the room: the mellow 'hand-loomed scarlet' paint beneath the white chair rail; the patterns and colors of the quilts stacked in the open cupboard.

Through the window the trees bordering the west end of the meadow as it pitches toward the ravine are foreshortened, distorted by the gradual slope of the land. The tallest oak seems no higher than the lower panes of my window.

The hummingbirds are dispersing, a few at a time, seemingly on schedule. Watering potted rosemarys and geraniums on the screened porch I may startle a solitary bird zooming away from the feeder. The clamoring whirl of tiny swift bodies fighting for sugar syrup is over for another summer. A male hummer darts to perch on the clematis trellis; goldfinches sway on the leaning stalks of coneflowers. 
Sunflowers at the edge of the garden cant at crazy angles, a few shredded gold petals still clinging to the darkly ripened seed heads.
Jim has harvested butternut squash, trundling them, heaped in the old wheelbarrow, to rest on the covered back porch before being brought in to line the newspaper covered shelves in the dark back hallway.
We have no fall garden this year. The relentless heat of late July and August didn't inspire the seeds of beets and green beans to germinate. A few gaunt spires of okra stand in the now weedy area they shared with rows of potatoes and green peppers. Jim has run over much of the garden area with the tractor and bush hog. 
'When can I take out the sunflowers?' he asks. 
'Not yet,' I reply. 'Let the goldfinches finish their gleaning.'

Several of the clematis vines have produced fresh growth, even a blossom here and there, smaller and paler than the exuberant bloom of early summer. 
The shrub roses have struggled against a particularly fierce onslaught of Japanese beetles. Will there be a few blooms to cherish before frost?
Newly planted pansies have settled into their pots and I have pricked out the tiny self-sown seedlings from the spring plants, given them fresh soil. They are in the greenhouse where I hope they will put down good roots before winter.

As the calendar moves us toward the equinox I hope for a mild and prolonged autumn; mellow days in which to prune, weed, reorganize perennial plantings; days of gentle rain when a fire in the woodstove is welcome and the smell of simmering soup and baking bread foretells shortened days and crisp clear nights. 

Ragged sunflowers.

Cosmos have not been vigorous this summer.

Cosmos petals look as though they had been streakily painted in watercolors.

Newly purchased pansies with a 'baby' seedling or two tucked in.

A mum from last year wintered in one of the raised black tubs.

Always the companionship of cats! Shelby, the cantankerous little calico.

Robert--who lords it over us, indoors and out.