Only 50 Days Until Spring!

The seasons on Cape Cod have certainly changed since I was a child and the weather is a bit confusing right now. If you’ve been here this winter, you might think spring has already arrived. Temperatures have been hovering around the high 30s to upper 40s, sometimes reaching 50 or more, and the rain has been constant. We must have already made up for the severe drought we had last summer. I think we may have only had one or two actual frosts.

This may all be a tease because the past 20 or so years it’s no surprise to get our most severe snowstorms in February and March. We even had an April Fools Day snowstorm in 1997. However, as long as a quilter has electricity, they’ll find something to keep them busy while the weather rages outside like working on UFO projects (Unfinished Objects aka Quilts), which is the perfect segue into this next piece.

Crazy Quilters participating in the six month UFO Challenge brought in their #2 Project to share at our January meeting. Projects this month included creating a calendar wallet from a kit that had been purchased some time ago, finishing up several quilts for family, friends, self, utilizing a “found” star that needed some TLC, incorporating a heart block share into a quilt, completing a project that was a UFO pick from our December Yankee Swap, and seeing how many bags can be made from fabric sitting at the back of a closet purchased years ago. What an accomplished month and group!

If that wasn’t enough, we were treated by Penny and Denise to a trunk show of their mother’s gorgeous quilts. Their mom, Eleanor Mueller, is no longer with them but she has certainly left her family an amazing legacy of enough quilts (I believe they figured over 200) to fill their own museum. Unfortunately, I don’t take shorthand so I was not able to write down all the interesting stories of the hows and whys these quilts were made but let’s leave it to say it would make a wonderful book for any quilter’s coffee table or sewing room! These photographs don’t do them justice! And did I say, all but a few are hand quilted? Amazing!! (click on photo to enlarge)

Eleanor began her quilting journey as many of us have, by making a fence rail quilt. She was hooked! After that, there was no stopping her!

And if an applique quilt in blue wasn’t enough, she made another one in red. Even though Eleanor made lots of pieced quilts, most were given away as gifts. Hand applique was her true passion.

Eleanor did not have an opportunity to finish this next quilt. Denise plans to finish it and give a go at her mother’s tradition of hand quilting.

This last masterpiece might be consider a typical Dear Jane quilt. However, the original Jane A. Blakely Stickle quilt had 169 blocks making up the center. Eleanor wanted a king-sized quilt so she took some liberty and added twenty six additional blocks such as Sun Bonnet Sue, Overall Bill, and the little bird at the top, to point out a few. She also added inside borders and I’m sure adjustments were made to the triangle border to work with the added blocks. Brenda Manges Papadakis was the first to formally draft and publish the patterns for all 169 blocks and 52 border triangles, which can be found in her 25th Anniversary Dear Jane book. At the time Eleanor made her quilt, there were no patterns. So she and several of her friends would meet regularly and work out each block as they made their way through the quilt. Another amazing accomplishment and heirloom for her family.

Thank you Penny and Denise for sharing your mother’s quilts and stories with us! It was an enjoyable evening!

Lastly, I’ve got a couple of photos of Show & Tell projects that were shared. Lori has completed another quilt to gift and Susan has finished her Dresden Neighborhood wall hanging. Nice work ladies!

Until next time, keep your bobbin full and your rotary cutter sharp!

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