Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Leap of Faith

In early October, I started a 6-month quilting journey with my friend Marianne (who actually signed me up for this!)....called the "Prairie Women's Sewing Circle".  Basically, this is a history/quilting project hosted by a fabric shop called Material Rewards in Dansville, NY.  Each month, for 6 months, we learn a little bit of history in reference to the prairie/pioneer women from the 1840 - 1900 era.

I really enjoy "history"....and this group is so nice in that it is hosted completely on-line which allows anyone to participate no matter where you are located.  Our instruction kits are mailed to us at the beginning of each month and we have the opportunity to post photos, share our progress, ask questions, etc., on a blog set up strictly for the participants of the "journey".

I've always said that "sewing" is very soothing for me....it is my "therapy"....so you'll understand why I got a chuckle as I read through the history lesson that accompanied this first project....

     "Sewing was so ingrained into the culture of this era that it was said to be "essential to a woman's happiness, no less than her usefulness in accomplishing the mission of her life".  Sewing perpetuated "modesty", "quiet and retiring manners", and had a "soothing and sedative effect, and was a corrective for the little irritations in life".

I just LOVE the last little part of that last sentence (underlined). LOLOLOLOL  It appears that women of all  time periods had rough days....I'm not the only one!!!!  :)

This first project is called "Leap of Faith" because it truly was a leap of faith for these families to give up everything they had....homes, family, friends, luxuries of civilization, basically EVERYTHING in order to head off into the unknown, to homestead the prairies of young America.

The main emphasis of our lesson was to teach us about using "make-do" fabrics within the construction of our quilts.  Needless to say, our prairie/pioneer sisters did not have the luxury of making a quick trip to the local fabric shop whenever she wanted to start a new project, or if she suddenly realized that she was just a tad bit short on a particular piece of fabric needed....no....she had to make-do with whatever she could get her hands on.

In our kit for October, we were supplied a small piece of blue fabric to use as our "make-do" fabric for this first miniature quilt top.  We were instructed to use this swatch of fabric in just a few of the triangles in the construction of our star blocks.

Can you see the difference?  I only incorporated the "make-do" fabric in a couple of the star blocks...not all of them.

I'm starting to fall in love with the Prairie and Civil War reproduction fabrics.  I've been a big fan of 1930's and WWI - WWII reproduction fabrics for several years now....but I'm REALLY liking these fabrics!!!! :)

I probably should have hand-quilted this little quilt....but I didn't. LOL  In fact, as I was looking through my stash of supplies, I found an embroidery quilt motif called "Prairie Rose" that I thought was perfect for this quilt.  I used my machine's embroidery accessory to "quilt" this motif in each of the light colored blocks.  (See first photo at top of blog post.)

I then used the "stitch-in-the-ditch" technique to outline each of the blue stars....then I did a simple meandering on the borders.

Maybe you can see the quilting better from the back side of the quilt....

I readily admit that as much as I love the history behind the quilts...I'm glad it is HISTORY and that I am living TODAY!  I'm not cut out to be a pioneer woman....no way....no how!!!!

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