Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Counting Blessings and Quilt Care

I wish you could meet my brothers, you'd want them for your brothers too. As some of you know our son got married, both of my brothers stepped up to the plate when I needed them. That is what family is all about -- it is easy to be there for someone when it is "easy," but it is another thing to be there when things "get challenging."

My youngest brother and his family faced a challenge yesterday. It is hard to say when you have lost everything you spent the last 18 years working for in a fire that you won, but my brother, his wife, their two girls, and their family pet won yesterday, because everyone is safe and they are here today to tell the tale. They do not have a home - their clothes, mementos, and household items are gone. They have the clothes on their back, their vehicles, each other, and their family(ies).

When my sister-in-law called me and later my brother, I asked how can I help? They are going to stay with her parents for a few days while they figure things out and I am taking care of their German Shepard mix named Hutch. I'd like to do more. Our oldest brother feels the same as me, he wants to help. We are being patient to find out how we may serve, youngest brother would do the same for us in a heartbeat. Did I tell you I got to hug my brother when he brought me the dog? I needed to do that for him and for myself. Hugs don't solve every woe, but they are healing and I am a firm believer in that kind of medicine.

So the next time you're having a bad day or you get "petty" over some real or imagined slight or you have to wait too long in the grocery store line or someone puts you on hold or you are sitting in rush hour traffic with your "undies in a bunch" or "your nose out of joint" -- use that time to reflect on the abundance in your life instead and make the conscious effort to count your blessings. Life can change in a moment.

Looking for information about Quilt and Textile Care after a fire? Here are some key phrases to Google:

Fire Restoration Specialists
Quilt Restoration
Smoke Damage to Textiles
Fire Damage to Textiles
Quilt and Textile Care
Quilt and Textile Care After a Fire

Something else to think about -- do you have your quilt collection appraised and insured?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eagle Quilts: Antique, Vintage, and New Quilt History Study CD – The Rest of the Story…..

Something new!

My Eagle Quilt History Study Cd is a mixture of photographs and descriptions. It is part quilt exhibit – part quilt history study – part visual timeline of the evolution of the eagle quilt motif in the United States. I hope you enjoy it.

The Rest of the Story......


The first in a series of Quilt History Study CDs created by Susan Wildemuth is now available.

“Eagle Quilts – Antique, Vintage, and New” is a PowerPoint-formatted presentation of the eagle motif in U.S. quilting history. Utilizing photographs and descriptions, the study of quilts featured in the CD are from Susan’s own collection.

The other CDs in this series are still in development. Each focuses on a one-of-a-kind quilt history topic and will be uniquely different from the others. All are carefully researched and thoroughly documented.

Susan is an author, historian and quilting aficionada. Her research, writing and photographs have been published in national, regional and local quilt and textile history publications. Her web site Illinois Quilt History: Quilt History from the Midwest http://www.illinoisquilthistory.com/ was established in 2008, and her blog Eye of the Needle: Quilt History Conversation from the Midwest http://sew-eyeoftheneedlequilthistory.blogspot.com/ followed in 2009.

Eagle Quilts - Antique, Vintage, and New – The Parks-Wildemuth Collection

Order No: SEW-1

Cost: $9.99 plus shipping (Priority Mail – Flat Rate - $4.80 in U.S.)
Check or Money Order:

Susan Wildemuth
18621 US Highway 6
Atkinson, Illinois 61235
quiltingbee73@yahoo.com or ksandbcw@geneseo.net

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wedding and Anniversary Quilts

I would be interested in hearing if any of you collect Wedding and/or Anniversary quilts. I have been thinking of these motifs because our son got married this past weekend on June 13, 2009.

Meet Brian and Nicole "Nikki" Wildemuth

My best friend from high school Luanne Evans or as I like to call her the "camera kid" was the first person to get photographs to me. I want everyone to e-mail Louie and tell her "you need to become a professional photographer."

Do you recognized this? We, the Baber and Wildemuth ladies, love the movie Twilight --remember the gazebo scene at the end of the movie? Nikki's mom Sherry arranged for them to have a quiet moment at the reception - in the gazebo.

This picture goes to show you how amazing my daughter-from-love is. She got Brian's dad, her f-i-l, and my husband out on the dance floor to dance with her. How did she do that? I've been trying for 30 years to wrangle Keith Alan Wildemuth on to the dance floor and he always outmaneuvers me. He usually has it timed perfectly -- he asks me to dance, just about 3 seconds before the song is going to end. I plan to dance at Nikki and Brian's 50th wedding anniversary - maybe I can get some tips from Nikki on how she got her father-in-law up on that dance floor. I love this picture of them.

Do any of you collect Wedding or Anniversary quilts? They are out there and imagine what a wonderful uplifting "motif" to collect, especially if the interested party also collected "wedding/anniversary lore" to go with it or vintage wedding dresses. I'd go to that exhibit or lecture. Wouldn't you?

Here's one from Mark French's store to get you started

(Mark French - French72 - french72@antique-quilt.com)

It was a beautiful wedding thanks to Nikki and Brian, Sherry and Vic and all the people who stepped up to the plate to help make it a day to remember. This might be a "catholic" thing, but I found a quiet spot at the church before the wedding to take off my shoes, do my rosary, and count my blessings. I'm so grateful the "big guy" sent Nikki to Brian and us. Brian is lucky too -- he now has two families who love him. Life is good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How May I Serve - The American Red Cross and Quilts

I just drove passed it again; the American Red Cross billboard near the county fair grounds with the Red Cross Symbol and the words Equals Hope.

Every time I see the “Equals Hope” billboard, it takes me back to February 2007. My husband and I were on a trip – our first “big” trip together in years and through a series of interesting events, we wound up in a nearly deserted Puerto Rico airport in the middle of the night with about ten other people who, like us, had missed their connection. The next morning, in the same airport, waiting for “our ship to come in,” I spotted an American nun wearing the post Vatican II headgear and speaking fluent Spanish. I’m Catholic – a product of the parochial school system – we notice things like that. We would later learn, she was working with the Red Cross and was taking a plane load of novices to a remote island – some to teach and others to act as nurses. She was a person of action, living the message - the Red Cross equals hope.

My husband and I were coming home to Illinois, from this same trip in the aftermath of a nationwide ice storm which had caused some major delays for us in Miami. The storm had set about a chain reaction of events where we missed our successive flights, but we made it to O’Hare in the middle of the night – 1 ½ hours from home, but we had missed the connecting flight to take us that last leg home. . I am NOT complaining, this had been an amazing trip for us – one that I will cherish for a lifetime. After we landed at O’Hare that night and the plane was slowly making its’ way to our eventual departure ramp, I looked out my window and there between the rain and ice I spotted an American Red Cross airplane – my airport loving dad would have called it a cargo or a supply plane – getting ready to taxi - destination unknown. The Red Cross equals hope.

Have I shared that I randomly chose three vintage quilt history books to bring with me in my carry-on to read and one of those was a WWI pattern book which had a Red Cross Quilt in it with the instructions on how to create it?

To add more "wahoo" to this story, did I mention about a month after that trip this quilt top came to me?

Is it a quilt made to honor the American Red Cross? I’ll never know because there was no provenance with it, but I did feel like somebody was trying to tell me something – so I decided to read a little more about the American Red Cross and quilts! I began that journey by putting American Red Cross Quilts in the Google Search Engine and discovered quilts and the Red Cross have a long history together. If that is not enough to give you a fabric fix, check out the history of the Red Cross Uniforms themselves. Google Shirley Powers and Red Cross Uniforms.

Before I close the books on this day, I want to make one more comment. Does anyone else think the ARC “Equals Hope” billboards would make a nice center for a signature quilt – maybe even a fundraising quilt to benefit the American Red Cross efforts to help those who need it.
It could be the answer to "How May I Serve?"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box: All the Good Research Projects are Taken

When my brothers and I were kids we learned early on to never tell our mother or father “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do around here.” Before the last word was out of our mouth we would find ourselves transplanted in a flower bed with instructions to “weed” or loaned out to the widows in the neighborhood for chore duty. It was better to use our noggins and think outside the box for our own entertainment solutions than to use the B-O-R-E-D word in their presence. That’s the kind of parents we had; they were so “mean” to teach us responsibility and to use our imaginations to find ways to creatively entertain ourselves!

Which brings me to the quilt history portion of this entry – all the good research projects are taken, right? Wrong. Here is one of the hundreds of ideas still out there - what about utilizing the newspaper archives in the libraries located in your county and documenting your county’s quilt history? You might even be able to take one of those stories, research it deeper, and have an informative quilt history article for your efforts - a piece you could submit to a quilt history magazine or journal like the Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group’s Pieces of Time or the American Quilt Study Group’s Blanket Statements.

Life is full of opportunities – think outside the box and remember the next time you drop by my home, do not use the B-O-R-E-D word, because the next thing you know you’ll be in my backyard picking up rocks out of the grass near the driveway for a penny-a-piece. Just ask my son, he’ll tell you his mother is mean that way.