Monday, March 18, 2013

Off to the Mills

 The Lowell Fabric Mills, that is--working on my Lowell Mill Girls quilt top again today.

Here's all my squares and triangle sets laid out for easy pickin's! The 8 groups on the right (on the ironing board half) are the triangles with their matching corner squares. The others are the sets of colored squares for the block centers.

I've been laying the blocks out and playing with the colors as I do so, to get the most pleasing combinations.

Not too hard, so far, because I have the full range to choose from. I anticipate making some interesting choices later on, when I have run out of my "favorites."

I've been picking up the squares the way I do when I'm putting together a quilt top--row 2 gets flopped on top of row 1, then all the rows are picked up top to bottom. Rows 3 through 7 (in this case) get stacked in order of sewing, left to right.

Then I sew the first pairs together, open them up and add the next row all the way down. This works really well for me, as long as my furry friend doesn't get himself involved in the process.

Which, predictably, he does.

But those little white paddy-paws are just so cute, who could get mad at that face?

Well--it isn't always the face.

I have no qualms about pushing the fat furbutt out of my way. I mean, really!
 It's fun watching the pattern come together as I sew the blocks. I am easily amused!

Yesterday I got to meet Nancy Rink, the author of the book I'm suing and the designer of the quilts in it.  I told her that seeing her both at this same quilt show last year had started me down this path, and I thanked her for it.

The special connection I have to this topic is that there is some Lowell (Mass) in my family history, plus my grandmother worked for many many years in the Skinner Satin Mill in Holyoke, weaving bridal satin.  Skinner Satin was the ultimate bridal fabric back then, and working in the mnill allowed my grandmother, who was widowed young and left with 4 small boys, to support her family (which included her parents and sister) all through the Depression and much later.
She loved to dance, loved to travel, and was full of life. I have some of the old bobbins from the textile mills, including one that is wound with hair-thin thread that I like to think was from the satin mill.

Anyway, here are my first four blocks done. Really takes a photo to bring out the contrast in colors and the way the values play out in these. The one in the upper right is not going to be the only one with such light corners, so hopefully it won't stand out so much in the finished quilt. We'll have to see.

One good thing about making 12 blocks is that if I decide I don't like the way some of them come out, there's no reason it can't become a 9-blobk quilt! Or three, with 4 blocks each (the way the original in the book is designed)--for now, I'm planning on making one quilt with 12 blocks, but that can change.

1 comment:

Lee I said...

The author of the book you're suing? Do you have a story in your archives?