a 'Puff Pillow' vintage pattern and a few memories

I was born and raised in Alabama, the place of my father's birth, so when I first began Piecework Treasures blog and named it as such, in my mind's eye I would be discussing and including a lot of my Alabama Granny and Great-grandmother's works and patterns simply because I spent so much time with them.  But the blog seemed to take on a different direction in sharing of my own work, ideas, patterns and 'journey'.

My mother was from Oklahoma with all her family still living in Oklahoma today.  These past few years, as I've (finally!) been going through boxes from my Oklahoma Granny, who passed away in her 80s in the mid 1990s, I've been amazed at the variety of her work.  I always knew she sewed, as I remember meeting some of her clients as they came to the house to be fitted during times I was visiting out there.  My grandfather, her husband, was involved in a horrible accident at one of his oil rigs when he was in his 50s and my grandmother used her talent and accomplished sewing skills to sew for others to bring in a little money to support them as she cared for him 24/7 until he passed away 25+ years later.  She was a very strong woman, and though not 'warm and fuzzy' like my Alabama Grannys, I always loved and respected her.

So, today I thought I'd post a copy of a pattern she used that I so vividly remember.  
The above photo is the scanned pattern in 'color' to show the brown and faded edges.  She made the round 'puff pillow' in a purple-dark burgundy-ish fabric and it was beautiful.  The pleats on the side almost looked braided, as I recall.
She did not use a 'gingham' fabric, though possibly the fabric might've been a plaid of light/dark squares.  I wish I had the original pillow.
Click on photo to enlarge to better read the pattern
What is strange, is that going through her pieces of work and patterns she used, I feel that I'm beginning to finally 'know' her.  Imagine my surprise to find she also crocheted and tatted beautifully.

So, when we too are someday gone, and our work might remain, maybe the generations behind us might get to 'know' us too? 

Oh, and please feel free to use this free pattern for your own, personal use.  It is not meant to be sold.... simply to be shared.  Thanks!

UPDATE 10.4.2013 ~ click here to read more of this unfolding story, including photos of 1966/1967 pillow.
UPDATE 3.10.2015 ~ Added a different pattern from my grandmother's files we think might be the 1966/1967 pillow's pattern at the above link.  Click here.


a friend's loving memorial

Beverly Jane Stebbins went to her heavenly home on August 13, 2013 and her loving friend, Dee, who had cared for and loved her throughout a "long and arduous battle with ovarian cancer"wrote a beautiful memorial to her friend on August 15, 2013.    Though Dee is married and has children of her own, her longstanding friendship with Bev was part of her personal foundation.

I 'met' Dee March 2012 through Ravelry as she had begun knitting my Trinity Stitch Prayer Shawl Pattern for her dear friend Bev who was in stage 4 cancer at the time.  She sent a photo when the shawl was finished and I wrote a post May 24, 2012 with photos and excerpts of her notes and thoughts as she wrote "I am happy to be able to wrap her in God's love..."  She knitted a beautiful prayer shawl and included a hand-carved pin for her friend.
Recently, Dee let me know that Bev was in her heavenly home now, and included a link to her memorial post , as well as sharing a little of her own personal journey.  I cannot tell you how much that meant..... means to me.   It got me thinking about this humble 'simple knit pattern' I'd been knitting for years...... and so I wrote in my note back to her:
"I believe the Lord uses each of us in our own unique way. This was a pattern I’d fooled around with for years, making many prayer shawls for many different people. When I began the Piecework Treasures blog I thought about writing the pattern down and then thought it’d probably be something no one would particularly be interested in…. but I did it anyway, if for no other reason, than to have my notes in an organized format for me to remember. My first post with the initial pattern was published Jan. 30, 2012 and has had 11,595 views to-date. I have been humbled by the sweet messages, like yours, people have sent my way and am so appreciative that you let me know a little about you and your sweet friend’s ‘journey’."
The views to-date are now at 12,768 and rising every day and I cannot help but think about the many people these prayer shawls are being knitted and created for. 

So, please visit Dee's memorial for her friend and feel her love and loyal friendship.  And please say a prayer, not only for Dee as she grieves for the friend she misses, but Bev's daughter, who will turn 21 on Sept. 29, 2013, as she completes her senior year of college missing her mom. 


fourth quilt block complete - Shoo Fly

I am participating in Sew Many Ways Block of the Month Club and completed my fourth quilt block, Shoo Fly, today.  I am new to piecing..... but looks like I might be getting better.
I LOVED making this quilt block.  2 1/2" blocks of mostly half triangles were a lot of fun, not to mention were already cut from making the Flying Geese and 'saved' for this block.   If you remember from my other three blocks I've struggled mightily with all my blocks finishing out at 12" x 12", when they were supposed to finish at 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".  So let's see how this one measures up.

Can you believe the sight below?!
We have to get a closer look.  I couldn't believe I was looking at 12 1/2"!!!  Oh, but let's check the next side.
We need a closer look here too....
*squeal* it's 12 1/2"!!!
Another big shout out THANK YOU to Mama Pea's encouraging support in the comments she has left to be ever-so-careful to sew 1/4" seams and re-check my fabric size when cutting out.  Mama Pea, your comments have meant so much to me, and yes, I too wish we lived closer, my Minnesota quilting/gardening/blogging friend to be able to spend time together for you to share a few of your quilting tips as your quilting work is always perfectly put together. 

Up next - Jacob's Ladder.


third quilt block complete - Flying Geese

I am participating in Sew Many Ways Block of the Month Club and completed my third block, Flying Geese, today.  I am new to piecing. 
*sigh* another 12"x12" finish that is supposed to be 12 1/2" x 12 1/2".  My Minnesota quilting/gardening/blogging friend Mama Pea left a kind, encouraging comment on my Linoleum block as each of my three blocks continue to finish smaller than they are supposed to be:
If I might suggest, when you're piecing, the secret to having your work come out to exact size is to be very careful about making your seams 1/4". Even being off by the width of a line of thread(!) can make a difference. The more seams in a block, the easier it is to have the block come out smaller and smaller. I've learned the hard way! :o)
I really thought I was being careful with my 1/4" seams here, but am beginning to wonder if part of my problem might be my cutting.  I think I need to work on a more accurate cutting out technique.  I am also beginning to wonder if 'piecing' is really 'my thing', but I shall continue on with the next block Shoo Fly.

For Karen's instructions and photo tutorial for the Flying Geese block, click here.

Hope all is having a good day!

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