Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: DWM: snow, antique quilts, ort jars, and pinwheels

Sunday, February 10, 2013

DWM: snow, antique quilts, ort jars, and pinwheels

We got 8.5" of snow Thursday evening -- nowhere near what they got in New England, but enough to satisfy any snow-craving we might have had.   

The Northfield Inn

On Saturday I went to my hometown for the memorial service for the sister and cousin of two women whom I've known since grade school.  It was held at the church in which all of us grew up, and it was a lovely service.  Though I've been back to Northbrook many times (for library meetings, among other reasons), I hadn't been to worship at the Village Church  since my mother's funeral in 2002.  Many of the people who came to the service were those I've known for years.   The president of the historical society encouraged me to stop at the Northfield Inn, the historical society building, to see a quilt exhibit.  I'm glad I did!
The quilts are from the Northbrook Historical Society collection.

Lorenz coverlet
This red-and-white quilt is the Dehne Friendship Quilt, with over 800 embroidered signatures collected in 1901 when Shermerville (Northbrook's original name) was incorporated.  (I'm sorry I didn't take a closeup.)

This coverlet was woven by Peter Lorenz in 1843.  

Crazy quilt

Made in 1939
The ladies of St. Norbert's Roman Catholic Church collected these signature squares in the late 1930's. Love the Nile green! 

 This silk triangle quilt was made in 1893 and has 17,712 pieces according to the label. I did not count them, but I did snap a photo with a quarter to provide an idea of the scale.

Back in my studio:  here's what I've been working on.  

 Transformed totebags for the silent auction at the Boys and  Girls Club banquet on February 15.  The totes are conference vendor giveaways.  Each bag will be filled with advance reader copies of spring 2013 books.
 The library annual inservice day is also February 15.  I made ort jars  to hold the cash gifts for the staff who have service anniversaries this year.

"Ort" means morsel, which for quiltmakers means bits of fabric too small to use, e.g. trimmed-off dogears from half-square triangles.  (None of the staff getting awards is a quiltmaker. They can use the ort jars for anything they choose. :))
I was inspired by Melinda's ort jars (tutorial here) in which she uses hand-sewing, embroidery hoops, and fabric glue.  I needed a simpler project. I used  a 1/2"x 10" strip of Peltex to stiffen the top rim. I cut the fabric 10.5 x 12 and folded it over the Peltex, then sewed the rim. I sewed the bottom closed as shown in the right-hand photo. (One is shown inside out, the other rightside out.)  Easy!  The jars are about 5" high. There's enough body in the batik fabric so they stand upright without any interfacing or stiffener.

And, finally, here's what on my design wall! These 6.5" (unfin) pinwheel blocks began with the quarter-square triangles that have I've been sewing as leaders-and-enders.
I don't know where this project will end up.  (How many times have I written that before?)
You can see what other quiltmakers are up to on Design Wall Monday at Judy's Patchwork Times.


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog Nann. Always something that piques the interest. I love the little ort bags....and the wonderful pictures of hometown America, Winter version!

  2. Hello, So glad I found your blog.
    I too am from Northbrook. Was born and raised there. I lived there for 32 years. I now live in Az, but have lots of friends and family still in the area. I think I will always call it home.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  3. Wow - 8.5" of snow is pretty significant if you live in Nashville LOL!!! We have had a few dustings but that is all. What a wonderful unexpected treat to see the quilt exhibit in your hometown! It's always enlightening to see what inspired quilters before us. I can't imagine making a quilt with 17,000+ tiny triangles - yikes!!!

  4. so many interesting things in this post!!

  5. Thanks for showing the scale of those triangles -- I'm just amazed!

  6. Thanks for the mini-quilt show, those triangles are amazing! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who occasionally flattens a point, too. The pinwheels look like fun!

  7. Love the scrappy pinwheel blocks and looking at all that snow!!


Thanks for stopping to read my blog. I can't respond to every comment, but be assured that I appreciate each one.