September 27, 2009

The Old House Quilt...

…finished at last.

The Old House Quilt: Almost finished at last.

Himself: Puttered, museum, and out to dinner at the downtown Joe’s Crab Shack where we still couldn’t hear one another talk.

Herself: Puttered, identified the houses on the quilt, read, and out to dinner with the Feasters. Volunteered to help set up and take down trash cans and signs at a meeting.

Reading: Rosemary Kirstein’s The Language of Power.

Balance: Reading. The hamburger at Joe’s was good as was the too big slice of Key Lime Pie. Ah, a no guilt moment.

I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. Perhaps it was 1990 or perhaps 1992 or 93 when I made this king sized “House Quilt.” I didn’t identify the houses after I made it.

Maybe I was tired. Perhaps I was so overwhelmed by its size or the length of time it took to make. Knowing me, I might have been tired of making errors, and enough was enough. Many of these blocks have added inches of sky or added grass to make them the right size. Maybe I was tired of old houses both in my graduate classes and in fabric for I note that my original resolve was to make each block unique. Instead I used a repeat of several of them before I am finished.

Yesterday I began to pick fabrics from my monstrously humongous stash of blues and unfashionable greyed blues for the new blue and white quilt.

Once many years ago there was a woman who stopped speaking to her husband early in their thirty years of marriage. When he annoyed her, she bought fabric. On her death, the family donated her fabrics to the AIDS Quilt, and when the Quilt here in town disbanded and the fabrics were donated to another good cause, the scraps came to my garage.

After I sorted fabrics into piles yesterday afternoon, I thought I might research the buildings on that quilt before I started the new quilt. Over in the big bookcase were my smoke soaked texts from those long ago college classes. Could I remember which building was which?

Just barely, I discovered. Twice I had to chases down buildings and change my notes. Only once did I have to do a complete about face. When I finished making notes, I felt pretty darned good to finish this almost twenty year old project.

What else needs finishing before I start the blue quilt?

Top Row: 1.Traditional house quilt block. 2. “Parlange,” 1750, La. 3. “Adam Thoroughgood House,” 1636, Norfolk, VA. 4. American barn with silo, 1900, Great prairies, USA. 5. “Cahokia County Court House, 1737, LA.

Second Row: 1.One room school house, 1910. 2. “Belle Grove,” 1857, LA. 3. “Longfellow House” or “Vassal House,” 1759, Cambridge, Mass. 4. “Parlange,” 1750, La. 5. Traditional cabin quilt block.

Third Row: 1. American barn with silo, 1900, Great prairies, USA. 2. .Traditional cabin quilt block. 3. “ St. Luke’s Church,” 1632, VA. 4. Mr. and Mrs. Cord’s last residence, 1956, OB, CA. 5. American Victorian prefab cottage, 1846, USA.

Fourth Row: 1. American Victorian prefab cottage, 1846, USA. 2. “Morse Libby House,” 1859, Ma. 3. “Cahokia County Court House, 1737, LA. 4. “Longfellow House” at the NPS Link or at the "Friends of Longfellow House" ,A HREF=>Link. 5. “Belle Grove,” 1857, LA.

Fifth Row: 1. American barn with silo, 1900, Great prairies, USA. 2. American Camper, circa 1989, CA. 3. “Parlange,” 1750, La. 4. Traditional cabin quilt block. 5. “Adam Thoroughgood House,” 1636, Norfolk, VA.

The Old House Quilt detail: Top block is Mr. and Mrs. Cord’s last residence, 1956, OB, CA. Cement block on the bottom, wood balloon construction on the top. Asbestos siding. Bottom block is the “Longfellow House” or “Vassal House,” 1759, Cambridge, Mass. Wood exterior, lathe and plaster interiors.


  1. You inspire me. I have a box of ufo's I ought to pull out and work on. That's in addition to the book. It's overwhelming.

  2. Congrats! on both finishing the quilt and rounding up the info on the house as it will only add to the value. (and I was feeling good about finishing my rag quilt this week.) Have you ever thought about doing a quilt incorporating ships or boats or something like that? This one is fantastic!


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


            Bathtub on Abbott Street.             On the corner of Abbott and Lotus Streets, there are three buildings.   P...