A little deep cleaning, a bunch of memories
My weekend retreat plans were cancelled…
…due to snow, ice, wind and cold. Instead I went through some tubs of very old patterns from the 80s and 90s. It was pretty entertaining.
The first things I ever sewed were garments, so I guess it was natural for me to carry that idea forward into my quiltmaking years.
There were a lot of vest patterns. They just wouldn’t stop. Seems I was enamored with anything textural.
And the vests kept coming. Remember pin weaving? I took the class but I never made the vest.
Honestly, how many patchwork vests is a girl going to wear? Even back when they were cool?!
At least this one is a little more artsy. Out of all these vests, I made exactly zero.
But wait, there’s more. Here’s to other garments:
I had a thing for tops and jackets. Or at least for the patterns for tops and jackets.
Notice the name? It’s “can you stand it” spelled Kanustandit. Clever, or stupid? You decide.
I was wildly optimistic about making and wearing patchwork garments.
May it was the “Ninety Minute” promise that lured me in?
I STILL think the Mismatched Medley shirt is really cute. This is one I kept. But how many of these did I actually sew?
Embroidery patterns also took a hit.
I used to do lots of primitive-style embroidery, and I sold a few pillows from the “Bless Us” design and others to friends and neighbors. It was fun to make a few dollars here and there to help support my quilting habit, as I wasn’t working away from home in those years.
Here’s another thing I noticed:
If you needed a handout, you typed the words on a typewriter and you drew the diagrams by hand. You went to a store to make the copies. People didn’t have copiers at home, let alone computers or drawing programs. It was primitive compared to what we have today.
Even Fons & Porter handouts were drawn by hand! I took a class from them around 1987. The copyright says 1986, and they weren’t yet well known.
My guild in Norfolk, Nebraska invited Vivian Ritter to teach for us. She worked for Quilters Newsletter at the time and to me she was a real celebrity.
Her diagrams were hand drawn and extensive. It makes me dizzy to think about the hours people spent creating materials for quilt classes back then. Even now, I spend a lot of time creating handouts, and that’s with computer resources readily available.
How things have changed!
Every time I go through my patterns, handouts, clippings, etc., I cull a few more. But it always feels like I’m getting rid of old friends. They’re so familiar. I’ve looked at the pages of these things dozens of times over 30-plus years.
In the end, I’m comforted by the idea that they did what they were meant to do. They put a few dollars into the pocket of a designer and a shop owner. And they inspired me, entertained me and spurred me on to the next creation.
Maybe that is enough. 😊