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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Petals, Patchwork, & An Autumn Ritual





Our local grocery had these beautiful wine-colored hydrangea plants in the floral department yesterday. I am way more apt to use this deep color for fall than the more common fiery hues. I also love that a plant will last so much longer than cut blooms!





I thought right away of the new Wolff pot that we brought home from Connecticut last summer. I have just dropped the hydrangea in like a cachepot. They will get moved around as long as they last, but for now they cheer up this corner by the reading chair.





Read more about these pots here and here.




I also look for ways to use my transferware around the house for fall. A pretty plate will serve as a temporary saucer since the pot has a drainage hole and needs one.










Another "fall" thing that I bring out is this old patchwork quilt that I stumbled across a few years ago at a fleamarket. It was in one of those "man" booths with old tools and metal and wood and such. It was filthy and smelled of oil. It was coming apart at one end and was as brittle as old paper in places. I nearly came to my senses and left it there! It really was worth no more than the ten dollars that I paid for it. Not even suitable for a remake into something. So why did I buy it, you might ask?





The fabrics are very old. Perhaps more than a hundred years. I knew that they probably began as clothing of some sort, or pieces left over from sewing. I knew that each stitch was made by a skilled hand from long ago, and it felt to me like a voice was speaking out from the past.





The worn quilt is merely a relic now. Of use for hardly a thing. But I soaked it gently and long when I brought it home, and dried it carefully on the lawn way from the sun, as if fading one more shade would make the slightest difference. Some of the cotton batting was lost in the process from the one badly decaying end. Each time I handle it even now a few more tears in the cloth appear. 





The reverse is done up in this wonderful antique plaid that speaks clearly of an old homestead to me.






And I thought that you might enjoy seeing the variety of the old prints close up. . . .











It is a homey and handsome puzzle-stitched beauty. And I still enjoy the exercise of wonder each time I draw it from the closet where it takes up precious space. How did it ever come to be jumbled up among the vintage rakes and cans of some gritty garage world in the first place? 





Many stains from its checkered past remain. But the old patchwork is as fresh and sweet as modern chemistry will allow. The quilt has earned its quiet nest away from dust and too much light. Bundled up in its cover, I like to imagine that it might even be happy to be lifted up and admired once in an autumn or two. But it still keeps it secrets tucked deep inside like so many tufts of pillowed cotton. And so it will remain. Alongside the mystery of that ten dollar question. . . . 





More views of this quilt and others can be found here.
And here.

Wishing you all the gifts of Autumn!

Jacqueline





15 comments:

Marilyn Miller said...

What a beautiful hydrangea. Oh that quilt would sing to me and I would have rescued it too. I still regret not rescuing one I once upon a time saw in a trash bin. How I love these old quilts and this one is very special.

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Loving your old quilt. I have one from my mother-in-law's family that is torn and tattered. I have it packed away while I think about how I could show it or use it. The batting is coming out in spots, but it's like your quilt, a piece of history I can't let go of.

Louca por porcelana said...

Oh my!That plate is gorgeous!Love the hydrangea too.Your pics are always exquisite!Hugs!

Deborah Montgomery said...

Lovely old quilt. It's wonderful to rescue old treasures. And thank you, your post reminded me of an old quilt (not that old, 50 years, and made by my grandmother) to bring out and enjoy for autumn. The hydrangeas are beautiful. I don't like the bright oranges and yellows either for fall decor. This color is perfect.

Jeanie said...

Your plant and Guy Woolf were made for each other. Gorgeous.

And I love your quilt story. I would have done the same. i think of all those old stitches -- years before quilts were "whipped up" on a machine. Pieced and quilted by hand. Think of the aprons and dresses that were worn that went into that. I collect old quilts (and the occasional newer model for harder wear) and I would have bit! Wonderful.

NanaDiana said...

I so love old quilts. I don't know what happened to my grandmother's quilts or my mother's quilts. All pieced by hand an quilted by hand. I would love to have even one of them.

I have to ask-did you pain the brick around your fireplace? I absolutely love it. I think it makes such a mellow backdrop but then has so much texture, too.

I hope you have a great afternoon and evening. xo Diana

Salmagundi said...

Lovely stitching on the quilt; and I always love blue and brown tones with brown transferware ----- a beautiful picture! Take care and enjoy what's left of the Fall -- snow tonite in Colorado! Sally

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Love your hydrangea! It looks so pretty in its pot with the pretty plate beneath it. Quilts tell amazing stories, don't they? I have one that my Auntie passed on to me. She had made it with my grandmother when Auntie was about to be married. It was in such bad shape after I used it for a number of years that I had some of it cut up into squares and framed with its story attached and gifted to my DILs. My grandmother had made dozens of quilts in her lifetime all by hand of course as they did in those days. I so enjoyed reading your lovely post and I wish you also an Autumn filled with its many splendid gifts.

Blessings,
Sandi

Michele said...


Perfect hydrangea!
And I love that pottery from Connecticut.

Your quilts have such charm - looks as if you are all set! : - )

Mystica said...

I love old quilts. My first one is now almost 35 years old and still very good. Its a dresden plate pattern and there are mistakes as well!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

The old quilt is wonderful and full of so much history. It adds the perfect touch of winsome charm to your pretty room. Loving that hand-made pot with the beautiful hydrangea, too! Hugs xo Karen

Junkchiccottage said...

So happy you rescued that quilt. Oh the history to this piece. I have never seen that color of hydrangea. So pretty. Have a great rest of the week.
xoxo
Kris

Pat @ bringingfrenchcountryhome said...

Hi Jacqueline! I loved this post. Sometimes I feel like I have to do a big production with my posts but really something simple is just as wonderful. That old quilt spoke to me and I loved the story you told about it.So glad you rescued it from the "man" stash. Hugs, Pat

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jacqueline, I love the stories that you tell, because every something old has a rich story to tell. That quilt is definitely pieced together from fashion, lives, warmth and love from ages ago, and the maker would be so happy to know that it has continued on its journey. Sometimes the most fragile of things are what lasts the longest. Beautiful color hydrangea. I have never seen one like that before..Happy Autumn..Judy

Roosterhead Designs said...

Oooh Jacqueline your posts give me a bit of peace and calm.
Lovely color of Hydrangea and it looks beautiful in the
white pot you brought home. That quilt is beautiful~
*sigh* thank you : ) <3 Karen O

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