"Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing"
~Author Unknown

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to school.....

I just love Little House on the Prairie. My mother laughs at me as they are on television each afternoon as we talk on Skype. She asks why I watch them when I have seen each episode at least ten times already. I cannot get enough of them! Remember when the prim and proper Eliza Jane Wilder came to town with her brother Almanzo? She was the new school teacher.

This is a photo of the real Eliza Jane who was born on January 1, 1850. In reality, she lead quite a progressive and interesting life. She not only was a school teacher but also laid a claim to land in South Dakota, worked for the Department of Interior in Washington D.C., married twice, mother and became a widow in her first marriage and seperated from her husband in her second marriage.
She wrote a letter about her life and farm in 1886 to Land Commissioner of the Dept. of Interior:
"My home was growing in beauty and desirability. I spent $100.00 on improvements on my house. Twas a year of hard work and very few of the young men in our eastern states would or could have done the work I did that year or endured the hardships & exposure to intense heat in summer & cold in winter. I worked out of doors 5 hours the 3rd day of Jan 1884 when mercury was frozen and spirit therm indicated 45° below zero. A strong winder blowing and sleet falling that cut like a knife. I remembered the days for it was my birthday and will I think I was blue and discouraged."

I don't know about you, but this really changes how I look at this character from Little House on the Prairie. But what does this have to do with my handwork you ask?

About three months ago, I received the first pattern in a series of six when I joined The American Schoolgirl Club. Many of you who read my blog regularly know that I name all my quilts but my doll's quilts especially with girls names. Kathleen Tracy is now naming her quilts for this series with girls names too. She choose Eliza Jane for this first quilt.

I had started going through my scrap drawer when my pattern arrived but only had 4 nine-patches sewn. I decided this week that it was time to spend my days with Eliza Jane. I have pattern two waiting in the wings and three on its way. So I finished pulling out enough scraps which made me think back to Becky coming to visit when I created Becky's Blocks. You can see it here and follow the link to read the story about this doll coming to help me quilt.

Then when my quilt top was complete, it was time for the hand quilting. I do love to hand quilt as it makes a quilt come to life! I had plans for my quilting which I changed as I was going along. I kept thinking of the character of Eliza Jane Wilder on the show and decided to keep the quilting to straight and simple lines.

I did use a dark quilted line to emphasize the shirting around the nine-patch block which stands out so nicely now. And now I have my own version of Eliza Jane's Nine-Patch doll quilt...

Quilt measures 17 inches x 23 inches.

A finish means a surprise giveaway so I went back to this old blog post where I introduced Amelia, the doll my sister made. I used the random number generator and the winner is:


Congratulations Sandra! Please email me with your address so I can send you this fob. I decided to reflect back on the 19th century which is the inspiration Kathleen used for this quilt. The fob has red and white glass beads with an old Singer sewing machine at the end. I hope you will enjoy dressing up your scissors with it!

See that piece of leftover dark blue fabric? I am going to use it for a drawing among my quilt group when they come for our evening in September. I thought it would be fun to give to one of the ladies since it would work well in next year's quilt theme project.

And speaking of mail, look what dropped on my doormat...

Put together the puzzel and what did I see???

My own Christmas tree! It is the invitation to my quilt group's Christmas party which I host each mid-December. For a couple of years now, we also have a buffet dinner hosted by some of the ladies in the group. Saskia decided this year to make this fun invitation. You have to remake the puzzel again to read the back too. *grins*

She wrote that it was being held in my own new home. How exciting. We only have one more month to wait before we get the keys and can start on the renovations. Thanks Saskia! That was fun to receive in the mail.

39 comments:

Pondside said...

That series was a favourite of mine too.
One month until you're in your new home and making the changes you've planned? Time is flying!

Mary said...

I loved Little House, also. Your doll quilt is beautiful. Congrats on finish.

anneke said...

Love Eliza Jane, both in the series as in your quilt! We have the entire Little House on DVD, so we're fan too.

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Elizabethd said...

I have to admit that I have enver watched the TV adaptation!
You must be so excitd about your move, not long now.

Jeanne said...

Well Heidi, we are definitely 'kindred spirits'! I don't admit this to most people but I own all 9 seasons of LHOTP on DVD. My husband thinks I'm crazy but I enjoy them. There are a few that are rather silly but most of them are pretty good and it's surprising who turns up in guest spots on the show - Ernest Borgnine, Johnny Cash, etc. What a cute doll quilt you've made - love it! I have not seen those American Schoolgirls charts. Congratulations on your wonderful finish!

Jenny said...

Oh Heidi, I absolutely adore your new quilt!!!!! It is really wonderful. The colors are all favorites of mine, and the quilting is beautiful. I too love to hand quilt. As for Little House on the Praire that series has been a huge part of my life, from the books to the T.V. show, from using them in the classroom as well as reading them to my own children. When I was a child I always wanted to live in a log cabin just like Laura, with the quilts on the beds etc... How exciting that it is getting closer to moving day for you. A new house is so much fun...lots of work but so much fun. Hope you have a good weekend. Hugs from CA.

Kathy A. said...

What beautiful new quilts you are putting together. I love the color combos.
Your Christmas invitation is such a great idea. How fun it must have been to see it.
A new home? Me too! When do you move? Renovations? Sounds interesting.

Nancy said...

Okay, where to start. Ahhhh, not that again. I hear that Little House music everyday while on Skype, now, on the blog too. Oh my.
That quilt is sooooo cute. I love your tiny (as usual) stitches. They show up so well on the patches.
Now, you do not have this doll.
The fob is so cute with the sewing machine.
Saskia came up with a wonderful idea for the invitation. Very neat.
It was very interesting reading about the school teacher. They did a good job of casting her too.
Love youuuuuuuu, Mom

Daniƫlle said...

Love your version of the Doll Quilt!! Still have to finish mine, quilting that is. Found fabric for number 2! Do you know the books by Janette Oke?? Can't help it, looking at LH also hihi!! Have fun making number 2! Hey Sandra!! Congratulations!! lots of success renovating!! Hugs, Daniƫlle

Anonymous said...

Die serie is inderdaad een stukje nostalgie,ik keek er ook graag naar.Je quiltje is erg leuk,alleen ben ik van jou geen blauw gewend maar het is een hele warme kleur.Zelf doe ik op het moment niet zo veel zit een beetje in de lappenmand.
Joke.

Saskia said...

I have a confession to make... i watch that show too, when I'm home on time...
And another finish, woohoo, so when do we do the high tea? Let's plan it for next week or so, oke?
And I realized it later, that you have to make the puzzle twice, once for the photo, and once for it to read ;-) I have 6 more flowers to quilt, and to label it...
Knuffels
Saskia

Daffycat said...

I loved Little House as a girl. OMG I'm old enough to have watched them all when they first came out and remember doing so each week! But I loved the books even more...

Hazel said...

Beautiful quilt and what fun mail! x

Deborah said...

Little House on the Prairie brings back great memories. I liked the show and I don't know if it's shown here anymore. But, I loved the books. Beautiful quilts.

Ginny said...

Oh, how I love this quilt! Perhaps because it's mostly blue, or that the blocks are nine patch, or maybe it's just that you always do a great job on all your quilts. Thanks for sharing.

Blu said...

The doll quilt is so pretty!
I have to admit that I've never seen Little House on the Prairie. I read the books as a kid, does that count?

Barb said...

Hello there Heidi, Now I do like that quilt , the colours and fabrics are so yummy. Red white and blue too so American (british too) which fits with your prairie family. The name is perfect.
I loved the little description and being blue and discouraged ,can just imagine it.
Love the idea of the jigsaw invite,what an innovative idea.
Hugs x

Christine said...

What a fabulous little quilt. The colours and design are just perfect for the prairie theme

Meredith said...

I watched it growing up with my family. Your quilt is very cute. The fabric would make a thoughtful gift especially if you think it would work in one her projects.

trillium said...

That is such a unique idea for an invitation!

Jackie said...

I've watched some of the Little House episodes but not many compared to how many there are. Your quilt is cute and I especially love the dark thread you used to quilt with.

What an ingenious invitation! How fun that will be for everyone to get in the mail.

DonnaTN said...

I love your EJ quilt! I too am a fan of Little House, but not as big a one as you. What a neat idea for an invitation. And I am so looking forward to seeing how you fix up your new home. Your creativity is wonderful.

onlymehere said...

Wow, I learned much! I have the whole series on DVD and love it too! My favorite all time episode is when Nellie runs off to elope and Mr. and Mrs. Olsen run after her. When they find them Mr. Olsen has a gun and Mrs. Olsens says, "Nels, make her a widow!" I laugh every time!

Jantine said...

I watched all 9 years over the last two years with my daughter!
Love your story about Eliza Jane. How do you find all this information?
Love the little quilt, I think I am about ready to start myself ;-). But I have to finish some crib furniture for a colleague first.
Did I ever mention i received your scissor fob and that it is already in use? It was fun to have an envelop waiting when I came home from the holidays.

RoseLady said...

How I love all the Little House Books. I did not read them until I was an adult.

Your new quilt is so sweet...it is warm and cozy...reminds me of a winter's night by the fire.

Hugs,

Joan

Quilts And Pieces said...

I LOVE Little House on the Praire! I watch it all the time too! I just love your Eliza Jane quilt! I'm glad I found your blog! I'll have to visit more!

Jo said...

Gorgeous quilt - I really love the colours in this one!

Maggie said...

Hello Heidi!
I love your quilt and The Little House on the Prairie was a favourite of mine too (and my DH has admitted he used to watch it and has been know to have a tear in his eye!!)Haven't see it doing the rounds on any cannels here at the moment though.

What a novel way to prepare an invitation! I bet you are excited about your move too, that month will really fly by!

Have a good weekend :-)(we have a very rainy one he in the UK :-(

Teri said...

Another lovely finish, but I especially enjoyed the walk down memory lane. I, too, loved the Little House on the Prairie series and all the books! My third grade teacher read Little House in the Big Woods to our class, and from that point on I was hooked. In grade school, I quit reading the books when Mary lost her eyesight. I was so mad! As an adult, I now have all the books. Sounds like I may need to buy a DVD player and enjoy the shows! Thanks for the historical info and picture. Very interesting!

Brigitte said...

I love the Little House on the Prairie show very much but when there are re-runs they unfortunately are on in the morning or the early afternoon. Eliza Jane is one of my favourite characters, I don't know why.
This little doll quilt that has her name looks so beautiful.

Carolien said...

Hi Heidi,

What an adorable quilt you have made! (Do you ever sleep, I mean, another finish???!!! ;)
Got that fun card too, Saskia makes us work ...
I am glad I read the books of Laura to the children first, but they love to watch the programmes too.

Take care & hugs, Carolien

Joni said...

Love Eliza Jane and now I'm smiling remembering the schoolmarm on Little House. I sure did like Papa Ingalls! And Saskia gets major creativity points for that invitation... so clever!

Tracy said...

I loved wathcing Little House on the Prairie as a child--it was on afteroons and my sister & I would watch when we got home from school Loved the books--still do. :o) The doll quilt is a little wonder, Heidi... it has a great serene beauty. Very exciting abour your move soon! Happy Days ((HUGS))

angelasweby said...

Heidi,
What a fascinating read this was. I love Little House..and was amazed at the resilience of Eliza Jane. I am sure you needed to have that strength if you were a woman and wanted to be taken seriously in those days. How lovely that your quilt kit should commemorate such an admirable woman.
What a great idea it was to cut the party invitation up. it adds excitement to the event and it will be really special for you and your friends this year.
Angela xx

mainely stitching said...

I shall hold Ms Eliza in mind when I am out shoveling snow again this winter. It never did reach such low temps last winter, so I'll feel quite coddled. :)

LOVE the quilt group and those fabrics just make me DROOL!

Sofia said...

I love to watch the Little House! Mom had read all the books, it's so nice!

tijerasycucra said...

I like your work, it is beautiful
I congratulate
good bye
Josefina
tijerasycuchara.wordpress.com

Lynn said...

Your little quilt is so lovely. I have been enamored lately with using up my scraps, but have been doing mainly crazy quilt projects. You are so talented! This is just beautiful.

Jewel said...

love your work!