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.