“His Eye is on the Sparrow”
Hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics by the artist with a bit of upcycled cloth.
I’ll be giving my “Journey of a Quiltmaker” lecture tonight to the Foothills Quilters Guild in Shelby, NC. Saturday we’ll have a day full of fun creating whimsical villages in my “Gimme Shelter” workshop. Hope to see you there!
Photo credit: Suzie Guerrant mattandsuzie.com
Azaleas, cherry and redbud trees in bloom, hostas, Virginia bluebells and wildflowers poking their heads through the soil. ’Tis spring. But the water oaks which surround us are beginning to drop their green pollen. It covers everything! We’re trying to ignore the green fuzzy stuff and enjoy the beauty around us.
The light was right for just a few minutes this afternoon, allowing me to grab these shots. Enjoy! xo Ellen.
Several years ago, one of our neighbors died at the ripe old age of 106. A native Charlottean, the woman grew up with film star Randolph Scott, also a hometowner.
Mrs. M, as I shall call her, had lived in her home for at least 75 years. And the place was stuffed to the gills. I’d been in the home just once, shortly after we moved to the street as newlyweds. Mrs. M. had invited several of her new neighbors in for tea. I remember being fascinated by the tiny green stove on legs in the miniscule kitchen.
After Mrs. M. died, the family went through the home’s contents. What they didn’t want was to be sold at an estate sale. How thrilling – an estate sale right down the street! I wanted to buy the contents of the garage, filled to the rafters, until I learned it had to be emptied and taken away the day of the sale.
My biggest purchase that day was a beautiful old rope bed (what was I thinking)? To this day, it sits in our garage. I missed out on a fabulous vintage typewriter – curved and in its original carrying case. In pristine condition, I don’t think it had ever been used. I’ve never seen another like it.
I ended up buying three or four old mirrors and samplers wrought on punched paper. All have been leaning against the west end of our upright piano ever since. Finally deciding to let them go, I recently got them out to dust. All must have been stored in an attic at one time, as the paper on the backs was crumbly and disintegrating. I removed what was left, only to find the cardboard graphics used as liners. What fun! I’m sure the advertisement for Ward’s Fine Bread (circa 1920?) is worth more that the mirror on the other side. Another vintage piece was backed with a small portion of an old ad. The biggest clue to its origin is the image of a woman’s skirt and high heeled pumps on the upper right hand side. Portions of several words are also visible.
For years I’ve collected vintage kitchen containers and advertising. I can’t wait to peek inside the frames of my other purchases to view what’s been hiding in plain sight!
Carol McLaughlin with “Blue Winter Star Flakes,” judged Best of Show/Traditional
Carol is an inspiration! I first met her when teaching my Quilting 101 beginner class at Sewing Arts Studio in southeast Charlotte. From the very beginning, Carol showed great enthusiasm, jumping right in with both feet. Always smiling, her bright spirit was contagious.
Carol is a great example of why I love to teach. She was like a sponge, wanting to soak up every bit of knowledge I would share. In watching her, I was taken back to the day I was introduced to quilting, studying with the late Ellen Eanes. I had left class looking for an all night fabric store! I never wanted to stop quilting and knew I had found my life’s work.
I tell all my students about the Charlotte Quilters’ Guild http://www.charlottequiltersguild.org/ and encourage them to attend a meeting of like-minded artists. Ever enthusiastic, Carol not only came to meetings, she became actively involved, volunteering again and again. All this time, she kept quilting, honing her skills.
I was so proud of Carol when she shared her traditionally pieced “Blue Winter Star Flakes” quilt which had won 1st place and Best of Show/Traditional in last weekend’s Charlotte Quilters’ Guild show, “Through the Garden Gate”. I am in no way taking even a wee bit of credit for Carol’s success. All I did was open the door and give her a little nudge. How’s that for a fabulous payoff!
Congratulations, Carol! Here’s a big “attagirl” from me to you. xo