Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chicken Pictures

In early May, I said that I wanted to post pictures of the baby chicks so you could see how much they've grown! Well, here they are! They're awfully shy and don't pose for pictures as well as the older chickens do. While the older chickens are roaming the backyard for the treats Stephen will occasionally give them, the younger chickens hide underneath their coop! The picture below is a rare moment of bravery for three of them who ventured as far as the barnyard gate! The white chicken is the most noticeable, but they're all fun to watch.

Below are pictures of the older hens who occasionally will lay an egg in the yard instead of the coop. (On most evenings, when the chickens have been let out into the yard, Stephen will go on a mini-easter egg hunt to scoop up any of the stray eggs.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

1930's Era Reproduction Prints

If you've ever looked through our store, either in our shop or online, you already know about our large selection of 1930's reproduction fabrics. These fabrics are among the most popular in our store, and it is not hard to see why. Whimsical designs elegantly combined with a pretty array of color makes these fabrics an absolute must have. But did you know the history of these fabrics?

During the 1930's, a quilt revival took place, a revival brought about by the hard economic times of The Great Depression. The resulting need to be thrifty, coupled with a strong need for socialization, brought women from across the country together around their quilting frames. Eleanor Roosevelt's campaign for American Arts and Crafts further helped propel quilting to the forefront of activity. One would frequently see quilt patterns appearing in local newspapers and sales catalogs. Newspapers and catalogs also advertised and delivered the necessary fabric and supplies the women needed to make their various projects.

World War I also played a role in the development of the 1930's fabric. For example, as a direct result of the war's end, pastels began to appear. Germany's surrender meant it lost all the dye patents it had previously held. Pinks, Blues, Yellows, Greens, Reds, Aqua, Peach, and Lavender made with these synthetic dye patents began appearing on cotton goods containing popular designs: flowers, geometrics, conversationals, and Art Deco motifs.

According to Quilt Historian Sharon Newman, author of the book Treasures from Yesteryear, the designs of the previous decade, the 1920's, were smaller, closer together, and overall more dense. But by the 1930's, prints had a bit more space around the designs with white grounds. Some of those trends continued in the 1940's. Fabrics saw even larger designs, more conversationals appeared, and many patriotic or military type themes became increasingly popular. And that's the story!

Just recently, we've received two collections of 1930's reproduction fabrics: Little Darlings Five and Mama's Feedsacks. If you would like order either one, just click on their names or visit our online shop and browse through our 1930's fabric department. If while you're there, and the spirit moves you, you can also browse our whole collection of these wonderful reproduction fabrics.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Arrivals

During the past month or so, we've received some great products that we just have to tell you about. We're always on the look out for great new stuff, most of which you can see on our Newest Additions page. We love to look at all the neat stuff that comes through our door, and sometimes we feel that certain products deserve a special mention. For example, look at these three fabulous items:

MODA SHADOWS. This is the most gorgeous group of blender fabrics I’ve seen in a long time. By Moda, these tone on tone prints are drenched in color. They’re quite like marbles, only instead of the marbled appearance, they have the subtle print of cotton bolls in the design. In fact, I loved the way they looked so much, we brought in the entire line. Click HERE to order.

PEAS AND CARROTS. Who can resist these adorable fabrics featuring life on the farm? Can’t you almost smell the hay while you envision taking a ride on a rope swing? Designed by American Jane for Moda, the Hole in the Barn Door Quilt kit contains the fabric and pattern that you need to make a good sized quilt (76” x 84”). Plus, the kit comes in the most adorable lunch box sized collectible tin reflecting the theme of the fabric. This is just cute, cute, cute!! American Jane has also designed an entire line of Peas and Carrots fabrics. We love them! Click HERE to order.

MAGIC VINE QUILT. If you had been quilting in the 1930s, you probably would have known about the Nancy Page newspaper column that appeared during that time. Nancy Page was the pen name of a woman named Florence LaGanke Harris. She produced a variety of quilt patterns that ladies of the day liked to cut out and save to use in quilt making. Her Magic Vine quilt appeared during this time and was very popular! Eleanor Burns’ new book shows you how to make your own Magic Vine Quilt. Eleanor shows you here different settings, two appliqué techniques for creating the flowers, and sets out options for finishing methods. Full-color instructions are also included. Click HERE to order this wonderful book.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Virginia Tech Block Update!

The blocks you see here are only a small sampling of the Virginia Tech Memorial Quilt Blocks that we have received to date. We are in the process of documenting and photographing all of these special and moving blocks. Here at Grandma's Attic, approximately 172 of the more than 500 blocks that we have received are hanging on the walls of our classroom. If you can, we encourage you to visit us and see these lovely blocks in person. We hope to make all of the block photos available in the near future.

Needless to say, receiving quilt blocks and messages from all over the world has completely blown us away. At night, when no one is in the shop, I've caught Stephen standing in the middle of the classroom absorbed in thought as he examines all of the blocks. Again, if you live close to Grandma's Attic, you'll want to come in and see them for yourself.

UPDATE: Below are two more pictures of the blocks that are hanging in our classroom. You can click on the images to get a larger view to better appreciate the love and talent that has gone into each one.