“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Old Quilt

mnquiltfrenchknots.jpg
Dear Ann,
We’ve been asleep at the switch. Our second blogiversary was back in July, and we didn’t even mark it with a yoo-hoo or anything.
Yesterday’s mail brought me fresh evidence of how blogging has lifted me up from the mire of bloglessness. Two years ago, you were not an actual real-life person to me. People thought it was kind of kooky, the way I kept talking about my “co-blogger”, my “friend” , “Ann”, who lived in “Nashville”, a place I’d never been. They thought my country music “thing” had gone around the bend and now I was writing myself letters from Nashville. (Hey, I was just kidding when I started calling Hubby ‘Jerry Jeff’.)
Since then, we’ve met in person, I’ve been to Nashville, you’ve returned to your old stomping grounds in New York, we’ve sewn up many an afghan, quaffed many an Amstel, and snarfed many a Cheeto together. Crikey, we’ve even written our little Dream Knitting Book, which may actually appear in real-life bookstores next spring.
But until yesterday, it wasn’t QUITE real yet. But I guess you must exist, if:
mnquiltmotif.jpg
…your sister-in-law is sending me a vintage quilt in the mail. I mean, Mary Neal wouldn’t send me a quilt if you, and therefore she, were totally fictional, would she?
I am gobsmacked. Mary Neal had written me that she has had this quilt for many years, that it is in sad shape, that she doesn’t have room to move it to Chicago with her, and that she doesn’t mind if I cut it up and transform it into cushions or some such. I was eager to have that kind of liberty with an Ancient Textile. As a general principle, when something has survived to a great age, I feel like it would be a sin to tear it up. But I figured that since this was a windfall quilt, a stranger with no emotional claims on me, I could do it.
But now that I’ve seen it, I don’t think I can. I mean, look at it. Isn’t it gracious? Isn’t it sweet? See how the embroidery is worn thin as parchment, but has never been snagged or torn?
mnquiltdetail.jpg
It’s just tired, is all.
mnquiltborder.jpg
Even the shredded places have a dignity.
It’s not stained. It doesn’t even smell bad. I don’t see how I can take the scissors to it.
So if there are any quilters out there, please give me some ideas on how to fix it up. I don’t want to restore it so much as make it usable and happy, and give it back some life. I was thinking of adding a border on top of the ragged areas, in a colored fabric or fabrics, so that it is obviously NOT original. Like an old house, you know…..just adding a wing so it can carry on for another 70 years.
New Log Cabin
niballogcabin.jpg
This sun-dappled log cabin was crocheted by Nibal in Sugar ‘n Cream dishcloth cotton. (Didn’t I tell you the dishcloth cotton colors are amazing? Were you listening?) I marvel at the beautiful texture and straight lines of the crochet. I cannot crochet straight edges. Just cannot do it. Glad somebody can.
Nibal signed her name like this:
Nibal
Friend de Ann
Friend de Angela
Former citizen de Nashville
Dream future citizen of NYC :)
So surely you exist. Unless I’ve made up Nibal, too.
Happy blogiversary!
Love, Kay

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. I think your book must be real, it is listed on Amazon UK as being published next April – now Amazon wouldn’t list a pretend book, would they? And yes, of course I have pre-ordered it…..

  2. Oooh – I want the UK version! So Old World! I can attest to your existence, Kay, in case you have some kind of existential “well Ann exists but maybe I don’t!” kind of thing.
    Of course, that is, if I exist.
    Happy Blogiversary!

  3. What I live for is stumbling across the kinds of pictures on blogs that make my heart stop. Nibal’s Log Cabin is one of those. Beautiful. Thank you for posting it!

  4. Happy belated blogiversary, you two! Love the quilt, love the log cabin. What else is there to say?

  5. I think the advice you are looking for is in this month’s Martha Stewart Living. (The one with cobbler all over the front) I couldn’t resist buying it when I saw “vintage quilts” on the cover– there’s an article on how to patch antique quilts that you want to use, rather than those that should be in museums. Perhaps you will find something inspiring there! Love the colorful log cabin, btw.

  6. The Log cabin is amazing! I never even thought about crocheting the log cabin.
    Kay, I love your Kiri shawl. You have totally inspired me to give it a try. I have never blocked anything before, so thanks for the tutorial.

  7. Too wild — just last night my mother handed me an old old old baby quilt and said (I kid you not) “You don’t want this old thing do you? I think it’s trash. Just look how worn it is!”
    I was speechless. When I recovered my voice I said “Where did this come from?” “Oh, I found it in a drawer. Maybe I should wash it?”
    Truly heart-stopping. Now I’ll have to go get a Martha Steward Living magazine to see what to do with it! Too bad there is no chance of ever knowing who made it, where it came from. If anybody reading this thinks they could wager a guess on the age if I can get a good photo of the fabrics (feed sacks, maybe), let me know. I would love to think it was made by my great-grandmother or something, but knowing the women in my family … somebody probably bought it at a yard sale….

  8. Ditto what Ryan said. That quilt is beautiful!
    I’m glad to know someone else likes sugar & cream yarn as much as I do.

  9. Nibal is real, and real real talented! Beautiful work!
    Sibyl
    friend de Angela
    friend de Nibal

  10. Oh, there’s so much you can do with that quilt, Kay! Herr Pfaff won’t be of use, but some easy applique will take care of the worn spots and you might even be tempted to add your own embroidery to complement what’s there. Bring to Phila. We can’t fix bells, but we can fix quilts.

  11. Oh my word, it’s another one so gorgeous I can taste it!
    It’s absolutely, smashingly, heart-liftingly beautiful.
    Every time I stand before a display of Sugar & Cream cotton yarn, I buy up another huge load of it because of the purdy colors. I now have an entire rubbermaid vat full of nothing but that yarn.
    Happy Blogoversary!

  12. Awwww, Nibal! You crafty thing! I love your log cabin! What a delishisk surprise to find your handiwork in MDK.
    And Kay Kay Kay KAAAAAAY, what can I say? Happy blogoversary indeed–you’re an everlastin’ doll, and I will be forever grateful for your patience with the quaint and exotic folkways of the Mid South. Here’s to much continued bloggy blabitude. Clink! Amstels all around! x0x0x0x0x0xx0 Your devoted co-blogette

  13. I love the log cabin pattern. Where can I find it in crocheting and using those colors?

  14. wow-wow kay, what an amaing quilt you have there, and heck no, don’t cut it up!! I think applique is a great suggestion and happy bloggy-b-day to you both! I reap the rewards of it everyday and am so thankful, heck I just might even eat a piece of cake for the both of you, you know, to celebrate! :)

  15. happy 2-year mark! and as they sing in Quebec:
    “Ann and Ka-ay, c’est votre tour
    de vous laisser parler d’amour!”
    Nibal, your log cabin blanket is gorgeous, and inspiring!

  16. That’s a lovely quilt and definitely worth preserving!

  17. Thanks everyone for all the kind comments on the log cabin blanket. Baby boy Calvin was born last night and the blanket now has an owner. Shhhh – don’t tell his Mom if you know her :)
    As far as the colors and pattern – I just followed the pattern Kay had for the knitted log cabin and used a double stitch. I found 14 different colors of the Bernat online as no store carried that many colors. Knitting Warehouse has them for a good price – but then again there is no bad price for Bernat Sugar ‘n Cream!!
    Happy Blogiversary Kay & Ann!