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

Tailgate Party, 2008 Edition

Dear Kay,
So much to tell you.
Topic Number One: Teeny Project Runway
The entries are arriving daily here for Teeny Project Runway. It’s like Fashion Week at Bryant Park inside my computer. The fabulousness! The models!
There’s still plentee of time to cook something up for our contest–the deadline for entries is Monday, February 25 at high noon.
Remember, the real Project Runway designers usually have one DAY to create their entries, and their garments are never designed for stuffed animals less than 24 inches high. So get on it! All the contest details are right here.
Topic Number Two: Tailgate Antiques Show Report
If it’s bleak, gray, and snowing, it must be time for the Tailgate Antiques Show! Shockingly, I wasn’t even going to attend; what is WRONG with me? I haven’t wandered the parking lot of the Fiddler’s Inn motel for ages! How could I forget? What a blessed relief that Frannie called with an urgent need to go find a dresser for cheap. Ten minutes later, we were heading up Briley Parkway, hoping the weather didn’t improve too much. It doesn’t feel like bargain hunting when the sun’s out.
We were operating at such speed that I tragically forgot my camera. But I can report the sighting of two busted yarn swifts ($175 and $225), the tiniest pair of knitted mittens I have ever seen, and a pair of socks that can only be described as used. They were not vintage; they were not weathered with the passing of time. They were old, creepy, unloved, and on sale for $55. I nearly backed into a giant stuffed bison head as I fled in horror.
Because of my lack of camera, I found myself facing into the blunt reality that I was going to be forced to purchase the item that I would otherwise have simply photographed. If only I’d remembered my camera! Now I’m the owner of this:
tailgate082.jpg
Sigh. We saw this quilt folded up under a crapped-out tavern table. Frannie immediately turned the screws on me. “Ann,” she said, in that resigned voice. She nodded. “I don’t think this even needs a thought.”
tailgate081.jpg
At first glance, this quilt is a set of appliqued wheels. The closer I looked, the tinier the stitches became, and the more clearly I saw the Coogles and the Wrays and the Holidays. Who were these people?
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Just think: someday, all our knitting will find its way into dresser drawers, and attics, and maybe a tag sale or an antiques shop. It’s one of the lovely things about what we do: it stays behind, often anonymous, a small mystery for someone down the road.
Topic Number Three: Tailgate Aftermath
At one point, Frannie’s eagle eye spotted a pile of rag balls. Incredibly, I do believe I said, “You know, I think I have enough rag balls.”
Which sent me, on my return home, down to my stash of rag balls which really are required by law to be stored only in a room that is below ground level. Keeps the whiffy marinating process going.
I DO have enough rag balls, I concluded, but I got a fever for a Tailgate Rag Rug that could not be stopped. I fished out all my blues, hoping to go for a boro sort of vibe.
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I fished out my cones of Peaches n Creme double worsted, got out the book because I’d forgotten the pattern, and got to it.
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I haven’t done a log cabin in a while, and I have to say, it’s pretty much totally addicting.
Love,
Ann

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40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. You can flip that quilt right now if you want to. I’ll give you 10 percent and pay the postage. Don’t be greedy now! It’s so modern! So graphic! So whiffy even in pictures!
    I love Frannie. Does she really talk like that or are you just projecting your inner thoughts onto her?
    “This doesn’t need a thought.” I’m going to save that for when I need it.
    Jealous of the Blu-Rag Tailgate (a topical knitted tribute to Sony’s victory over HD DVD). I have some red rag balls that would look AWESOME rugged up next to the Wagon Wheel Quilt. Just saying.
    Flying high on post-vacay caffeine! Which you’ve probably noticed! Bye for now!
    xo Kay

  2. I have a baby quilt a friend made for my daughter, and she embroidered her name discreetly along one edge, with the date. And now I know exactly why! In 2103, someone will buy it at an antiques show and wonder who the heck she was! I love those wagon wheels!

  3. Ann, try looking for a good weaver close to you. Then get those rag balls woven into a nice carpet.

  4. Oh, I have an ache in my stomach, a yearning to go antiqueing!
    I’m moving into a new (to me) house next month, a 1960s ranch style house. It needs new (to me) old furniture. I just know it. And a knitted bathmat. Hmmm, where did I pack the sugar n’ cream?

  5. Do we get to know how much you paid for that beautiful treasure? why can’t we find treasures like that in Idaho? is it because people don’t want t opart w/them? you were sooooooo lucky! Find a quilt quilt to get it registered and someone there might be able to provide more information on it for you.

  6. I’ve got to say, while I love the quilt, it’s the tale of the socks – old and unloved – on sale for $55.00 that’s got me intrigued. Am I sitting on an untapped gold mine?

  7. I’m so excited we’re log cabining again! I need some new rugs for my new apartment when I move in August, and I need some inspiration for them. Keep it coming!

  8. oddly, you may want to throw some of those names through sorority databases. we have some things like that in our house with the names of alumni on them and the wagon wheel bit might relate to one of their symbols or something in their ritual.

  9. oddly, you may want to throw some of those names through sorority databases. we have some things like that in our house with the names of alumni on them and the wagon wheel bit might relate to one of their symbols or something in their ritual.

  10. oddly, you may want to throw some of those names through sorority databases. we have some things like that in our house with the names of alumni on them and the wagon wheel bit might relate to one of their symbols or something in their ritual.

  11. I concur! Log cabin is totally addicting. I love it love it love it. I’m working on a double-bed blanket and already thinking of colors for the next one. Thanks so much for all your knitting inspiration!
    From a long-time reader, first-time commenter.
    (rebeccaj on ravelry.com – go see my log cabin blanket pics)

  12. That is such a cool quilt!! I love the details..

  13. I started my first log cabin afghan this week using Noro, and I second the opinion that it’s addicting. Total understatement, in fact!:-)

  14. I’m having this fantasy that you will get an email from someone – maybe a Coogle or a Wray – who has been heartsick for 50 years over “whatever happened to Grammy’s quilt? How could we have lost it?”
    Wouldn’t that be the best ‘nets effect evah?

  15. How gorgeous! I am so jealous of your quilt with signatures!!!!! So exciting to see a logcabin just starting out too! Wouldn’t a quilt of children’s signatures be wonderful – as the handwriting changes and sometimes the names change?

  16. I agree with Ginny, can I get $55 for my old worn socks, hmmmmm.
    As for the quilt, my first thought was “family tree in a quilt”, but who knows.
    Can’t wait to see the tailgate rug, that is still on my list, but alas, I have no rag balls.

  17. That quilt is even better than emu eggs.

  18. I can not believe you resisted rag balls, yet you bought the Coogle’s Candy Cane quilt. Do you realize how scarse rag balls are here?

  19. Love your signature quilt. One of my old neighbors has one, usually the people who signed them paid a dime for their name to be embroidered on them, and it was usually to raise money for a good cause. Hers is a blue and white fan pattern, and it was embroidered and put together by the Methodist Ladies of Highland Mills NY. Sometimes the red and white signature quilts were to raise money for The Red Cross, I don’t know if that is the reason behind yours.

  20. We made a quilt in primary school and all had to embroider our names on it. I wonder where it is now. Is somebody in Oxford wondering who all those childish signatures are? I would love a find like that quilt. Maybe I shall just have to make one for someone to find in 50 years time!

  21. That quilt is so beautiful. My eldest sister has just announced her second pregnancy and I’ve been thinking about making her a family tree cot quilt. Can’t decide if it would raise more questions that it would answer for the little mite though! Our mother who’s passed so the grandmother that s/he’ll never know, divorced grandparents on the other side so a step-granny known as ‘auntie’… do you think this art will die out with the modern family?

  22. Why not hand sew a quilt tag to the back of the quilt with your name and a bit of the current info. re: how you came to be owner, etc.(whatever you wish). Good info. for the next unknown owner of posterity…
    LoveDiane

  23. see those rag rug balls, i return to desire beyond reason for them. what is it…they were not a part of my childhood. makes me want to crochet with a beautiful handmade wood hook i purchased from jimbo in washington state.
    how cool would this log cabin you’ve done be in a garment…my next life, i suppose.

  24. If you’ll send me a list of names, I’ll do a search at Ancestry.com and see if we can come up with a community with all the common last names.
    This will work at the moment if you think the quilt wasn’t made too much past 1935.
    I’d love to give this a try. Give the thing some provenance.

  25. Yep, forgot to check “remember personal info” on last post.

  26. Quilts like that were sometimes made as gifts when an esteemed person would be leaving the community. Two occasions I know of are when a minister would leave to another church, and when someone would move “out West”. It’s definitely a keeper!
    Please let us all know if the genealogy searches bear fruit.

  27. Love the quilt… I have to agree… it is a no brainer. I would have arm wrestled you for it.

  28. I can’t wait to see the Teeny Project Runway creations, I wish I had more time to have entered!

  29. What an awesome find with the quilt – I would of snapped it up as well – great catch!

  30. Dude! Yes, the quilt is awesome, but I cannot allow the mention of BORO, especially in conjunction with the words LOG CABIN to go uncommented-upon. Man-oh-man-oh-SHA-ZAM-o!
    That’s all for now, can’t wait to see as it unfolds.

  31. Log cabin? This Canadian gal is all over that.
    alipurls.com

  32. Love, love love the quilt. Reminds me of one my Mom has – she’s a quilter, and saw this one in her mom’s closet. Asked if she could have it, Grandma said yes, and when she finally gave it to mom, she had ripped all of the names out because she just knew that Mom didn’t know any of those people!! Needless to say, Mom had a heart attack when she saw it.

  33. how do you make a rag ball ann?

  34. So..is it a blanket or an antique? Whats the plan? I think its totally awesome, and your friend was right, it didn’t take a thought.

  35. Your trip to the Antique Tailgate Party made me homesick for Tennessee. I have not been to that one, but spent many a weekend at flea markets and antique auctions. I signed up for the newsletter so I might plan a trip up for the next one. I still have a little family in Smyrna. Living in Florida for 24 years now, not much antiquing (?) here. I love the quilt!!!! You are so lucky.
    tp

  36. No fair, Frannie and Ann.
    Some of us have to work during the day and miss out on the fun of The Tailgate.
    Blech.

  37. it’s very nice to see the yankees and the rebels coming together through knitting.
    but it would be even nicer if the world started acknowledging our tremendous superpowers when it comes to knitting.

  38. I love the quilt. I did a quick Google search and looky what I found:
    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~killman/creston_high_alums.htm
    A mess of Coogles and a Wray. In Iowa, I think.

  39. That quilt is just gorgeous.

  40. Where do you get rag balls from? I really really NEED some, I think they look FAB and I don’t think there is such a thing in the UK….Fran x