Sunday, July 25, 2010

Clarke Co. Fair - Part 5

The Yo-Yo quilt story by Darlene H.- Back in the early 40’s my
Parents and siblings lived in a small town where I was a young teenager- maybe a 7th or 8th grader to keep me busy - protecting me from boredom or idleness, my mom showed me “yo-yo’s” She had lots of scraps- some from dressmaking and others were feedsacks in those days. I was intrigued by the sewing of these circles gathered to create little flower like designs. And I made lots - collected them in a shoe box. Then it became a larger box.
Then the urge came to do something with all those yo-yos!
Mother and I planned and decided to sew them together in a square- 64 yo-yo’s per block. Soon the big box held the 8 x8” square blocks instead of gobs of yo-yo’s.
One day I decided I wanted to arrange those blocks into some kind of order. We chose to make rows of three to form a sashing look. Pink was the color we chose-whether it was a favorite at that time-whether it was mother’s choice- just why pink is uncertain. - but we only had a small amount, maybe we thought we could always get that shade whenever. Only three or four blocks were attached. And then I lost interest.
Living a life interfered! There was high school, the social activities of school, church, friends- busy fun filled days left no interest in making yo-yo’s. There were friends- girls and boys-a little college, teaching, marriage, children and an active farm life. No time for yo-yo’s..
After my marriage, I moved all my belongings to my new home and that included the box of yo-yo’s. Down through the years it was placed in the far corner and ignored. At one time when we were packing to move to
a new house, I opened the box ”just to see” and Oh my !!. A mouse had decided to make a nest in a corner of my yo- yo’s. I was very dismayed! However I cleaned things- washed the blocks and repaired all the damaged ones and re-made yo-yo’s. But again I put them aside for something else and more years passed.
In my mother’s later years, she began asking about my yo-yo’s -
Have you finished them? When are you going to finish them?
Often enough she asked until I began to consider them again.
This time when I purchased fabric for the sashing set I got 5- 6 yards- enough that I would have enough to finish in the same shade. Again it was pink. I suppose it was destined to be the color for whatever reason.
I made yo-yo’s while traveling, while on vacation, at campouts, and musical festivals. I finished making the top with exception of the bottom row before mother died in 1987. There are 2,726 yo-yo’s. It has some vintage pieces in it. It is heavy - only a showpiece. Now belonging to my youngest daughter Susan at my bequest. She cherishes it.

Raspberry Melange quilt by Darlene H.- Sometimes in the long, dreary, not too ambitious days of winter, I turn to my quilt related books of yesteryear. That’s what I call my quilt magazines that are over 4-5 years of keepsakes. This particular winter I found myself wanting to make this block and then maybe that one too. I realized not all would be enticing enough to complete anything of an approved size to be useful. If I was going to make several, why not make them all the same color way. So into my stash I dug and chose a piece of white on white. It had been around for several years and there was enough yardage to provide the background for many assorted sizes and variations. Then I needed color, something pretty, eye-catching, vibrant, and desirable for any kind of décor. I seemed to have any abundance of shades of mauve, deep roes, reds in deep tones and reds with a violet hue. I placed all fabrics in a basket. Then when I found a design I wished to try I used these fabrics. Pretty soon there was quite an amount and assortments of sized blocks when I decided it was time to make plans.
Using graph paper and a good eraser. I started placing and shifting the
Finished blocks around to balance the overall look. Then I began to make spaces of various sizes to fill in. Some are from those various yesteryear
Magazines. Some are those I drew myself or altered or conformed the design to fit the desired size. Some are favorite designs I’ve used before and some will never be used again! The leftovers were pieced into strips to provide the perfect border and emphasize the fabrics used in the blocks.
It was pieced and appliquéd in 2002 and hand quilted by a dear friend who is now deceased. I chose to name this quilt “ Raspberry Melange”
Quite an odd name, but the colors remind me of ripe raspberries and melange means mixture, medley, hodgepodge and a hodgepodge it is!
It really wasn’t made for anyone special except for my desire to try out some of those quilt patterns that were a “little bit different” It hangs on my bedroom wall in the winter and makes me warm just looking at it!
I refused $600 from an insurance salesman who wanted it to his wife for a Valentine’s gift. This was a chagrin to a couple of family members who thought I could make another.. But alas there will never be another one like it!

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