The Hi/Bye Month and the New {Old} Collections

Photograph by George Marks – Getty Images

Happy September, happy October and happy Autumn everyone! That’s three cheers, two months and one season that has happened since the last post. Oh my. The majority of September around the Vintage Kitchen was spent curating and collecting items for the shop and went by in such a hurry I officially coined it the hi/bye month because that’s exactly what it felt like. Here one minute, gone the next.

October started in the same way, with the same humid temperatures and the same busy schedule. Hot summer weather has hung around with gusto until just a few days ago, making this new season and curating for it, a bit of a challenge. My heart was wrapped up in the idea of Fall – all those colorful leaves and pumpkins and baking projects – but my head couldn’t quite get over the fact that it was still 90 degrees outside during the day and looked very much like August instead of October. New arrivals in the shop over the past 30 days reflect those dueling situations. Fall that feels like Summer.

New (old) items that fit into the Fall 2018 Collection are wrapped up in all the traditional touchpoints that ignite sentimental feelings of nostalgia and embrace the cozy, crisp months to come…

Cozy is the name of the game around here. New Autumn inspired vintage (from top left): 1930’s feedsack quilt square; 1970’s Jack Daniels whiskey glasses; vintage wood pocket shelf; 1920’s National Ivory teacups; vintage restaurantware plate, 1960’s World of Nut Recipes cookbook; 1950’s botanical prints; vintage enamelware bowl; 1970’s glass spice jars; 1970’s Mikasa Duet pattern plate; 1960’s Cookie Cookery cookbook; 1960’s red plaid tin.

Vintage spice jars, whiskey glasses, quilt squares, mixing bowls, teacups and fall foliage art prints help set the mood for the season in your kitchen, while homemade cookie recipes, holiday menu guides, and nut-themed delicacies help satisfy the seasonal cravings in your belly.

Some highlights from this collection include this 1960’s whiskey decanter made by the Van Winkle family in Louisville, Kentucky – one of the few distillers legally able to operate during Prohibition…

This 1960’s dinner plate –  one of the very last patterns made by Salem American Ironstone in 1967 just before their pottery closed its doors forever…

This vintage quilt square table topper made in the 1930’s from recycled feedsack materials…

These National Ivory teacups made in the 1920’s during a similiar point in time when women’s roles, rights and liberties were also being redefined…

This 1970’s cookbook – the delicious work of internationally recognized pastry chefs/ husband and wife team, John and Hazel Zenker, who shared over 300 cookie recipes containing old-world charm and European heritage…

New arrivals in the shop that fell under the still-feels-like-summer category include this batch which I call September Skies…

…named for the matching colors found in the pretty sunsets that blushed over the city throughout September and October. They include floral serving pieces, ceramic planters, travel cookbooks and embroidered linens that bloom in thread. It is somewhat ironic how each piece in this collection speaks of all the pretty elements of this past summer but also really reflects the colors in the September/October sunsets…

Perhaps this was Lady Nature’s way of reminding me to be patient – that Autumn would come eventually because it always does one way or the other.

A new pal to the patio this week – butterfly dressed in Halloween colors but feasting on summer flowers!

Whatever weather you are experiencing in your neck of the woods this Autumn – hot, cold, crisp or humid, I hope you are having the happiest of Octobers.  And that you are finding beauty in the season and celebrating it in style.

Fall in love with history and its many assorted faces in the shop here.  Up next on the blog is a sweet treat recipe for Plum Cake circa 1963, from one of the most famous American cookbooks of all time. It’s a lovely Fall dessert that combines spices, baked fruit and a thin layer of cake that is light in constitution yet heavy in flavor. Stay tuned!

Churn Dash – The Pattern of the Pioneer Woman

More family heirlooms arrived in the mail yesterday!

This time the package included two family quilts. One a small pink and white baby quilt handmade by Mable Edwards in the early 1940’s…

Handmade baby quilt circa 1942

After doing some research Ms. Jeannie discovered that this type of pattern is called a Dahlia design.  It is one of the most complex and challenging quilt patterns, because the skill comes in making the flowers look three dimensional.  Mable must have been an excellent sewer! Here are some close up shots…

Pretty scalloped edges!
Look at all that stitchery!

The second quilt is believed to have been sewn by Mable’s mother Martha Jane Brewer, who was born in Greenwood, Indiana in 1846.  Martha married Albert Edwards in the 1865 and the day after their wedding they set out in covered wagon for Iowa. Imagine that for your honeymoon! Martha was a trooper though. Her and Albert set up a life for themselves in Iowa on a farm, she had 11 babies and lived to be 82.

Here’s a picture of the Martha and Albert and all their kids, grand-kids and great grand-kids. This photograph was taken in August 1915 when Martha & Albert were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Martha and Albert are seated in the center of the group.

Portrait of the Edwards Family of Vinton, Iowa. Taken on August 24th, 1915.

With all that activity it is hard to imagine that Martha even had time to sew! This is a picture of Martha’s quilt…

Martha’s handmade quilt circa late 1800’s

The quilt design is called Churn Dash named after the butter churn. Ms. Jeannie isn’t sure what kind of butter churn Martha used but you can see how the pattern developed from the these two churn styles found on Etsy. Check out the paddles of each…

Antique Butter Churn Pottery from TomLaurus
Vintage French Butter Churn from RueDesLouves

Ms. Jeannie couldn’t find any similar versions of a double churn dash style like the one Martha used, so perhaps this is a bit unusual.

Double churn dash design

The blue and white color combo was the most popular color combination used in quilts because it matched almost everything. Martha’s quilt as you can see is faded in some spots, but otherwise it is in great condition. It is large enough to cover a contemporary standard queen size bed.

According to research there are over 21 different variations of the churn dash style. It also is known as the Monkey Wrench and the Hole in the Barn Door (fun name!).  Ms. Jeannie is impressed with all the tiny squares and the thousands of stiches that make up just one square. She wonders how long it took Martha to make this.

Tiny squares. Tiny stitches.

The churn dash pattern originated between 1800 and 1849 and represents the pioneer woman’s lifestyle which was centered around home and hearth. Certainly Martha churned a few pats of butter in her day – both literally from farm fresh milk and figuratively from her needle and thread.

Ms. Jeannie is still trying to date the quilt to a specific decade. It could have been made as early at the 1860’s for use just after her wedding as she & Albert traveled West. Or it could have been made as late as the 1920’s when Martha’s children were grown and she had more time to devote to needlework.

Ms. Jeannie found this really pretty contemporary version of a churn dash quilt on Etsy. She loves the colors and that they spelled out churn dash on the fabric. Very fun!

Churn Dash Revisted by OsageRiverQuilts

Here’s another view of it hanging on a wall. Love the off-center layout!

Ms. Jeannie would like to try to make her own quilt one day. She likes the patterns of the wedding ring designs with those big interlocking circles…

Antique Double Wedding Ring Quilt from SwankyTexasVintage

But she doesn’t own a sewing machine and would like the challenge (she thinks!) of making a quilt by hand. Perhaps she’ll undertake this project in the Fall. Maybe Mable and Martha will send her some inspiration!

In the meantime, Ms. Jeannie now realizes what effort when into the patchwork teddy bear listed in her shop…

Vintage Patchwork Teddy Bear from MsJeannieOlogy

Ms. Jeannie couldn’t imagine shaping all those patches into a recognizable bear shape!

Vintage Patchwork Teddy Bear from MsJeannieOlogy

The patches just give him so much personality!

Vintage Patchwork Teddy Bear

Maybe once Ms. Jeannie tackles the flat panels of a quilt, she can work on something more complicated like this charmer for a fun baby gift! We’ll see how the quilt goes first…keep posted!