Wednesday, July 30, 2014

my favorite things

part of my Homer Laughlin Harlequinware collection
After a week of sharing tacky, tasteless tchotchkes on Instagram, Facebook and here on my blog, I was asked what types of collectibles I found more tasteful. Here are a few of the things you'll find around my house.

more Homer Laughlin Harlquinware, a lighter weight version of Fiesta
My collection of Harlequinware started some time in the mid-1980s, when I received a picnic set from my paternal grandparents' summer home in East Hampton.

I was the only one Aunt Elsie liked, apparently...she left me this silver piece
miniature willow ware tea set and white ironstone
I have a little thing for white ironstone, and willow ware, just the right amount of it, not too much.

majolica gurgling fish jugs
I also have a thing for majolica, although it is something we do not see everyday in the young city of Portland. The luminous colors are a natural in my kitchen.

majolica relish dish
At one time I had a large collection of fish objects, over 100 items all over the house. After a while, the collection had gone way overboard. A little of this, a little of that seemed to work better.

collection of Mexican pottery from my grandmother
Although I did not really collect my grandmother "Oma's" little collection of Mexican pottery, it reminds me of her. Also something to crow about is Ken Pincus pottery here, there and everywhere.

handmade pottery bowl by Portland artist Ken Pincus
pottery, wood, copper, a winning combination in my opinion
Earthy objects, copper, wood, organic handmade pottery, and small paintings are things I like.

Maine ocean scene, oil on canvas by Gustave Cimiotti (1875-1969)
oil on board by unknown artist, found in Maine
In my home, cultural objects are part of the mix. Northwest Coast Native American art is a personal favorite. Living in the region, it's nice to recognize the native culture.

carved cedar panel by Ken Humpherville, Tsimshian, Metis, Cree Nation
"Sea Bear Spirit" bentwood cedar chest by Andy Wilbur, Skokomish Nation
Of course, a house wouldn't be a home without Mom's needlepoint work. She has made many beautiful pillows for me, and I have a few of her needlepoint covered brick doorstops, too.

needlepoint pillow with quilt design, from Mom
a second needlepoint pillow with quilt design, from Mom
Those are some of my favorite things, not to mention quilts, of course. What kinds of tchotchkes do you enjoy? Tasteful? or Tacky?

Monday, July 28, 2014


Fragonard is rolling over in his grave. Good!
Mom and I love going to "antiques" shops. The reason why I put "antiques" in quotes is that we have very few real antiques - objects 100 years old or older - here in Oregon. It's mostly vintage. Anyway, during the last week, Mom and I have explored several shops here in Oregon, and we saw all kinds of hilarious, tacky things. Here are some of my favorites.

Blue is for boys, pink is for girls.
"A lot OF it," says Mom. 
Owl theme (#1)
Owl theme (#2)
I'm thinking quilt fabric (#1)
I'm thinking quilt fabric (#2)
Musical interlude...

Who knew David Hasselhoff had red hair as a child? least they have each other...
...from a sculpture class in Roswell, New Mexico...
Lulu's great great great great great great great great great great
great great grandparents also liked climbing the bookshelves
"Lettuce wrap." - Bonnie Hunter quote
If I had a llama, I'd name her Dolly.
Pig out!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Crown of Thorns" - a Judy Niemeyer Design

Marcia Gilliland made this "Crown of Thorns" quilt, a Judy Niemeyer design
When I was looking at the quilt exhibit at the Washington County Museum this week, one of the quilts made by Marcia Gilliland looked very familiar. Yesterday, I looked at it again after the quilt bed turning at the museum, and realized it was a pattern I had in my collection of ephemera.

The design is called "Crown of Thorns" and it was created by Judy Niemeyer and members of her family who helped design and draft the pattern. The design was copyrighted in 2004, and is now discontinued. I bought my copy from an eBay seller several years ago, and tucked it away with my other ephemera related to the New York Beauty design.

When I opened it up to get a better look at it, I realized I had never really examined the contents closely. There were several sheets of printed paper foundation, along with the instructions.

I could actually make the quilt if I knew how to sew and use foundation, but it's really more my style to keep the pattern intact and maintain it in my collection of ephemera. It was fun to look at all the pages and the instructions. A lot of thought went in to the design, how it was drafted, and how it was made into a quilt.

"New York Beauty" quilt by Nancy Tanguay, Connecticut
I do not have one of the Niemeyer designs in my collection, but Nancy Tanguay's 2010 quilt has a similar configuration of blocks. This type of overall design was seen mostly after the introduction of foundation piecing during the last 20-or-so years.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

another great eBay bargain

1970s polyester quilt, 46" x 59"
This neat little 1970s quilt came from an eBay seller in Illinois, and it was a great bargain-- less than $10. When I opened the box, I could tell the quilt had not been washed in a while, so I tossed it in the washing machine.

There were some light spots and stains, so I used regular laundry soap and some oxygen stain removing powder, and washed it using the delicate cycle.

Since it is tied, I didn't want to use the normal cycle and risk having the batting migrate. When the wash cycle was finished, into the dryer it went. Turned out beautifully. I just love polyester! It is wonderful to be able to throw a vintage quilt in the washing machine and not worry about it!

Blue and white quilts are always winners, but this one has some striped and plaid fabrics in addition to the solids, and also a solid gray. Even though it's very simple, I find it quite charming! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quilts of the Aurora Colony, Oregon

detail of Emma Wagner Giesy's quilt, c. 1850s, Aurora, Oregon
Mom and I spent most of the day in Aurora, Oregon today. We went to the Old Aurora Colony Museum-- serendipitous after hearing Mary Bywater Cross speak yesterday at the Washington County Museum about the quilt made by Emma Wagner Giesy in the 1850s, which was on display at the museum.

Emma Wagner Giesy's quilt, c. 1850s, made of wool, at the museum
There were several quilts and textiles on display, in addition to other artifacts such as band instruments. It's a neat place! Here are a few pictures.

two wool quilts on display at the museum
wool coverlets on display at the museum
barn raising log cabin, backdrop for the video lounge at the museum
bed quilt in the upstairs room of one of the houses
more quilts and a hooked rug
the rug was a neat design
two more quilts in the bedroom
a sweet little doll quilt
another doll quilt
There is a great little book about Aurora and its tradition of quilts, written by Jane Kirkpatrick, available at the museum gift shop along with several other books.

If you're in the area or visiting, it's worth the time to go visit. For more information about the Old Aurora Colony Museum and the Aurora colony, click here