I have these cousins, well actually we are my third and a half cousins, who are very special and this afternoon I was invited to join them for a visit at their ladies annual sewing retreat as they are in the Gum Springs (my) area this year. Every year they choose a different state and location.
Back: Emily, June, Me-Pat, Julia, Polly
Front: Coleen, Margaret, Barbara
The eight gals, who I refer to as the Heatwole sisters, along with their mother who is 91, get together once a year for ten days to sew. Yes, sew. They gather from Georgia, Texas, Delaware and Virginia with their sewing machines, irons, tables, sewing projects and set up shop at a “retreat area” to visit, laugh, reminiscence, sew, quilt and even check out a few of the local eateries and thrift stores. Their sister, Sheila from Alabama, was not with them this year and sister-in-law, Cheryl, from Harrisonburg, came later in the week. Through out the week various daughters and granddaughters come for varying lengths of time.
Margaret, the matriarch, is very industrious for her age. She can still sew up a storm and this week was busy making potholders. Margaret’s artistic eye has been passed on to her daughters who are professional quilter designers and fabric artists. She has painted china, many pictures and even a mural on a wall in her house. And I was impressed with her use of technology. This lady may walk with a cane but she knows how to use her ipad!
She showed me how she made these beautiful, soft potholders. Tucked in between the layers of cloth and batting was a heat resistant sheet. She sewed lines across the pads maybe half an inch apart and then took scissors and cut the top layer of material the entire length. After they were washed and dried the raw edges were soft and fuzzy.
June was working on finishing a Dresden Plate quilt that came from her husband’s side of the family in the late 1800’s. All the pieces were hand stitched together and in excellent condition. What a treasure to preserve this piece of family history.
Another of June’s handiwork: Hummingbird wall hanging.
I was really partial to this quilted wall hanging by June. I love photographing sunsets and this quilt was almost as pretty as the real thing!
I thought these three wall hangings by June were exquisite-and no, she will not sell them!!!! The design pieces were laid on a background piece and stitched with a million stitches!!! There were rows and rows of machine stitches going horizontal and vertical as close together as you could stitch. The texture of these quilts begs to be lovingly touched.
Coleen is one year older than me and she was my pal when our families got together. Here she is pictured with her mother, showing the lovely pillow covers she was working on for each of her children. The brightly colored pieces of velveteen were stunning and each square was framed with fancy embroidery stitching giving it an elegant finish.
Another project of Coleen was a series of small quilts using her dad’s (on left) and father-in-law’s (on right) shirts. She plans to also do one using scraps from her mother and mother-in-law’s dresses.
Julia is an “artistic quilter” and loves to recreate a quilt from a photograph or design an abstract quilt such as the sun rays in the picture below. She is a blogger (Life As a Quilter) and has received wide-spread recognition for her handiwork.
One of Julia’s traditional quilts she is working on.
A quilt Julia is making for one of her grandsons.
Just an interesting note for the Powhatan folks…. Julia supplied the cotton seed planted in the historical garden at the courthouse a year or so ago. She and her husband raise cotton in Georgia and I wrote to her asking how we could get ahold of a few seeds. She generously gave us some!
Polly and I both share someone very special. She is grandma to little Jase (my great-nephew) that I occasionally write about who has SMA. One of Polly’s creative works of art was a butterfly wall quilt. It is made with lots and lots of small rectangle pieces strategically laid side by side. She also is a blogger and her writings can be read at Pollythepatchworker.
One of Polly’s projects begging to become something special.
Barbara is a quilt designer, author and teacher. She has a website, Delightful Piecing, where you can see her schedule, purchased her books and view her gallery of pictures. She was working on a beautiful soft, natural colored quilt for one of her children’s wedding.
Emily was working on a “Moo Cow” quilt using multi-sized, multi-colored bits and pieces strategically laid together to form the picture. Each tiny piece of fabric had adhesive on the back and was carefully ironed into place when she had obtained the desired look.
Another view of “Moo Cow”.
Katina, Coleen’s daughter, showing me her flannel quilt.
Several other of the next generation gals were there-but I failed to get their names. One was working on a leaf quilt with rich, rustic fall colors and another was working on a princess dress-up outfit for her daughter.
These pictures only represent a portion of their work this week. There were quilts folded on chairs, laid out on the floor, stashed in bags and containers under the tables. Let me tell you, these Heatwole sisters know how to quilt and how to do it fun!
I snitched from their fb posts some pictures of the finished projects I have featured above. Their personal fb posts reflect many more projects and I suspect their blogs will have lots of pictures soon. Enjoy….!!!