Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Friday, June 10, 2011

A UFO From Long Ago

Thanks to the cold, drippy, dreary weather today I woke with another sinus headache.  So I decided to do a post while the medication I took a while ago kicks in.  It's too cold and wet to dig in the gardens today.  
Just one of those days when I feel like digging through some old fabrics I have packed away. When I found this unfinished quilt it got me to thinking about Unfinished Projects.  Better known to quilters, rug hookers and crafters as UFO's!  Yes, the darn things!  We all have them!  The thing that has my mind all in a tizzie today ( besides the headache)  is the thought that this phenomenon has been passed to us from generations before. 
I have proof!  These lovely old unfinished squares from an applique butterfly quilt were started by my GREAT Grandmother Minnie Eggen.  My Mom's Grandma!  She died when I was nine years old. She lived near us and we visited her quite often. She was a quilter, crocheted, tatted, embroidered and knitted.  She had flowers growing around her house and was known to love the Angel Plant.
Her hands were always holding a needle work project except for when she stopped to put a lunch on the table when we visited. I remember the lemon jelly roll with the dusting of powdered sugar. 


This apron reminds me of her so.  Her Scandinavian roots had to have influenced her liking to these crisp flowered flour bag prints from the 30's and 40's.  Well, she got so far as to cut out lots of butterflies and the muslin squares.  Even a few are embroidered with black floss. 




The question of the day is should I finish this quilt?  I do know how.  That's not the problem. I have a few UFO's that need my attention..... but maybe it's my duty to finish up my Great Grandmother's UFO's and leave my own for the next generation to finish.  That's my aha moment for today.


In all fairness to Great Grandma Minnie I have to show you a crocheted bedspread that she finished! My Grandmother, Minnie's daughter Gladys, gave this to us for our wedding gift.  Minnie crocheted it and it remained folded until she died. My Grandmother kept it folded and it was never displayed on a bed. I hate to tell you this but it usually is folded and stored in my bedroom closet and only taken out to show a visitor now and then.  You are seeing a rare glimpse of it taken out and displayed on the bed in my studio for the photo.  Sad isn't it.  It doesn't fit with my decor and I have dogs who would get tangled in the open holes of the crochet work.  But I dearly love it. I love having something that I can touch knowing her hands were touching every inch of that crochet thread while she made it.  I'm glad she finished it.  That it was not the UFO that was left for a great granddaughter to contend with.

Cathy G


  1. What a treasure to have finished and unfinished projects from such a loved family member. My grandmother...with Finnish roots...always had some sort of needlework going as well. I can still see her rocking in the rocking chair and crocheting away. She taught me to knit and I wish she were still here so I could supply her with homespun yarn. That butterfly quilt is wonderful. Do finish it! I can't wait to see the final result!

  2. I have a special soft spot or butterflies so I think you should finish this family heirloom. After all those years of being kept, it deserves to be finished. I hope your headache goes away quickly. This crazy up and down weather is enough to give anyone a headache.

  3. Oh, what wonderful family heirlooms. I do think your great grandmother would feel honored to have you finish the quilt which she began so long ago. I know I would. Hope your head is better, I agree with Kim, this weather is enough to give anyone a headache! Have a great weekend, Julie.

  4. Wow Cathy, I hope that the fabric is still sturdy enough after all those years to bother finishing this vintage project. What a nice reminder of your great grandmother's work. I love the butterfly design.

    Years ago my husband's aunt used to quilt and she obviously had been quilting for a lots of years. She gave me some old printed cotton fabrics that she had accumulated and I made a crazy patch quilt with it and the old fabric disintegrated much faster than the newer fabric from washing.

    Wow, that crocheted bedspread is a work of art. I love it. It would look great in a guest bedroom.

    I hope that your sinus headache clears up and that you feel better. I hope that the weather settles soon. It turned cool this evening with danger of frost in the north west of New Brunswick. We are still OK here though. JB

  5. Hope you are feeling better! What treasures you have shown us! Maybe hang the crocheted bed spread (folded) on a quilt hanger type thing or something to display it so it doesn't get damaged - so pretty!

  6. I love those feedbag prints! They are a treasure when you are able to find them. My grandmother and great grandmother (Dad's side of the family) made very similar butterfly quilts. They didn't actually quilt them, but knotted them instead. Unfortunately they don't last as long that way and none have survived.
    The chrochet bedspread is lovely. That must have taken years of work.
    You are indeed blessed to have those wonderful handmade items from the past.

  7. oh it is to sweet not to finish. it would look wonderful as a wall hanging or maybe some pillows.

  8. That crochet spread is gorgeous!!! I've only seen a couple of those... you are a lucky gal! I think finishing the butterfly quilt would be neat! Something to do between projects or while sitting a the tv... the cutting out of stuff is the hardest part (for me anyways)... so stitch a bit each day and see where it goes!

  9. What a treasure. I hope you do finish it in honor of your great grandmother. I had a hard time concentrating on the butterflies, because I was busy looking at your wonderful cabinets in the background.

  10. I'm not a quilter, but I think they would be fun stitched on pillow cases or bags or jeans....things that you could have out everyday and see and use.

  11. Oh Cathy, you are so lucky to have the quilt blocks and bedspread from your great grandmothers. You could take the quilt blocks and frame them. Four or five in a row would be pretty on the wall.
    We are moving and downsizing and I have to make some hard decisions of what to keep. I have mamy old quilts made by my grandmother, great aunts and my mother. I also have a crocheted bedspread made by my grandmother.
    I really don't have room for them, but could not get rid of them. Too much of their lives went into making those quilts. Since I don't cook very often I thought maybe I could store them in the kitchen cabinets!

  12. Isn't it incredible how dreary weather really does encourage foraging. In the midst of all my other on-the-go projects, I ended up sewing something yesterday!

    I had a thought for your butterflies, if you don't want to do the quilt. Why not create a fabric book with the story at the front and each one a page. That way, it will be protected if the fabric is weak with age, but will still be a worthy heirloom for generations to come.

    And it won't "not go" with anyone's decor.

    It is a wonderful story and needs to be shared.

  13. Such beautiful pieces of works of art by your dear great-grandmother. I would certainly finish this quilt and the crocheted one is divine...

    Hope your headache disappears soon..

  14. I concur with everyone else Finish the quilt pieces, but if you didn't want to make a full quilt out of it you could take the pieces that she did embroidered and put them in picture frames and hang them together in your studio for inspiration.

    The crocheted blanket is amazing. I crochet a lot and wish I could do something that delicate.

    You could hang a thick curtain rod on the wall and fold the blanket over it as a wall hanging. I would almost use PVC pipe to hang it over so it didn't stretch. You could also put an nice bright coloured cloth under it so the pattern really shows.

    I just had another great hanging idea. You could also use the round towel holders for the bathroom. hang it up about 6 or 7 feet up the wall and fold the quilt in half through the ring and then fan out the bottom and attach it to the wall that way. It would also be good to put extra width on the ring so it didn't stretch.

    Only my suggestions, bit it is too pretty and sentimental to have in a closet. :)

  15. Oh I forgot to mention that I too have a quilt that was started by my father's great grandmother, went to his mother, to her daughter(my aunt), then to my mother.

    My mother and her mother finished it, since they are bother quilters, and gifted it to me for a birthday present years ago.

    It is done in dark purple and yellow flowers, and I use on my bed all year around. Even though the squares were cut and embroidered many decades ago they are still very strong and handle being machine washed.

  16. Loved seeing the quilt pieces from your great grandmother. True vintage fabrics! My grandmother was named Minnie too...and her twin sister was named Nettie, Iowa farm girls!

  17. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, BTW outstanding style.
    Robinets de Baignoire


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