AtoZ Letter Z...Zipping It Up With Zippers

Pretty predictable, huh?  Probably the only surprise in ending with Zippers is the fact that I actually do have a collection of them!  Really!!!  I know...who does that...on purpose...when putting in a zipper is the one thing most seamstresses avoid like the plague.  I mean, most of us would rather get out the button hole attachment and make button holes rather than put in a zipper.  Not having to do either one was a big attraction to becoming a quilter.  But back to the Zipper Collection!!!
They weren't always called Zippers.  Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine, received a patent for what he called an 'Automatic, Continous Clothing Closure' in 1851.  When he didn't seriously try and market the CCClosure, he missed the recognition he might otherwise have received.  His CCClosure was more a device with an elaborate draw-string rather than a true slide fastener.
Forty-two years later Whitcomb Judson marketed a 'Clasp Locker' which was a complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener.  He is sometimes given credit as the inventor of the zipper, but he never made a practical device.  Judson's company did however, hire an electrical engineer, G. Sundback, who designed the modern zipper about 1913.  He continued to improve on the slider zipper and created the manufacturing machine for the 'Separable Fastener'.
The term Zipper came from the B.F. Goodrich Company in 1923 when they used Sundback's fastener on a new type of rubber boots or galoshes.  For several years only two products utilized the zipper...boots and tobacco pouches.  In 1925 zippers made their clothing debut in leather jackets.  By 1930 children's clothing featured zippers which promoted self-reliance by making it possible for children to dress themselves.  By 1937 zippers as garment fasteners beat out the button in the 'Battle of the Fly' when zippers were used in men's trousers. 
Today the zipper is by far the most widespread fastener, and is found on clothing, luggage, leather goods, and various other objects....like....
My Zippered Ditty Bags/Pouches....definitely NOT for Tobacco!
That about Zips it Up for the
April AtoZ Challenge!


AtoZ Letter Y...Yolanda's YoYo's and Ya'll

I never ever wanted to make a YoYo quilt.  The main reason was cutting out all those circles and then hand stitching them to form the YoYo. 

Too slow and too many to make a quilt of any size.  Not for me.  However, I was not adverse to collecting YoYo's made by someone else.

The someone else turned out to be a Super YoYo maker who made them to keep her hands busy while she talked about her life as a quilter back in the day.

 I kept her supplied with fabric and thread and she kept me supplied with wonderful stories and lots of YoYo's.  Many were bundled in neat little packages and sold in my Quilt Shop.  My 90 year old YoYo Maker was so proud to be able to still earn her way doing what she loved....sewing/quilting. 

I am pleased with my first YoYo quilt with YoYo's made by Yolanda.   I think Yolanda would be proud of our partnership in this YoYo quilt....even if it is only 18 inches by 22 inches.

If this needlecraft of YoYo's is a new one for you, here is a brief history of them.

Across the pond in the UK, they call them 'Suffolk Puffs' which they believe originated in Suffolk County.  Althought little is known about that origin, examples of quilts using 'Puffs' can be traced back to 1601, and were popular during the Victorian Era.

YoYo's have been popular in the US since the 1930's when 'Make Do and Mend found the YoYo being made from worn out clothing, transformed into quilts and used as decorations for clothing and accessories.  Thanks to Yolanda's YoYo's , I can say I have made YoYo Quilts and Accessories, and I have pictures to prove it....

Thanks Yolanda for the YoYo's
Thanks Ya'll for your visits and comments! 
I am still playing catch-up!  Will be by your blog soon!
Until then...Ya'll have a 'Good One'!


AtoZ Letter X...Xanth and the Third Letter In TeXas

(l) X/'eks/n, often cap, often attrib la:  the 24th letter of the English alphabet
(2) TEN
(3)  an unknown quantity
(4)  something shaped like or marked with the letter X
(5)  the third letter in TeXas!

Now, Ya'll know that Webster was a TeXan...how else would #(5) definition get in there!

Oh All Right!!!  So I made that up!!!
But not XANTH !!!
It's a real X word and is a form of the Greek word Xanthos for YELLOW!
Which brings me back to TeXas!  The Xanth Rose is the Unofficial State Flower of TeXas!
"The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a traditional folk song. The original love song has become associated with the legend of "how a slave named Emily Morgan helped win the battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution." 
The song is based on a Texas legend from the days of the Texas War of Independence. According to the legend, a woman named Emily D. West — a mulatto, and hence, the song's reference to her being "yellow" — who was seized by Mexican forces during the looting of Galveston seduced General Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico and commander of the Mexican forces. The legend credits her supposed seduction with lowering the guard of the Mexican army and facilitating the Texan victory in the Battle of San Jacinto waged in 1836 near present-day Houston. Santa Anna's opponent was General Sam Houston, who won the battle literally in minutes, and with almost no casualties.


AtoZ Letter W...Wordless Wednesday

SAMFA Ceramic Showcase from Letter U...continued.
(click on photos for a larger view)
Wordless Wednesday Collection
~click on pig~


AtoZ Letter V...Valued Vintage Fabrics

Are you a 'Stickler' for correct use of Vintage, Antique, Retro and Collectible?
vin·tage adj \ˈvin-tij\: of old, recognized and enduring interest, importance, or quality:  classic;  2: Old-Fashioned, Outmoded. 
I am kind of a stickler when it comes to identifying anything 'Vintage'.  So, with the definition in mind, I would have to say I am Vintage....after all, I am Old Fashion and enduring...plus I was born in the 1940's and collect Vintage Fabrics.  In the decade before my birth...1930's...Feed and Flour Sacks were 'Useable Collectibles' and a commodity during the time of the Great Depression.  It was also a time that held some notion of romance at the idea that women could make something beautiful from something so mundane as a 'SACK'.
Feed Sacks were used for sewing well before the depression and for several years after. The evolution of the feed sack is a story of ingenuity and clever marketing. 
 Initially farm and food products were shipped in barrels. Between 1840 and 1890 cotton sacks gradually replaced barrels and the invention of the 'stitching machine' in 1846 made it possible to sew double locking seams strong enough to hold the contents of a bag.
The first ones were made of heavy canvas and then of  inexpensive cotton sized to correspond to barrel sizes...one barrel bag held 196 pounds of flour.  The brand name of the flour was printed on the bag.  Women quickly discovered these bags could be used as fabric for quilts and other needs.
With the influx of rayon and other synthetic fabrics, the bottom dropped out of the cotton market causing Feed Sack manufactures to take a different approach in their marketing strategies.

It took awhile for feed and flour sack manufacturers to realize how popular these sacks had become with women.   The first feed sacks began to be sold in colors around 1925 in colorful prints for making dresses, aprons, shirts and children's clothing.  By the late 1930's there was a heated competition to produce the most attractive and desirable prints.  This turned out to be a great marketing ploy as women picked out flour, sugar, beans, rice, cornmeal and even the feed and fertilizer for the family farm based on which fabrics they desired. 
With the flour industry consuming the largest share of the feed sack market, it was not hard for the farmer and his wife to purchase their goods in feed sacks. The Sacks came in different sizes and the quality of the cloth varied with the item it carried. For example, sugar sacks were much finer in weave. By 1914, sacks came in pound sizes, and by 1937 President Roosevelt standardized sizes by measurement...50 pounds feed sack measured 24x38; 100 pounds measured 39x46.
I have been a Feed/Flour Sack Collector and Quilter for many years. The 1930's Original Fabrics as well as the Reproductions of those fabrics are my absolute favorites. When it came time to close out my Quilt Shop, I KEPT ALL of these favorites, and continue to add them to my Fabric-A-Rama Stash.
Photos by CollectInTexas Gal....1925 Newspaper and Farm Life magazine from my Iowa Mother and Grandmother's collection.
History of Feed and Flour Sack from:  Buchanan County, Iowa Historical Society  


AtoZ Letter U...Unexpected Realism and Reflection Underglass

The SAMFA's Spring Showcase is featuring a National Ceramic Competition which opened April 15th and will be on exhibit until June 26th.  Yesterday, on my day off, I made time to go.  Before I get into the focus of this post on Letter U, let me share a bit of my background in ceramics.
As part of my Masters degree in Art Education, I was required to take graduate level ceramic courses.  Since I had not taken even one undergraduate course in ceramics, I was a complete novice when it came to clay and all it entailed...including the potters wheel and the chemistry of  glazes.  I was a Painter, Graphic and Fiber Artist...not a three dimensionalist. 

I LOVED CLAY!  From the first time I sat at the potters wheel and threw my first pot, I was hooked and successful.  It was like I had been molding clay for years.  I think I was a potter in a previous life...a utilitarian potter.  It seemed every pot I threw had to have a use...be it a cup, plate, bowl or vase.  I was no more an Abstractionist in clay than I was in my two dimensional art forms.

Being a Realist through and through, I had to learn Abstractionism through the rules and skills of abstract thinking and how they applied to Art and specifically to Ceramics.  Which brings me to attending a Ceramics Show whenever the opportunity arises.  I have learned to appreciate, admire, and be in awe of Ceramic Artists Abstractionism. 
Was there Abstract Ceramics at this show? 
Was I appreciative and in awe of the Abstractionist? 
Needless to say, I was blown away by this
Unexpected Realism and Reflection Underglass!
Undeniably...Abstraction Underglass!
More Wonderous Realism/Abstractionism in Letter 'W'.


AtoZ Letter T...TEXAS Trivia

Texas is a State of Mind. Texas is an Obsession. Above all Texas is a Nation in every sense of the word. John Steinbeck

Texas IS an Obsession…Just ask any Texan!  Everything IS BiggerNBetter in Texas. Just ask any Texan!

Texas has it’s own language.  Just ask any Texan!  They’ll tell you Texans don’t have accents. You simply gotta understand TexasTalk.

For instance, in Texas all sentences should end in a preposition, and though English is the primary language spoken in Texas, for some reason, you have to learn Spanish in order to understand it.  Comprende!
How about some Texas Trivia via my 'Texas My Texas' Quilt.
~The Bluebonnet is the Official State Flower of Texas and the Yellow Rose is the Un-Official State Flower.
~The Mockingbird is the State Bird of Texas. 
~The Texas State Mammal is the Armadillo....Really! 
~Texas is known as the 'Lone Star' State and as the 'Friendship State' as seen in the block of Stars.
And the rest of the State of Texas Trivia
*State Capital...Austin
*State Tree...The Pecan
*State Song...Texas My Texas
 *Un-Official State Song~The Yellow Rose of Texas
*State Insect...Monarch Butterfly
*State Gemstone...Blue Topaz

Ya'll Come!


AtoZ Letter S...Sunbonnet Sue

Sunbonnet Sue is one of the most recognized Quilt Patterns of all times. So, you would be right in thinking that this quilter named Sue would be a Collector of all things Sunbonnet Sue. 
I have Sunbonnet Sue plates, patterns, books, fabric, needlepoint, embroidery, and on and on.  I could probably post into next year and still not cover all of the Sue's in my collection. 
Sunbonnet Sue has been around since the early 1900's and has maintained her popularity among Sewists and Quilters right up until....well....right now.  She has been around the blocks, so to speak, with quilters since the 1930's when her bonnets and dresses were made from feedsack fabrics and appliqued to a muslin background. 
The Buttonhole Stitch was made popular at the same time when Sue's feedsack dress and bonnet was outlined in black embroidery floss.
Over the years, I've rescued a number of Sue's.  The one I'm sharing today is my favorite 'Sue Rescue'.

She was a Filthy Rotten Quilt!
Found in the TRASH...can you believe anyone would THROW away a Sunbonnet Sue Quilt or any quilt for that matter.  So it was Sue to the Rescue!!!  The fabrics were 1930's Feedsacks with the Sue's appliqued on muslin that was very fragile.  The sashing and alternate blocks were rotten beyond saving.  So, I cut out the Sue's as close to their bonnets and dresses as possible and alternated them with the 1930's Reproduction Fabric Heart Blocks. 

The ReDoRescue Sue hangs in my Quilt Bedroom. The buttons that decorate each Sue's Bonnet and the Heart Blocks are from my 1930's Button Collection.  A perfect way to display them...don't you think? 
Here are a few Links for you to 'Review Sue' :
The Home of Sunbonnet Sue on The Web
Author of
The Sunbonnet Babies Primer
The Overall Boys


AtoZ Letter R...Rusted Relics Revisited

A Study of Rust and Relics In
Small Town West Texas
Photos by CollectInTexas Gal

The Building
The Rust
The Rusted Relics
To find this Relic of a Bike at the back of The Building was a PhotoShoot Delight!
If only Donald could Quack...the stories he could tell. 
 Like why he has a Screw in his Head!
More Rusted Relics in the Flicker SlideShow!


AtoZ Letter Q...Quirky Quotes...Here's Your Sign!

Talk about a quirky coincidence...my April AtoZ Calendar and a 'Quirky Quote' in the right place at the right time...that being April 20th...Letter 'Q' Day!

As to the quote and why it sits on my desk...it was a gift...sorta!  While shopping with my sisters at Hobby Lobby (quote sign capital of the world) they spotted this sign and immediately said, "Sue, here's your sign".   Really!!!  Actually, it's true...as the oldest, it was my right...and still is!

It has nothing to do with being a 'True Texan'....well, maybe!

Speaking of being 'Right'...my siblings and countless others agree that this sign fits me to a 'T', too.  Really???  I can't help it if I'm always right, and this quote is a nice way of saying so.  I am sure you will agree...right!

Have you noticed how these days, there are Sign Quotes everywhere you look?  Social Media sites are flooded with posted Quotes that encourage you to 'Keep Calm and yadayadayad. 
As you might guess....I have a collection of 'Stitched Quotes'!
A Stitch In Time Saves Nine!
And one from Pinterest


AtoZ Letter P...Photo Blog Photographer

Two things are responsible for my becoming a Photo Blog Photographer.
CollectInTexas Gal Photo Blog and NeatO Nikon Digital Camera
One Photography Blogging Meme was responsible for a weekly Photo Shoot.
Photographers posted a photo and writing based on a scheduled weekly theme relating to their 'Town'.  Participating in Friday My Town Shoot Out challenged me to learn more about my Nikon Camera and Windows 7 Live Photo Gallery.  The following are a few of my favorite Friday Shoot Out Photos with their weekly theme.
The Twisted, Curly, Contorted and Spiral
Funny~Unusual~Strange Signs
Letter 'S' in Your Town
Sculpture at Concho River Park, San Angelo, Texas
Thirsty Steer
Stunning Sunset
Favorite Faces and Feet
You're on CITxGal's Nikon Camera