Thursday, March 13, 2008

Prairie Roots

Each week the Etsy Bloggers Street Team does a blog carnival. A street team on Etsy is a group of members that share something in common and use team efforts to support and promote team members and their shops. There are teams for geographical locations, types of art or crafts or different social connections. As you can tell from the name you have found your way to the blog of an Etsy Blogger member. At more than 300 strong our goal is to create buzz and promote our shops, each other and Etsy.

A weekly blog carnival is one of our events. A blog carnival is a group of blog posts gathered together with links in one place and works kind of like a table of contents for the week.

The theme this week is “Cultural Leanings”. The ideas is to blog about how you integrate your own heritage into your work or how you are attracted to another culture - like Celtic knotwork, African art, island themes, renaissance, etc. Or how your culture/heritage/upbringing influence you in some way.

I did quite a bit of thinking about my post for this week. I really searched for an answer to where my influences come from. My heritage is mostly German and Irish as near as I know. Most of the family history seems to imply that my ancestors were part of the migrations from Europe to the United States in the 1800's when millions of others came to this country as well. I am grateful they came but as far as influence from them I don't think so.

I feel more connected to the pioneers in my family. Most of them loaded the wagons and came to the midwest prairies to farm. I have so much respect, awe and admiration to anyone who was able to do that. I think it is where my frugal nature comes from. I love to use things until they are worn out and then see if they can be brought to life in something new. This was a way of life on the prairies of Kansas where is could be very hard to have the cash for store bought goods. The quilt block you see here fits that theme. It is a family quilt made in Kansas possibly 70 or so years ago. I have heard that my grandmother who had 12 children and was too busy to quilt provided the print fabrics from worn out dresses and other women in the family with fewer or no children made the quilts. The entire quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted and no two flowers on it are the same. I treasure this quilt for its beauty and as an small example of the women I am descended from.

Here you can see a sample of my crafting in a rug I made for my home. I bought some polyester crochet thread one time thinking it was cheap and I would knit it into lacy washcloths. However what I found on making a sample was that the polyester thread irritated my skin so I knew I couldn't use it for that purpose and sell the cloths. I have always collected old sheets, table cloths and clothing that can no longer be worn for rag rugs. Over the years I have crocheted a lot of those and was looking for a new idea. I came up with crocheting my own rug base and then cutting bias strips to latch hook onto the base. This is what you see here. It is my new bathroom rug and I love the way it turned out. It is made from that crochet thread I couldn't use for washcloths, old sheets and some of those "I can't believe I bought this even if is was on the $1.00 a yard table" kind of fabrics that had been in my stash for years and never used. It is thick and soft and almost tickles your feet when you step on it getting out of the shower. It was one way that I was able to use things that could have been thrown away and have given them a new purpose. I get a great sense of pleasure and satisfaction from this type of project. I feel as if I am carrying on traditions by creating these kinds of things and they are worth the time and the energy to make and use every day in my home.

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  1. Hello, fellow Etsyblogger!

    I have mad respect for the pioneers. There was a show on PBS called "Frontier Home" or something like that where they took modern families and made them live like pioneers for X amount of time. It was crazy! I can't imagine having to do all they did and endure so much!

    Anyway, awesome read!

  2. Great read! Thanks for participating :-)

  3. That's a really beautiful quilt block, and a great story behind it too. I love knowing the history behind fabric, knowing it has touched so many hands and lives.

  4. Great read!! I love quilts and the history behind them! Thanks so much for sharing!


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