Friday, 26 September 2014

Oga quilt done

So finally the horse quilt is ready. Weather is bad so for now there will be no better pictures.

It is very special quilt for me as this horse was born right in my arms, I was the one who opened the sack and since then I watched the baby growing. Now it belongs to my good friend and I can assure you that Oga is one very well pampered horse.

The quilt has an official name as well - after our folk song "Tumša nakte, zaļa zāle" (Dark night, green grass)

I'm quite happy with what I achieved with the quilt. I wanted to concentrate mostly on quilting, and I think it has starting to improve. Still a lot of learning to do, but at least I see some light at the end of tunnel.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Ode to Singer

While the starch is drying out on the back for Oga quilt, I can finally tell the story I promised to tell long ago, about my oldest and most loved Singer (model 16K , serial number J1652230).

My grand granparents, 1906
When my grand grand mother Ann Beitan married Theodor Ozolin in 1906, they got a posh and useful wedding present from Ann’s mother Trine Beitan – this sewing machine.

The life was full of promises for them. Ann was a daughter of a wealthy farmers and Theodor – a teacher and an aspiring scientist.

My grandomother, 1908
But these were troubled times around – the waves of the Revolution of 1905 hadn’t settled jet and many were arrested, including Theodor, leaving pregnant Ann alone.  Theodor never returned. In prison he cought TB and died soon after their little daughter Zenta was born in December 1907. 

Ann never re-married. She returned back to farm and raised her daughter, sewing one fancy dress after another for her little orphaned princess.
When the First World War started, Ann had no illusions – her darling sewing machine was in danger as Russian army was well known for looting, so still new and shiny, Singer was wrapped in endless layers of oil cloth, packed in an old butter box and drowned in the pond, while empty wooden box was left open in the attick. 

Ann’s decission was wise as farm happened to stand right on the way of Russian and German armies the whole war. If my granny counted right, different armies walked in and out of their farm 17 times during the WWI. 

My grandomother, 1930
When all settled, the sewing machine emerged from the depths of the pond, but a lot of shine has gone, and rust had cut its teeth in. But it still worked, and was perfect to provide my grandma with fashionable outfits for her college years while she studied accountancy and farm management.
My mum 1937
When my grandma married, she took sewing machine with her, and produced many fancy outfits for her little precios princess (my mum). Sadly, her marriage also didn’t lasted long, but that’s another story (WWII, you know). My grandma spent hours on this sewing machine right until 1987, when she died, and my mum took over. 

Now this sewing machine belongs to my youngest daughter who is learning to sew on it right now.  

Friday, 12 September 2014

OGA top

Today I completed the top of Oga quilt. This time no short cut applique, only proper paper piecing.

The quilt already has official name and the song to go along to it but that all I hope to tell next time when the quilting will be done.

The quilt is quite large, about 110X110".

The background is very bare this time, but I want to play a bit with fancy quilting.

The rough borders might seem strange but they do have meaning. 

This is the sign of Usins, the god of horses, bees and light in Latvian mythology. The symbol of Usins represents the Sun's chariot - the part in the middle represents the chariot, while the two E's - the horses. 

 So this symbol's job is to protect Oga, the horse in the center.
At the corners I put so called Laima’s broom - the symbol to bring luck. Laima is goddess of Destiny; she determines whether one's life will be short or long, fruitful or poverty-stricken, carefree or worrisome. Laima’s broom is among the most acient of Baltic symbols.

This symbol's job is to bring luck to the horse and her owner. 
This sign belongs to Zalktis (grassnake). Zalktis is the deity of general well-being and fertility, a sacred creature protected by goddess Laima, known also as the envoy of other gods. To harm one brings terribly bad luck. This sign is very ancient, also dating from the Iron Age, and is seen often on the borders of shawls.

So this will take care of general well-being of the owner.