Friday, April 17, 2015

My Nosy Neighbor - Mrs. P.

MRS. PICKERING AT HER WINDOW



CLOSE-UP OF MRS. P
When I was a small child in the 1940's, we lived next door to Mr. and Mrs. Pickering.  My quilt is in honor of Mrs. P. 

My mother called her “the nosy neighbor” because she was frequently seen peeking out the window to see what was going on with all the neighbors. The Pickerings seldom had visitors, and to my recollection, were childless.

The neighborhood children made fun of Mrs. P. and sometimes called her “Mrs. Pickle-nose”. But I confess that I had a special fondness for this frail, bent-over, old lady with gray hair wrapped up in a tight little bun. Although she and her husband were likely only in their 60’s, to me they appeared ancient! 

The Pickerings had an old-fashioned, oak ice-box which meant that ice was delivered regularly. On special occasions when I was invited inside, I was fascinated to watch the iceman place the frozen block of ice into this contraption that was so different from our “modern” refrigerator. 

As I remember my childhood, I think my love of flowers must have been born in Mrs. P.’s cottage garden. I especially loved her snapdragons.  It was she who taught me how to use my young fingers to pinch the blooms into “mouth formations” so that I could pretend they were “talking” to one another.

For this quilt, I drew a pattern for Mrs. P. and used colored pencils to create the features on her face. Using Wonder-Under 805 fusing, I appliqued the designs onto various fabrics - cotton, commercial hand-painted and batik. As all elderly women in those days, Mrs. P. was not complete without her daily apron and lace collar!  

Aurifil and 40 wt. thread in Studio Colors by Ricky Tims were used for construction and machine quilting. The valance was quilted using a design pattern on my Bernina 550QE. Ribbon for tie-backs completed the curtains.



14 comments:

  1. What a precious quilt honoring your neighbor Mrs. Pickering! Kids will be kids: turning her name into "Mrs. Pickle-nose", but I imagine that she was a real sweetheart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Carolyn that is hilarious! We all had a Mrs P. What a cute quilt, as usual you execution is perfection! It makes me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Delightful!! Love all the details of her dress and apron. The curtains and valance are so cute and I love that they are 3-D. I too made snapdragon flowers talk!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Andrea. - Loved your quilt and your narrative! So charming! Very graphic! Great solution!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am sure Mrs. Pickering enjoyed visiting with you and sharing her flowers. Great details that illustrate her life very well

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a fun quilt and a delightful narrative. In words and pictures you brought Mrs P to life. I have to know. What came first, a vision of this quilt or the idea for the theme?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alice, the idea of the theme came first - but I couldn't get Mrs. Pickering out of my head from the very time I entered the word - so Mrs. P it was!

    ReplyDelete
  9. We had a similar neighbor and as an adult I now see that she was probably profoundly lonely. I wish we had invited her to sit out in the evenings. I also love snap dragons for the same reason. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really like your quilt honoring Mrs. P. Great story - we had an ice box too, so that brings back good memories for me.
    As far as the nosy neighbor goes - I think I have become Mrs. P! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Growing up in the country with the closest neighbor a quarter of a mile away, I did not have a Mrs. P. However, when I married a city boy, my Mother-in-law certainly had a Mrs. P. And she probably was just lonely. Love the quilt Carolyn. It makes me grin!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This quilt is totally charming as is your memory of Mrs. P. I'm glad you were able to spend time with her.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hey nice blog. Keep sharing. Get 24/7 help for forgot bt password

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for your comments everyone. So sorry I posted late. I prepared my post early, then went out of town and discovered too late that there was no way to post until I was back home again!

    ReplyDelete