Friday, April 17, 2015

My Nosy Neighbor - 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.