December 30, 2011

A new year and a new header.  I was looking around for something to photograph for a header to replace the Santa header and decided to photograph this pillow. 
The pillow was made by my maternal grandmother, Pearl.  She came to California from Tennessee in the "teens" with her husband and 3 small boys.  They settled in Fillmore, California and became tomato growers and had 3 more boys and my mother. 
Pearl, as busy as she was, still managed to quilt and embroider.  This is an example of her handiwork.  Possibly made in the 20's, it's cotton sateen with silk embroidery with tinting on the leaves and the letters. 
In California we call this a pepper tree.  It's a beautiful evergreen tree with lovely papery red berries and thin leaves growing together in long droopy leaflet clusters.  The pepper berries seem to stay all year.  We have several in our neighborhood and I think they are mostly ornamental as I've never heard of anyone harvesting the peppercorns.

I never knew my grandmother, and surprisingly with her 7 children, she managed to have only one granddaughter, me, and since I grew up loving handiwork I have been lucky to inherit her handmade things plus her sewing basket and notions. 

I have more examples of her handiwork, one is an absolutely adorable Big Bad Wolf quilt that I will share with you soon.

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  1. Kristen, this is absolutely beautiful. Your new header caught my eye immediately, and after reading about it, I love it even more. How wonderful to inherit your grandmother's own things, and even more her incredible skill and talent. You come by it honestly!
    (and I just love the name Pearl. One of my maternal aunts had the same name and it just speaks Home and Family and Love to me).

  2. That pillow is beautiful! Do you know how she tinted the leaves and stems? It really adds something to the embroidery.

  3. Hi Gail! I think, but am not sure, the tinting was done with crayons. There are tutorials on the web for this technique. I know it was very popular in the early part of the last century. I may do a little research on it as the little quilt she made that I want to share is also tinted.

  4. Kristen, how lucky you are to inherit such a beautiful pillow! It is obvious that you've inherited your grandmother's talents. Thank you very much for sharing. I'll look forward for more in the New Year.

  5. Dear Kristen, This is gorgeous.. And grandma pearl is the proffessor of this technique. Excellent...

  6. That is just gorgeous, Kristen! All those little red berries are so pretty. Isn't it wonderful to have some of these pieces of handiwork that have been passed down to us!

    Hope you have a wonderful new year!

  7. Kristen how nice to post my Mother's handi work. She and my Aunt Cythia were always quilting with the Ladies from their church and making something. I didn't inherit any of this but you sure did. Your Grandmother Pearl was quite a lady with many talents and a wonderful Mom to her six boys and me. I love your Blog as so many times you bring back many memories to me.

  8. It's beautiful - you are so lucky to have your grandmother's handiwork. I love how you incorporate your heirlooms into your life. It makes a gorgeous header too!


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