Monday, October 26, 2009

Everything But the Kitchen Sink


'Everything But the Kitchen Sink' is finally finished! And true to its heritage of 50's, 60's and '70's' scraps, it was lovely tied on my dining room table, and not quilted. I'd almost forgotten just how much I love tied quilts!

There's something so intrinsically organic and natural about the tying of a quilt with needle and thread...a hearkening back to foremothers who would no doubt be aghast at our designer fabrics and meticulously machine quilted award winners of today;)

I just know it felt 'right' hand-tying this one and I looked forward to a few hours of 'tying one on' each day. I kept having to 'shoo' the cats out of the kitchen and off of the quilt and that also seemed just right. They made me laugh and kept me entertained ;)

"Everything but the kitchen sink" is a wonderful idiomatic expression originating during World War II ....when everything possible was used to contribute to the war effort. Women gave up silk stockings and lipstick. Metal of any and all kinds was re-used or saved for the US arsenal. It was collected, melted down, re-used and re-purposed.The only objects left out were porcelain kitchen sinks.

Suddenly, a simple concept became a cultural phenomena befitting the frugal, scrap saving economy.If you grew up in the forties and fifties, as I did, it was a common expression.

In quilting, it became most popular when quilters began using the term for scrap quilts that included almost every fabric they had leftover in their scrap basket.

Highly popularized by RJR Fabrics who introduced their "EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK "SERIES of reproduction fabrics to hark back to an even scrappier time in quilting.
(Thimbleberries did the same with their own Kitchen Sink Fabric Line as I believe, did Moda.

Many others followed suit and suddenly that kind of 'kitchen sink' quilts began to be a popular art form amongst many quilters. You can see this style in everything from the quilts of Gee's Bend (who use everything they can find including clothing in their quilts), to the art quilt, to the down home and cozy comfort quilt. Not everyone might have known or used that term, but we were certainly all frugal enough to be doing it!

Once quilters began using the actual term 'Kitchen Sink Quilts' in books and TV shows (Eleanor Burns etc.) it became a more common and generalized term for scrappy quilts of all kinds..specifically those with unusual or odd combinations thrown in for good measure!

I totally loved making this one and am delighted to have it finished and ready to send off with love. Finished at 68" x86", it's big enough to be throw over a couch back, ready on the arm of a chair for a winter's nap, or a covering for a lovely winter's bed!

Everything but the kitchen sink went into it, and everything plus love finished it off with a smile :)

Hey Finn!
I finished another one!
Finn's New Years Eve Challenge 2009

16 comments:

  1. Fabulous - how exciting it must be to check out each fabric - a bit like and Adult I-Spy!
    Hugs - Lurline♥

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  2. It's wonderful! So much character!
    I enjoyed reading about "everything but the kitchen sink". I never knew where that came from, but I use it sometimes!

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  3. Michele, your quilt is just beautiful. I know who ever receives it will love it as much as you have making it.

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  4. Michele, it looks beautiful.

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  5. You know what? This makes me happy. And this morning I needed some happy feelings. Thank you my friend. This is a lovely quilt and tying is something I want to do myself. I just love your posts! Soon you will need to consider a book dontcha know.

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  6. Lovely quilt and to look at every piece of fabric is so exciting.

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  7. It certainly is lovely.

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  8. Woo hoo another quilt finished for the challenge. I love the quilt. I love any quilt that uses "anything but the kitchen sink". Scrappy is the best in my book!!

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  9. Love those kitchen sink quilts. And I have found that a tied quilt seems to be warmer than one that has been quilted to death. Do you think it is because more air is trapped?

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  10. I love these types of quilts and I fell in love with tying quilts recently too. Our HeartStrings quilts are just perfect for tying and I've been trying to encourage more people/groups to tie them.

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  11. By gosh you sure did Michele. I'm not here checking in or checking up, just can't resist the temptation to see a great quilt! And when it's call "Everything but the kitchen sink" I know I'll love it.
    Indeed it does feel "right" when making such a beauty. I'm all in favor of the whole 'grassroots' movement and way of thinking. Your quilt is certainly of a good size for a bed as well as for a great nap or snuggle.
    Maybe we should think about a pledge to kitchen sinks along withour Frugal Fridays. Hmmmm...something to think about in the beginnings of 2010, something about that particular number seems to call for something. Big hugs and congratulations, Finn

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  12. Scrappy quilts like this make me think of cold winter nights, a warm drink and a good book or old movie. You can just see yourself all curled up and comfy. Nice work Michele.

    I think Paula's on to something. The tied ones do seem warmer and I bet that's why. Makes sense.

    Thanks for stopping by to say Hi! I always smile when you do.

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  13. I love it and the little lesson. Thanks for sharing that!

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  14. Wonderful! my kinda quilt. I just got back from a quilt show and nothing fun, scrappy or utility-ish. all so carefully color controlled and quilted within an inch of their life. and all the crystals. sigh. so wonderful to come to blogland and see simple quilts that are so lively.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.