Today is a very rainy day. Not just a rainy day…very rainy. It’s the kind of day that it is OK to give yourself permission to stay in your pajamas and do nothing….or read…or sew…or procrastinate….or just think. It’s really a very wonderful day!
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I’m back to working on my little Baltimore quilt….actually, I have been working on it all along! I’m ready to show some more photos! I can’t tell you how many yards of fabric I bought before deciding on the perfect fabrics for this quilt. The background fabric is a wonderful creamy print designed by my friend Mary Koval. I bought a whole bolt at her shop in Pennsylvania. I wanted the red to be a solid, just like the original 1840’s Turkey red, so there’s now at least three red choices in my stash of fabrics. But it took longer to find the perfect green. I bet I bought seven greens to choose from! What fun to read the selvage and see that my friend Barb Eikmeier is the designer of my favorite green!
A little more spring….Mom’s pink dogwood tree is the brightest it’s ever been!
Thirty One. A long month. But it is springtime. There’s lots to be grateful for this year.
Wow…on this 30th day of writing about quarantine, I looked through my photos. There’s real photos, screenshots, FB posts, sayings, quotes, and just lots of things collected during the past month. I think it’s amazing how the world has pulled together, how most people have stayed in to protect all of us even though the past week has been full of protest. Anyway, we are all in this together. And I love these colors and creative letters.
Three Musketeers….three big empty spools of Mettler thread….1500 yards….white and cream….the thread my sewing machine loves the best. These empty spools get the award for sewing masks! Lots of them! These spools are honored that they could do something to help. There was no usable elastic in my sewing room, so the thread spools stepped up to make ties and pleat masks. My sewing friends know that I might use one of these spools in a year or two to hand-baste applique pieces…so I thought The Three Musketeers deserved a shout out and a photo shoot for what they did in the past month!
This past Sunday, April 17, 2020, I decided to be a researcher and photojournalist. I wanted to photograph Dr. Dunton’s house.
I learned about Dr. Dunton many years ago when I fell in love with Baltimore Album Quilts. A friend had a copy of his book, Old Quilts, and when I first opened it, I was enthralled with all of the photos. But the thing that amazed me the most was that he self-published the book and the title page contains his address. 33 North Symington Avenue, Catonsville 28, Maryland! I grew up in an area of Catonsville known as Paradise. Paradise is just inside the Beltway on Frederick Road, close to the Baltimore city line. My street, Blakeney Road, and North Symington are just a quarter mile apart. I had childhood friends who lived on North Symington and I’m sure I rode my bike often on this street. As an adult, one of my best friends lived on the next street over, and we sometimes parked our car in the alley right next to 33 Symington. I always thought it would be amazing to knock on the door and ask to see if the attic contains any treasures.
So today, wearing my mask as I drove, I took a ride to take a photo of his house. The street was packed with cars on a Sunday with everyone home.
33 North Symington is a West Baltimore row house with an alley next to it, built in 1938. It’s an “end” house which means it has more space inside than the other houses in the row, and it is connected to the house on the right (31). The outside of the brick house has probably not changed since it was built, except for replacement windows.
The latest owner bought the house in 2015, so I’m sure they would not know Dr. Dunton. This Nancy Drew just could not muster the courage to ask to visit the attic today.
But I decided to take a short ride and take a photograph of my house. It was built in the mid 50’s and I have many fond memories of the close neighbors and adventures in the alley behind the house. Not much has changed, and I was glad to see the old tree in the front yard. It is fun to note the similarities in our houses: the bay window in the living room, the small window (bathroom) above the front door, the double windows (largest bedroom), the porch with metal railings, and it’s fun to see children’s items on the porch. It’s possible that the same company built both houses.
Ever since I saw the book Old Quilts, I felt a connection with Dr. Dunton. He died in 1966. I wonder if I ever waved to him when I rode my bike up his street? Wouldn’t it be fun to meet up with him for coffee in Paradise and just talk quilts and the old neighborhood! I’m looking forward to the new exhibit about Dr. Dunton and Baltimore Album Quilts at the Maryland Historical Society! https:www.mdhs.org/exhibitions/wild-and-untamed
Just want to include this in the quarantine blog. On a March 28 there was a fire in Baltimore. Lightning hit the steeple of the church on Asquith Street next to my high school, IND. This is the church where we had special events, the most memorable the day we got our school rings. So the steeple burned and a photographer caught this awesome moment when the cross and steeple fell to the ground. Another photographer captured the sweet little courtyard at school. The school was not damaged. Awesome!
Just adding a little politics to the quarantine. I think it’s important to remember that Governor Hogan and his wife stepped up to the plate, didn’t complain, didn’t blame anybody, just acted. Thanks, Governor Hogan for showing leadership for the state of Maryland. We are all proud of you.
Six years ago Ryan ran his first Boston Marathon. This photo showed up on my Facebook Memory this morning. It was the year after the shootings. It was scary to go there. But it was an amazing experience and we all felt safe, especially with so many first responders in town. They honored them at the Boston Baltimore baseball game that year. I have so many thoughts this morning about that experience and what we are going through right now. I think this is our marathon, we are in it for a long time, we need to tough it out, and there will be amazing experiences at the finish line.