Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gypsy Caravan Nets Compton Cares over $1000

Our day at Gypsy Caravan started ominously: we arrived on the grounds at 6:30 a.m. to find the canopy we had set up the night before collapsed, and some of our boxes containing sales items soaked through when our tarps were dislodged by the wind and rain that accompanied a fierce lightning storm about 4 a.m. At first, four of us just held up the four corners and bailed water, while we called for reinforcements from others. Help arrived when Darrell showed up with clamps and two-by-fours, and Liz arrived with towels, a plastic bin, and Pepsi. I went off in a corner and quietly sang the words to the plains Indian sun song. Once the canopy was stable, Kathy, Marsha, Norm and I were able to dry off and arrange some of our 153 items that Compton members donated for the sale. We opened for business at 9 a.m.--a couple of hours late--and an hour later the rain stopped. By 2:30 p.m., the sun was almost out and the crowds were busy going through some 330 different vendors' wares in two parking lots at the University.

Some of our makeshift tent repairs can be seen here, as Dave bargains with a wary buyer, Leslie guards the cash box and Norm ponders the scene. Behind our booth was a ditch full of rainwater and just an hour earlier, two geese and their 7 goslings floated by on their afternoon swim. In the foreground are two of the 8 quilts and quilt tops... we gave up hanging them from lines under the eaves of the canopy after it became so unstable.

These photos were taken about 3 p.m. When the sale ended at 5 p.m., we had only a few boxes of unsold items to pack up, and the tent to take down and the tables to stow in the Hughes' van and ours. We had sold 7 of Mary's 8 quilts/quilt tops and--BREAKING NEWS--just tonight we sold the last remaining quilt, the yellow/floral block one, to a Friend of Compton and quilt collector who e-mailed us from Florida saying his check would be in tomorrow's mail. So tonight, our net profit from this fundraiser for Compton Cares is $1,018. A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated, helped price and set up, worked the booth and prayed for the success of this project. Thanks, too, to an old Indian dance master in Oklahoma who taught me a "sun song" many years ago.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ready for Gypsy Caravan

Well, we are ready for Gypsy Caravan tomorrow. The donations for our sale kept pouring in and after I tallied all of the price stickers we put on items, we have a total asking price for our items of over $2,300! And to think Mary started it all with 8 quilts! Let's all pray for decent weather (heavy thunderstorms are in the forecast) and for all of our items to sell. Four of us will be there at 6:30 in the morning to be ready for the early bird shoppers. If I have a chance, I'll have pictures and results to post tomorrow night. Happy holidays, everyone.

This morning in worship we had a wonderful time rejoicing as Lana was able to enter her own church for the first time in years, using her wheel chair for ease of access. We had many visitors, including Madeline's family, plus Robbie home from college, and Norma's son and fiancee as well. A great day all around, and finally a way to welcome everyone. Thanks to everyone who has supported this project this far. We have just a little bit farther to go and then we won't need this blog any more!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gypsy Caravan Quilts and Tops

In addition to the hand quilted quilts that Mary Schumacher donated to Compton Cares, she also gave four interesting tops that are not finished.
This basket quilt was made by Mary's grandmother, Mary Ellen Gastineau, in the late 1950s or early '60s. Mrs. Gastineau died in 1980. Many of the fabrics appear to be feed sacks and '30s prints. The six-inch blocks are set on point and the top measures 70" by 87". There is sun damage on the lower rows and one edge is frayed.

This butterfly charm quilt, also with some '30s prints, was made by Mary's aunt Ora E. McFadden, who was a daughter of Mrs. Gastineau. The blocks are 7 inches, set on point, hand pieced and appliqued with buttonhole embroidery stitch. There is slight yellowing of the muslin fabric along one edge.

A top made of album blocks is attributed by Mary to Cora Ethel Hughes Johnson, her daughter Katherine McDonald and Katherine's sister-in-law Alice Hull. The women lived on Russell Avenue in the Shaw Neighborhood and died in the 1970s. The blocks are not signed. They measure 11-1/2 inches and the top is 67" by 86".

Measuring 61" by 83", this nine- patch top with 2-1/2" sashing has a "use up the scraps" feel and may have been made in the '60s not long before Mrs. Johnson's death in 1971. It is somewhat unusual in its use of plaid fabric in many blocks. Mary inherited it after Katherine McDonald died in 1978.

In addition to the quilts, our booth will feature Avon ruby glass, various collectibles, stained glass, 33 lp records, a globe of the moon and a handmade chocolate safe box, among other tantalizing items. For more information about Gypsy Caravan, click on the name to go to the event web site. We hope to see you there: we are in space C-94.

Quilts for Gypsy Caravan

One of the most exciting gifts to Compton Cares is a collection of four quilts and four pieced quilt tops donated by Mary Schumacher. These will be offered for sale at the Gypsy Caravan, the antique, craft and flea market of St. Louis, on Monday, May 26 at the UM-St. Louis campus. Above left is a rose applique quilt made especially for Mary by her neighbor, Cora Ethel Hughes Johnson, who lived on Russell Ave. and was a member of Compton Heights Baptist Church. Mary says it was made in the 1960s. It measures 69" inches wide by 83" long. The blocks are 17" with hand applique and French Knot embroidery. Quilting is 4 stitches per inch. Good condition.

This unusual version of a fan quilt was made by Cora Ethel Hughes Johnson, her daughter Katherine McDonald and Katherine's sister-in-law Alice Hull. Blocks are 7''. The quilt measures 68" by 82". Quilting is 8 stitches per inch. Very good condition. Some fabrics are 1930s but Mary thinks it was made in the late '50s or early '60s. Mrs. Johnson died in 1971.

A variation of the Orange Peel, this pink and green beauty was also made by Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Katherine and Alice Hull. Appliqued blocks alternate with print blocks measuring 10-1/2 inches. Quilt is 60" by 84". Hand quilted 4 stitches per inch. The muslin back has some slight staining from storage.

Alternating printed floral panels and yellow fabric brighten this 55" by 76" quilt made by Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. McDonald and Mrs. Hull. Quilting is 4 stitches per inch and some of the batting has shifted from wear and folding.

The next post (which will show up above this one) shows the four unquilted tops that Mary also contributed to Compton Cares.

For information about Gypsy Caravan, click on the name to go to the event web site.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Farewell to Jenn and New Garden Plantings

Finally the sun is out and it has been dry enough to plant in the meditation garden next to the church. The newest feature is the Peace Pole made by Sarah Hughes with help from Jingue Wu last summer.

The access- ible entrance to the sanctuary also features some planters that didn't exist before. Here,a walking stick tree will be interesting in all seasons.

For the first time in a long time, the choir was at full strength on Sunday, and everyone's toes were tapping as they sang in their Pentecost stoles. (Note: clicking on photos will enlarge them for details.)

Larry and Jenn sang two new songs of Larry's compo- sition: "Compton Rising" and "Unconditional Love." The stole hand woven in Peru is a gift from the congregation to Jenn upon her graduation from seminary this weekend. We will miss her but every student associate has brought us new insights and blessings. Next year will be no different.

Don't forget Gypsy Caravan on Monday, May 26 to support Compton Cares. We WILL have photos! Also, check out the new totals in fundraising from GoodSearch! Keep those searches and online purchases going to help us reach our goal! Thank YOU!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gypsy Caravan, Here We Come

Thanks to a wonderful donation of quilts and quilt tops by Mary S. of our congregation, Compton Cares is going to try to connect these treasures with collectors at a St. Louis tradition, the Gypsy Caravan on Memorial Day, May 26. We will also have other types of collectibles including Avon ruby glass. Please save the date and watch this blog for a complete catalog of the items we will have for sale. At right is a detail from an applique rose quilt in the collection.

Gypsy Caravan
May 26, 2008
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(early birds 7-9 a.m.)
University of Missouri-St. Louis Campus
(We are in space C-94)
Admission $5 to shop 350 vendors
For more information see Gypsy Caravan site