Thursday, January 10, 2019

October Catch Up

In late October, Jan and I took a quick road trip to take in a few quilt exhibits - Waste Not, Want Not at the Iowa Quilt Museum, Pattern and Purpose: American Quilts from Shelburne Museum at the Joslyn Art Museum, and multiple exhibits at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.  We were fortunate that our visit to Lincoln coincided with the Clues in the Calico presentation by Barbara Brackman.  We even fit in a quilt shop stop at The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, IA - a treasure just off I80.

First are photos from Waste Not, Want Not.  My favorite at this exhibit was the Slanted Strips of Scraps, c 1890.

 The diagonal stripes are made up of four rows of tiny half-square triangles.  The common alternate fabric is very dynamic - what a perfect fit!

The standout of the Shelburne exhibit for me was the Pieced Rising Sun, Kansas Troubles, and Star of Home quilt attributed to Eunice Haynes Baker Willard, c 1860 - 1870, from Vermont.  The border held my eye for quite awhile.  The exhibit included amazing quilts.

Jan and I attended the Red and White exhibit in New York City, so we knew the Joanna S. Rose cheddar quilt collection would be worth the drive.  There were many beautiful quilts included in the exhibit.  My favorite was a pineapple hung too high for close study.

I really appreciate that pictures are allowed at most exhibits.  There is definitely overload when viewing so much exceptional art in a short timeframe.  If not for pictures, many would be forgotten.

That catches us up thru October.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

CUT! Costume and the Cinema

This wonderful exhibit at the South Bend History Museum features 43 costumes from award winning cinema designers depicting 18th and 19th century fashion.  A partial list of films represented include The Duchess, Sense and Sensibility, Little Dorrit, Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Potter.  The exhibit runs thru January 6, 2019.  The History Museum ticket includes a tour of the Oliver Mansion, Capshaholm, a 38-room Romanesque Queen Anne home built in 1895-96 complete with original furnishings.

Friday, September 28, 2018

In Print

I'm thrilled to share that I'm featured in the 'Quilts and Enchanting Homes' segment of the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmania!!  I'm jealous that my hubby's old barn was given a full page photo with nary a quilt in sight :)  If you run across a copy, give it a peak.

But that's not the summit of my exciting news - Quiltmania is releasing my book, Button Box Quilts, in October for the US market (already available in Europe).  The book includes helpful information and instructions for twenty quilt patterns - ten reversible quilts.  If you've followed my 'What a Load of Scrap' blog (co-authored with partner-in-crime, Jan), you'll be familiar with my reversible quilt format.  EXCITING!!!

What a joyful process!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Movin' On

Borders are on - this one's coming off the wall.  This is the back to the Devil's Claw.  That top will finish at 94" (larger than normal for me), so with additional border width for attaching to longarm, this is at 100.5 - outgrew the design wall.  I exchanged the inner green border for hourglass blocks of two consistent fabrics.  I needed an additional inch in this border to accommodate the 'Puss in the Corner' border, so I added an inch strip of a third fabric to the center of each side.  I'm not looking forward to attaching binding.

I have a block in mind for my next project, but lots of detail to work out.  I was hoping to work with leader/ender Log Cabin blocks, but after checking the spot where it will live, I'm six blocks short.  I can still start playing with layout.

The Autumn Clematis went crazy this year - what a fragrance!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great week!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Skinny 'T' Milestone

A successful week - all Skinny 'T' blocks pieced and sewn together with sashing and cornerstones.  This will be followed by a solid border and then another pieced section.  I'm tentative on this green (can you tell that's green?) for the border.  Final decision will come after the next section is complete.  Cutting will commence shortly.  The most time consuming part of the 'T' blocks was fabric selection - the pitfalls of a healthy stash.  Am I right?

Hope you find some sewing time mixed in your holiday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Travel Wrap Up

I have seven more Skinny 'T' blocks to piece.  I hope to have a completed center section to share soon.  I've calculated the first border dimensions to fit the second pieced section.  Now to get crackin'.

One afternoon of my vacation was spent at Old Sturbridge Village to view the exhibit 'Early New England Quilts: Repurposed, Refashioned, and Recycled' (on display thru early Feb, 2019).  Although the exhibit is small, the items on view were exceptional.  If you're interesting in visiting the living museum, the timing is great.

The featured quilt from the exhibit (c1840) was made by Susannah Allen Anderson Howard (1813 - 1891) from Ware, MA.  Nearly 12,000 pieces, likely from old garments and household textiles, were used to complete this quilt which was probably made for her marriage to Emery Howard in 1839.  The proportions of my photo seem to have skewed in cropping, but a close-up follows.

One of my favorites was the Orange Peel quilt (c1830) attributed to Matilda Fiske, Sturbridge, MA.   She was my kinda girl - the quilt was appliqued rather than pieced and the melons float, so no worry about melon ends meeting.

I'm in love with the indigo pockets in the next photo.  All cotton items on the mannequin are from 1830 - 1840.  Love that indigo!  The pieced quilt to the right of the mannequin (c1820) is from the Arnold family of Providence, RI - relatives of the infamous Benedict.

There was a kids event going on the day I visited.  The period activity was a pleasant addition to the living museum.

The morning of the following day I visited Old Deerfield Village in Deerfield, MA - a New England treasure.  The village is perfect for a quiet stroll of picturesque historic homes.  The draw for me is the fantastic graveyard (carved tombstones from the late 1600's forward) and the Memorial Hall Museum (the best $6 you'll ever spend).

I'll share more tombstone carvings near Halloween, but how cool is this?  You aren't allowed to clean the markers, so most are adorned with bird droppings.  The earliest carvings are skeleton heads with angel wings followed by angelic faces and wings.  Again, I think cropping altered dimensions.

The Memorial Hall Museum (founded in 1870) includes a quilt room.  The Stars, Hexagons and Polygons quilt top (c1860) was made by Mrs. Carpenter of Vermont.  It contains 82,000 1/4" pieces.  The lower right shows the back of the quilt top.  I think it's rather sad - similar to my Grandma's Welch Grape Jelly box of quilt pieces I posted about on the old blog.

The Rising Star quilt was owned by Martha Washington (DeWolf) Briggs (1815 - 1879) of West Deerfield, MA.

The pumpkins are growing - anticipation for my favorite season!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Schwenkfelder Heritage Center

I visited the  Schwenkfelder Heritage Center last week while vacationing in Pennsylvania.  The beautiful textiles were a treat. The plaid silk dress from 1860 was very fetching.   The two brown dresses on the platform were believed to be worn for weddings in 1892 and 1894.

I especially enjoyed the German Sampler exhibit.  The sampler above was made by Rosina Schultz over the period 1809 - 1817.
The center tulip design is unique to Rosina.  My time was limited, so I wasn't able to study the samplers closely.  There were many extraordinary pieces in wonderful condition.

There was also a Perkiomen Valley split nine patch quilt exhibit.  The quilt above is circa 1900.

I'll share some photos from Old Sturbridge Village and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Hall Museum in another post.

I'll close with a photo of a charming barn from Lancaster County, PA.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Porch Sewing

Schedules permitting, Jan and I get together once a week during warm weather months for porch sewing.  We usually work on hand quilting small projects - doll or crib quilts.  My current work-in-progress is from Lori's Humble Quilts  'Cheddar Cheese and Crackers' quilt-along from January 2010.  Yikes, way overdue to quilt and bind.  This is the first top I'm hand quilting freehand with no chalk guidelines.

I've been working on Skinny 'T' blocks - 12 complete, 13 to go.  The first six blocks included just pink, blue and brown.  That seemed too repetitive, so I expanded the color pool.  I have a couple green fabrics I'm considering for borders, so hoping to bridge the color transition.

Have a sunny, summer week!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Skinny 'T'

A post from the December 2017 archives of Petite Quilts by Annette Plog was the spark for the back quilt of Devil Stars (the quilt top from my recent posts).  Here is a link to purchase Annette's pattern (no affiliation).  If you're not familiar with Annette's blog, you'll enjoy reading thru the archives.  May 2018 posts include her trip to Paris and Nantes to attend the Pour l'Amour du Fil show with Betsy Chutchian, a featured artist this year.

I've always loved Skinny 'T' antique quilts.  My blocks will finish at 8.25", so the pieces are large and sew up quickly.   I'm exchanging the center square for an hourglass on eight of the blocks and for a four patch on the center block.  I'm planning on five rows of five blocks - 25 'T' blocks.  I was originally planning on setting block -to-block, but I like the look of the cornerstone and sashing.  I have another block in mind for the next round, but haven't decided on specifics.  Sorry for the rough picture, but it is a 'work in progress'.

Update on our new family member, Jacks - the vet puts him at 1 to 1 1/2 rather than 3!!  He's a good boy, but did chew the library audio plastic book case when left alone - Uh Oh.  At least there was no damage to the disks.  Not looking forward to returning it :(

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Meet Jacks, a 3 year old rescue dog we adopted last week.  He immediately made himself a part of the family.

I completed the quilt top, but it doesn't look much different than last week's pic.  I didn't find another name for the block pattern. Please leave a comment if you recognize it.  I've decided on the specifics of the quilt back and have started to pull fabrics.  I hope to get a sample block sewn today to test cutting directions. 

Jan and I visited the Chicago Art Institute yesterday.  I have a few items to share that caught my eye.

This French wool and silk tapestry weave dates from 1756 to 1763 produced at the Manufacture Royale de Beauvais.  It depicts the arrival of Princess Psyche at Cupid's Palace.  (Accession nbr 1943.1237, 67" x 140.75")

A silk and cotton plain weave ikat (warp-resist-dyed) Woman's Chapman/Robe from Bukhara, Uzbekistan edged with silk twined embroidery (1840/60, accession nbr 2005.606)

Roman bronze, silver and copper Busts of Silenoi (part human, part goat) dated from mid 1st century BC to mid 1st century AD.  They represent the desires released by the magic elixir of the wine god Dionysos.  They adorned the sides of an elaborate couch used by high society at lavish banquets.  (Accession nbr 1997.554,1&2)

The first two items can be found on the Art Institute online collection using the accession numbers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Devil Stars

The top is not complete, but getting close.  My design wall is hung down my main hallway, so I can't get a straight-on shot.  This quilt has been a lot of cutting and unit piecing, but also a lot of fun.  It's large - 94" before quilting.  The inspiration quilt is from the May/June 1991 issue of Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts pictured on page 45 - an 1890's Devil's Claw in the collection of Bernice Stone.  A quick look in the Brackman 'Encyclopedia' didn't find a match, but I'll do a more thorough search later.  Now, I'm headed out for a day of birthday fun!


October Catch Up

In late October, Jan and I took a quick road trip to take in a few quilt exhibits - Waste Not, Want Not at the Iowa Quilt Museum, Pattern an...