Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stars and Grace

I haven't had time to do much sewing this month, so I will have to rely on other people's efforts for my post this week. The American Quilt Study Group has a biennial Quilt Study project in which participants must make a quilt copied from or inspired by an antique quilt. The theme for 2010 was 19th Century Stars. The thirty-nine entries were exhibited at the AQSG Seminar in Minnesota this year. Here is Sharon Pinka's entry, Stars Over Maine.

Twenty-five quilts were chosen for a traveling exhibit. You can see the schedule here. Pictures of all thirty-nine entries are now online at the AQSG site. They will also be included in a book, with patterns for 10 of the quilts. They are all so wonderful, it's hard to pick a favorite.

Jeanneke has a pattern and tutorial for a wonderful doll quilt she calls Little Grace, because it is made with Aunt Grace fabrics from different lines.

I just love this little quilt. After a trip to London and France a few years ago, I bought some of the Aunt Grace Friends Around the World to commemorate the trip, but haven't gotten around to making a quilt yet, so this might be perfect for it.

Well, my busy season is almost over, and I look forward to getting back to sewing soon. And getting caught up with my email. And maybe getting in a little house cleaning if time permits. :)

I bought a Christmas collar for the boys, who had to take turns wearing it for their photos. After chasing the little darlings around the house, I managed to get pics of each of them in their finery. So from me,



and Little Teague,

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I know I'm not the only one out there obsessed with old fabrics. I can never see enough of them. There is a certain feeling you get when you see one you've not seen before.

Or one you have.

If you remember from earlier posts, this summer I attended a Study Day on 1840-1860 quilts and textiles. It was an amazing day, a chance to see things most people never see outside of a museum. One of the pictures I posted was of this bodice from the teaching collection of textiles at the University of Akron.

A couple of months later I was contacted by Judy Grow of the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Study Group after she saw pictures of the bodice on my Flickr site, and recognized the fabric. It was the same as one of the fabrics in a pair of quilts that originated in Lambertville, NJ.

One of the quilts is in the possession of the Hunterdon County Historical Society, and was possibly made to commemorate the first wedding anniversary of Myra and Martin Coryell of Lambertville, as it is dated June 5, 1843, one year after their wedding, in a block signed by Eugenia E. Coryell.

The quilt is almost 100 inches square, and consists of 61 Square in a Square blocks. The 35 different fabrics are printed dress cottons and chintzes that still retain their glaze. It's signatures include those from the Coryell, Lambert, and Melick families.

There is an almost identical quilt, with the same fabrics and signatures, in the possession of the Lambertville Historical Society. This quilt had made it's way to Philadelphia, where an antiques dealer obtained it and offered it to the Historical Society in the town of it's origin. The local newspaper ran an article about the quilt, asking for donations to acquire it, and someone saw the article and let them know about the other quilt owned by Hunterdon. Thanks Judy for contacting me and providing the information about the quilts.

Of course you've seen this quilt before. It's called A Mother's Gift, made by Barbara Butcher Snyder around 1880.

If you're like me, and like to get fabrics in the mail every month, :), Homestead Hearth is starting a BOM for this quilt in February 2011.

Thank you everyone who participated in my poll. I see it's almost a tie for washing or not washing, which was about what I suspected. I know people have various reasons for pre-washing, but when I buy antique fabrics, one of the big selling features is "new, never been washed," and I can't get that out of my mind. :)

As you probably know, December is an insane month for me, so if you've emailed me and I haven't gotten back to you yet, don't give up hope. I'm slowly working my way through my emails on the weekends, but I'll be sure to be caught up by the end of the year. There's a big blizzard heading our way, so I hope everyone stays safe and sound this weekend.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three Done

I finished my third Roseville Album block. Well, almost. I have circles on the ends of the handles in the second one to do, but I spent a whole day looking for the right fabric, even making a trip to the quilt store down the street, but nothing hit me. I'll have to move on and get back to it later.

I'm not sure about the big blooms on this one, either. I may have to change them later.

Now on to Block 4. Rufus was studying the pattern today, trying to help me with fabric selection.

We have some new ones to pick from after my trip to Shipshewana last weekend. I didn't know there were that many fabrics I didn't have!

I also bought Remembering Adelia, my first Kathleen Tracy book, for a challenge on the smallquilttalk board on Yahoo, and stocked up on .005 Micron pens, a staple for me. I have a friend that said every time she sees one she thinks of me. I picked up the large set of Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles, too. I don't usually work on anything that large, but some of the circles on Roseville were a bit too large for the smaller set.

I put a poll up on my sidebar. Do you wash your fabrics first or not? I'm curious because I have to for a swap and I don't. I realize this is like Bernina v. Viking as far as do or don't, but I'm wondering what the percentages are. So don't forget to vote!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tablecloths and Quilts

I haven't been around much lately due to complications with my leg, but I'm finally on the mend. I hope. :)

I know a lot of people who have been collecting the Sophia Pearce fabrics for their Morrell and other Broderie Perse quilts. Every time I see some of the line, it sucks the wind out of me and I think "I HAVE to buy it!" Except for this one.

Although when I would see it I would still think "Sophia Pearce!," I couldn't for the life of me think of what I would do with it. I mean, it looks like a tablecloth! Doesn't it? I hated to pass it up, but seriously, I couldn't imagine how I would use it.

Until I saw this..............

Then I almost broke a leg (hopefully not the good one) getting back to the store to buy it. This is one of the most beautiful quilts I've ever seen. A friend tipped me off to a new (to me) blog, Linen Closet Quilts, and when I popped over there, this is what greeted me. I emailed Dawn, who put me in touch with Cynthia Collier, the quilt's maker. She calls it Travels in Time, after the Kaye England fabric in the corner blocks. If you want to read more about the quilt, visit Linen Closet Quilts, where Cynthia shared the story behind it, and be sure to stay and check out the rest of Dawn's great blog. If you went to Houston and saw the quilt there and have additional photos, I would love to see them.

Now for the fabric. Some Art Fabric has some of the Sophia Pearce fabrics still available. If you prefer the green version, you can get that here. I can also give you the phone #'s for the stores in town that still have it if you email me. They each had a full bolt of blue and green when the sale started, and they do ship.

And speaking of hard to find fabrics, I saw this wonderful toile (that I didn't have!) on Jeanneke's Blog, and she was kind enough to tell me the name of the line.

It took me a few weeks, but I finally tracked it down. If anyone else wants some, it's at Prairie Rose Quilt Shop, and I checked and she does ship internationally. Good luck!

I'm off to pack. Tomorrow I head to Shipshewana for a Midwest Fabric Study Group meeting on Signature Quilts. Coincidentally, there is also a Dear Jane retreat in the same hotel! I know lots of people are going to be there, so if you see someone with purple glasses and purple Uggs, stop and say Hi.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A block and a box

First for the update. There was some confusion about what kind of bat I had an encounter with, which was my fault. It was the furry kind. In trying to get away from it and get the door shut, I ran into the end of a 1x4 on my shoe rack, and cut my leg to the bone. It's finally getting better, and I get the stitches out on Friday. Being laid up all week, I actually got some sewing done. Here is my first Roseville Album block. I had a blast doing this, and while I usually stress out about picking out the fabrics, with this, kind of anything goes. I'm really happy with it, and will be prepping the next block this week. For some reason, the picture doesn't show how bright it really is, so I'll try to take one in the daytime this week.

I had just finished it, and was at loose ends for a new project, when I got a box in the mail from Country Sampler. Circumstances prevented me from attending their Boxwood and Berries retreat the last two years, but I did buy one of the projects. This was a sewing box designed by Maggie Bonanomi, and I dove right in. Here's what I started with.

I cut everything out, and then glued the seam allowances around the outside to the cardboard.

Then I had to whip stitch the edge of the inside fabric to the edge of the outside fabric to join them.

Here's the heart pincushion, stuffed with wool and whipstitched to the fabric for the inside of the lid.

And here's what I ended up with. The cutest little heart shaped sewing box, with a pincusion inside the lid. I thought it was so cute I would make some as gifts, but after two days of hand sewing on it, I decided not. :) I love hand sewing, which was a good thing on this project.

Next weekend Sue Spargo is coming to town. Here are my blocks for the classes, that I showed you in an earlier post, with some threads and fibers I picked up for embellishment. Sue will have lots more things for sale at her trunk show to use, too. Her classes are always so much fun, and I always learn something new, so I'm raring to go!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Limping Along

I had an exciting Saturday night, starting with a bat and ending with an ambulance ride, so I'm not getting around too well at the moment. Hopefully, after things settle down around here, I'll feel well enough to get some sewing done while I'm laid up. :) My friend Marilyn just left after bringing me an emergency supply of Diet Coke and my favorite blueberry fritters, so I'm set for the rest of the week.

I recently joined (oh no, not again!) a block exchange on the Jo Morton Yahoo Group. This is my first exchange, and since I already had the ingredients, I thought it sounded like fun. I bought these stamp basket stamps from Cindy Blackberg years ago in Chicago at Quilt Festival, but never used them. After this exchange, I'm going to get her Spools set and start making those Klosjes blocks I enjoy seeing on everyone's blogs.

I was sure the ink pads would be dried out after 8 years, and was just about to order re-inkers, when I unwrapped them and checked them just to make sure, and they were just like brand new! They were sealed in some pretty thick plastic, and I guess that made the difference. Now to prewash the fabrics, which is a requirement for the exchange, and also to successfully use the ink, but is something I never do.

I went to an antique market a couple of weeks ago with a friend, which was a huge disappointment, but we stopped at an antique mall on the way home and saw some wonderful things. This was called a field cradle. I know nothing about it, but it would really look nice in my living room with my dolls in it. :) A little pricey though.

I found this metal headed doll, though, and couldn't resist, especially since everything in the booth was 20% off to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the mall.

If you read my Dolls and Quilts post, I showed one that a member brought to the meeting, and I was really entranced by it, having never seen one. This one was in very good shape, although the dress was pretty faded and deteriorated, but I can always make a replacement. Lots of undergarments on her, even a bustle pad!

My local fabric store cleaned out the rafters and had a huge sale, with fabrics $2.97 - $3.97 a yard, and had lines going back to 2001. I found a bolt of this Bannister Hall Summerhouse by Xenia Cord, as well as a couple of Broderie Perse by Andover. There were some real finds, like old Kathy Hall, Jo Morton, quite a few Winterthur lines, and 1800's Blended Tradition, and I was out of money after visiting only two of their four stores in town!

Since the Northern Michigan houses were so popular last week, I thought I would show you a few more. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Northern Retreat

I just got back from my annual Fabric of Friendship retreat in Northern Michigan. Every fall thousands of people head north for a "color tour" to see the changing leaves. I missed the best color by a couple of weeks, but I wanted to show you a few pictures of the beautiful state of Michigan. I wouldn't live anywhere else.

The water is impossibly blue with the sunlight on it.

Okay, now back to sewing. I arrived late Friday night, and this is what I brought for a day and a half. It's less than usual. :)

So, you've probably been wondering what I've been working on while I've been blogging about quilt shows and symposiums and such. I've joined the girls over at Glorious Applique. It's a blog about people working on Kim McLean patterns, and after much resisting, I started the Roseville Album quilt. You can order the patterns, and the Kaffe Fassett fabrics Kim uses, at Glorious Color. The Kaffe fabrics are gorgeous, and I may use them in a future quilt, but for now, I'm a repro gal. I got the pattern last weekend, and got right to work. I got a banana box and put any fabrics I thought might work in it.

Then I traced the pattern onto a piece of red dot Pellon for an overlay. Someone on a quilt board suggested using it instead of vinyl, so I thought I'd try it out. I put a piece of white paper under it so you could see the pattern I traced.

Here's my first block laid out, minus the berries, which I'll pick out later. I've been slaving away at it this weekend, so engrossed I totally missed the Market Place we have at the retreat, even though it was in the other end of the room! I'm still not sure how I didn't hear anything going on.

Every time I ran across the Regency Dandy fabrics, I had to shield my eyes. They are so bright they are almost radioactive. After I started this quilt, I knew they would be PERFECT! Funny how a new project makes you see fabrics in a totally different light.

All for now.....Have a great week.