Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Road Trip to the Hen House

My girlfriend Marilyn and I take a road trip to a primitive quilt shop every three months or so, and this last Saturday was the perfect day for it. The trip takes an hour or so, but you'd never know it the way we chatter. The shop is called The Hen House, and it's in a little town southeast of here called Charlotte. The Hen House carries lots of wools, homespuns, and Jo Morton fabrics, as well as basket making supplies.

We usually go in and let Nancy know we are in town, then go across the street to Eaton's Pub for one of my favorite things, Pot Roast Panini and steak fries. It makes me wish we made the trip more often. :)

Then back across the street for some shopping. The store is so jam-packed, it takes quite a while to work our way through it all, checking out the new stuff. Here's the owner, Nancy Conn, standing in front of Primitive Gatherings Settler's Pride wool quilt, which Marilyn and I did as a BOM from her shop. Nancy always has a million WIP, and about that many ideas for new ones. We always have a lot to gab about.

I picked up some shirtings and Jo Morton fabrics for my Blackbird Designs Trick or Treat quilt. I did this as a BOM from Homestead Hearth, but there are a few fabrics I want to substitute.

I have 90 blocks done, and only a couple hundred yet to go. :)

I'm leaving tomorrow for Pennsylvania for my family reunion, and I'd hoped to have the first three weeks of Lisa's Garden to show you before I left, but I only have two weeks done, and week four arrived today! I don't have the stitching on the wool blocks done, but my threads should come tomorrow, and they will make a nice travel project.

Happy Fourth of July, and see you next week!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Threadbear Package Arrives!

My package from Threadbear arrived from Australia this week! It arrived along with several packages of fabrics I had tracked down, after getting the heads up on what to look for from my friend Janet. My mail lady could hardly climb the stairs, her bag was so laden down with fabrics. I saved opening the Threadbear package till last, knowing it would be the best, and I wasn't disappointed. I got the Ann Daggs pattern, Ann's Legacy, along with the fabric starter pack, and the background fabric.

They were sold out of the border fabric, but provided me with the name of the line, and I was able to track that down here in the States. While I was at it, I ordered another fabric, from Judy Roche, that I thought looked similar to the original quilt's border. I'll audition them both, but I think the Roche is too light.

And then, the pattern I have wanted since I first saw a picture of it that someone had taken at a show where it was displayed, Di Ford's Morrell quilt! I printed that picture out, and it's been laying here next to my computer ever since. There's so much to the pattern, I feel very intimidated, but I'll just concentrate on one block at a time, and try not to feel overwhelmed. Notice the bottles of Little House pins in the top right corner. These are my favorite pins, and have been impossible to find here for several years. I was thrilled to find them on Threadbear's website.

I found two of the Sophia Pearce fabrics that Di used in her quilt, and also the Austen Manor peacock fabric.

Next are some of the In the Time of Toile fabrics, by Froncie Quinn. Several more are on the way! I just love these fabrics, and had coveted them for a while. Now that I have the perfect project for them, I had an excuse to splurge.

Also arriving this week were week 3 of the Primitive Gatherings Block of the Week, and another Sue Spargo Crimson Tweed block. Good thing I'm on vacation for the next two weeks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Primitive Gatherings Block of the Week

You would think it was enough that I can't keep up with the Block of the Months I'm in, but now I've joined a Block of the Week! Of course, I love wool, and I love working small, so, with Primitive Gatherings new blocks finishing at 3", I just had to join. The fact that it's called Lisa's Garden didn't have anything to do with it, honest. :) The quilt was inspired by Florence Peto's quilt "Calico Garden" which resides in the Shelburne Museum. Here is the original "Calico Garden."

We get 10 blocks a week, 5 pieced and 4 wool applique, along with a free project. Here is the first week's shipment.

We also got all the background fabric for the wool blocks, which is an aged muslin. I matched up lights with darks and got to cutting those 1 1/2" squares.

The wool block directions call for using Steam-a-seam 2 lite. I haven't used fusible with wool before, but with pieces so small, I think I'll give it a try. I also don't usually buttonhole, I whip stitch, so I'm still deciding on that. Hopefully I'll have something to show you later in the week.

I also got the first package of the fabrics I ordered for the Morrell quilt. My friend Janet, from Quiltsalott, clued me in to some fabrics, since she has her pattern, and has already started her quilt. These are from Florrie's Favorites, designed by Froncie Quinn, of Hoopla fame, and, coincidentally, taken from Florence "Florrie" Peto's quilts. Froncie also has a pattern for Calico Garden.

Hopefully my package from Threadbear will come this week. I'll post pictures when it arrives. After I get done rolling around in it. :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sarah Morrell and Ann Daggs

What do these two women have in common? Besides both being quilters, they both have the distinction of having their most famous quilt reproduced by Di Ford, an Australian quilt designer. I have written previously about the Morrell Quilt, made by Sarah Morrell, which resides in the Museum of American Folk Art. The Ann Daggs Quilt was made c. 1818, and resides in the Smithsonian. Here is a picture of the central medallion.

For a picture of the whole quilt, click here. It is pictured in Roderick Kiracofe's book The American Quilt, A History of Cloth and Comfort: 1750-1950.

I have finally ordered these two pattern from Threadbear in Australia, which carries Di Ford's patterns, and I can't wait until they arrive. I will be documenting my progress on this blog, so I hope you can follow me as I work on them. Now..........which one to start first?

Here is a picture of Di Ford's version, called Ann's Legacy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Galloping Pony Market Tote

It took a few months, but I finally finished my quilted tote bag from Galloping Pony Studio. I love her miniature quilt designs, and although I am sewing machine challenged, I decided to try to make her tote bag pattern. I started by trying to track down the linen burlap, and lucked out, finding it at Hobby Lobby on close out. Then I had to pull out the strands and weave in some black crochet cotton to make the stripes on the bag. The idea was to make it look like an antique 19th century grain sack. Willow Decor has a good post on decorating with the real thing. I especially love the one they have that's decorated with a horse.

Then to hand cut the stencils. This was a pretty intricate design with not much room for error. Stenciling is something I had not done before, and I was a little nervous to try it out on the burlap after all that work weaving the threads, but to my surprise, I thought it turned out looking great for a first try.

I hand pieced the little quilt for the pocket, sewed that on the front, and then decorated the back with buttons, antique Mother-of-Pearl buckles, and an optical lense with one of my favorite old photos glued onto it.

Then it was time to assemble the tote. I had to email Virginia at Galloping Pony a few times with questions, and she couldn't have been more helpful. This was not because the pattern wasn't well written, but because I wasn't familiar with how to do some things on the machine, and she was very patient with me. I had a little trouble with the zipper being wavy, and had to ask around. Finally someone told me to baste it first, and that made a big difference. I made a minor change with the pattern, in that I made two handles instead of the one she had. I like my bags to open up really wide. I'm really happy with it, I learned a lot of new skills, and I think it looks pretty good if you don't look too closely at the machine stitching. :)