Friday, July 31, 2009

Inspiration for Pre-Cut Party 3

This is a first: I'm blogging to keep up with another blog.

Barbara Brackman featured my reproduction of this quilt on her blog today. I made the reproduction from the lushly-colored fabrics in her new Moda line, The Morris Workshop.

We found the 1960-ish original at a Kansas City, Missouri antique mall a few years ago. It features several colorways of the same fabrics, measures 39" x 46", and is machine pieced and hand quilted.

The detail shows the quilt sleeve on the back, from BB's Hot Spots line a few years ago. Note the original design for that fabric in the maroon colorway below. The quilt also has a brown/blue piece of the same design.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Scraps - how small is too small?

Quilters do love to opine about the size of scraps to save. Some scoff at saving tiny scraps, and there are others of us who cherish the smallest ones. I'm delighted to be working on a quilt book with an author who shares that latter opinion with me.

Here are two more postcards I finished for our exchange. Remember, these are 4" x 6" in size so these scraps are pretty small! Some of the strips are trimmings, frayed edges and all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You've seen this before

You might remember I bought a "$5 worth of fabric entertainment" beat-up quilt at a garage sale a few weeks ago - and that I had to wash it in the machine to get it clean. Well, when you do that, the quilt fabrics fray a great deal. I trimmed off the threads and the colors were so pretty, I saved them.

They now weave across this fabric postcard I'm working on for an exchange. I'm calling it Fog. I cut the definition of fog from an old dictionary and stitched it to the back. It always makes me happy to combine images with words......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cold Beer Here

We're on the road this week, in Yankton, South Dakota, a frequent destination.

We admire the Cold Beer Here sign outside a downtown tavern. This small town (population 13,700) seems to support a considerable cluster of taverns in it's historic downtown.

A paragraph in an article about Yankton's historic past by Jennifer L. Nielson in South Dakota Magazine explains:

According to Jeff Koster at the Walnut Tavern downtown, it is rumored that an early ordinance confined women to the south side of Third Street, whereas men walked only on the north. That’s why all the bars are on the north side of Third to this day, he claims. But not to worry, both sexes can now happily stroll on whichever side they please.

The Cold Beer establishment is definitely north of Third Street.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Looks Photoshopped - not!

Check out this photo taken in the mid-90s.
My girls were visiting their friends on the farm.
The swinging Margaret's head aligned perfectly with little Kate's body (standing behind the swings).
Margaret and Kate will graduate from college next year. Look out!
Liz and Betsy are already out in the world, setting it on fire. Look out!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A string favorite

This quilt is one of the first I purchased and one of my favorites still. On the back I wrote a note that I purchased it in 1979 along the roadside in South Carolina. The seller told me his grandmother made it and that she was 90 years old. Unfortunately, I was too much of a rookie then to ask Grandma's name.
It's a classic string quilt and measures 56" x 76". Each 7" block is separated by sashing from 2 different fabrics. It's machine pieced and hand quilted. The muslin backing turns to the front to finish the edges on 3 sides, the sashing turns to the back to bind the left side. The black fabric reminds me of fabric in one of mom's skirts in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seeking News of Anna Williams

I am inspired by the quilts of Anna Williams. I mentioned an Anna Williams style block I was making a while back and another Anna admirer contacted me. She met Anna two years ago at a quilt show in the Baton Rouge area and liked her very much.

Anna had been making quilts in her own unique style when her craft was discovered by her friend/employer, Katherine Watts, also a quilter, also an LSU clothing and textiles professor. Katherine brought Anna's work to the attention of Nancy Crow, something many quilters are aware of. Anna's work was exhibited at The American Quilter's Society in 1995 and a catalog of the exhibit was published at that time. (Anna Williams: Her Quilts and their Influences by Katherine Watts with Elizabeth Walker.) Anna was born in 1927 near Baton Rouge and when the catalog was published, she was still working and making quilts.

My question is: how is Anna today? Is she still making quilts? I've written to several quilters I know in the South but am still seeking the answer.....

The block in the photo is inspired by Anna. I just finished a big project using wovens so I'm playing with the scraps.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quilt Design at your Doorstep

Strolling in downtown Lawrence last evening, I noticed this tiled doorstep, the entry to the upstairs of an 1858 historic building, the House Building, at 729 1/2 Massachusetts.
I checked a book about the House building: The House Building: My Search for Its Foundations written in 1990 by Carol Buhler Francis. I learned the entry was tiled in the mid 1950s when Miller Furniture opened a doorway to combine the entire building into one large sales space. "That's probably when the small, square black and white tiles were glued to the building's front," Francis wrote. We can suspect the artist knew a quilter or was a quilter or has inspired several quilters since they created this.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

uh oh yellow squash are everywhere

I'd heard the rumbles. Our friend Kristine said she loved to garden until it got out of control......
Check out these squash - today's harvest! Who knew they could grow so quickly?
We like squash but this is ridiculous! Time to share with friends.....

Zucchinis terrific!
Like bunnies, prolific!
- Author Unknown

The trouble is, you cannot grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed,
hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden,
menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake
as more and more zucchinis erupt.
- Dave Barry

Quotes courtesy of

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


This week my mom turns 79. Look at this sweet picture of her when she was little. She was her parents' first child and there are many, many pictures of her taken in Wheaton, Kansas. Studio photography must have been very popular in the early 1930s. Her family also took many snapshots. What mom will mention about this picture is her ringlets. The agony of having those combed is an unpleasant memory of her childhood. But aren't they so so cute.....Mom was named Lou Ellen, allegedly after Lou Gehrig, a favorite of her baseball-loving father.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Subtle Red, White and Blue

Our Own Red, White and Blue
(Author Unknown)

There are many flags in many lands,
There are flags of many hue,
But there is no flag however grand,
Like our own red, white and blue.

Say hurrah for our flag,
Our country's flag,
It's stripes and it's bright stars too.
But there is no flag however grand,
Like our own red, white and blue.

Google red, white blue songs and you will find a wealth of ditties, many very jingoistic and from olden days. This quilt is my salute to the subtle joys of patriotism. You only need to spend an all-American holiday like this on foreign shores to gain a new appreciation of your own country from afar...Enjoy this quilt, found a few years ago Topeka, Kansas. it is worn but the fabrics are so rich. Besides the varied reds, shirtings make up the background. The quilt measures 70" x 81", is hand pieced and hand quilted in straight diagonal rows. The block has these names in Brackman's Encyclopedia: Double Squares, Jack in the Pulpit and Broken Dishes.

A garden report (~3 months post planting): we are still picking lettuce for salads and make casserole today from yellow and zucchina squash. Basil needs to be picked and many many tomatoes are about to ripen....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thrift is hot in chic magazines

Have you noticed that thrift is suddenly hot, even in upscale women's magazines?

A few months ago, I was thumbing through an issue of Oprah's magazine. There was a feature showing what to wear to job interviews. As usual, the clothes were pricey. I noticed one dress cost $1228, a price so many of us can pay for our job-hunting outfit (not!). WELL in last month's issue on the reader comments page, they showed 2 affordable job hunting outfits: one from Walmart! Apparently many took them to task about the $1228 dollar dress.

The July Vogue magazine also features an article you would not have seen there one year ago. It was one woman's story about how her divorce made her wise up and embrace an affordable lifestyle - just in time for the recession! Handy! Big revelations: public school is all right! You can take your kids on their own field trips (no need to rely on the pricey private school to do that for you)! Don't turn up the thermostat so high in the winter, etc. etc.

Luckily, you can still find outrageous things in Vogue too. Page 76 shows a deli waitress (actress waiting to be discovered in NYC) wearing the most gorgeous dress (pricetag $4,995)......