Thursday, August 27, 2009

Counting Triangles

Another behind-the-scenes quilt book story:
I sometimes work with Deb, a technical editor I have known a long time. She does great work but does tend to obsess a little about projects that contain many triangles. These command all her resources: she has to count them and check sizes, etc.

We have worked on 2 books now that have featured triangle-happy quilts.
So imagine who I thought of when I saw this quilt photo.....

Deb can make funny faces so I thought of her making googly eyes when she saw this.
and when I googled googly eyes, look what I found!

Look for lots of triangles and much much more (great quilts, exciting history) in this upcoming book by Cindy Brick, it's a beauty!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Behind the scenes - Encyclopedia of Applique

I thought you might enjoy a behind the scenes story from a book I edited.

Look at this LOVELY book, just out from C&T Publishing. It's a newly released version of Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Applique.

There are two stories to tell about this book:

1. Barbara was down to one last copy of this book from its first printing in 1993. She had another but it had to go to C&T to be scanned. So as we worked on the book, we had to constantly pass it back and forth: to me to check the original, to her to field questions from the faithful about the book. Look how dog-eared it is getting! Thank goodness she still had one copy. Do look for the new one at your favorite quilt shop - it's a beauty. And a bargain - copies of the original are hard to find and pricey on the internet (I found one for $775!).....

2. Notice the cover quilt - isn't IT a beauty? Our friend Georgann made it before she got sick of appliqued circles, thank goodness. This little quilt has 240 circles........

a Rainy Day Color Explosion

It's rainy here this morning and colors seem to explode on a wet, cloudy morning like this.

I'm quilting a small log cabin quilt I made for my mom. I love the colors in it. I used a variety of fabrics from my thrift shop stash and it worked. There is an old red woven shirt, made in India. There is a silky black scrap, shot with gold (Paula leftover). There's even a creamy silky tie (Don-O leftover).

The rich colors made me notice more rich colors outside.
Look at our produce basket.

Here's a view of our garden now, it's about as lush as it will get. The tomatoes are plentiful. And notice our new rain barrel in the background, it's satisfying to have it.

Raindrops are still clinging to the pine needles too. Hmmm, what an abstract design.

The rain brought fresh, cooler weather with it. We are in for a few not-at-all-normal cool August days. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kansas City Museum Fall Lectures planned

Renovation at the Kansas City Museum hasn't slowed programs being offered for quilters. Several quilt-related events are planned - mark your September calendars now:

Sunday, Sept. 20, 2 p.m.
Handling, Storing and Showing Heritage Quilts
Quilt book editor and writer Deb Rowden will help you learn techniques of caring for and displaying historic quilts in this one hour lecture / demonstration. Rowden is an avid quilt maker and collector and is a well-known author and editor. Her new book Making Memories: Simple Quilts from Cherished Clothing was recently issued by The Kansas City Star Publishing.

Tuesday, Sept 22, 6 p.m. The Quilt Collection
Barbara Brackman, Quilt Historian
Barbara will examine and comment about a quilt from the museum collection in this free lecture. This will be at Union Station's Town Hall.

About the cute kids above: they were participants in an improvisational workshop I taught at the museum a while back. They made the best small quilts!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thrift Shop Quilt #5: Wreath of Balls

Ok. School is back in session here, its time to get back on track and show you more quilts.

We call this one the Wreath of Balls. It measures 66" x 80" and was likely made between 1890 and 1925. I purchased it in Ottawa, Kansas in August 2006.

The blocks feature machine appliquéd claret wreaths on a muslin background. The condition is good. It has some stains, with a little wear showing on the binding. Its hand quilted in lovely feathered wreaths.

Brackman and Thompson declare this to be a good example of a claret appliquéd quilt. The machine appliqué is unusual for that period - I think that would have been hard to do. A wide binding is brought forward from the back, also a standard practice in that period, to frame a claret border.

Of the 15 appliquéd blocks, 14 are of wine-colored claret, one is a novelty red print, also of that period. Thank goodness, that made it quirky enough for me. A note with the quilt read: Vintage Quilt—Belonged to an original old-time family, probably made in the 1880s (Butell family)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

They don’t have names like this in Kansas

We have been in Colorado where we stayed in an area south of La Veta called Little Kansas. Kansans, especially western Kansans, built little cabins along the Wahatoya Creek in the 1930s and their kids carefully keep them in the family to this day. They like alliteration in the cabin names - telltale signs of the 50s ideal Leave-it-to-Beaver type families.

Two large mountains dominate the skyline south of town. The Indians who were here first called them Huajatolla, meaning breasts of the world. Legend also says an Arapahoe Indian chief named them after his favorite wife, Wahatoya. How about that!

There is some quilt news in this town. Ricky Tims retreat center is on the market. Word is he has moved it to Boulder for now. Everyone here misses him and the many quilters who came to town. Look, you can buy it!

Source: La Veta Cuchara Tour Map & Guide by Pamela Pemberton

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Scrappy 4-Patch

This quilt was just too bright and cheery to pass up. I found it in Greenwood, Missouri a few years ago.

Notice the pattern: it's 4 patches separated by strips. Sashing runs between the strips. It is like new with its wacky 50s and 60s prints. It seems to have been made for a bed, as it measures an irregular 53" x 89". This was someone's longtime lap project, as it's hand pieced. It is machine quilted. The backing, which turns to be binding on the front, is pure 1960s.

I have tried my hand at reproducing this one. It's hard to be bold enough to use a print like that in the sashing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cat Hotel

This summer, our home has hosted several cats as their owners were in transit, between one home and another.

Guest #1 was Bella, the little dumpling-shaped diva rescued by daughter Kate a few months ago. She enjoyed stretching out on my quilt blocks in progress.

Guest #2 was Buddy, here very recently, another rescue that deigns to live with daughter Betsy. Buddy is a handsome boy but a bit of a wuss. He also likes to plop down and groom on quilts on the floor (this one was being photographed).

Guest #3 was Thomas, on the longest journey of all, from Williamsburg to San Jose. Here he is in his deluxe carrier, ready to head west. Unfortunately, he was unable to hold still long enough to be photographed on a quilt. Bon voyage, Thomas!

It is very quiet here now.