Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good Times with Arnold's Attic

I"m making a small quilt. Here's what I'm beginning with:
1 Moda jelly roll (Arnold's Attic by Barbara Brackman)
Pile of coordinating plaids/solids
Handout with black/white quilts from the latest impulsive quilter class

Barkley is guarding my progress so far. Working with the black&white image for a pattern let's you see the color values.
I love the colors in this line (see Barbara's blog, it's not due out for a while). And also seeing some proof that Arnold is real, and not a fictional character. We've been hearing about him and his fabric gifts for years....

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Quilt Show Favorites

There were many wonderful quilts in our show. One great thing our guild does is photograph all the quilts as they come in. Then we sell the CD of photos so we can all remember what we saw.

Here are two quilts that I think explode with creativity:

The first is by Jennifer Dixon-Perkins, a new member of our guild. It's titled Doni Doesn't Know It's Here. Jennifer will soon surprise her daughter, who loves these characters (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends), with this quilt. Jennifer explored different avenues for applique and drawing with thread. I love the raw edges and the wacky modern fabrics she used.....I predict Doni will love the quilt.

The other is by Terry Thompson, longtime creative artist. She made it for her granddaughter Maddy in 1996. She wanted to make a different kind of Noah's Ark quilt and was inspired by the fabric she found. Aren't these bold fabric choices!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quilts from Many Generations

I had the pleasure of coordinating an exhibit of family quilts for our guild quilt show, which ended today. We presented a program about those quilts yesterday morning.

Several members brought quilts that spanned 4 generations. Sammie Messick contributed quilts made by herself, her mother, her grandmother and her greatgrandmother. Sammie and her mother Ella McNatt (age 90) attend the evening guild regularly and sit right up front. They work in vivid colors, Ella's Icicles quilt is shown.

Rosie Grinstead brought 3 splendid vintage quilts. Two had the maker's (her greatgrandmothers) photo and obituary on the back. The other was my sentimental favorite. It was Rosie's baby quilt that she finished herself when she was pregnant with her daughter. I love the letters, they spell Rose Alice.

 Linda Frost brought quilts made by her great-great grandmother and her great grandmother, her grandmother, her mother, her daughter, and herself. She brought several polyester items too, one an awesome polyester scrap rug. Her worn little baby quilt might have elicited the most response. She mentioned her family had used quilts like that up, as cushions for bed springs, for packing. I loved the quilt her daughter Kayla made when she was little.

Barb Lynch talked about a prized family possession, this quilt “never used on a bed”, with quilting pencil marks still showing. The crowd was especially charmed by a quilt she helped her little granddaughter make for her stuffed pet Fluffy.

 And Betsy Weaver proudly showed quilts made by her Hoosier great-grandmother in the mid 1800s. A white whole cloth quilt with no batting featured the tiniest quilt stitches (18 per inch) and an incredible eagle design.

I think we all enjoyed it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

California Sunshine

Our guild quilt show starts today and I got my big quilt finished and bound just in time.

I call it California Sunshine as that's where it came together, in January at sunny Pt. Bonita. I started with a pile of nine-patch blocks purchased years ago at the Ottawa Antique Mall. I liked the colors but puzzled over how to set them together for quite a while, as they weren't all the same size.

At last, I turned to the work of Anna Williams for inspiration. I collected a pile of fabrics in coordinated colors. I cut strips and sashed them around the blocks, then added rows of smaller pieces (many vintage fabrics from Barbara's garage sale last summer). When I got home, I thought they needed some calm chambray shirting to pull it all together. The quilt measures 64" x 82".

The ever brave Lori Kukuk (a name spelled the same forwards and backwards, our local sports writers note) quilted it.

And it's up at the Kaw Valley Quilters Guild show! Aaaahhhhhhhh...... If you're in the area, stop by. At Douglas County Fairgrounds at 21st and Harper, 10 -5 today and tomorrow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lone Star review

Our friend Roseanne who likes the Lone Star pattern so this blog is for her. I showed her a picture of this one once, she loved it. When I hang it on the dining room wall, my eyes seem to zoom around and around in circles, like Barney Google.

  I bought it because the fabrics were in such good shape. It's hardly used at all! The quilt measures 77" x 79" and is hand pieced and hand quilted. I found it at an antique mall in Kansas City, Missouri.

But we can't stop yet as that quilt is too sweet and normal for me. Here is a photo of another lone star I found a few years ago in St. Joseph, Missouri. I call it Lone Star Gone Wild. It starts in the usual fashion but then something goes terribly awry. I like to show it to groups and we speculate about just what happened. Bad menopause? Revenge on the original quiltmaker by the next generation? Madness? We will never know but it is something to imagine.

It's also hard to look at on the wall, it hangs so badly. It looks like some sort of old measures 72" x 78" and is hand pieced and hand quilted.

Meanwhile, look at this swell quilt Roseanne made. Now that is orderly.

We are also fortunate she had a hand in this one. It's our guild opportunity quilt for 2010. Chances are being sold for a few more months......

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Did she win?

oh dear I should be working BUT I must show you my latest distraction. The other day I was at a meeting and an old friend said -point blank, out of the blue- I have some scraps for you.
wa hoo! I happened to be in her neighborhood 2 days later and here are the boxes she gave to me. She said they are from a pick-up FULL of fabric given to her from an estate.

I am so fascinated with the contents of these boxes. They will entertain me for a long time. Note the old boxes, many are for foundations (which some of us recall are gruesomely constricting undergarments). Some boxes have project names written on the outside.

Inside are a gazillion cut up pieces of old fabric. And pattern pieces. And notes of how many pieces or blocks were needed to make this quilt or that.Wow, this quilter was a planner.

We always say the one who dies with the most fabric wins. Did this person win? Seems possible......

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wildest patterns

Here's a small quilt I found a while back. It seemed quite insane but interesting too. The wildly patterned fabrics compete madly for your attention!

It measures 33" x 42". It's machine pieced and tied with embroidery thread. The backing is brought from the front to bind it. There are 6 blocks with a full pattern (one I could NOT find in the Encyclopedia), then a few partial blocks and a few rectangles. It's randomness, for sure.

As I photographed it, it occurred to me that we have wonderfully wildly patterned fabrics to work with again today, thank goodness. Look at this little pile of Kaffe Fassette fat quarters - they have the same gusto as the fabrics in this wild quilt.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Postcard Friday

From time to time, you've just got to make some postcards, don't you think?

Here are a few I just made for our guild exchange. The theme was Kansas. On the back, I wrote that famous quote uttered by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz:
"There's no place like home, there's no place like home....."

My friend Kathe Dougherty shared a great idea for these. She stitched a card directly onto cardstock. I tried it and liked it. I used old Christmas cards. The colorful designs on those showed through cotton so I used decorator fabric samples to cover them. The heavier fabric worked well and made them even sturdier. Then I appliqued the little houses on them.

Kathe just returned from a retreat where she carried on the "no scrap too small" theme, making these postcards from everyone's scraps. Aren't they great?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rescued Crib Quilt

I often think about how many utilitarian quilts we will never see, as they are were used up (as intended). This one is nearly there. It's faded and many of the fabrics are worn out. The borders are frayed.

I bought this quilt on a road trip through the Midwest a few years ago - somewhere in Indiana, I believe. I think I would pass it up today but I am not sorry I have it. I consider this quilt to be a pattern, a design that would work nicely if it was reproduced.

The squares in the nine-patch blocks measure 3/4" finished. There are10 rows of nine-patches on point. It is hand pieced and hand quilted. The quilt measures 30" x 41".

My favorite part of this quilt is the little string of blocks in the top and bottom borders.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thrifty Chicken

I found this chick at a garage sale yesterday, just across the street from my house. The eye and beak are embroidered, the rest is appliqued. And look at the little crocheted hook, done with thread.
Ah, spring! Garage sales! Bike riding in the sun!
Happy Easter to you.....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Memory Tie Quilt by Renay

My friend Renay Martin consulted with me as she started planning this quilt, as I'd made a memory quilt with ties (for a friend, shown in my book Making Memories). She took it from there and look at what she has created. It's in memory of a longtime friend, a professional mentor for her husband, a gentleman who did wear a tie almost every day (weekends too - Renay would tease him that he must have a tie for mowing the lawn). 56 of his ties were used to create this 35" x 45" quilt. 

Renay wove them together, then hand stitched them in place. She backed it with silk. Labels from the tie backs were included too. On the back is a stitched verse bound by tie scraps. It goes home tomorrow. Way to go, Renay.

The label reads: Les & Louise
Two lives forever woven together with the silk threads of love.....