Thursday, May 26, 2011

Scary Twisters

It's time to get back to work. The recent devastating tornadoes have everyone rattled. Tornadoes are something Kansans watch for and respect, but we have never seen an outbreak like that of the past few days. Storms break out and we can't concentrate! My coworkers are all cowering in their basements! And then we watch the news and cannot believe the damage we see in Joplin and elsewhere.......If I keep drifting, I will have to give in to my tornado fixation and stitch this block from Linda Frost's Happy Birthday Kansas book.

Luckily, the weather cleared for a while this afternoon and stitch group met. Cutting up shirts helps. Carol produced this, which may be the neatest, most precise cut up shirt ever.....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dress Remnant Medallion

Here's another quilt I found in deep Missouri last month.

I kept thinking of leaving it behind, as it is all silky dress weight fabrics. But they were all in great shape. And it is just the scrappy style quilt I adore.

Upon closer examination, it seems clear these were some kind of fabric samples. There are same-size pieces in many colorways (as in the detail shot right).

The quilt is tied and it is big - 77" x 104". It is backed with muslin - the front is turned to the back to bind the quilt.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Thrift Shop Quilt Bibliography

Fabric in a quilt I'll post next....
I'm finding this blog to be so helpful. I'm talking to several groups about Thrift Shop Quilts this week. Instead of making up a paper bibliography and hoping to have enough copies on hand, I can just refer you here so you can explore more on this topic yourself.
Here's a list of some spots to learn more about improvised quilts:

International Quilt Study Center collections:
Robert Cargo essay about African American quilts:
Denyse Schmidt:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Daughter

I was contacted by a young woman named Lindsay a few months ago. She wanted a small quilt made for her mother for Mother's Day - made from fabrics of her grandmother's clothing. A co-worker who knew about my Making Memories project and book sent her my way.

Lindsay brought an armful of her grandma's clothes. Some were made from silk, some synthetics - of varying weights and mostly bright colors. There was a pink/gold from a dressy suit, an orange chiffon from a top/pant suit, white floral silk from a beautiful dress, a turquoise Hawaaian shirt, a dark skirt. I puzzled over how to pull them all together. Then I noticed how many of the prints featured large flowers. Would it work to use those as the centers of log cabin blocks? 

It did. The log cabin design allowed me to use different size centers. I used the same striped fabric from a jacket around each center to unify the design. But after that, I let them each be different. I used interfacing to give more weight to some of the flimsier fabrics. And I stitched each block onto a fabric foundation to add more stability. The fabrics varied widely.

One more surprise: we added her grandmother's handwriting, from a sweet message on a greeting card. I stitched in those words in a few spots around the quilt, then buttons in the flowered areas after I quilted it all in the ditch. The final quilt measured 26” x 26”.

And I got it done on time! Lindsay wins the prize for the nicest Mother’s Day present ever, don't you think? I hope her mom thinks it is as sweet as I do.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Vegetable Garden Rug

My friend Frances needed a rug for her kitchen so I made this one for her. She likes the color black and we decided to add colors you would find in a vegetable garden. It measures 49" x 34".

I love making these toothbrush rugs, You can use up the most oddball fabric of all and it looks so good when you are done!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shopping in Pinkville

I've been traveling again. On the way home, we stopped in a little town in Missouri - Stewartsville, home of the Quilt Shoppe.

We were lucky to catch owner Kathy Runyan was there, getting ready for a trip to market. She showed us a quilt created for the last market by her daughter, known by many as Tula Pink.

Look at her help - little daughter Jo was happy to assist (you can just barely see her golden shoes). Her twin Jane was off hiding in a basket.....

We loved the shop! It's at 118 Hill Street (you can see it from highway 36).....p.s. the town water tower doesn't really say Pinkville.