Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cat and Mice

Here's another quilt that is more striking when I hang it to photograph.

Brackman's Encyclopedia* shows this block twice with the center being a square, not strips. Names for it include Beggar's Blocks and Cat and Mice (Finley), and Spool and Bobbin (Nancy Cabot 1936). It's also called the Roman Square by Wooster. I like Cat and Mouse so we'll go by that.

The quilt is almost square, measuring 68" x 72". The blocks are not consistent sizes. Some are 12" x 13", others are 12" x 12" and some are smaller. The sashing makes it all work...

It's such a simple pattern - and so strikingly different when it is shaded differently.

This quilt is machine quilted in long straight rows. There are some ties on it too, for some reason.

The cheery backing fabric is brought to the front to bind the quilt. I'm pretty sure I got this one in a mega shop (meaning I got carried away and bought several quilts at once) in Peabody, Kansas at a dream-like antique shop that is no longer there. Dream-like meaning heaps of stuff all over the place, run by an older gentleman who blended in with it all and sold fresh eggs too....

* Did you see Barbara's post about the Encyclopedia no longer being in print with AQS? I predict that situation will not last long, how could the Bible not be in print? Check out the prices on this book on right now, it will knock your socks off! IF ONLY we had a BOX of these right now......

Saturday, November 26, 2011


This is one of the first quilts I collected. I found it in Camdenton, Missouri - I recall the maker had quilts on her clothes line and I bought the top. I also recall I took it to my quilting class and was heartily laughed at. The turtles are pieced in calicos and some dress fabric and a little pajama fabric. The background is sheet fabric. The hand pieced quilt measures 65" x 78", the turtle blocks are 13" square.

But I loved this quilt so much I paid to have it hand quilted. and that is a wonderful story too. My friend Pat Kyser knew of Rita Pierce in Winchester, Tennessee, not far from where I lived at the time in Huntsville, Alabama. Rita did hand quilting. She had a big frame that she could raise to the ceiling of her living room, and lower when she wanted to quilt. I remember she quilted standing up and her kids played under the quilt. I remember her husband was a truck driver and she liked having quilts there so she had something to do. I also remember she charged so little that everyone paid her more, they couldn't stand to giver her so little for all that work. She offered to embroider the information about the quilt on it....

 It says pieced by Myrtle Layman of Camdenton, Missouri, 1978. Quilted by Rita Pierce, Winchester, Tenn, 1980.

I dug it out to photograph after seeing the calicos for Barbara's new fabric line. They sure look familiar, don't they?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am thankful for.....

This blog! It amazes me how sweet it is to be in touch with other like-minded creative folks. It is an outlet I truly appreciate. I have used it less the past few months as I went through the boring drudgery job of moving/downsizing. Who wants to hear about that?

You want to hear about a perfect name I noted in the NY Times:

 Hans Shan
(A protester at Occupy NY)
You want to see this odd little business title:

I only know one of these people....the other just wanted to be in the picture.

I am grateful for all your inspiration and for your encouragement! It is great fun to be in touch with so many of you - all over the world! Thanks for being there. I intend to be HERE much more in months to come.....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy 11-11-11

Today is the big day - Hail the Wale.

I knew I wanted my corduroy quilt to be impulsive and scrappy. I remembered this quilt by Anna Williams that Barbara noted was at the Brooklyn Museum. 

I made a black and white copy of the quilt detail and commenced working. I made one paper pattern for the triangle shape. I cut out triangles and strips like Anna does, with scissors. And I made sure to ignore the nap so there would be variety with the wales.

In Deb Rowden style, it is not finished. But close! Close, and today I should have time to stitch the final seams of this start....

Hail the Wale. Enjoy the day, take a few moments to reflect at 11:11.......and many thanks to Nifty for taking the ball and running with this idea!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

11-11-11 excitement builds

You can probably feel the excitement building as 11-11-11 nears.
It's being noted in the media, although I'm not sure they are on to our challenge yet......

MSNBC is reporting the Corduroy Appreciation Day activities.
The Guardian notes 11-11-11 is a palindrome, something we watch for eagerly at basketball games (look! 24-42, palindrome!! high five!!).

To date, they have not reported on our nationwide preparations. Many stitchers are slicing apart strings of the nappy fabric to reassemble them into quilts for ringleader LeeAnn to display on the big day.

In the meantime, we are planning a hail the wale food gathering. We will snack on long foods: shoestring potatoes, celery sticks, strings of licorice, pretzels, long cookies. Fortifying ourselves as we stitch.....

I'm also noting quilts with corduroy in them. I stumbled onto the one above the other day. The description read: The fabrics are both cottons and wool, including corduroy, houndstooth, and plaid.

Note: Thanks to Sheryl for sending me the MSNBC news......

Friday, November 4, 2011


Our stitch group has made a quilt for the Douglas County Aids Project annual art auction for the past few years. Here's our donation this year. It might look familiar to you, it's based on an antique quilt we admired this summer.

We pieced the blocks in one afternoon. We worked assembly-line style: some people made the muslin foundations, some cut strings from a pile of silk tie remnants donated by Carol. Some of us stitched, others pressed. It was amazingly efficient for our loosely organized group. Someone donated the just-right red silk for the centers, someone else quilted, someone else bound it and added the perfect label. The Little Red Hen would have been proud.....

The auction is tomorrow night.We're hoping it brings big bucks for this organization that does such vital work in our community.