Sunday, June 24, 2012

Laura shares her Pine Burr work so far.....

Laura from California got inspired by the Pine Burr photos and started making blocks.  She wrote with a question: "Since I've never seen one before, I hope I'm doing it right.  When you lift the individual triangles, can you see the  triangle's raw edge?  The raw edge is only covered when the triangle  is in place?  Here's a picture of what I've got so far." 

Of course, I was blown away that she had already made the above. I asked about it and here's her reply: "My foundation squares are 12 inch flannel, and I think I might just let them be the background of the quilt.  The squares I am folding are 5 inch.  It is remarkable how differently sized the circles come out, depending on how I lay the triangles.  Luckily, I'm not too worried about perfection.  I'm more worried about a large quantity of 5 inch squares to be used up, and six more shirts from the goodwill about to be cut into squares!"
AH! that explains why Laura likes my blog. Goodwill shirts, hooray!
Triangles before trimming
I wanted more details. Laura wrote this AND sent a few more photos: "Glad you liked  the colors!  I tried to go for contrast between the rows of points, either across the color wheel (ie, orange to blue), or value light to dark.  This has been an excellent project to use up slightly weird fabrics.  Once they are folded and then layered, only the broad strokes show.  As I assemble the blocks, I'm putting the seams on the front and then covering them with the binding.  I am finding this to be a very relaxing project.  It is quite fun to sort through my bin of squares and fold them up.  I have not been pressing the points."

"I trim by folding the foundation out of the way.  It is also easiest to sew the seam binding down to the inside first, covering the last row of stitching by eye.  Then I check to make sure it is trimmed enough that the binding will cover the raw edge and sew down the outer edge of the seam binding."

Thanks, Laura, for sharing all this!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My friend Nancy Hornback

photo by Ray Rowden
I was lucky to know Nancy Hornback, a wonderful quilt friend who died last Friday.

I met her while writing Quilter's Stories. I knew a great deal of her life was dedicated to quilting, which was exactly the type of person I wanted to include in the book. She had made great quilts and she had exhaustively researched great quilts. We met to visit on a sunny porch on a warm summer morning and we were friends from then on. She was sure she had not done enough to be included in the book. I was sure she had.

We went to her house in Wichita to take her picture. Her husband made us pancakes while we talked. They lived in this neighborhood, College Hill, that seemed to come straight out of an old story book (see photos and a story about it by her son David here). The house was older and rambling and comfortable. They had raised 7 children there. When the kids were gone, Nancy took over the top floor for her research space. She had a big desk there with books, files and paperwork everywhere. She had a sewing room on the second floor that was roomy and organized. She had quilts stored everywhere. She LOVED quilts.

I had to convince Nancy that including her birthdate was important for the book. She resisted that but finally went along with it. I think she would be pleased that now we can say, oh she died too young.  I will miss her. Many of us will miss her.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Princeton, Kansas quilters

Well! My friend Cindy sent me this photo. She found it in her dad's photo album. They suspect some of these women are relatives but they are not sure. She suspects they are some of her Aunt Lola's buddies from church in Princeton, Kansas. Princeton is in Franklin County, south of where I live.

I think the quilts are hanging on a clothesline and they are standing proudly by. Some look quite stern, don't you think? The one in the front, especially.

This would be in the 1950s, I estimate. Mainly because of their dresses and the earrings on my favorite in front. And the hairdos. And the glasses. I love the aprons. I'm curious what the woman far left is holding.

Here's something to ponder. Notice that these quilts use a lot of white. Today's modern quilters are back to doing that.....hmmmmmm. What goes around comes around?

And now for a true prize, Cindy just sent this wonderful note about the photo:

My Aunt Lola was kind of a double aunt. She was Lola Schott, my Dad's sister, and married my Mom's brother, Augie Pierce. Uncle Augie was a favorite among cousins. Her name then was Lola Pierce. She is the one who called me Cynthy.
I am kind of thinking that photo may have been taken close to Thanksgiving or even Easter, based on the vegetation. I think the lady is holding a piece of cake. I thought the lady next to her had a stained apron. Then I started working with it, and discovered it is either a quilted design itself, or great just fabric. Lola was very attached to the Princeton Ladies' Aid Society, so I suspect those women were part of her group. Lola was a very sweet and generous person.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Sentimental Quilt

Sometimes it just smacks you in the face that you are a sentimental quilter. My friend Beth showed me her raggedy baby quilt and I offered to bind it. If she has kept it with her for 50+ years now, it deserves a little love.

I thought I'd show it to you before I return it. Beth said the ladies in her parent's church made these quilts and presented them to newborns. I love the idea - scrap blocks of squares. The scrap blocks have 48 squares, each measuring about 1 1/4" square. I wonder if the women made the square blocks at home - I notice the sizes of the small squares can vary. The entire squares blocks do measure 9" x 9". They alternate with solid blocks - there are 12 scrappy blocks and 13 solid blocks. The total quilt measures 45" x 45". Bella the cat offered to pose so you could get an idea of the quilt's size.

It was clearly bleached a few times - some of the fabrics are quite worn. The quilting is interesting - a sturdy chain stitch that wiggles - in one direction only.

Beth was born in Marshfield, MO, in 1960 - her parents were members of the Marshfield Christian Church. Beth has distinct memories of women at the church sitting around a large quilting frame in the church basement -- "actually one of just a few distinct memories I have of living in Marshfield. We moved to Kansas City just as I turned 6."