Tuesday, April 30, 2013

At the Illinois State Museum

There is a dandy exhibit of Civil War quilts at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield - now until September. It's a very clear representation of the ways women supported the war effort. The focus is on ways loyal Illinois women organized to support soldiers on the field and in the hospital, as they braced themselves for the changes in family and community life that the war would bring. 

There are many wonderful quilts but this one won my heart, hands down.

It's  a Log Cabin, (possibly) stitched by Sarah Reed of Anna, in Union County, Illinois. It's a large quilt, made of wool, delaine, silk and velvet. Family lore has it that Sarah had a son fighting on both sides in the Civil War, and that uniforms of both are stitched into this quilt.

Illinois was a state sorely split by the Civil War, since it extends so far from North to South. I have been keenly aware of that since my youth when I read the wonderful book "Across Five Aprils" by Irene Hunt. It tells the story of the war years from the youngest son of a family with sons who went to fight on both sides of the war.  

If you're near Springfield this summer, you don't want to miss this exhibit. This is only one of many spectacular quilts there.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Seeking Bizarre Textiles

My collecting compadres know that antique shops took a real hit during the recent Great Recession. A drive across Missouri on Highway 36 is filled with the ghosts of antique shops past - so many are gone now.

But Macon, Missouri still has a great one, The WeatherVane. We stopped there the other day and I took away mostly photos to share with you.

Look at this wonderful little utility quilt. My cupboards are full but one of you should go buy it. I thought it was a wonderful way to use up dark plaids. And red sashing is always to be admired.

The other fascination for me was this little pillow, made of chiffon yo-yos. Chiffon, how odd is that!

I decided the next time they ask what I am looking for, I will reply Bizarre Textiles.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Loom Needs a Good Home

Iris had a nice loom and now it needs a new home. 

No charge. I'd estimate it is 4' across, about 5' tall. Get in touch with me if you can take it. It is in the Kansas City area. Here's a view of the back.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mini's For Sale!

Come to our quilt show this weekend! It's at Crown Toyota at 3430 Iowa, located in South Lawrence, across from Target and next to Walmart. Hours are 10-5 Saturday and noon to 5 Sunday. You can see a gazillion great quilts AND have the chance to bid on wonderful mini quilts available in a silent auction. This ticker tape mini was made by our Kelly Cline. I just love it. There are more than 100 mini quilts for sale, art to go! Come by!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Purple Turnip

Maggie Bonanomi is one of my favorite quilt book authors - and one of my steadiest. Over the past five years, we've worked together on six books - more than a book a year.

Part of our process is an early meeting. Maggie shows me her projects - most in some incomplete stage - and we talk about the book theme.

Her creativity is so exciting. A book a year takes a lot of that and her well does not run dry. She likes to take walks alone and draw inspiration from nature.

She said I could give you a peek at the project shown here.  Having been to Quilt Con, I was struck by how modern this project felt. It was inspired by Amish quilts. The hand dyed wools (and a little velvet) was cut out by hand and stitched by hand.

Maggie also said I could share some exciting news. She will soon open her new studio / workshop / retail space in downtown Lexington, Missouri. A soft opening is planned for April 19. It's an exciting move for her and for the town of Lexington, which has recently been designated an arts community in collaboration with the University of Missouri at Columbia. Look for more details about her new venture soon - we'll shoot photos there for her next book ...