Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hand Quilting Patterns

Hand Quilting Patterns on Antique Quilts is an article I just wrote and posted on Ezine Articles. It is available for downloading from them to your website, guild newsletter, any public media as long as it includes my name and information at the bottom. The entire article must be used, not portions.

There is a new article on my website about Welsh Quilts. Mary Jenkins is my guest author this month and she wrote the fabulous book "Making Welsh Quilts" which is in it's second printing. In her article,'Making Welsh Quilts: Necessity is the Mother of Invention' Mary talks about quilting and quilts in Wales where she grew up, then and now.

In the book, Mary describes how Amish quilts were inspired by Wale's quilts. In the book she features 10 patterns for medallion style Welsh quilts all shown completed in glorious reproduction fabrics.(one of Mary's recent samples is in the article) They are yummy quilts. Mary and Clare Claridge, the co-author, have pages and pages of Welsh quilting patterns they are known for; spirals, fans, leaves, pears, flowers, hearts, borders and more. The quilt projects have quilting patterns and templates. They are easy enough for beginners to piece by machine or hand.

The beginning of the book is a quilt gallery of antique quilts, one of which is pictured in her article. To find out more about their book, there is a link to Amazon at the end of article and another to Mary and Clare's webpages.

A big thank you from me to all of you who responded to my SOS call for fabric to mend my tasty antique quilt top. You guys are so great and so helpful!! I am following your leads, checking out different original fabrics first. If they don't work out, then the repro has been discovered. It is by Judy Rothermel in Lancaster 3. The red fabric remains a mystery. Further ideas are invited.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mouse Attack- help needed

I hope he enjoyed himself or better yet, was a mother mouse feeding her babies. Whoever lunched on my otherwise pristine pre-Civil War quilt top, left a gaping hole in an acid green fabric c. 1840 and a smaller chomp in a madder red print with black, white and tan motifs. See for yourself--

I have gone through my stash looking for reproduction fabric to repair the top but can't find either one in my stacks. They both look so familiar to me me, I'm pretty certain both were reproduced. Can anyone tell me which company made either of these, or the the designer? Here are closer shots.

I showed this top at a Guild lecture I gave last week and upon packing it noticed the brown fabric was splitting, cracking in one block. (Crocking is when color from the dye rubs onto another block) This happens over time to browns when they are washed or in the sun. That's not the case with this top, but the brown pieces feel dry and inflexible compared to the others fabrics. If the top had been batted and backed the splitting probably would not have happened, yet anyway. Iron was used to make brown dyes and this is what often happens to brown fabrics in quilts.They are the first to deteriorate, and this is how it begins--

Please help me find the fabrics. The brown fabric I have not seen reproduced. I plan on putting a dark brown plain fabric underneath it and crepoline across the top in order to save it from further deterioration from movement.

Lest you wonder, I bought the top with these mouse chews included, free of charge!



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cyber Redecorating

Lately I have been redecorating my cyber spaces. My yen for new colors and presentation is evident everywhere. (The joy of changing led me to two new suits in unusual colors, trendy eye glasses and cutting my hair 4"! )

Take a look at my website antique quilt dating guides...by Style. What do you think of that red? Does Turkey Red come to mind?

If you are a subscriber, have you seen the new look of Quilters Spirit? (clicking the blog title will take you there) Do you like the apple green color? I love this shade of green. When we were redecorating our bedroom awhile back and picking the paint I was pulled to this green! I didn't chose it though, it's hardly a restful color. But it is perfect for Quilters Spirit.

Very soon now I will be launching a brand new program. There is something for every quilter. I am very excited to tell you about it... but it isn't quite ready to begin. I have spent many days of long hours and given it a lot of thought and planning. Technology and software glitches are still present. I am working with one beta system, which means it is in the trial phase, but oh my gosh, when it's right, WOW, it will be great for us to use together.

I won't tease you any more, tonight. Watch for my announcement!

Quilters are animal people. Here are my furry ones keeping me company in my studio. Haley is a Maine Coon not quite 2 years old. And Faith is nearly 10 years old. She is part chow, part border collie and part??? They are both rescued animals ( they rescued me) and dearly loved members of our family. They love quilts and leave their hair all over them.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Contemporary Websites

I come across some pretty darn wonderful out-of-the-ordinary websites while cyber-cruising around and I thought you might like to know about some of them too.

The first is written by Serena Renton, an artist and college teacher currently in North Carolina. Her website is a thinker and a looker Layers of Meaning. She offers her personal comments on design and textile arts and the creative expression of them.

Sue Spargo is a folk art quilter. She designs all of her own pattern designs which . are quite different than what you may think of when you think of folk art quilts. Sue uses wool, decorator fabrics, trims and cottons all together in a pattern to make her appliqued quilts, pillows, and gifts. Her designs are whimsical and wonderful and some are even useful, like needle cases and pin cushions,. She draws from the old but they are decidedly contemporary.

Fiberella is an art quilter's website with a gallery of quilts made with machine needle felting, machine embroidery and quilting and thread drawing techniques that make quilts very exciting and intriguing. Paula Scaffidi, the quilt artist invites quilters to submit photos of their own work to post in her gallery!

Mildred's Lane.

Recently I watched a teaching video for beginning art quilters and those quilters who want to know the art school terms and thinking about composition and drawing to add to their repertoire. It was terrific, like being with friends in their studio, they being the teachers on the video Jan Davila and Elin Waterston. You can read more about Teach You Art Quilt Basics and my thoughts as a student. After that, why not check out my other book reviews, they offer quite a variety of topics in the quilting field.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Ruby McKim

A few posts ago I told you about synchronatic events that happened while I was teaching a workshop on using antique blocks and fabrics to create antique-inspired quilts. I bring quilts samples I have made and ask the students to bring their potential projects to class. We discuss their blocks, fabrics and tops ages and what quilts from their era would have looked like. Then we talk about what they can do, what quilt style, quilt design, binding, and setting using currently available fabrics with their own. (Click on this post's title for more info about this.)

At this workshop I showed my recreation of a Ruby McKim flower block that was both embroidered and appliquéd. I had found an extremely tattered quilt using these blocks with lilac solid color fabric and matching quilting thread. I saved it for many years and finally cut out the best blocks and reused them in a new wall size quilt. You can see the original and new quilt here.
These are some of the blocks I cut out to use.

At the workshop one of the ladies brought this quilt to show and ask about the date. She had no idea is was a sister version of mine that I showed earlier in the class. Her quilt is all embroidered, with no appliqué, but they are the same McKim blocks.

Here is the original pattern from Ruby's "Designs Worth Doing" catalog, 1930-31.

A few of the blocks close-up

How's that for synchronicity? I was thrilled to see Mary's quilt. I knew it was a McKim pattern right away, but putting this together with the other McKim state flower blocks that also showed up at that workshop (I blogged about these in July)it was quite a coincidence and wonderful learning experience for all of us.

If you have any McKim quilts, tops or blocks you would like to share, please put a link to them in the comments.

I've added a share/bookmark icon. If you like my newsletter won't you please take a moment to tell others by clicking on those sites of your choice in that icon- it opens to show all types of destinations. Or you can send them the url for my blog http://quiltersspirit.blogspot.com. Thank you :)


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quilt Historians in the News

On August 21, Kimberly-Clark sponsored a reception for notable Tennessean Bets Ramsey at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The event included a preview of an online portrait of Ramsey, a nationally recognized educator, curator, writer, organizer, historian and award-winning quilter. The portrait was produced as a part of Quilt Treasures, a joint project of the AAQ and Michigan State University.

The multi-media portrait of Ramsey includes a mini-documentary, extensive biographical information and over forty interview clips on various topics. The project will debut publicly on the Alliance’s website in mid September. To view the project visit Center for the Quilt.

There's much to be learned from old quilts, but they can't speak for themselves," says Amy Milne, executive director of the Alliance for American Quilts. "Our website projects save not just the images of quilts, from the humble to the magnificent, but allow us to save and share the stories of how and why they were made. All the funds raised in Knoxville, with Kimberly-Clark's help, will enable us to preserve these stories online for all those who value these treasures."

Also sponsored by Kimberly-Clark on August 21, was the first ever Quilt Train event in Knoxville. Board members of the AAQ from all parts of the US and a large contingent of quilt and train enthusiasts from the Knoxville area enjoyed a rolling wine and cheese party on the Three Rivers Rambler excursion train owned and operated by Gulf & Ohio Railways Inc. Vintage quilts from the collection of Knoxville resident and esteemed quilt historian Merikay Waldvogel were hung and draped around the train. Also exhibited on the Quilt Train were small quilts from the AAQ contest, My Quilts/Our History, for which quilters around the country and abroad made quilts celebrating their personal quilt histories. (For more information about the contest and the upcoming auction, go to the Alliance website,Center for the Quilt

The Quilt Train evening continued with a dinner at Calhoun’s by the River restaurant to honor nationally-recognized quilt historian, curator and author Merikay Waldvogel,
who recently ended her term on the AAQ board after many years of dedicated service. Waldvogel and Ramsey were co-directors of Tennessee Quilt Survey, a major effort to document the state's quilts which produced a traveling exhibit and publications. The documented Tennessee quilts, along with thousands of quilts from other state and museum collections, are preserved permanently on the Quilt Index, a rapidly-expanding online repository of historical and contemporary quilts, a joint project of the Alliance and Michigan State University.

Kathy Metelica, Market Manager for Kimberly-Clark’s southern region honored Merikay Waldvogel and Bets Ramsey for the important contribution both have made to the preservation of Tennessee’s quilt history, and added “Kimberly-Clark would like to congratulate The Alliance for American Quilts for 15 years of preserving the rich history of American quilting. We are proud to sponsor these events.”

The information above is from a press release from The Quilt Alliance, which is the Center for the Quilt and the Quilt Index. Contact for more information is Amy E. Milne, the Executive Director of The Alliance for American Quilts, (828) 251-7073, amy.milne@quiltalliance.org, www.centerforthequilt.org.

Related to the women honored by the Alliance is another great quilt org.The Quilter's Hall of Fame. Both Bets Ramsey (in 2004)and Merikay Wadvogal(2009)are inductees of The Quilters Hall of Fame. Merikay's will be official next July, her induction was made public this past July. The Quilter's Hall of Fame inductee this July, 2008, was Helen Kelley, writer, quilter, teacher, machine quilting pattern expert, and so much more. She has written a column for QN forever. Sadly, she passed away this Monday, Sept. 1. The Quilter's Hall of Fame offers detailed biography's of each of their inductees and this book is a worthwhile investment for any one interested in our quilting history, past and present.