Thursday, November 27, 2008

Abundance of Quilts for the Eyes on this Thanksgiving

My painted flower qlt enhThe Internet honestly I never would have thought I would say this, but it is a blessing. I am about to share with you links to incredible quilt articles, full of love, care, photos and inspiration and mindful thoughts for you to ponder and enjoy over the Thanksgiving break. (I know some of you are saying A break- what's that?)  I could say that too, but I won't. I am going to take a break, consciously setting my work and demands aside for a couple of days. If it feels really good, maybe three days!

I am headed to San Diego to view three quilt exhibits. The main event however is a phenom of avant garde art quilts at Visions. Visions is a juried exhibit. Something like 564 quilted works of art were entered and 41 were chosen. The museum in Oceanside, CA, is tiny, and this limits the number that can be shown. It's a lovely setting and shows the quilts off well. And let's face it, getting your quilt accepted is even more of a coo with odds like that.


Riding on Thermals
by Rose Hughes
Exhibited at PIQF 2008

To learn more about becoming a quilt artist, meet Rose Hughes, maker of this velvet and silk quilt, December 3, on Women On Quilts You can see more of her quilts on this page too. 

So - Take your time, pour a glass of whatever you love to sip, put on some soothing music, light a scented candle, and begin to embrace the variety below.  I recently discovered a musical group or orchestra really called State of Grace which I love to listen to as I work. Few words, mostly heavenly music. Very inspiring. It's published by Windham.  Don't confuse it with their State of Grace 2, it's not as soothing IMHO.  While I'm sharing, have you discovered the exquisite scented candle made by W&M Co.? Wow, scented meets it's match. I bought mine at Home Goods in the Silicon Valley, but it's a chain of stores.  1924 video about the  wool manufacturing process step by step in Australia  crazy quilt embroidery stitching
and  hot to transfer embroidery patterns to fabric   "Quilting with the Past"about making reproduction quilts mostly  Gwendolyn Magee, Art quilter, some are statements on slavery, intense & speak volumes  antique embroidery on clothing at Kent Museum  scroll down and down through the posts to see the photos mostly, but they grab you to also read text. Warning- no quilts, yet.

Marshall county dump quilts

Judy's frugal link

Selvage jacket Calendar Pages  and and Lots of feedsack photos intermingled be sure to click on the Gallery tab to see previous winning quilts

End with and
Oh Well, La La  the Provo quilter  country charm  inspiring story about teen girl helping homeless, quilts mentioned just once  go red  scroll down for location pictures on this woman's travel

I have enjoyed our journey together this year. Thank you for being with me on it. Each of you are a gift to me. Together we hold the thread that forms the circle of quilters spirits around the world.

Piece to you and those you quilt with,


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Alliance for American Quilts & Stories

My interview with Amy Milne including the many projects she directs within the Alliance of American Quilts was inspiring, thought-provoking, and truthfully, it felt like a gift was handed to me.

As a result I want you to hand the gift to you too. Amy has agreed that we make this interview available to all of you, VIP or not, right here by webcast. Start here.

Posted by Kimberly Wulfert
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

String Quilts Match Economic Times & 2 new books

On my way to my quilt guild Thursday evening I drove through Montecito and saw the begining of the fires there. The sky was so black, the ocean on one side and the hills on the other, with two big orange flames that could be seen from afar. During the meeting we were told the electricty had gone out for some of the homes in the fire area. If things weren't bad enough for those in dangerous areas, some people were unable to get their cars out of their garage or their private gate. Can you imagine, seeing the flames, receiving the 911 call to leave immediately, and then be stuck isnside your property with a car loaded with gas! I don't know how this is so, but no one was killed in the fires there.

I left guild early thinking the freeway may be closed and fortunately it was not. Since then our local news has been about nothing but fires; east and south of us, they continue to rage. So much beauty is lost when the fires come. Arnold, our govenor, said today that there is no longer a fire season in California. Now fires are all year long. That's true. He said it was due to the climate changes connected to global warming.

In one mobile home park over 500 homes were desicrated. Many many families are homeless today since the fires began on Thursday evening. And we Americans, me included, are focusing on the economy, unemployment and stock market thinking that things couldn't get much worse. Let's take a moment and count our many blessings.

This week I put a new article on my website String Quilts Match the Economic Times, Past and Present. The quilts shown are from my collection. I think there is a surprise in it. Let me know if you found the surprise. It's a connection for lack of a better term. No, it's not candy or fabric- sorry! It may bring a smile to your face though, and that's worth getting. :)

Diane Shink, my friend and quilt history buddy has co-authored a quilt book with Karen Neary, Canadian Heritage Quilting — Quick Creative Designs, a 128-page book that delves into 16 vintage Canadian quilts, many with a strong Maritime connection... Ms. Shink researched and wrote the historical details for each quilt featured in the book. Ms. Neary created the modern patterns. click here for a Canadian news article about the book

The book has just been published in Canada and I am thrilled for Diane. She told me last week that it's on Amazon. Diane lives in Montreal, collects antique quilts with a star pattern, any star, and she collects Aprons. She teaches, writes, is an appraiser and a member of AQSG.

Are you looking to make some fast but wonderful quilts or wallhangings for Christmas gifts? Are you aware of the technique that uses no bias, no set-in Y seams and no diamond shapes, yet results in a Star of Bethlehem, or Lone Star pattern?

Big One-Star Quilts by Magic is written by Nancy Johnson-Sebro. It is her second book using this technique for big stars with 14 new star patterns, I recommend in my review that you use an all-over tight print or marble or hand dyed looking fabric for the rectangles and squares that form the Star's diamonds. This will trick the eye, leaving the horizontal or vertical seams in the Texas dust. No one will be the wiser.

It looks to me like a weekend would take it from start to finish. Nancy goes green by providing 14 patterns for the back that use the scraps from the front.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

American Flag of 1813

An American Flag, with 15 stripes and 15 stars, that flew over Fort McHenry has been conserved at the Smithsonian Institution's labs since 1998 and is finally on display along with the reopening of the renovated National Museum of American History on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. It is huge!

Star-Spangled Banner Days You can see pictures of the original flag maker, the flag in a Smithsonian Museum's conservation lab, which gives you a sense of its enormous size, how it looks in the display case now and more. Click on the photo icon that says "Picture Gallery" to the right of the article. Here are a few paragraphs from the article about this Flag- worthwhile article,an historical account.

"To make the flag's stripes, she overlapped and stitched eight strips of red wool and alternated them with seven strips of undyed white wool. While the bunting was manufactured in 18-inch widths, the stripes in her design were each two feet wide, so she had to splice in an extra six inches all the way across. She did it so smoothly that the completed product would look like a finished whole—and not like the massive patchwork it was. A rectangle of deep blue, about 16 by 21 feet, formed the flag's canton, or upper left quarter. Sitting on the brewery floor, she stitched a scattering of five-pointed stars into the canton. Each one, fashioned from white cotton, was almost two feet across. Then she turned the flag over and snipped out blue material from the backs of the stars, tightly binding the edges; this made the stars visible from either side.

"My mother worked many nights until 12 o'clock to complete it in the given time," Caroline Pickersgill Purdy recalled years later. By mid-August, the work was done—a supersize version of the Stars and Stripes. Unlike the 13-star ensign first authorized by Congress on June 14, 1777, this one had 15 stars to go with the 15 stripes, acknowledging the Union's latest additions, Vermont and Kentucky."

"There was nothing special about it," says Scott S. Sheads, historian at Baltimore's Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, speaking of a time when a new nation was struggling for survival and groping toward a collective identity. That all changed in 1813, when one enormous flag, pieced together on the floor of a Baltimore brewery, was first hoisted over the federal garrison at Fort McHenry. In time the banner would take on larger meaning, set on a path to glory by a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key, passing into one family's private possession and emerging as a public treasure."

"On the most memorable of those occasions, the flag was displayed at Fort McHenry with George Washington's campaign tent and other patriotic memorabilia when Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette visited in October 1824. When Louisa Armistead died in 1861, she left the flag to her daughter, Georgiana Armistead Appleton, just as a new war broke out."

A patriotic quilt exhibit is currently at The Women's Museum in Dallas TX is on Judy Breneman's blog Among the Usual Days.

Mmore about patriotic quilts can be found at Patriotic Quilts through Time. It's been on my website quite awhile and many of you have probably read it already. That's the good thing about writting about antique quilts, the articles never really get old. :) In it I ask you to use the book by Safford and Bishop "America's Quilts and Coverlets" to see the quilts pictured in it that I discuss in the article and give page numbers to.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

PIQF Reproduction Quilts

Happy November everyone! It's getting to be quilting time. Yellows, golds, oranges, browns and greens fill my mind and my eyes. Fall colors are warm and inviting. Fall foods are too.

I love the taste of pumpkin anything. I am a sucker this time of year for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's or Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. MMMmmmm. The first one I ever tasted was in Golden CO at the AQSG conference in 2005. It was a cool and crisp day and this latte was a taste of heaven on a fun day at the Rocky Mountain Quilt museum. Do you have foods that bring a good memory with it to you?

The quilts I'll show you today are filled with Fall colors and they just so happen to be made of reproduction fabrics. One quilt is made in French reproductions and the other American reproductions. It is Stunning. She has keen sense of color use in a quilt. Wow. Margaret McDonald made it and she lives, no, not New England, but Australia.

Click on this link to see about 16 slides.

A quick note to close- this coming Thursday evening (5PM Pacific time, 7PM CST, 8 PM EST) Pat Sloan will tells us really how she balances all of the quilt business hats she wears with great success and how she keeps creativity flowing. She has written 19 books, has a P&B fabric line, her pattern company and she teaches all over the world, so how she has time is another mystery. Pat is lots of fun and full of energy. And she is courageous - as she is my first Woman On Quilts to be interviewed! Please join us on the telephone or listen through your website. There is no charge. Register here to get the log in link or phone passcode.

The next batch of pictures you'll get will be of arty and embellished quilts in the exhibit. One of the makers is going to be a Woman On Quilts in December!

May you have a happy Monday and wear a smile all day. Tuesday, get out to vote!