Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Takes 2 January Blocks/ Part 2

The instructions for Part 2 of the January blocks from the Just Takes 2 Quilt Along are now available.

I've finished the first 4.

Block 7
*remember: these blocks are from the Infinite Variety quilts.

Block 8

Normally, this would look like an easy block to rotary cut and sew traditionally.
I thought it was interesting that the instructions for Block 8 were to paper piece.
One of the reasons I like signing up for BOM patterns is to increase my quilting skills, so I followed the given instructions.
I like how paper piecing makes for such accurate points and sections.

Block 9

Block 10
The instructions for Block 10 directed us to foundation piece using freezer paper templates.
That seemed like a lot of extra work to me, so I paper pieced this block also.
Easy to do and it came together quickly.
Block 11 is the traditional school house block, but it's not my style, so I will be finding another substitute at a future date.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Nancy's Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt

Makes a teacher proud.
When we lived in St. George, Utah I used to teach classes for a wonderful quilt store called Quilted Works.
One of the classes I taught was Grandmother's Flower Garden, which involves making hundreds and hundreds of hexagons and then sewing them together by hand using the English Paper Piecing technique.
GFG's have always had a kind of love/hate type of effect upon quilters.
You love to have a portable, easy- to- do hand type project that can be tucked in a purse and worked on where ever you go.
You hate the time consuming nature of the project, and that it can take years (upon years!) to finish the top.
You love the fact that you can use fabric scraps to make the flowers, and that English Paper Piecing can be quite therapeutic and yet addictive all at the same time.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
I have taught GFG to many students over the years, and in turn have been the the recipient of many wonderful stories and e-mails.
This is the kind of quilt that touches people's hearts, and weaves it's way into your life.
I received a nice e-mail, complete with picture from Nancy M, who will be hand quilting (!) her GFG next!
Applause, applause, clap, clap, clap!
Beautiful job Nancy!

I just had to share my quilt that I finished from the class you
taught at Quilted Works. It turned out so beautiful and I can’t wait to start
hand quilting it.

Thanks for teaching me how to make this. It will be a family treasure for
generations to come.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nice Thought

"May all of your ups and downs in life be with a needle and thread"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba

I think one of the reasons I have been fascinated with anything Circus lately, had been because we recently watched the DVD La Nouba.
When we lived in Southern Utah, we were able to drive to Las Vegas for the evening and catch a Cirque Du Soleil show.
Watching a DVD isn't the same as live, but it's a second best.

This spectacular performance is shown nightly at Walt Disney World.
Available on Amazon.com

After viewing the aerial ballet in silk I was ready to run away to the circus.

The Power Track/ Trampoline number provided an amazing closing act!
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the choreography and physical strengths exhibited by the acrobats and gymnasts.
From Wikipedia:
Clowns, trapeze artists,tight rope walkers, music: Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba has it all. They label it the Avante-Garde blend of Circus and Theatre, and yes, it is extreamly innovative.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders

If you are like me and would like to make Circus Quilt, the pattern can be found in the book
Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders
by Thos. K. Woodward and Blanche Greenstein
Available on Amazon.com

This is a wonderful book to keep in your library and to peruse.
Including 150 color plates, curators Woodward and Greenstein give a detailed history of each vintage quilt and provide several patterns, including Circus Quilt.
What mother hasn't made or received a crib quilt with the birth of a child?
I found the history included in the book as interesting as the quilts themselves.
Did you know that there have been many strong opinions on how to make crib quilts over the years?
"Readers of The House Book published in 1840, were instructed to use two discarded silk dresses to make a 'light and convenient article' for a child's crib, especially useful in a 'sickroom' as a moral booster. For reasons unexplained by the author, the quilt was meant to be quilted only in large diamonds, and in another passage, patchwork quilts of old calicoes were declared unfit for use anywhere except in 'inferior chambers' where they would work well for the servants' beds." (pg 86)
I've always held a romantic notion that it would have been wonderful to live in the 1800's.
As a quilter, I think I far prefer the 2000's where there are not so many do's and don'ts in the quilting world.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Original Circus Quilt

In the early 1920's and 1930's Americans were fascinated with anything "oriental" or exotic.
The trend not only had an impact on our furniture and clothing tastes, but also our quilting designs.
In doing research on Circus Quilt, I found this original photo courtesy of Karey Bresenhan

47" X 61" Gilmer, Texas
Hand pieced and quilted by Myrtle Augusta Patterson for her son Clovis Calvin Patterson
From the collection of Karey Patterson Bresenhan
In my research, there has been a little confusion on the date this quilt was made. One source said 1910. Another listed C. 1920-1930
Circus Quilt quite possibly gained attention through publication in a 1920's woman's magazine, the main source women turned to for quilting patterns in their era.
If you would like to read more, I found a fascinating article Exotic Quilt Patterns and Names by curator Marin F. Hanson that provided a wealth of information, including some insights on Circus Quilt.
As a side note, Karey Bresenhan is the founder of the Houston International Quilt Festival and proud of her 5 generations of Texas quilters.
Circus Quilt was made by her grandmother.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Circus Quilt

It's always such a privilege to rub shoulders with outstanding quilters.
Darlene Reid is the 2010 recipient of Arizona's Quilters Hall of Fame award, recognized for her vast contribution to the world of quilting.
She is also one of the founding members of the Nimble Thimbles quilt guild.

During Show and Tell, Darlene brought her latest finish.
Circus Quit is taken from a vintage pattern, and I knew the minute I saw I had to make it too!
I have been researching as much of the history as I can find on this wonderful crib quilt, and will be sharing with you my discoveries in future posts.

Darlene saw the pattern 20 years ago in the book Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders, and kept it in a special place on her to-do list.
She recently had the opportunity to spend 6 weeks at her daughter's house in Ohio, and brought along Circus Quilt as her project.
Each block has 64 one-inch squares.
Darlene said it took most of one day to make an individual block.

Darlene shared "I try to leave my own particular mark on each of my quilts."
In Circus Quilt she added embroidery, which was not part of the original pattern.
Mahout is the Indian word for Elephant Rider

At our next meeting, I was especially happy to see Lynn's vintage quilt made from the same pattern.
Lynn has a large collection of antique quilts, and said the only information she has on this one is that it came from Pennsylvania.

The two Circus Quits are varied in size and construction, but draw from the same pattern.

Where Darlene's pattern is constructed from 1-inch blocks, this quilter used larger templates.

The Twins

Darlene's Twin block

Isn't it interesting to see that quilts made in the 1920's- 1930's used many of the solid fabrics that have seen a resurgence of popularity today, especially in our Modern design quilts?
More about Circus Quilt tomorrow.
*From Quilt Appraiser Sandra/ Textile Time Travels:
Karey's quilt and Lynn's quilt are the cover of the Spring 1928 McCall Needlework & Decorative Arts Magazine and also a transfer pattern from their company Patchcraft Corp. Pattern #1633 a "Picture Patch Quilt". It is shown in Dr. Virginia Gunn's 2010 Uncoverings Article on McCall's Role in the 20th Century Quilt Revival and on the cover. *Lynn's is the 6 block original version.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Farmer's Wife Setting Triangles

I've made a little progress on my Farmer's Wife quilt in the last few days.

I now have the inside assembled with sashing, cornerstones and setting triangles.

Many have asked what color I was going to use for the setting triangles.
I decided on another Kona solid, opting for a lighter blue.
Because I had a piece large enough in my stash, and I liked how the colors played together.
*remember, one of my goals in making this quilt was to use fabric only from my stash :)
This really has been a scrappy quilt, using somewhat the same process our grandmothers used when they made quilts.
I didn't have clear idea of how the finished quilt would look when I started.
I just jumped in, started making blocks with left over scraps and hoped it would all come together in the end.

I like this quilt even MORE now that the inside is complete .
Next, I will be auditioning some fabrics for the outer border.
I still have enough of the darker blue originally used for the sashing.
What do you think?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Responsive To Change

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” (Charles Darwin)

Hands of Time by Liz Lemon Swindle

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Triangles

One of my favorite quilts from Show and Tell with the Nimble Thimbles Quilt Guild was made by Denise Holland.

Denise participated in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Triangles (a friendship triangle exchange) sponsored by The Quilt Show in 2011

Each participant was asked to use 2-inch HST papers for the exchange to help control accuracy.
They could submit as many as they wished, knowing that the number sent in, would be the same number sent back.

Denise received 280 HST that traveled from 40 states in the USA and 5 other countries;
Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand and Switzerland.
She felt that some of the fabrics sent back were rather ugly, and yet when all placed together, the quilt turned out beautifully.

There was even a HST signed by Alex Anderson!

and Ricky Timms!
I read on The Quilt Shows web site that there were a total of 615 participants from 14 countries before they closed the exchange in January 2011.
What a wonderful way to share quilting on an International level.

Friday, January 20, 2012

January Nimble Thimbles

It's been a busy week, and I haven't been home to get much quilting done.
I did have a chance to go to the Nimble Thimbles Quilt Guild on Tuesday night.
They always offer a great Show and Tell.

This was quite a large quilt, and the maker used a quilt as you go method and sewed in sections.

Ruth finished a sampler Block of the Month.

Darlene made a table runner for her daughter who loves pigs.

Gudrun uses the most beautiful combination of batiks in her quilts.

Getting ready for Spring

Hugs and Kisses pattern

and Kim said she has always had the goal to make a Cowboy quilt.
More from the Show and Tell tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Quilter's Brain

The research is in....

....and now being published on facebook, and pinterest.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Limbo Land

Ellen said...

I love the sashing. It works so well...my question for you is, did you have that sashing in mind as you selected your scrappy block fabrics? What process did you use for fabric selection? I can't wait to see your choice for the setting triangles. Thanks for sharing your journey.

January 12, 2012 8:21 AM

Ellen: your e-mail came as a "no reply comment" , so I will answer here. Others have been asking similar questions, and hopefully I can shed some light on my process for making the Farmer's Wife quilt.

Each quilter travels their own journey. I feel that many the quilts we select to make are a reflection of particular events or experiences going on in our life.

These are individual paths, and one of the beauties of quilting is to see the unique reflections of each person in their quilt.

I love to see the same pattern made in a wide variety of fabrics. It tells me so much about the quilter. Have you noticed how much our tastes in fabric change over the years? Mine certainly have!

For my particular situation, we recently moved to be near our two oldest daughters and our most precious, heart stealing grandchildren.
With the slow real estate market, we have rented out our home in Southern Utah, put all of our belongings in storage and have moved into an apartment in Arizona.
Mr. Cactus told me to bring along only the bare essentials until the house sells.
For me, that translated into my sewing machine, and quilt fabrics.

O.H. M.Y.
I thought I had a pretty good concept of how much quilt related items I had gathered over the last 13 years, plus I'd sorted out and donated quite a bit before the move.
Then reality hit when we began lugging bins of fabric to our apartment.
(you know, that ESSENTIAL stuff you just can't part with?)

Thus: my goal has been to use
What I Have!

One of the reasons I joined the Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along is because I knew it would be a good stash buster.
I did not have a pre-planned color scheme before I started.
The fabrics selected for the blocks were random pulls from my baskets that have been sorted into colors.
When I reached the point to select a sashing, I looked into my basket of solids, and auditioned several colors. I ended up selecting the gray Kona because it framed the blocks well, and I had a large piece.

I wish I could tell you there was more of science or technique to my quilt, but in truth, it is a reflection of what is going on in my life right now.
We are living a little bit in
waiting for the real estate market to bounce back.
(hmmm... Limbo Land just might be a good title for my next stash buster quilt)
I must mention how patient and supportive Mr. Cactus has been of my quilting addiction.
He agreed to let me cordon off the entire dining room of our apartment for my fabrics, quilt books, cutting table, and boxes of quilt related stuff.
He has been kind about hauling quilt bins up stairs and having my sewing machine set up in the living room.
But, do we want to move ALL of it again when we purchase our next home?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Farmer's Wife Sashing

I've had several people e-mail me, asking what colors I will be using for the sashing on The Farmer's Wife quilt.
Last night I had a little bit of time to place the blocks up on my design wall and play with ideas.

I really like the On Point setting shown in the Farmer's Wife quilt book.
I put all 50 blocks up on the wall, and auditioned colors from my stash.
One of my goals is to make this entire quilt as a scrap quilt and only use fabric I have on hand.

My fabrics are very different than the original quilt made by designer Laurie Aaron Hird, which was made with dark Civil War type fabrics, and brown sashings.

Maybe because I've been a City Girl most of my life, I wanted to use more of the current fabrics on the market today.
Final decision: a Kona solid gray for the sashing, and a Kona blue for the cornerstones.
Because these are from my stash, I can't remember the exact color names, but if I were to guess they are close to Medium Gray and Cornflower blue.

I still haven't decided what color I will use for the setting triangles.
I'll keep you posted.
But, I do have to say that I like the Farmer's Wife quilt even MORE now that the blocks are framed with the sashings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

50th Farmer's Wife Quilt Block

Yee Haw!
I've now completed 50 blocks for the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along.

The last 5 now play happily up on my design wall.

#80 Single Wedding Star
It was
A Long Row To Hoe
the last few months, but I'm so glad I
Kept My Nose To The Grindstone

#66 Periwinkle
I don't mean to
Spill The Beans,
but I wish I could say I was
Cool As A Cucumber
during the entire project.
Truth be told, there are always challenges when undertaking a quilt.
I discovered that using the templates from the book just wasn't my thing.
My blocks rarely seemed to accurately measure 6 1/2"
Several attempts
Bit The Farm
and ended up being thrown in the garbage.
Small little itty bitty templates for small blocks have now been placed in the
When Pigs Fly

#33 Farmer's Puzzle
My favorite part was learning from Lori Holt (Bee In My Bonnet) on how to graph blocks that could be rotary cut.
They really were the
Bee's Knees.

#3 Basket
Another favorite part was viewing your progression and fabric choices while working on the Farmer's Wife blocks.
It just made me feel like
Two Peas In A Pod

#30 End Of Day
It seemed only appropriate that the last block to finish, my goal of 50, be called End of Day.
The next step will be place the blocks in a setting right away.
Waiting Till The Cows Come home.
And preferably
Make Hay While The Sun Shines