Saturday, February 25, 2006

Home again

More photos from the quilt exhibit...the quilt top in this photo is one of my favorites (ok i say that about almost all the photos...) The applique stitches are so tiny and the colors so bright it makes me happy to look at it. I also like the way the border is perfect on one side...almost perfect the next and then by the final one she just chops off a third of the swag. Take that quilt police!

We got home late yesterday from New Mexico and are no closer to deciding on where we want to retire! I found out my husband doesn't like high elevations, small towns, lots of space between towns, or lack of green. He is suddenly thinking Florida! Is there a cool place in Florida? I guess we'll think about it tomorrow.

I really enjoyed New Mexico. I visited a very sad little quilt shop in was closing. I got some batiks for my someday stash. I loved visiting the little shops around Las some great ideas for quilts and got some nice photos. Now I just need to find the cable for the digital camera...this is supposed to be easier than my old 35mm right?

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm not a huge fan of 30's era quilts. I like them but they are not my "passion." Like all rules however there are exceptions and this nosegay quilt is one of them! The quilter made a quilt for each of her children...I belive 6-7. Anyway I got to meet two of them. They were surprised but happy that the quilt was in the exhibit.

I love how she pieced the corners...used such wild fabric combinations (marron and lime-green!) and let every stripe go any way it fell. Truely mavrick.
The humility block in the corner is a nice touch too!

I am off to New Mexico for a few days looking a property with my DH. He has it in his mind he would like to retire out west. My sister and kids live in New Mexico so we will give it a try. I'll report back next week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One of my own...

It's funny how different some of the quilts looked while hanging at the museum versus how they looked at my own house. The photo is one of my log cabins quilts that I only put out occasionally. Not sure why. In the museum it is a stunner. There is little light and the pattern just jumps off the wall. It was a late the last minute the number of quilts that we could put in the show was cut back due to a new director at the museum. I will leave it as she has her own opinion on everything - qualified or not. I was getting very depressed. WE had dropped from exhibiting 60 to 30+ quilts. It was getting complicated. Just when we thought we had the final-final I noticed a little 6 foot wall at the edge of one of the exhibit rooms. I threw in my 60 inch log cabin circa 1880 mainly to increase the number of quilts...and it is a good example of the fabrics of that time. Anyway, I will blow my own horn and say it looks great. Humble beside the crazy quilts and Baltimore Applique this little cotton log cabin still greets every visitor to the exhibit and shouts I am an American Quilt to the visitors. I'm proud of it!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Voted Bonnie's most likely

I can't believe I don't have a full shot of this quilt top! It came from the same family as the cheddar and when I first say it I immediately thought of Bonnie! The blocks are almost 7 inches square and are a variation on the monkey wrench. The blocks are set in a lightning strip with some wild black and white stripes. Mixed in the bunch is a bit of silk and velvet! Talk about maverick!
The owner is a wonderful, refined southern woman. She lives in a beautiful antique filled home "on the hill." When I went to view her collection she said,"oh my family ran moonshine so there was some money there." I didn't know what to say...was she pulling this yankee's leg? What is the appropriate southern lady response? I decided to stick with what I know, "well, they sure could quilt" was all I said.
I had some questions about what demonstrations we did at the museum. We brought a bit of everything (my approach to every quilting event is to fill the Tuscon...then maybe I'll have what I need when I need it!) We had some handpiecing so we could show how templates were used and how to follow a pattern. In this case it was a carpenter's wheel done in repro fabrics. We has several examples of hand quilting - both a whole cloth and a "cobb quilt" pattern from Mimi Dietrich's book from the Smithsonian. Since there was a honeycomb quilt from the 1940's on display I also had my english paperpiecing project with me. (one gentleman from Chile was convinced I was using a machine somehow and got nose-to-stich with the piece!) Rachael had a crazy quilt block to show various stitches. Finally we had a couple of applique blocks with paper-n top and needleturn. I wish we had more folks attend...both from the guild and visitors. The museum isn't very good at getting the word out on anything.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Museum Cheddar

Today I did quilting demonstrations at our local museum with a couple of other members of my quilt guild. Other than the building being really cold it was fun. On exhibit are quilts made in the souther U.S. The photo is one of my favorites. It has eightpointed stars set in cheddar then in a dark blue which is sashed by a grey/teal blue. It was made in North Carolina. I don't think it has ever been used or washed...the browns and madders are in perfect condition. The quilting is tiny and done on the diagonal with three lines about 1/2 inch apart with the sets seperated by almost and inch.
I'll post more of the quilt photos during the week.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Still like brightest.

I am trying to finish one last volunteer project before going overseas - our annual donation quilt for Camp Rainbow. The box in the photo has the "project packs" ready to hand out at the next guild meeting. Partly I'm showing this so you can see I do work in other colorways than just reproducing fabrics! I have a lot of purple and bright green too!
The quilt will be of my own design and I'm more than a bit nervous about it! So far a half a dozen blocks have been handed in and they all look fun. We have had enough folks volunteer to do the applique so I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing! More photos to follow!
Working with the brights this weekend is cold and wet outside. I even found myself watching women's hockey on TV and liking it! I grew up in New England playing hockey on the town pond but had lost my appreciation for it. Olympic rules are a bit different...more finesse than beat-down. (Not to say they don't play hard though!) It may end up being the only event of the Olympics that I go out of my way to follow!
Tomorrow I will be doing quilt demonstrations at the museum with some other members of the quilt guild. It is part of the exhibit that is on display there until the second week of April. I'll try and get some photos of the neat cheddar quilt on display!!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

The things you find..

Today I am not at the Judy Twitty embellishment workshop. My hands started doing the dropsey thing last night and today I'm poking one fingered at the keyboard. I considered going and watching but decided I really needed to jsust rest. Maybe when I'm feeling better I can convince one of the other guild members to give me a crash course.

Clearing space in the quilting room is taking more time and energy then planned. I find myself tryng to finish things (it only needs binding....,) package projects (if I have the right fabric to put sashing between these blocks they would make a quick quilt...) or just reminising (this is the box of miscel. thimbles I bought in South Carolina at the little antique shop....) This means I've been in the quilt room for almost two days and have only one...that's box - a large box - of stuff to get rid of. If I was on that TV show that forces people to get rid of clutter I would flunk! I just am not making progress and now with the MS kicking back in it seems almost insurmountable...alright, no more whining.

The photo is of 12 of the blocks I made during a year long class with Mimi Dietrick in Maryland. It was a great class. There are six half-made blocks...I think I was trying to finish 16 total. Now, I will finish two of the half-baked ones, put in sashing and call it a quilt...ah, well, a quilt top!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Almost forgot

A month ago I signed up to take and embellishment class that is scheduled for this Monday...I am soooo not prepared! Not to say I don't have the things on the supply list - if I could find the supply list - it is just they are not in one place. Not even in one or two places! So today is a scavenger hunt day.

To further complicate the matter I am supposed to have a block to I close my eyes faced one of the bookcases full of fabric and just reached out. The first one I laid hands on would be the feature fabric. This time I was was an old Hoffman with shamrocks on it! Not a lot of color but something I could work with.

The photo shows that I can shop my own sewing room and not be deprived! I have enough to get through at lest one day!

Friday, February 03, 2006

First a Path...

So I've started to take the sorting and packing of my quilt room seriously. Nothing is going into long term storage so the options are simle: pack or get rid of. Of the latter I'm not even so concerned about how. There are half finished projects I will never finish so I will just let go of and not feel guilty in the least.

I think it is the yankee in me that feels just because I bought the fabric, the thread and started something that I am honor-bound to finish...not that it makes me finish. It just makes me keep the half done pink kitten babyblanket started for a girl who is not in middle school with a ring in her navel...I've digressed...I keep the half-finished projects in boxes and bags because I think it is wasteful to just stop and give them away. I am anxious to see the bottom of the closet.

The room is a hazard zone. When I first was diagnosed with MS the Insurance company sent over a social worker who specialized in making homes more accessible. I read the pamphlets before the man came and got it into my head that my sewing room would be much more "accessible" with hardwood floors instead of carpet, recessed lighting instead of lamps, and built in cabinets instead of free-standing bookcases. But when I opened the door the sewing room and asked for options he simply said, "first you need a path." I was stunned.

So my goal this weekend is to be brutal. When I look at a piece of fabric if I don't love it (or hate it so much that it is a perfect ugly) then into the box it goes. I've already uncovered four six inch acrylic squares, a broken iron, and a long lost mini-quilt that somehow got folded into extra pieces of batting.

Anyway, the rediscovered square on square with sawtooth border in the photo was a reproduction of a 1870's doll quilt. It is done in madders and measures about 16 inches square. I hand pieced and hand quilted it. It is in the keep pile!