Sunday, April 28, 2013

In a bind...

I am so torn today...I want to start a new project.  Not a project that I need to do for the quilt show challenge or for the silent auction or even for Quilts of Valor.  I want to start a project that has no real purpose what so ever...just because.

The other side of me is demanding I finish the yards and yards of black binding that is cluttering my sewing table so I can get is sewn down on my Orca Bay which I've selected to be my May finish quilt...I mean as much as I hate to say it there are no quilt-finish-fairies and this quilt isn't going to finish itself...sigh....

So what is this mysterious project?  Wool...a wool applique pillow that has been on my mind for the past couple of months.  I have all the fabric...I even have the cushion to go inside.  I just need to give myself permission to play...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Silk English Paper Piecing...

A few days ago a friend passed on to me a quilt top she had purchased many years ago in England.  It is made of silks and still has much of the paper used to piece it (say that three times fast) basted on the back.

The silks are tougher for me to date than cottons but the writing and the advertisement pieces provide clues.  I'm thinking circa 1900...what do you think?

As much as I love the papers on the back they may have contributed to some of the deterioration of the silk.  There is acid in the paper and that isn't good for the fabrics.

 Years ago I found a cotton EPP with the paper.    I carefully removed the papers and put them in an acid free envelope for safekeeping.  Like this quilt, there was a lot of writing on the papers and I hoped to gain some insight into who and where the quilt-top was made by looking through them.

I'm going to keep the piece as it is and use it as a study piece.  I will wrap it in acid free paper and keep it in an acid free box with some other blocks from the same time period.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

And it is a finish!!!

Can you believe it...binding is on my 1930's Scrappy Trip Around the World!

After making three different sets of binding I finally went with red and am really happy with how it come out. I hate to admit it but I started this quilt while I was living in England...more than a couple years ago!

But it is done and will be in my quilt guild's show this fall.  The pattern for this quilt is on Bonnie Hunter's website

I stopped by my guild's bee this morning to say hi.  Below is a rag rug that my friend Rachel is making.

The center is cotton rope/clothes line.  I love how bright it is turning out.  Can you believe she was going to use it under her trash-barrel to keep if from slipping on her new hardwood floor!  Rest assured she has changed her mind...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Brownie and Goldie

My two quilting cats, Brownie and Goldie, turn 13 years old this week!

They were rescue kittens from the same litter...though you would never know they were sisters since they would much rather hang out with the dog than with each other.  They both love to play in the fabric on the blocks, and generally hang out with the quilts.

They take turns overseeing work in the quilting room as they don't even like to be in the same room as one another!  Brownie is the one who likes to steal strips of fabric and small blocks for her own stash behind the if a block count is off I know exactly where to go!

When ever I hear of folks talk about getting a pet I feel honor-bound to remind them that it can be a long term responsibility.  A responsibility that in my own case I hope goes no for a long long time to come.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring day!

Down here in the southern U.S.A. I may complain bitterly about the long hot days of summer; I may miss the New England autumn colors; and periodically long for a just one winter snow storm to dress the trees for the holidays; but there is no-place like the south for the springtime!

First, it lasts a long, long time.  There were daffodils in my front garden the last week of February.  Various Azaleas and flowering trees have been in bloom since mid-March.  And today my Iris and rose bushes started blooming.  Three months of spring!

Today it is sunny but cool so I can actually enjoy the deck with the pets.  Though I don't do as much in the garden as I used to today I can enjoy it with out guild as the yard crew came by and did in an hour what would take me a week!

I also rotated some of the quilts up on the wall and this little English Paper-pieced Grandmother's flower garden is now up in the wall of the guest bedroom....

The quarter/coin gives an idea of how small those pieces are! I made this quilt 13 years eyes were better then!

Spring makes me want to work with pastels or bright colors!

I have several projects that fit that requirement (like the row of crayon quilt above that is all ready for quilting or the material obsession that need binding) but I am battling the urge to start something new!

That may be part of the "spring" fever thing!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tobacco Felt Quilt

One of the things I love about doing quilt appraisals or consultations is you almost always see something come across the table that you've never seen before!

This time it was some very faded tobacco felts on the "Flag Quilt" in the photo above.  I have seen lots of felts representing all sorts of flags, American Indian rugs, and sports figures but I had never seen on with Kewpie Dolls!

I'm so glad I had my magnifying glass with me or I may have missed it.  (Ah yes folks...a genuine Sherlockian  quilt moment!)

Thanks to Tim Latimar for confirming they were tobacco felts.  (now if I could just get the photos to post right side up....) He linked me to a past auction that had a dozen or so in a lot.  A couple were they same type as in the quilt!  This also helps date the quilt as the Kewpies were only issued from 1914-1916.

Here are a few photos of what they would have looked like in a bit better shape...

The history of the Kewpie Doll creator, Rose O'Neil,  is interesting.  She was one of the earliest successful women illustrators.  Check out her story on Wikipedia....

You can check out more Tobacco Felt or Tobacco label quilts on the Quilt Index...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Festival

Yesterday I participated in McCormick, S.C. spring festival.  They had a really nice quilt display in the old Dorm Mill Cotton Gin at the edge of downtown.

I started out with only 5-6 appointments but had quiet a few walk-ins.  Interesting day!

Had quite a few signature quilts.  It is funny how is seems that one type of quilt overtakes a day!  One program I did there was mostly wedding ring quilts...another day lots of wool quilts...and another was almost entirely African American quilts.

First the quilt that made the hairs on my neck stand up.  Remember last June I bought a large box of unfinished quilts tops and blocks at an auction in South Carolina?  There were a couple signature blocks in the box made around 1930.

The owner of this quilt said she believed it to be from a group of quilters in McCormick county and it included relatives of both her and her husband.

What do you think?  Could these blocks I found at auction have been made to go into the McCormick Quilting Bee quilt?

Were they put aside because the embroidery in the quilt was all done with black thread and these have red and pink?  The block is an unusual one - a variation of Brackman's #1802.   I'm going to contact the owner and find out if these names are on her quilt.

Another interesting 1930's signature quilt came from Connecticut.  Names of the owner parents are embroidered on this quilt.

Isn't obvious the reason for the quilt being made but many like it were done as pay a nickle or a dime and your name is embroidered onto a block then the quilt is either sold or raffled.  This quilt is really well done and I am happy to hear that it is with a family that cherishes it.

This last signature quilt is from Ohio.  The owner purchased it many years ago at auction.

It has a wonderful collection of fabrics and names.  (BTW...all photos were taken with permission of the owners.)

I also handed out many postcards to publicize the guild's quiltshow in October and gave several antique quilt enthusiasts the booklet on the American Quilt Study Group.  I hope to see one or two of them at seminar in Charleston this September!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ned some quiet time...

Once again I'm a bit overwhelmed by events...between being very busy with quilts and the crazy news here in the U.S.  I think today may be a good day to hide in the sewing room...

Last month I had very little on them my calendar for quilting...this month it is a bit crazy!  Ten appraisals...a guild program...two donation quilts...a lecture and quilt history day and a deadline for entering a quilt in a show (which means finally getting that binding sewn down!)  Spending so much time working on my sewing room earlier this month has be running behind!

Though the sewing room is looking so much better...and I am getting very good at folding fabric!  There are four cabinets for fabric in the room and they are all now full (this was an in-process photo...)

This is one of the donation tops I may try and quilt up today.  It has been in the UFO stack for at least a year.

Sometimes it is good to have a stack ready just in case...

I finished my applique block for my guild's annual donation quilt that supports Camp Rainbow.  We are using a Piece of Cake pattern with grey backgrounds.  We used gray for two reasons - first, it is the guild's 25th anniversary and second, there are so many gray fabrics on the market!

I've been working on this committee and this has been a stretch for me...wild colors!  If you are a fabric history person it is a fun quilt...we have fabrics from Piece of Cake's first fabric line in there!

  There is also some Kaffe, some batik, and a bit of a lot of other fabric lines.  In the block I made there are over 25 different fabrics!

Now, off to get some real work done and hide from the news on the television....bombings in Boston, explosions in Texas, poisoned mail from Memphis...I need some fabric therapy time...