Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting Chilly

Here in the Midwest, I woke up to 49 degrees. My house was only at 62 degrees. I know that it will be much colder before too long, but these nippy mornings come as bit of a shock until I adjust to it. Time to get out my favorite napping quilt. A quilt of this pattern was on the wall of a quilt shop about five years ago. I took some quick notes, and went home to make it. One of my favorite color combos is blue and brown, and since it was to be a quilt for me, that's what I ran with. Susan Atwell quilted it for me. I asked her to do something organic in the snowball block. This is what she did - kind of a free-form flower. I really like it, and the quilt is nice and snuggly; plenty long enough to tuck under toes, and plenty wide enough to wrap, and tuck around me. It will be getting some heavy duty use in the next few months.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Travel Projects

I travel alot for work and that translates to hours of idle time. I love to snag a window seat and work on a project - occasionally looking out at the clouds, the patchwork picture of the ground, or the blaze of the sunset.

My current hand-piecing project is Texas Stars. A vendor at Houston had this quilt on display - the white connecting space was quilted in a tumbling block spinning around the star. That was my nudge to dust off the Ardco templates (purchased a few years ago at Paducah) and make up packets to throw in the laptop bag.

My other time-filler is knitting. My grandma taught me to knit years ago. I just finished this woolen mitten last night on the plane from San Francisco to Chicago (the stitches will bloom after a soapy bath). Trouble with mittens and socks is that we have two appendages (if we're lucky!) and finishing the first gets you only half done. Hopefully, I'll be casting on for the right mitten pronto to complete the set in time for the cold midwest winter. The pattern, Magic Mirror by Kristel Nyberg, is available
here from the free, on-line knit magazine Knotions. There are a couple hiccups in the pattern - I'd be happy to help out if anyone is interested in giving it a go, just drop me an email.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stash Building

This is the major portion of my fabric purchases in Pennsylvania last week. There were some quarter yard cuts, too, but then have already been shelved. Most of these came from Sauder's in Denver, PA, but some are from Burkholder's, also in Denver. This was a first time visit there, as was the last stop we made, Martin's Country Markets, a quilt store above a grocery, in Morgantown, PA. Quite an unusual shop. The prices were great there; about the same as Sauder's. The fabric was in a kind of balcony overlooking and old fashioned small town grocery store.
I couldn't decide which of these reds that I wanted the most, so, of course, I bought them all. What's a girl to do? They are really good ones. I think the one on the left is a Windham, and is a madder and black, and the other three are all Jo Morton's, I believe.
I packed light to allow for fabric, and it was a good thing, because I filled it up, and, boy, was it heavy! The baggage carrier actually asked me what I had in there, and I don't think he understood when I told him it was fabric for quilting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Finally back to normal life for a couple days. We had a great (quick) trip. The quilts at the Packwood were wonderful. My favorites were a red/green applique c. 1860 and a LeMoyne star in an unusual setting (notes taken).

We fabric shopped on Saturday and had way too much fun! We ventured to a couple new places - one was Burkholder's in Cocalico, PA (appropriate name). This quilt was hanging at the back of the store. I stood back and stared for quite awhile (while Jan shopped). The sample was in hand-dyes, which was striking, but I'm thinking it would be great in repros. I was just commenting that I didn't have a project that I could just pull from a stack of pre-cut pieces - whatever comes to hand. I think this is the ticket. I found these pictures on the web.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trip Report

Vicki and I spent quite a bit of time at the Packwood Museum in Lewisburg, PA. It rained the entire day on Friday, so it kept us out of the shops in town - they looked great, though. What a beautiful place. I would love to visit again. The Packwood House Museum is really wonderful. We toured the adjoining house where the Fetherstons lived with their collections. I've always loved antiques, and all things old, and this was some of the finest that I've ever seen. Very unusual examples of pottery, furniture and china. The quilts were choice; beautiful quilts in beautiful condition. The small book in the photo below contains a few of the quilts that were displayed in the museum. I took copious notes on my favorite - see the picture at the bottom of the post. After sitting on the floor sketching and note-taking, I reread the description and saw Jeannette Lasansky's name mentioned. She was the author of a few Pennsylvania quilt books. Sure enough, when I got home, the quilt was in "In the Heart of Pennsylvania", on page 47. It looks good in the book, but, in person, so striking. The quilting creates so much movement that it makes the quilt exceptional. The quilting shows up quite well in the book, so you can get some sense of it.

The larger book is really one worth having. It is from the exhibit at the Chester Co. Historical Society. There were a few quilts that were really nice, but others that were (how shall I say it!), average, and even some that I wouldn't rate even that. Some weren't in very good condition, and some were everyday examples of 20th century quilts. The book is another story...nicely printed, with great color plates of the quilts, along with b&w photos of quiltmakers and ephemera. It was published by the Chester Co. Historical Society, this year. If interested, they will ship the book. I haven't checked any book sites, like Amazon, to see if it is available elsewhere.

Pennsylvania, and the east coast just have a seemingly endless supply of incredible quilts. The books from these areas are my "go to" choices when I just want to sit back and look at some great antique quilts.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Poison Green, Part Two

This appliqued quilt is in a fairly sorry state, but I still love it. It used to be my favorite one for hanging on the wall near the Christmas tree.
I've had it for nearly as long as I've been quilting - twenty years. It was for sale in an antique store in a little Indiana town, and carried the whopping price tag of $10. Apparently, the seller didn't think too highly of it. The quilt is actually fairly sturdy, but the greens have become somewhat brittle. Greens normally hold up, so that is unusual.
Tomorrow, I am meeting Vicki in Baltimore, where she is working, and we are headed to Pennsylvania for the Packwood Exhibit that I know some of you have already been to. We are also aiming for Lancaster Co., and Washington D.C. for some more museum hopping, and Alexandria, Virginia. Should be a terrific long weekend.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Antique Quilt Copy

I saw this quilt at an antique exhibit. It was in terrible shape, but I loved the composition. The booth owner let me sit and take notes - I didn't have my camera with me. To answer a question from comments, my camera is an old Gateway digital (DC-T50 5.25 megapixels). My reproduction of the quilt came totally from stash - I love when that happens! The quilt went together fairly quickly due to the deep sashing/cornerstones.

Status on current project - the Colorado center is complete. I'm working on the rick-rack border. I scratched the QST and am using the flying geese method. I made a small sample last night and decided I needed to increase the scale. Hope to have one side done soon to show you.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My New Find

This isn't quilt related, but it is needlework. Yesterday my neighbors who are antique dealers gave their friends a preview before a sale they are going to have. Along with a rug, which is what I really was looking for, I bought this table. The needlepoint is Victorian, and, if you enlarge the picture, you will see some great images. There is a tear above the cat which I think I can just whipstich closed, and the gimp will probably need replacing, but that really isn't involved. I just love it, and I think quilters enjoy other forms of needlework, so I hope you like it, too. Some of the images are ones that I have seen before in a quilt book. I think it was one of the Pennsylvania ones. If I find that, I'll share those pics, too.