Monday, December 23, 2013

Wrapping Up the Old Year

I'm wrapping up 2013 with a finished doll quilt top.  Last Saturday I picked up Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders by Thos. K. Woodard and Blanche Greenstein at the library (I have this book at home, but not in my current location) with no intention of starting anything new.  That evening the hubster had 'control of the controller' - we have very different TV viewing interests.  So, what to do?  Start cutting from the meager strips I have with me for a doll quilt that caught my eye earlier in the day!  The stars were invisible when I was piecing (had to squint real hard), but they stand out in this photo.  Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of a light fabric that I could use as a constant.

The Variable Star inspirational quilt is on pg 26.  It was made in the second quarter of the 19th century.  The dimensions are given as 41" x 38", but this must be a misprint.  The quilt is 13 x 9 blocks (a difference of 4).  That would make the block size under 1" which would make for very different dimensions.  My block units are 1" making the pieced area 13" x 9". 

I did a little staging on a doll bed I picked up earlier in the year.  The mattress is a cocktail table book and the bedshirt is an orphaned lace doily picked up at flea markets/yard sales.  Don't you hate to see those bins of handwork jumbled together with a $1 tag?  The quilt top will be too small for this bed, but it looks great by the Christmas tree.

I visited the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL last week.  The properties were all dressed up for the season. 

Edison's Library

Christmas Tree in Edison's Home

Ford's Maid's Room

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with Jan and me this year.  We love to read your comments and appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of our shared passion for antique textiles.

From my home to yours - "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The other day I was watching an episode of Sew Many Quilts, and I remember thinking, as I have before, that the safety glove they wear seemed kinda silly.  It looks so cumbersome, and awkward.  Monday afternoon, I had been cutting long strips for a baby quilt backing - no problem.  When I cut the first of the short strips at the top of the photo, I cut into the side of my fingertip.  There was't any blood visible on the blade so it didn't seem too bad.  Then I ran my finger under the faucet - ouch - to see the damage.  It really isn't awful, but the side of my fingertip, and fingernail, were sliced off.   My first, and hopefully last, rotary cutting incident in 25 years of quilting!  At the off-hours clinic, I did learn that a cut like this heals from the outside in, and should be kept moist, and covered until completely healed.  Also, that running the cut under tap water for 15-20 minutes is as good as irrigating with saline, OR mix some wound disinfectant into a glass of water, and soak for the same amount of time.  I really hope none of you need this information, though!
When I got back home, I checked to see if I could still cut with a giant forefinger, and it was no problem.  Get back on that horse!  But, maybe, that safety glove isn't such a bad idea now.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Possible Success

Here is a sweet felted wool poinsettia pincushion made by, and gifted to me by my friend Sandy.

A little doll quilt for my granddaughter, Caelyn.  The backing is a vintage piece, and the label is an iron-on that I bought in Shipshewana last winter.  They are sold in a package of 4, and cost $1.99 at Yoder's.

Well, I'm not sure what the problem with uploading pics was, but I have been busy sewing.  As soon as the sun shines again in the Midwest, I will get some shots of my newest completed quilt.  Hopefully, it will be soon because I'd like to get it mailed off to the recipient!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

International Quilt Festival Collection

The International Quilt Festival in Houston always includes a few antique quilts from the Festival Quilt Collection - this year I found three. 
There's always a quilt at the top of the escalator on the second floor.  This year it was an applique quilt on a sweet printed background.  You can get 'up close and personal' with this quilt.

 The second quilt is the backdrop for countless photo ops.  There's a large banner above the quilt identifying the quilt event and year for documentation that you attended the show (a fun idea and you get your picture taken with a gorgeous antique quilt!).  Here's this year's souvenir (sorry, thought I had cropped off the banner, but you get the idea) -

 The third (alas, the last) quilt is a collaboration of two generations of quiltmakers.  The top was pieced circa 1885 - 1895 (artist unknown).   Tiny triangles were used to depict the texture of the pineapple fruit.  Vicki Mangum dyed contemporary cheddar fabric to match the fabric from the original top.  Two small borders of cheddar and muslin were added in 2003 and the quilt was machine-quilted by Kathy Colvin.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Library Envy

I have a wonderful local library.  It never disappoints, but the modern structure can't compete with the North Adams Public Library in MA.  The mansion was the home of Sanford and Eliza Blackinton from 1869 thru 1896.  In 1897 the mansion was purchased by the city for the public library and opened the following year. 
Wouldn't you love to checkout a book and settle in the parlor to read the first few chapters? 

 Libraries are great places to visit on your travels!
How cool are these stacks!


 Just up the road I ran into another sweet library - the Gilbert Hart Library in Wallingford, Vermont.  The library was given to the Town of Wallingford on July 25, 1894 by Gilbert Hart.  It is built in the Neo-Classical style.  The foundation and lower walls are rock-faced blue marble and the upper walls are terra-cotta buff brick.
Another great parlor for reading!
The view looking out the front windows in the children's room.
A close-up of the front exterior.
 I've found some great Halloween inspired photos to share from my recent travels to Charleston, SC; Stow, VT and Deerfield, MA.  All the tombstone art is from the 19th century.

The sun wasn't co-operating, but this one was very cool.
And so you don't feel cheated by no quilt content (and as a reward for sticking with me 'til the end), I spied this sweet string star crib quilt in an antique shop stop.  Sorry to say it didn't come home with me.
H a p p y   H a l l o w e e n ! ! !

Sunday, October 6, 2013


On the way to the AQSG seminar in Charleston, I stopped at the Lexington County Museum (SC).  The applique quilt at left was a show stopper as you entered the quilt display room.  The applique quilt to the right in the following photo seems to be a more primitive rendering of the same design.   Notice the quilt hanging on the left - this quilt was made by two sisters with obvious difference of opinion on design choice.

The same applique design was on display at the Charleston Museum.  The placard at the museum identified the design as Sundew, a carnivorous plant.  The design appears to be indigenous to Lexington County, South Carolina.  My pic from the Charleston Museum is blurry due to the glass barrier, but want to include for your comparison.

I've recently been collecting some older quilts that have asked to come home with me - this is a new endeavour for me.  The following Bear's Paw quilt was a BD present to myself.  How can you abandon an old quilt, unloved, in a drafty antique mall?  This quilt whispered 'Halloween' to me - I was sold!

Jan and I are doing a 'pick up' from the quilter next week.  I have another for 'drop off'.  Chipping away at the long list!

                                    Front                                                                                                              Back

Anyone else having trouble with Blogger?  Finally had to use an alternate browser.  I still can't update the 'On the Nightstand' section and Jan can't upload pics.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Road Trip Report

Vicki and I had a great weekend in Iowa last month.  We went to hear the fabulous Julie Silber speak about Amish quilts.  She was a delight to talk with, and her lecture was beyond informative - very engaging.  If you have a chance to listen to her speak, don't pass it up!
We took some time to peruse some shops along the way, and an antique mall.  It was loaded with antique quilts.  Here are some favorites:

This one nearly made it home with me.  Just look at all that close, lovely hand quilting!

When I was growing up, my Mom's set of childhood encyclopedias resided in the bookcase.  When I saw this box, and with the letter J on it, well, you know, I had to have it!  I'm thinking that the inside could be varnished, and doll quilts displayed in it.  It would also make a nice, little bookshelf.

This basket pattern is uncommon, and a good one, I think.

Vibrant bowties, with yummy pinks, reds and indigo.

And another sweetie pie bowtie.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Plan B

I've made some progress on my current project which I'll post about at the end, but there's been other quilty stuff going on.  Jan and I took a short road trip last weekend - stopped at five quilt shops (one in last days of liquidating - $2/yd!), attended a lecture on Amish quilts by Julie Silber and visited the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum - not bad for a two day trip!.  The shop at left is Inspirations in Hills, Iowa - our favorite - brimming with repro's and beautiful samples.

The Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum includes two rooms of quilts - one English and one Amish.  At right is my favorite quilt from the current exhibit.  This log cabin quilt is c. 1870.  

I didn't keep up with the baby basket July block challenge from Temecula Quilt Co.  I did complete 10 blocks.  I need two more for the setting I have in mind. So, I switched leader/ender project to small pre-cut tumblers picked up at the Chicago Quilt Show - two packs of 50 tumblers (following Jan's lead, as this was her find!).  

I laid these out as they came from the package with minimal re-arranging.  Amazing how the row shrinks as it's pieced.

I finished piecing my 'Plan B' modified Oceans Wave.  My design wall leads down the hallway, so I couldn't get a straight on shot.  I need to pull out the hst I've completed for the back and get started on finishing this one up.  Thanks for stopping by!