SHOW TIME and Quilt Traditions

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Its that time of the year when quilt shows and meetings really thrive. Last week-end I traveled to Topeka, KS for the MOKA (Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas) quilt study group. Every thing about it was so fun. Friday night we met at the local museum for wine and cheese. We got reacquainted with past friends. Then we saw their quilt display that created a time line of quilts that represented some of the different trends in quilt making.

old prairie town

Saturday’s session was at pictures Old Prairie Town. The flowers were all in bloom and it was a lovely setting to study quilts.

The focus of the day was red and green quilts and we enjoyed seeing part of the Poo Collection with the guidance of Lori Lee Triplett. Her presentation was fun and informative. Unfortunately I cannot share any of the pictures of the Poo Collection.

Susan Martin's quilt

Susan Martin’s quilt

Susan Martin showed one of her antique quilts on the theme of the day.

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Susan is also an avid maker of reproduction quilts and sells some patterns.

Of course we stopped at quilt and antique shops going to and coming from Topeka. No great finds came home with us, but it is always fun to look and get out of the car to stretch. At least that’s my story!

All Iowa Shop Hop Banner

All Iowa Shop Hop Banner

Adel Quilting and Dry Goods recently had their quilt show they call Little Sisters as it is an outdoor show and very charming.

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When you visit the show you have the opportunity to vote for your three favorite quilts.

And the winner is!

And the winner is!

I think this years winner was the above appliqué quilt done by Cyndi Craigmile.

upgrade of the race quilt

upgrade of the race quilt

The 12 quilts that get the most votes will be featured in the 2015 shop calendar. It is a fun competition.

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The above quilt was made from the block contest at last years Dallas County Fair. It was auctioned off this year at the fair. Fund raising has always been a part of the quilt world.

Generational Quilt

Generational Quilt

Another part of quilt history is the fun stories of a partial quilt that gets handed down through generations and then finally get completed. The above photo is one of those treasures. Marci Jenson finished up this one her grandmother, Grace Pickering, pieced. Another part of quilt traditions is that it was hand quilted by a church group of ladies as a fund raiser for their church.

Pineapple Quilt

Pineapple Quilt

The above is a pineapple quilt. I have taught a class on the pineapple block several times and ladies always enjoy it. There were other lovely quilts but it was a very windy day and not all my photos turned out.

My value quilt

My value quilt

Another tradition of quilters is meeting in small groups in homes. The group that comes to my home is awesome. The above is a swap project that we worked on for almost a year. We were to get into our scraps and stashes and find blues of various values. A little purple and green could also be included. We cut the strips various widths and made rough blocks about 9 inches. Each month a different value was assigned. We swapped the blocks and then squared them up ourselves. The pattern comes from an oldie but goodie book by Evelyn Sloppy: Strips and Strings. Hopefully this will get finished up in time for another quilt show!

COLOR LESSONS AND CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

My small group met again and we always have such a good time and inspire each other to better things. Of course my teacher instint always kicks in and I make them learn or try something new. We have lately been studying the color wheel and getting out of our comfort zone.

color wheel lessons

color wheel lessons

I did let them start by selecting their favorite color. Wasn’t that nice of me? The top row going acrosss is Monocromatic. Tints and shades of the favorite color. The columns belong to the different gals. The first two columns are using pure colors. However, most of us don’t use the pure colors very often so I allowed them to use what tones they liked. The first colomn with the black ground really shows off the pure colors. The second one with the poka-dot ground allows me to make a kid quilt when the lessons are finished.

First Row: Monocromatic
Second Row: Analogus going clock wise
Third Row: Complimentary
Fourth Row: Split Complimentary
Fifth Row: Triads. This was the new lesson and they cut their squares to take them home and make the block.

Carol's blocks

Carol’s blocks

We meet for the day and bring sack lunches so we get a lot done. In January I presented my self imposed Christmas block of the month. Several of the gals decided to join me.

Sharon's blocks

Sharon’s blocks

We all are tempted to buy Christmas fabric in November and December, but when do we have time to sew it up? Our goal is to dig in the Christmas box and see what we can do.

Donna's blocks

Donna’s blocks

It has been good as each month we have reviewed ways to make standard blocks: flying geese, Square-in-a-square, mirror images, etc.

Joyce's blocks

Joyce’s blocks

Joyce’s is so fun as she loves pink and can make it work to be Christmas and fit into her home decor.

Carolyn's Santa

Carolyn’s Santa

Friend Carolyn joined us for the day and brought some show-n-tell. She is making Santas all year long to sell in a bazaar this December.

Sharon's Christma

Sharon’s Christma

Sharon is the only one who has finished piecing our Christmas project from back in December. We all need a reason to get up each morning and one of mine is to see what happens in the sewing room! I sometimes surprise even myself!

Donna's quilt top

Donna’s quilt top

Other Show-n-tell was Donna’s quilt top. She selected the fabrics herself. She thinks she struggles with this, but didn’t she do great?

Sharon's Grandmother's Flower Garden

Sharon’s Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Sharron likes to have a sit down project and her current one is Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Seeing her progress brought up the issue, whether our children will understand our quilts and appreciate them. I think Sharon need to add a note of hours required to make a quilt like this one.

Sandi and Helen have had to miss a couple of our meetings for health reasons. I trust that they have found some comfort as Sharon does in hand stitching.

THREE YARDS, PLEASE

When I was growing up in the 50s, three yards of fabric could make about anything, garment wise. I remember standing by my mom at the local Anthony’s store when she would always say, “three yards, please.”

child's skirt from the 50s

child’s skirt from the 50s

This very wrinkled skirt is all I have now of those cotton skirts she would make for me. Later I made them myself. I so wish I had some of the other things she made for me, just as I wish I had kept a few of the things I sewed for my children.

This cotton is still so nice that I am thinking of taking the skirt apart and using it in a quilt!

Speaking of quilts, the first time I bought fabric in a quilt shop, the clerk asked how much would I like her to cut. She was a little startled when I said, “three yards, please.” It was a reproduction of a childs print from the 30s! What was I going to do with three yards of it?

Now that I am a quilt maker for some time, I can say less than three yards, but cannot seem to say more than three yards, like the 5-7 needed for a quilt backing.

Back for a Christmas quilt

Back for a Christmas quilt

Thus my quilt backs look more like the above photo. I just cannot say, “Five yards, please.” However, I will confess that while spending a couple days putting this back together, I kept thinking about all the pretty quilt tops I want to piece. Why am I wasting time piecing a back! I am sure my long arm friends also think, why did she piece this back. Now I have to get it on the frame just right. Then I have to deal with all this extra thread and seams! I will say that when I do this I do try to have the last lap of fabric a print and about 10-12 inches wide so that it is less obvious if it doesn’t quite get on the frame perfectly.

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Here is the front of the quilt and the two pieces went to the long arm yesterday! Yea! It is gone and I can work on something else!

I have already shared the five year quilt with you. I said I was going to tie it rather than invest the money in long arm work. I taped one side of the quilt down to the table. I topped it with batting and then the other side of the quilt. I crawled all around on the table to make the ties of serveral colors of matching yarn to make them inconspicuous. I am sure it was not a pretty sight, but I was alone!

When I untaped the quilt and turned it over I was so disappointed. The bottom side did not lay flat. Apparently I had streached the fabric when I taped the one side down. Now it bunched up. I wanted it to turn out nice so now I was going to quilt it myself. The bobbin was a thinner thread of a neutral that would fade into the quilt. The top thread was a dark color to blend in with the top.

Dark thread on light fabric

Dark thread on light fabric

The dark thread blended in nicely, except for on the light fabrics. Since my quilting pattern is Gig and Jag rather than smooth curves, the dark thread on light fabric had to come out! Hello seam ripper.

Side one

Side one

This also meant knotting every thread as it went back into the dark fabric. If you do not own self threading needles, buy them! There are times they come in handy.

side two

side two

Once I had the reversible quilt all edge to edge quilted in my unique Gig-n-Jag style, I was ready for the binding. No, I am not going to take the time to do a two fabric binding. Surely there is one fabric that will work on both sides.

label

label

It was worth all the time in making the quilt for such a deserving gal. This week-end she placed first in National Talents for Christ. Along with the learning experience comes a nice college scholarship. Congrats to Megan!

Flag Day and Pineapples

Last week was small group time and one of the gals had a flag for Show-N-Tell. It was perfect for the season. On my next post I will direct you to the pattern source.

Flag another way!

Flag another way!

Yesterday was so fun as I was able to watch a sweet group of quilters make pineapple blocks.

Scrap Pineapple

Scrap Pineapple


It is often thought of as a scrap quilt, but most of these ladies had other plans and they turned out so charming!

batics

batics

batics even work for this vintage block.

Bold

Bold


bold will also do.

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Civil War pinks and browns

Civil War pinks and browns

Two gals were working with Civil War prints. Of course I loved them.

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More modern fabrics choices

More modern fabrics choices


A couple gals were more into the modern fabrics. I enjoyed all the fabrics and creativity of these gals.

It was a fun day for me and I trust the Williamsburg ladies went home as pleased as I was. The technique for this block is not paper pieced and not hard. The squaring up the block is a little tricky to start, but after a few rounds these gals were spinning the block around and trimming it perfectly!

My small group was here and we did several fun things. We tried the Disappearing Pinwheel. It is a u-tube by The Missouri Star.

Carol showed a couple projects she has done using the Missouri Star patterns.

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The one above has some raw edges! It will be interesting to see it when washed.

Seeing what others are doing is what gets us all back into the sewing room, doesn’t it? It is a rainy day here and I look forward to going there very soon!

ROSIE THE RIVETER!

RosieTheRiveter

 

ROSIE represents the women of WWII. They inspired one another to keep the home front going.

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They inspire me.  I have been outside digging holes and moving bushes.  I can do it!

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Another part of WWII was MAKE DO, USE WHAT YOU HAVE, OR DO WITHOUT.  I have made do with a scrap quilt.  Unfortunately I did have to buy all the setting fabric.  I must have cut something in error as the binding is made of 2-1/4 x 18″  strips.  Thats a lot of piecing!

pieced binding

pieced binding

USE WHAT YOU HAVE has also applied to a recent binding issue.  When you do not have enough of the desired fabric, make a two-fabric binding.  You only need 1″ of the front fabric and 2″ of the back fabric.  That gives you 2-1/2″ binding.  I prefer 2-1/4″ binding so I use 7/8″ of front and 1-3/4″ of back.

Two sided binding

Two sided binding

A plus for this technique is that you can match both sides of the quilt!

Women_working_at_Douglas_Aircraft

D-DAY has become a slogan we often use when we are faced with a difficult task or just one we do not enjoy.  Yesterday was a D-day for me.  Bindings got placed on quilts and I began the hand sewing.  Actually it turned out to be a pleasant late afternoon activity after a busy day here on the home front!

 

 

 

 

 

 

D-DAY 70 YEARS LATER

Today is a good day to give pause and thanks to what has become known as the GREATEST GENERATION.  The young adults of 1944 understood what it means to sacrifice for ones country.  Their parents did likewise.

Patriotic Quilt made from a kit.

Patriotic Quilt made from a kit.

The quilt above is one I recently purchased.  It was made from a kit and might have been made in the 1930s rather than the 40s, but it is my way of honoring the families mentioned at the beginning of this article.   Some young women also joined up, but most of them went to work at the jobs left behind by the men.

Molly's WWII quilt

Molly’s WWII quilt

This would change the status of women in America forever.  A lot of women sought comfort during this anxious time by making quilts.  There are a lot of WWII quilts.   Sue Reich has a large collection of them and has written a book about her collection.  I have seen her collection several times and it is worth a drive to have the opportunity.  The above quilt is one I designed and made for the American Girl Doll , Molly.  It is my V is for Victory quilt.

Victory Quilt Book

Victory Quilt Book

Above is Sue’s book, World War II Quilts.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

Today I will celebrate my freedom, in the same way  most of the vetrans did.  They came home, went to work, and went about establishing homes and families.  In so doing we celebrate America!

 

SEVEN YEAR QUILT

Last time I posted about a five year quilt.  This time it is a seven year quilt but for a different reason.  This quilt has been in the making for seven years.

Quilt that matches my bedroom.

Quilt that matches my bedroom.

It is a monster as it is for my king sized bed.  And it is not finished yet!  I will have over 400 inches of binding to add.  I guess it is a longtime until next winter when we will need a quilt.  I should mention that the cream corner squares will disappear.  This is to be a T-quilt as I have bed posts.  The cream squares were there just to make it easier for the quilter.

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Great quilting and a little fussy cutting

Great quilting and a little fussy cutting

I am showing you a few blocks so that you may appreciate the fussy quilting and the block technique.  The quilt blocks come from a class I taught years ago: Penny Haren’s Pieced Appliqué.  I made a shop sample and then taught the technique three times for Adel Quilting and Dry Goods.    For each class I made new sample blocks.  One set is still in a box.  There is a plan for them…….someday.

nice quilting on the geese

nice quilting on the geese

The layout includes the flying geese as I wanted to do something different this time around.

Inspiration

Inspiration

This is the quilt that inspired me to use the geese, but I could not get myself to make so many.   I believe the above quilt was done my Mary Shotwell.  Hers turned out much nicer as my geese have blunt stops and hers flow.

back of my quilt

back of my quilt

The backs of my quilts often get the left over fabric and the fabrics that weren’t quilt right for the front.

Label quilting into the quilt

Label quilted into the quilt

I also got the label right into the quilt back.   This quilt was my “Get-R-Done” project for 2013.  It did leave my house before the end of 2013.  I have yet to start working on my ‘Get-R-Done”  for 2014.

Penny Haren Pieced Applique

Penny Haren Pieced Applique

The above quilt is the original Penny Haren quilt and was made to match the book cover.  The one below is the one done using blocks from both books one and two.

Penny Haren's books 1 and 2

Penny Haren’s books 1 and 2

I am enjoying sitting on my porch as we begin this holiday week-end.  I hope to do a lot of it!  And maybe move some flowers from flats to the ground!  Enjoy your time of remembering those who sacrificed so that we may enjoy our free country.

The beginning of Memorial Day

The beginning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.

GRADUATION TIME

marg grad

High School Graduation

High School Graduation

I graduated from high school 45 years ago.  My niece graduated this spring.

45 year old fabric and new fabric

45 year old fabric and new fabric

The fabric on the above picture:  On the left is a piece of my college sheets.  On the right is fabric I saw and purchased a few years ago.  How could I not?  While at it I purchased some coordinating fabric.  As for my sheets, we later found the same fabric at a discount store.  We purchased a lot of it.  My mom did not quilt so we hired a lady to make a whole cloth quilt using the fabric.  Actually it was tied.  And my thrifty mom had the lady just cover an old quilt that she had.  I was so cool going off to college with this FLOWER POWER of the early 70s!

Graduation Quilt

Graduation Quilt

I have now made a quilt top for the new graduate.  I will also tie this one.  I consider it a FIVE YEAR QUILT.  She will use it for four years of college and then marry.  After it sits in a closet for a year, it will find its way to a garage sale.  So why spend the money having it long arm quilted?

As for my quilt of 1969, I kept it after college.  It was on my daughter’s bed for a while.  It was very snuggly.  However, somewhere along the way it went into a charity box and is long gone.

For those who read my last post about the tokens left at the Foundling Hospital of London, there are photos on the internet for you to get a glimpse of them.

http://www.threadsoffeeling.com/

 

More Clothing History

Yes, we spent several days roaming antique spots in Penn., but the real beginning of our trip plans was a couple current museum exhibits.

A gown seen in Williamsburg

A gown seen in Williamsburg

If you are ever planning a trip to DC do some planning several months in advance.  The textile and quilt curator at the Smithsonian gives tours into the archives twice a month.  You will need a reservation.  It is worth it.  We saw the quilt top done by Martha Washington.  It was never finished!  Thankfully her descendants preserved it and then passed it on to its current home.  It is a medallion like those done at that time period.  I would bravely say that I understand why it was not finished.  The center was not that creative.  I have many of those projects.

Along with this quilt top, we saw many other quilt treasures.  When the guides learned that I loved doll quilts, they hunted and found one for me to see.   They also found a pieced pillow case that Ann Hermes would enjoy seeing although her collection is much more dense.

Jane Austen Museum

Jane Austen Museum

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Bath museum of my favorite fiction author, Jane Austen.  Jane was writing her novels at about the same time the American Colonists were planning and carrying out their Revolution.  I do not believe the dress above was actually one of Jane’s but I am sure the curator tried to be time sensitive in using it as a welcome to the Austen Museum.

Gown at the V&A Museum

Gown at the V&A Museum

The above gown was on display at the V&A Museum while I was on the same trip to England.  Why am I showing you all these gowns?  England and Europe were a two class society when the colonies and our new country was forming.  The dress of the upper class has been documented and preserved.  But what about the lower class?  The common folk?

That question is what really started our trip plans.  It reminds me of the song from Camelot,What Do the Common Folk Do?“.

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A few years ago a researcher in England asked the same question.  He was advised to check out the The London Foundling Hospital Museum.   What he discovered was enough to write a book, which he did.  The book led to an England museum exhibit of pages of infant records that the hospital keep.   This exhibit then moved to the Art Museum of Williamsburg.  VA keeps much more current than I do.  She was determined that we needed to see this exhibit, while I had no clue what it was.  It was worth the entire trip as it was so moving.  Everyone needs a friend who is more with it than they are.

Back to the story.  From 1740 -1756 the Foundling Hospital was privately run.  It took in babies from needy parents.  No questions asked.  The parent(s) was aware that they could reclaim the infant when their circumstances improved.   For this reason the parent was asked to leave a token to help identify the infant at the time he was reclaimed.  While some of the tokens were metal objects as a key, etc., most of the tokens were pieces of textiles.  That piece of textile was pinned onto the page along with all information about the baby, including every garment that came with the baby.

During this time the hospital could only accommodate about 200 babies at a time.  A lottery system was used to determine which babies were accepted.  As leaders became more aware of this despair, the government became involved and added finances to the hospital.  From 1756- 1770 no babies were turned away.

The hospital keep intricate records and preserved them all.  John Styles was able to study these records and research the over 5000 pieces of textile history.   Most of it was from the common folk with some exceptions.

I started to include a couple pictures of pages in the book to give you a feel for it, but then I read the copyright and will respect it.  It is well worth the $20.

For those of us who enjoy textile history this has been a great find.  But the reality of it is very sobering.  At this time period the mortality rate of babies in England was 50%.  For the Foundling Hospital it was 66%.  I am sure this was due to the health of the babies when they were admitted rather than the hospital care.

Of the over 16,000 babies admitted, less than 1% were redeemed by the parent(s).  We can be so thankful for the advances of science and humanitarian efforts of our day!

A Woman's Wrap

A Woman’s Wrap

I will wrap this history story up with a picture of a wrap.  It comes from Terri Clothier Thompson’s collection.  In the morning women would wear a wrap while they did their household duties.  In the afternoon they would change into calling clothes and restricting undergarments.   We have come a long way!

 

More Pennsylvania Treasures

Textile history is one of my favorite things.  This lovely child’s dress came home with me.  It is all hand stitched.  It had to be!  It was made before the sewing machine was invented!

Child's dress 1840 - 1860

Child’s dress 1840 – 1860

All hand stitched is a good clue to when it was made.  For those who ever took Home Ec, I will say the gathering would earn an A+; perfectly even and no puckers, no pleats.  Below you will see the reason I can date the dress so easily.  Portraits from the past!

dress portrait

On this trip we visited  several museums in DC and Williamsburg.  I could not resist taking a few pictures of children’s portraits.  And they were dated!  My traveling partner had once read that there was a time period when it was thought children would be healthier if  the upper chest was exposed.

I should add here that we also saw memorable quilts in the museums but the rule was no photos!  I am sure the rule is in part because they want to sell the museum books.  Sometime one is allowed photo with no flash, but not this trip.

Another portrait

Another portrait

How did they keep this low shoulder thing in place, specially on an active child?

back of dress with draw string

back of dress with draw string

If you look real close at the above photo you can see the draw string at the neck!  I wonder if it was comfortable.  There were two buttons at the top and another two at the waist.  The space between the sets of button had no closure.  From the close up picture you can also see all the piping.  I have been told that it helped reinforce the seams whereas today it is a decorative addition.  And more work!

Hand pieced apron

Hand pieced apron

One more child’s apparel.  This one is harder to date.  Pink was first popular and very available as early as 1830.  The madder brown of the triangle trim has that copper-toned look which mainly appeared around 1860 – 1880.   The other clue has to be the hand sewing.   No sane woman would have hand stitched this if she owned a sewing machine.  By 1890 most homes had a sewing machine or access to one.

One more fun thing about the apron:  The dealer said that she originally had two of different sizes.  What a mom or grandma to have made sisters matching aprons!

Below is a quilt block that I have that shows the copper-toned madder a little more clearly.

quilt block from 1860 -1880

quilt block dated 1860 – 1880

Another treasure I purchased before we left Penn.  is the doll quilt made with cheater fabric.

cheater fabric

cheater fabric

It is probably a doll quilt with no batting or quilting.  Some ladies made  pretty “wall hangings” that they hung over the wash pan to catch splatters, but this is probably to small to catch all the splatters so I will stay with a doll quilt.

Cheater fabric appeared as early as 1830!  This one was probably later but I love adding it to my collection.

I was so glad that I had been saving up for this trip!  And I think I better stay out of Penn. for a while!