Monday, July 7, 2014

New Finish and more Grapes

Half Inch Hexagon Charm Quilt
A detail photo of my newest finish!

Hexagon Charm Quilt
1/2" Hexagons
Hand Pieced
Hand Quilted

392 Different Individual Reproduction Fabrics
22" x 28" Finished Size

Truly finished, including hanging sleeve and tag!

I enjoyed making it so much I have a second one well underway.

Charm Quilt 22" x 28
Completed Quilt

22" x 28" w Binding

Striped binding and backing.

The light rounds are also by color.
For example, all of the shirtings next to the black round are black on cream prints.

The outer corner hexagons are deep navy.  They look like purple in my photo.

I outline quilted the upper and lower edges of each hexagon.  I quilted straight lines in the pink border.
The wider final border has a tulip motif in the corner and petals running up the sides.

Because I never get enough of applique grapes - I found another variation to share.  This is a picture from an online auction.
The grapes are one piece of fabric.  Is it a clever repair?  Is the dot print covering worn purple?  Did the original maker place batting circles under the fabric in "grape cluster" position, then quilt around the "grapes"?

Regardless, very clever, and gives the look of seperate circles appliqued close together in a grape cluster.

This is the block in the quilt.  It is actually a side setting triangle.

First glance and it is a cluster of grapes.  A closer look reveals the single piece of fabric.

Have a great week!  I plan to stitch a lot of grapes this week.  How about you?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Noah and Matilda Block Set Seven

Purple Grapes pattern available in Noah and Matilda Set Seven
My previous post on appliqued grapes was motivated by a block in set seven.

The Purple Grapes

I stopped counting after the first 12 grapes, but let's just say the quantity of grapes in this block tops the speed limit of most US highways!  Does that sound better than 65?

I love the shape of the stems, the curve of the embroidered tendrils and of course...the grape clusters!

I did the embroidery first, then the stems.
Next came the leaves, while contemplating which technique to use for the grapes.

Stem of grapes, Noah and Matilda block set seven

I decided not to restitch the block.

I like the texture of these clusters.
The technique makes for great discussion.
I also like the idea of using multiple techniques in the quilt.

We still have not determined if Matilda made all of the blocks or if it was a presentation quilt.

Each grape was made from a circle of purple fabric.
I turned under the circle edge and ran a gathering stitch around the edge.  After stuffing the circle with bits of cotton batting I pulled the gathering thread closed, and knotted the thread.  Without cutting the thread I ran it through the center of the circle and into the block backing fabric.
I made another knot, tacking the grape to the background fabric.  Then I stitched the bottom circle of the grape to the backing fabric from the back side.  Being a back baster, the circle was already drawn.

The rest of the blocks in set seven include oak leaves, a red flower stem and great yellow flower!
Set seven is HERE.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Applique Grapes

Half of the original and half of my reproduction block
The Noah and Matilda quilt has a lot of appliqued grapes.  I think you should applique in whatever technique you enjoy.  Today I'm sharing a variety of applique grapes.

The green grape block is in set four of the blocks.

I chose to back baste the circles and stuff the grapes as I needle turned each circle.  I think they match the originals pretty well.
I did use a print for the leaves as opposed to the solid in the original.

Hand applique, machine quilted

I like to take classes and try new applique techniques.  This is from one of my first applique classes.  In this class we used a drafting ruler of circles to trace the circles.  Now I back baste - even tiny circles.

We also cut circles from cotton batting scraps and covered them with the fabric circles, then applied the circle to the backing fabric.

These are rather large grapes, about 1.25" each.

I like using a variety of prints in the grapes.
As I recall, the rest of the class used batiks.
Do what you like!

Grape class project

This is the block in the completed quilt.

All hand applique, machine quilted.

I completed it many years ago.  I think the class was monthly with lessons in each of the 9 blocks. The other three months were sashing, borders and finishing.  

I remember the class was very rewarding and I think the patterns were drawn by the instructor.
It was a pivotal year in my applique journey.

Expression of Morris, (Book by Katie Friesen)

This grape cluster was done with a similar technique.

I cut the circles, about 1/2".
I used cotton batting circles cut from scraps.

The finished grapes are about 1/4" - that's my pinkie finger in the photo.

Again, I enjoyed using a variety of purple prints.

I'm taking a little liberty calling these red circles grapes.  They could be cherries or berries.

This maker used contrasting thread and made the stitching part of the design.  The buttonhole stitch is rather deep and acts as an embellishment.  The circles are not stuffed.

This quilt (circa 1845) is in the collection of the Brooklyn Art Museum and is currently traveling in the Workt exhibit.

Again, I'm taking a little liberty calling these circles grapes.  I think we can agree they are appliqued circles.

This quilt is circa 1830.  Buttonhole stitching surrounds each circle.  The circles finish at about 1/2".  The fabric circles were cut from a larger floral print.

Precision was important to this maker.

My personal preference is a little variation in the circles in color, size and shape.  I think the variation gives a more organic look.

Unidentified kit quilt, Goldstein Collection

These grapes are on a kit quilt, circa 1950.

The fabrics are all solid.  The clusters of grapes range from purple and pink to yellow and cream.

Each circle is lightly padded.

In some areas the faint black line shadow from the stamped kit adds a  depth to the circles.

Charlotte Jane Whitehill, Indiana Wreath Quilt
Neuster Textile Collection, Denver Art Museum

The grapes in the Charlotte Jane Whitehill quilt, "Indiana Wreath" are oval shaped and heavily stuffed.

Each grape is at least a full inch long.  She used solid fabrics, gradating the color placement from light to dark.

Stuffed grapes are abundant in antique applique quilts.

In this example the purple printed fabric was gathered, stuffed and tacked down.  Look closely at the background fabric to see a small pucker where the grape is attached.
This technique leaves the grape more dimensional.

I like the slight size variation in these grapes.

So why all this interest in applique grapes and circles?

I made a discovery this morning on the Noah and Matilda quilt!

Grape cluster - Noah and Matilda Quilt
After examining the purple grapes on Noah and Matilda's quilt I thought they looked like a technique new to me.  How exciting!
Don't these look similar to an embroidered eyelet or fabric covered button?

I consulted a few quilt historians, fellow quilt study enthusiasts and applique artists.
No breakthroughs...

Following good advice, I set about recreating the grapes.

I gathered circles, stuffed them then tried to flatten them out and stitch around the outer edge to achieve the uniform swirl on the originals.

To say my results were dismal is an understatement.  It wasn't that I didn't like my little grapes, I do.  I was disappointed because they didn't look like the originals.  They sit high off the backing fabric and being stuffed, do not flatten out.

Time to look at the original again.

Poor worn little grape

I use archival storage for my quilts, even the worn ones.  I brought N&M back out into the light....

I took the liberty to excavate a little more aggressively than I had in the past.  Where the purple fabric had failed I looked under the popped cotton tuft.

Had the cotton fiber come from between the gathers as previously thought?

I had to check a few more grapes...

Detail of worn side of grape cluster

How do the grape sides look?

The tufts of cotton filling stayed so nice and rounded after the purple fabric failed.  Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could pull them off.

The quilt came to me in this condition, so at some point(s) in its life it had some rough treatment.  I am so happy we have been able to document and preserve the story of this quilt.  (Research is still ongoing).

Partial top left on purple grape

Then it hit me!

Or, maybe it was when I saw this particular grape.
All of the gathers are the bottom of the grape, under the filling.  I was disappointed and excited at the same time.
Disappointed it was not a 'new to me' technique.
Excited to solve the mystery.
Stay tuned - did I restitch my purple grape block?
Would you?
What's your favorite grape applique technique?

Have a great week!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Quilt Exhibit "First Glance - Second Look" PART 2

Cigarette Flannel Quilt circa - early 1900's
Hand tied with petite pompons
Neusteter Textile Collection:  Gift of Judith Montano
Your enthusiasm for the Denver Art Museum exhibit, "First Glance - Second Look" is exciting.
I hope many of you get to the exhibit, which is open until March 22, 2015.  For now, here are a few more exhibit pictures.

This portion of the exhibit has a "Second Life" theme.

These tobacco flannels were premiums from the purchase of tobacco products and are found in multiple sizes.

Ties Quilt circa - 1950's
Hand tied with red yarn
Neusteter Textile Collection:  Gift of Robert A. Bulkeley

The "Ties Quilt" is made from ties owned by Max M. Bulkeley (1883-1958).  He served one term as U.S. Attorney for Colorado, eventually living in Denver.

His wife pieced together dozens of his ties to create this visually stunning piece in the 1950's.

For viewers of the exhibit, if they look closely they will find a surprise among the geometric, abstract and striped patterns - A nude woman wearing a floral lei.  The risque figure was painted on the underside of the tie and would only be visible if the wearer picked up the end to reveal the underside.

My photo does not do justice to the beauty of this quilt!

Treeline No. 2 Sharon M.W. Bass
Lawrence Kansas  

Included with the Art Quilt portion of the exhibit in the Thread Studio is a silk piece by Sharon M.W. Bass.

Again, my photo through the plexi cover does not do this piece justice.  Sharon has an online gallery HERE.  I love this piece in silk, so delicate with a range of colors and thread work.

I've made a quilt from cut up shirts, but I have yet to work with tobacco flannel, silk or other other fibers.  How about you?  Have you given a textile a second life?

You can order the exhibit companion book HERE.
The winner of the free book is Margaret of Days of a Sampler Lover blog.  Margaret, email me with your mailing address.

One more order of business - I was reminded I didn't blog about set 6 - the Borders for Noah and Matilda.  This file was posted before June 1.  You can always count on the file being there a day or two early, even if I don't get a post written.  This summer is packed with travel for me!  I have a post coming up on the borders yet this month!
Noah and Matilda patterns are HERE.

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quilt Exhibit "First Glance Second Look" Denver Art Museum

This evening I attended the opening Reception for the new quilt exhibit opening June 1 at the Denver Art Museum.

"First Glance - Second Look"
June 1, 2014 - March 22, 2015

Look at this well planned view in the gallery...STARS

Several quilts are hung suspended so viewers can see the fronts and backs.

Neusteter Textile Collection:  Gift of Dr. Guido Goldman 2008.408

If you cannot make it to the exhibit the companion book is available for mail order.

It is a a great book, a bargain at $10.95 plus postage.
100 pages, color, some fold out pages, detailed closeup pictures.
Also includes some photos of quilts in the DAM collection, that are not in the exhibit.

Order it HERE

The cover quilt, "Houses and Pine Trees Quilt" is hand pieced and hand quilted.  Never before exhibited.  I think it was pictured on an old calendar a few decades ago.

Medallion quilt center
English, 1820's
Scene of David Garrick delivering an ode to Shakespeare.

Several characters surround the statue.
The toile is based on a painting by Robert Edge Pine, and was printed about 1790.

Lovely detail, isn't it?

Medallion Quilt, England 1820's           

The border toile was also printed in a brown colorway and is in the Winterthur collection.

The print has a large repeat depicting seasonal activities.

Hand pieced cotton, hand quilted, linen backing.

I saw this bed cover several times when it was brought from storage in preparation for the exhibit.

The textile area at DAM has open viewing of the new state of the art textile conservation area.  They call this PreVIEW, if you plan a visit try to schedule a time when they have open door hours.  You can find the schedule on the DAM website
or HERE.

DAM Conservation Studio Photos HERE

English, Early 1800's
Hand Applique
Silk Embroidery detail

Competition Quilt

Lancaster PA
About 1895
Over 14 borders
Hand pieced cotton, silk and linen
VERY tiny scale, Center Star is about 12"
Some of the HST's are 1/4"

There was an art quilt exhibit curated by Judith Trager.
The display is in the Thread Studio.
The art quilts are dispalyed in pull out drawers.
Studio Art Quilters were selected to interpret and antique quilt from the exhibit.
These little jewels are displayed under plexi in each drawer.
Crystal Mill by Melody Randal, Loveland CO
"In 1934, quilt maker Myrtle Fortner created The Matterhorn...
...Inspired by Ms. Fortner's work, I created a piece using small bits of cloth to
paint an iconic Colorado scene:  Crystal Mill.
I dyed fabric, cut small pieces and fused them together, then machine- quilted
the layers"

This is a clever educational area for the kids.
It is a magnetic board.
Fabric is attached to magnetic squares.
This is one big kid who could spend some time 'playing' on this design wall!

A few more photos...

Another gallery view - one slant board

Anna Eliza Pratt Perrine's quilt 1843-43 in the conservation lab
getting ready for the exhibit.
This quilt is in spectacular condition - amazing ink work

Inking in the broiderie perse blocks

Fringe edge 

Hand quilting on a Charlotte Jane Whitehill quilt 1930
Published as one of the best quilts of the Centruy.
I could go on and on!!  If I weren't so tired I probably would!

Should I do another post with more exhibit pictures?  
Will you come to the exhibit?

Leave me a comment if you would like to see a second post about this exhibit and why you would enjoy reading the companion book.

I'll draw a name on June 9 - and mail the winner a copy of the book.