Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Piecework Front Cover and Fall Events

So excited to have one of my sewing roll projects
 featured on the front cover of
Winter 2019 - New stands October 31, 2019

Come see the issue in Houston!
Limited Edition Kits (HERE)
Feature velvet and hand dyed wool by Ann Hermes
(Notes From The Quilt Lab)

***The kits are not shipping Internationally.  If you are coming to Houston, 
I might be able to hand deliver a kit - send me a convo***

Piecework Magazine is available (HERE)
Now Owned by Long Thread Media - new size, binding and paper!

Houston - Quilt Festival
Booth 2426 Main Aisle
Book Signing
Meet and Greet
I hope you will stop by and say hello!

November 7,  Minnesota Quilters
Journey of A Collector and Quilter
There is a guest fee for non-members:


November 9, Minnesota Quilters
How Did They Do That?
There is a guest fee for non-members:


November 12, South Minneapolis Quilters
200 Years of Hexagon Quilts
Guests are Welcome

December 7 and 8 Denver, Colorado
Trunk Show:  Journey of A Collector - Antique Quilts and Needlework Tools
Workshop:  Mosaic Pin Balls
Enrollment is Now Open


Please Contact me if you are interested in booking a private or group event.
I am booking into 2020 and 2021

I hope to see you soon!
In the meantime - Happy Stitching!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dressing a Canopy Doll Bed

I love canopy beds.

I have one in the guest room with a hand tied canopy.
Guests love it too.

I have a few canopy doll beds that need bedding so when I found this one - I almost didn't get it.

How many more projects do I need to add to the list?
I justified it because I thought I had a few doll quilts at home that could be used to dress it out.

I got it and I'm glad I did.

It did not look like this when I got it.

Top Finials Off

It required some work, and Mr.
Collector was very helpful.

First, it had to be cleaned.  There was a filthy canopy that was crudely secured under the finials.

Once it was vacuumed and detail brushed, it was oiled with a special mix for antiques.

Looking at the details, it wasn't made by a fine furniture maker.

That's why it was a good add to the rest of the collection of doll beds and cradles.

Other than cleaning, we left it as is.

After cleaning it was time to dress the bed!  My favorite part.

I decided I wanted a hand tied canopy.  However, I don't do netting.

I decided a crochet canopy would be close enough for me.

I pulled out my thread and crochet hooks and I just "winged" it.

I had to keep the thread secure, because Velma wanted to eat it - dangerous for a curious cat.

After the canopy was crocheted, I added hand tied tassels.  In my photo the canopy is a little crooked.  I was so focused on the quilt, I didn't adjust the canopy.

I posted both photos on Facebook and Instagram and asked which quilt they preferred...
Antique Hexagons or Reproduction Four Patches?

It was a close tie in the comments!
First place was hexagons, a close second was the four patches and there was a popular third response - rotate them!

Another suggestion I really liked was make a few more designs this size and change a quilt a month.

Do you have a preference?
Happy Stitching,
Click HERE to see some of my other doll and doll bed projects 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

July Happenings

What a fun and busy year.

I've been traveling and giving programs.

I am meeting so many stitchers.
Quilters who embroider and embroiderers who quilt. Let's not forget antique enthusiasts who love textiles!

I am so lucky to live in an area rich with guilds.

or copy and paste:

There's also the extensive online community.  I'm sharing this video for a few reasons.
Carol, Nicola's guest is a quilter who is starting a journey creating reproduction samplers.  Nicola walks through all the supply options - so many familiar to quilters, some new.  We all love our needlework tools!
Now I know how many embroiderers quilt - so many of us will enjoy this video.

Also, Nicola mentions my book - which is so greatly appreciated.

Nicola also mentions the Needlework press Book Of Days.

Lovely images, historic snippets and patterns combined in a calendar/planner book.
It's an annual publication.  Pretty for all stitchers!

(The chart for the cover sampler is in the works)

I'm working on some new patterns and will have some announcements soon.
I am also wrapping up a big finish!

Next Events:
October American Quilt Study Group - Membership & Advance Enrollment Required HERE
October 14-17 Private Event
October - Vacation - Visits include the Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts Exhibit HERE 
November Minnesota Quilters 7 & 9 HERE
November South Minneapolis Quilters  November 12 
December 6th Lecture, 7th Workshop. Colorado Quilt Council HERE 

I have some bookings in 2020 and 2021 - the guilds would love to split travel expenses - contact me!

Signed copies of my book are available through me HERE
Reproduction Fabrics (signed) HERE
Stitchville USA (signed) HERE
Book Sellers Near you and Online

Hands Across The Sea Samplers (HERE)  check your local shop too
Needlework Press (HERE)  check your local shop too

I hope you are finding lots of stitching time!
Maybe attending a few guild meetings?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Art Of High Style

Photographer:  Edward Strauss (American 1867-1931)
"Seamstresses at work in Mary Molloy's dressmaking shop in the Forepaugh Building.
Businesswomen like Molloy and Rose Boyd employed skilled seamstresses who had completed apprenticeships.  Seamstress wages ranged from 85 cents per day to $2.50 per day, depending on skill level.
Seamstresses worked 10 hour days for six days a week; overtime was common during peak social seasons"
Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society
I recently saw the exhibit, "The Art of High Style" at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  (HERE)
This photo is worth enlarging, look at the details.  Because the work is couture, most of the sewing was by hand.  There is one sewing machine on the table.

Roth & Goldschmidt Corset Company
American, 1880-1929
In 1880 the Connecticut firm began importing
French corsets; by 1901 the manufactured 650
corsets a day.

Corset, c. 1885
Linen twill, baleen, steel

"The exaggerated hourglass torso fashionable in the 1880s could only be achieved with tight corseting.  This corset flares at the hip and bust thanks to a system of darts (folded and stitched sections of fabric) that contour the garment.  Stiff whalebone supports run throughout the body, while steel reinforcements along the center front and center back permit tight lacing"

Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society

Frame Detail

Skirt Train, extender c. 1870
c. 1870
Steel, cotton twill
Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society

"The train extender and bustle combination is a complicated arrangement of steel hoops, cloth tapes, drawstrings and ruffles.

It would have been worn under a skirt to create a bustled silhouette, where volume was concentrated high in the back of the skirt, as well as to support and extend a skirt train."

Photographer:  William H. Jacoby
American, 1841-1905
Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society

Sumner W. Farnham Residence, Minneapolis, c.1880
"Some of Minnesota's top couturiers ran their businesses within stately homes formerly inhabited by the entrepreneurial settlers.  In 1901 designer Lina Christianson (1862-1904) moved into what was once the Minneapolis home of lumber miller and banker Sumner W. Farnham (1820-1900).  There, within an upscale residential district, Christianson offered her clients a fashion-salon experience like those in France, where luxurious commercial spaces took their design cues from lavishly furnished contemporary homes.  From 1901- 1903 she ran one of Minneapolis's largest and most prosperous fashion houses with a staff of 46 employees."

"Local couture ascended during a pivotal moment for Minnesota which became a state in 1858 amid coercive and fiercely contested treaty negotiations with the Dakota and Ojibwe nations.  Abundant natural resources extracted through milling and mining along the innovations in rail transportation enriched early settlers and industrial tycoons.  Wealthy white settlers sought elegant dress to reflect their new status.  The Minnesota couturiers featured in this exhibition, with connections to Paris and other fashion centers, furnished this clientele with styles that kept in step with tastemakers around the globe."
"Minnesota's elite fashion industry flourished during the era of the "New Woman", a feminist ideal promoting white middle and upper-class woman's social and professional engagement.  The couturiers showcased here drove the economy, travelled annually to Europe and generated hundreds of local jobs- yet. they could not vote until 1920.
By 1900, Minnesota led the nation in women working outside the home; couturiers and their seamstresses were part of this movement."

Alfred Stevens
Belgian, 1823-1906
Portrait of Mademoiselle Dubois, 1884
Minneapolis Institute of Art 2007.45

The exhibit includes paintings of fashionably dressed women. 

One sketch book recorded swatches and drawings of Charlotte Hill, daughter of James J. Hill.
It documents 51 couture garments made for her, from 1893-1896
She attended boarding school in New York and Paris.  Her dressmakers are listed in Paris, New York and Saint Paul.

Then came ready to wear clothing...

Quilting Thoughts:
With the abundance and opulence of textiles available in the twin cities in this era, it is no wonder the Minnesota Quilt Project found crazy quilts one of the most popular quilts in their documentation.  Perhaps they were just newer? decorative? So many highly skilled embroiderers and seamstresses?

I hope you enjoy this small snippet of the exhibit.
If you are in the area, be sure and make time to see it.

What's your favorite detail in the sewing room photo?

Happy Stitching,

Minnesota Crazy Quilt HERE
Travel Dress Detail HERE

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Exhibits For You

There are wonderful opportunities this summer to see great exhibits with antique textiles and related needlework tools!
I spoke with several others at the Lecture series held in conjunction with the Penn Dry Goods Market at The Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center.  (HERE)
The market and Lecture series is over - HOWEVER, lucky you - the exhibit is up through September!

The exhibit includes many items shown in my book from the museum and private collection - plus MORE!

On June 14, the signature quilts from their collection go up through November.

"Sewing tools range from the eminently practical to the exquisite and whimsical. This exhibit showcases examples from the Heritage Center and private collections.  It includes pincushions and pin balls from the 18th to 20th centuries; workboxes; sewing rolls and other related tools and equipment for home and commercial use."

While in the area, try to also catch the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Exhibit:  Decorated and Plain: An Amish and Mennonite Sampler (HERE)

Included in this exhibit are pin cushions, sewing boxes and other related sewing treasures.

"Smalls" as some like to refer to them.


Opening in June, Bryan Museum - Galveston Texas:

It is always special when an ART Museum recognizes quilts as art. 
To have them include sewing tools is exciting!
Included in the exhibit are pin cushions, sewing rolls, clamps, needle books, 
sewing machines, hoops and more! 

The Bryan Museum
Museum Details available (HERE)
Things to do in Galveston (HERE)
More photos to follow!
Are you seeing any exhibits this summer?
I'd love to hear about them.  

I hope to meet some of you June 11 at the South Minneapolis Quilters Guild where I will be giving a trunk show and presentation.
I will also be at the Minnesota Quilters Show (Rochester MN) 
signing books in the MQP booth
Friday, June 14 for the day.

Hope to see you soon!
Happy Stitching,
Signed Copies of My Book:   HERE