Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nestled All Snug In Bed

9" center block
The children dolls were nestled all snug in their beds...

If they are going to be 'nestled' then it should be in a quilt!

This is a doll's sleigh bed I got in 1984, it has a matching armoire.  The pieces are signed 'Bill Pitts'.

I have a picture of each of my kids as infants on it.  They also played with it through the years.

I decided it needed new bedding.

15" x 18" excluding the ruffle
I made a mattress, pillow insert and sheet.
I have several quilts for the bed - but this is the most recent.

I added the pillow case after I saw Ann's collection.
If you haven't already, spend some time reading Ann Hermes blog, Notes From The Quilt Lab.  HERE

She has an amazing collection of antique/vintage pieced pillow cases.  Shared at AQSG this year, her collection is beautiful.  You'll also find some of her ongoing research and documentation.  I've posted about Ann's designs HERE when I showed another picture of my gallery wall with one of her designs.

I'll be adding more to the pillowcase after the holidays.
I'll also make some more to go with the older doll quilts in my collection.

The center is an 9" applique block surrounded with fussy cut borders.  To get the longer rectangle I wanted I added a couple rows of HST's.

It is hand applique and hand quilted.  All of the piecing is by machine.

Quilt Back

The ruffled border is only on the long sides.  The ruffle is incorporated in the binding.
Another edge finish option...

Pillow Applique Pattern:

2.5" finished motif

Old Favorites In Miniature
Tina Gravatt
ISBN 0-89145-808-5
Pattern #9 of her mini Baltimore

Hope you are "nestled all snug up" this holiday season!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wool Project - A Finish

I finished a UFO!!

"dear Santa I can explain"
Pattern:  By Debbie Busby
Wooden Spool Designs
You can see details HERE

Help me identify the designer!!

My first wool project was this penny mat a few years ago.

I can't find the pattern and looked online so I could give credit to the designer - I couldn't find it.  If you know - let me know and I'll update this post.

I'm working my way through these smaller wool projects towards a larger table runner - maybe 2012 will be the year!

This is one of my little feather trees and an elf I made.  As i recall the tree was the easier project!

You can see the real feather tree kits HERE.
Also details on their history etc.
This one is the smallest - and has lasted several years with very little care for storage.

You can barely see the wooden block base of the tree - it's a hand painted design. Base to tree top is about 10" so it is small.

The ornaments are less than 1/2" -  I think they are Midwest Imports made to look old.

Tomorrow the baking begins....the elves better be out of the kitchen....

On a non-holiday note I have made progress on my scrappy vortex.  If you haven't already entered the give away do so HERE.

Happy December!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snowflake Quilt and Alaskan Pin Cushion

I had the good fortune to take a 3 day workshop with Paula Nadelstern a few years ago.  It was glorious absorption in the use of prints, fussy cutting and piecing.
I know... it's a UFO, but one I intend to finish, so let's ignore the UFO part..
The class instructions said to bring LOTS of fabrics.  So I filled my tote and was feeling a little embarrassed about how much I had...until I got to class.
I had THE LEAST amount of fabrics of the entire class.  Students brought in roller suitcases filled with fabric.

Guess who went shopping at lunch?

The inside cover of my book is signed by Paula.

Dear Dawn,
When it comes to fabric,
more is MORE!
Paula Nadelstern

Thank You, Paula - I give my self permission for a large stash!
I've also have a nice stash collection of silks now...

Snowflakes & Quilts
ISBN 1-57120-155-6
Paula Nadelstern

Were you wondering what kind of sewing tool I could come up with for snow?

This is an Alaskan blanket toss pin cushion.  The bottom is labeled Palmer Alaska.

A lookout was tossed by the group into the air from the blanket to look ahead for hunting opportunities.

The bodies are so cute.

Plush pieces of wool for the arms, legs and bodies.

The background snowflake block shows the fussy cut butterflies, trees and yes some reproduction fabrics that make each snowflake unique.

Fuzzy Parka

The most frequent question we are asked (having moved from MN to CA)
 "Do you miss the snow?"

Answer:  We can always find it if we need it ;-)

With this sweet pin cushion face and a smile - 

Happy Holidays!
(With or without a snowflake or two)

Paula's Web Site HERE
In class we also studied Wilson A. Bentley See more information on 'Snowflake Bentley' HERE
Alaskan Blanket Toss Pin Cushions HERE

Monday, December 12, 2011

Red Green Baby Baltimore And Singer Hand Crank

More Red and Green....
I'm working up to starting a Baltimore.  It's taking years ;-)
Not committing - stashing fabrics, buying books and patterns, studying....
I took a hand applique class and completed this little four block quilt several years ago... Mary Deeney was a pivotal teacher in my applique skills.
Mary's an award winning hand quilter.  Mary's version of  Pat Cox's "The Gift" won a 1st Place Prize at the American Quilter's Society Show (Paducah) in 2002.

View Mary's Quilts HERE

She has the 'Sweet Baby Baltimore' pattern available (and others) on her website.

Sweet Baby Baltimore
This is my class project.

It is hand applique and machine quilted.

The designs are very classic and we built skills as we went through each lesson over the weekly sessions of the course.

The binding is red, with a green fabric insert.  Between the red and green is a line of yellow hand embroidery.

See my friend Jean's red and green quilts HERE

I picked up this little Singer hand crank at a bargain basement price - so if it is a recent reproduction that's ok!

How can I tell?

I read about them HERE.

From the thread spool, the parts are numbered so to thread it...just follow the numbers!  It clamps to the table so if you really get 'ta crankin' it stays put.

The box included the cloth guide, clamp, box and manual.

The manual has copyright dates of 1922, 1936 and 1948.
The box says No. 20, the manual says 20-10

I checked for markings and I see mine was made in the USA.
It has the all black 7 spoke hand wheel.

I have another one - in a future post I'll show the two side by side.
I love the writing on the box assuring me ...
Maybe I should make a little chain stitched doll quilt!

See A crank sewing machine group HERE
(Thanks Sue from Simply Pieceful)

Have a great week!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Little Medallion - Red and Green is Not Just For Christmas

Approximately 40"          Framed Medallion Reproduction 1884
I have a few red and green quilts, and I wish I had more!  Such powerful colors, and when used together - they are magical...

This is a reproduction from the book:
Great Little Quilts
Antique Crib and Doll-Size Quilts
by Eleanor Levie
ISBN-10:  0810933535

In the book the original quilt corner stones are appliqued 1884.
I hand pieced the center, and hand quilted it.  I machine pieced all of the surrounding blocks.

This is the same book my Honeybee quilt is from.

Keeping with a Christmas theme, here's a grouping of red and green sewing items.

The drawstring bag is crochet and perfect for a hand sewing project like hex's or embroidery.

The pin cushion is rather festive with the red satin bow.  I wonder if she had seasonal pin cushions?

Who is that guy in pajamas?
Could be.
He's a tape measure, marked Japan.
He measures in inches and centimeters.  

(A little disclaimer here) I didn't find this lump of coal pin cushion in my stocking, I found it in an antique shop in Pennsylvania.

The center is coiled paper that used to be filled with pins.

This lump of coal pin cushion was an advertising piece.  Every time you reached for a pin, you had a little reminder who to call for all your ice AND coal needs.

Have a great week!
Do you use red and green quilts year around?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Multi-Colored Vortex In Variation GIVEAWAY

I love scrappy quilts, and have a stash of non-repro when I made my own Vortex In Variation (VIV) I decided to break out of my reproduction genre.

Big prints - they worked!
Directional - no problem!
OK, a repro snuck in there but I like that!

I love it, but I need your help.
What color should the surround be?  The corners?

First let me show you my BAD selection:

I confess to you I didn't listen to DD, and I tried this disaster...She warned me...

I thought the black and white would be neutral - and the corners a good contrast to all the works with everything?
Proved that wrong!

So it's unpinned ... and will sit until the new year.
I have other red green posts written to share the rest of the month.

How about a giveaway?

Multi-Color VIV

Leave a comment on this podst with your color suggestion for the surround.

The center includes 37 prints, so some are repeated.
 It will be a separate pattern with the placements numbered on the paper set.

Or, should I make it a 60" square quilt, with or without a border?

With the RNG magic I'll pick a couple of winners from the comments on New Years Day!
Prize:  Some colorful FQ's to start 2012 with!

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vortex In Variation

Queen Size 95" x 95"
vortex [ˈvɔːtɛks] 
n pl -texes-tices [-tɪˌsiːz]
1. (Physics / General Physics) a whirling mass or rotary motion in a liquid, gas, flame, etc., such as the spiralling movement of water around a whirlpool
2. any activity, situation, or way of life regarded as irresistibly engulfing  

I'm thinking quilting might be a VORTEX!!

This is not my quilt, my version will be in my next post.   My DD made this quilt.  It was accepted at International Quilt Festival in Houston.  We had a wonderful trip together so she could see her quilt hanging.
Made of indigo and snow solids; it is machine (paper pieced), hand quilted and hand applique.

So many color options with beautiful results!!

Most common question:  How long did it take to make?

It was fun to meet people at the show and see all of the fabulous entries and exhibits.

We also enjoyed standing back and listening to attendees comment on the quilt.

Some Quotes:
"Stare at it until you fall over"
"Jarring, but I can't stop looking at it"
"Look at the center!!!"

She made the quilt in the spring - with a BS in Architecture, drafting a pattern was no problem.  I was the happy art patron who left for work in the morning, entertained by the progress each evening.
We had some rich discussions on designing vs. drafting.  It is similar to the Red and white quilt exhibited in NYC.   Vortex in Variation is queen sized, has uniform borders with an organic corner/side design.  Obviously she has a fair amount of sewing experience and it wasn't her first quilt.  She was able to get very accurate results with paper piecing.

You may have noticed a new button on my blog side bar.
By popular demand she created a paper pieced pattern for her quilt.  It is for sale in our Etsy Store.
In my next post I'll show you my multi color version (call me 'pattern tester') with yet another corner design.
Pattern Cover Page
Is quilting a 'vortex' for you too??   ...irresistibly engulfing...

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lest I Shall Be Forgotten: A Special Exhibit of Signature Quilts

I appreciate a local quilt show that includes antique quilts and their stories.  For some attendees it is the only chance they have to see antique and vintage quilts.  I was fortunate to be a white glove volunteer here:

A Harvest of Quilts
presented by The Flying Geese Quilters Guild 2011

One of the special exhibits:
"Lest I Shall be Forgotten:  A Special Exhibit of Signature Quilts" 
                   Curated by Sandy Sutton of Seal Beach, California
Sandy at the exhibit answering questions
With Sandy's permission I am able to share the pictures and information from the detailed tags displayed with each quilt. 
Sandy is a Flying Geese Guild member, former show chair and former guild president.  She is a member of the American Quilt Study Group and Repiecers; a southern California quilt Study Group, Orange County and Orange Grove Quilt Guilds.  Sandy collects and studies quilts and is an accomplished quilter.  Her diverse collection of quilts cover global interests and centuries of work.

In curating this exhibit, Sandy selected examples from 1846 - 2008 all demonstrating the signatures of women displayed on the FRONT of each quilt.  In sharing quilt heritage Sandy believes viewers will appreciate all quilts with more in depth knowledge.
Join me - and enjoy this special exhibit:

Sarah's Quilt  c. 1869
Collection of Sandy Sutton

A signature quilt contains one or more signatures.  

This applique pattern is known variably as Rose of Sharon or Pennsylvania Dutch Rose and is done in red, green and bright cheddar.  

The binding is done in two colors, an unusual choice for this time period.

Many early quilts had initials or names cross stitched on the back.

This proud maker cross stitched her name, Sarah Elizabeth Smith, and the date 1869 on the front of the quilt.


Margaret L.R. Wilkin Sunburst Quilt c. 1847     84 x 84
Collection of Sandy Sutton
This exuberant red, green, and yellow quilt was made in the sunburst design.  It is hand pieced and hand quilted.  Every bit of fabric was needed, as even some of the diamonds are pieced.   
Was this a gift? 
Did she make it commemorate a special event?  
We will probably never know.

It is rare to find initials or signatures in the quilting design, and when found, it is frequently hard to decipher the information.

Hand quilted in the lower right setting triangle:

                        July 1
            Margaret L.R. Wilkin
                    her quilt 1847

Another inscription, on the left side is difficult to read, the date 1844, then July 28 is at the top with Margaret's name repeated.


Pennsylvania Friendship Quilt c. 1860   80 x 99
Collection of Sandy Sutton
The variety of blocks make this a "sampler" album.  Friendship quilts were made by mare than one person to commemorate a special event such as a birthday, wedding or departure.  
Some of the blocks in this quilt are embroidered with names and some are printed in ink.  
Row 4 Block 1

   Family names include:

The discoloration is due to dye migration.


Quilt from the collection of Quilt Historian Pat L. Nickols

Chimney Sweep 
c. 1889  63 x 78
Collection of Pat L. Nickols

With the Western migration, quilt blocks and quilts were made to accompany the pioneers to the new territories and to remind their owners of friends and family left behind.  This chimney pattern was very popular for a friendship gift.  

This quilt is dated 1889 and has some wonderful indigo blue fabrics in the blocks.  

It was said to have been made by women from Santa Ana, California.

Harriet Huston Whitcomb Quilt

Sandy with the Harriet Huston Quilt
Dated 1846    113 x 102
Collection of Sandy Sutton

Each block is inked with a signature.
The center block is shown in detail below.

The center is inked with the following inscription: 
Harriet H. Huston is my name
          America is my station
    Springfield is my dwelling place
       And Christ is my salvation
    When I am dead and in my grave
        And all my bones are rotten
              When this you see
                 Remember me
          Lest I shall be Forgotten
                     A.D. 1846

Harriet was 20 years old in 1846.  The signatures on the quilt are from her friends and family.
She married John Whitcomb in 1850, none of his family is represented in the signatures on the quilt.


Redwork Fundraising Quilt c. 1910    75 x 76
Collection of Sandy Sutton

Individuals paid to have their names inscribed on fundraising quilts, which were then raffled to raise money for a variety of causes.  

In 1910 members of a congregation in Carbondale, Illinois paid to have their names embroidered in this petal fashion.  

The money was used to make church repairs.  It is done in red embroidery (red work) on white muslin - popular in the 29th Century.


Depression Era Friendship Quilt c.1935/2003   66 x 76
Collection of Sandy Sutton

The colors of this cheerful quilt belie the hard economic times of the Great Depression.  Many of these fabrics are from feed/flour sacks and many are of poor quality fabric.  Dated 1935 and decorated with whimsical embroidery, these friends and relatives were making the best of hard times.  

The name Miner is repeated several times in the blocks.  The top was purchased in an antique shop and quilted by Sandy in 2003.


Famous First Ladies Celebrity Quilt  
            c.1992  86 x 86
Collection of Flying Geese Guild, stored by each residing guild president

The concept of the First Lady Quilt came after Linda Otto Lipsett spoke at the guild the first year of its operation.
The idea of collecting signatures for friendship quilts really caught on in the guild.  

Realizing that not many first ladies were still around, they decided to contact additional women who were leaders in a variety of fields.  
A letter was sent with a square of muslin for the ladies to sign and return.  The blocks were then assembled and the top was hand quilted.  It took 6 years to complete. 
Signatures include:  Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Dianne Feinstein, Lucille Ball, Sally Ride, March Eu Fong, Geraldine Ferraro, Jean Nidetch and Erma name a few.

Note:  I saw a young lady use her smartphone to look up Dianne Feinstein...light bulb moment!


Darla's Friendship Quilt
Flying Geese Guild President Quilt c. 2009  
Collection of Darla Cox

Signature and friendship quilts continue to be made. 
This presentation quilt was made for Darla Cox, who was President of the Flying Geese Quilter's Guild in 2008.  

Members of the guild made and signed blocks that were put together to make this embellished quilt in Darla's favorite color - Purple.

Special THANKS to the volunteers at The Flying Geese guild who hung, tagged and supported the show with hours of volunteer work!  Your time is greatly appreciated.

American Quilt Study Group  click HERE

Flying Geese Quilters Guild click HERE

Repiecers, Southern California Quilt Study Group click HERE

Lest I Shall Be Forgotten Anecdotes and traditions of Quilts Nancy and Donald Roan
ISBN:  1-883801-02-8

Thank you for stopping by today!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One of my idols - Edyth C O'Neill

Unrolled with book
This is one of my all time favorite books!

PLEASE click HERE to see AMAZING pictures and information than I could never hope to duplicate.

The book is a great gift idea - as are each of the projects included.

Pockets and Rollups for My Red Cape
By Edyth C. O'Neill
Copyright 2006

Another Great Link HERE   WOW!

Here is a close up picture of one of the rollup projects.  It is a treasured gift from a friend.

The thread wrap is reproduction bone.
The bees wax Mother of Pearl wheel is also a reproduction.
You can find them HERE.
Browse the Wm Booth Draper site - you'll also find beautiful Dutch Chintz fabrics, linen tape and more reproduction sewing accessories.

You might need two cups of coffee to visit these sites!!
I know I've got them book marked and will be going back several times.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tumbling Blocks Pink Diamonds

I bought this quilt for the variety of fabrics, and its visual appeal.  Plaids, florals, stripes - with sparkles of gold, blues and red.  Madders next to reds and interesting to study.

Every time I look at it I see something 'new'.

All the front seams I checked are hand pieced. It is hand quilted.  The 24" wide backing fabric is folded to the front to form the binding.

There is some loss in the reds.

Fabric variety with pink

I pulled out a few sewing treasures.

The leather snap case is a hotchpotch of contents - probably none of it original.  The purple velvet lined case has occupied Japanese needles in the lid, two stilettos (one plastic one bone)
two bodkins and a pair of German scissors.

The wooden thread box is labeled "From LLandrindod Wells"  (a spa town in mid-Wales)
You can learn about the "firmly placed 'hub' of Wales" HERE
Each of the thread guides is in place and the original paper is still on the bottom of the box.

Do you love the blue print?
When the lid is removed there is ample room for
six spools of thread to sit on the wooden pegs, and a thimble in the center.

The thimble area is lined in blue velvet.  The thimble with it is brass and labeled England.

The threads spools are a mixed lot - not original to the box.  Peri-Lusta claims to be a substitute for silk.  The machine cotton is labeled made in England. The red silk numbered 419 looks the same color as DMC 419.  The Extra Super Silk has a British flag and ship on the label.

Llandrindod Wells is a spa town in Mid-Wales

The lid from a better angle, with the beautiful red silk thread and dainty German scissors.

The fabric is the back of the quilt.

For antique fabric fans here are a few pictures of the diamonds up close.

Looks like a seam but it is the print of the fabric

My Mini Tumbling Blocks Quilt is HERE
My Hexy Stars also has diamonds HERE

Have a great weekend - I think I'll start another diamond quilt project, how about you?