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?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leaf Quilt, Turning Over a New Leaf

Laura Heine Pattern - HERE
"Turning Over A New Leaf"
It is fall here is the US.  Do you love fall colors?
We're enjoying some fall color here in Southern California, and I saw snow on the high peaks this weekend.

It made me think of my 2002 quilt, "Turning Over A New Leaf"
This is a queen size - the fun of a block like this is you can as few or as many as you want - play with borders...and the fabric choices are unlimited.

I chose to set mine on point and add two borders.

It is machine all the way - including machine embroidery.  The only hand work was the final sewing down of the binding.

It needed a refolding!

                         KB, this is your quilt someday ;-)

Leaf detail
The fabrics were hand dyed in a class at my local quilt shop.

We did gradations so I was able to get many colors in fat quarters.

When I saw the pattern I thought it would be a great use of the fabrics and every leaf is unique.

Besides variation in color, I used various threads and stitches on my machine to 'enhance' the leaf veins and outer edges.  I rarely use 'all those' stitches, so it was fun to give them a try.

I also dyed the 'sky' background.  That was a backyard project, even the backing is the blue dyed sky.

The binding is various pieces of the leaf fabric for a scrappy look.

Needle Book with three names
I was looking through the sewing goodies for something leaf or fall these are a stretch...

I love the leaves of this needle book.
One side is soft wool where the pins and needles are.

The other has three hearts cut from an embroidery piece.  Each is labeled with a name:
   Squirly  (Wonder who Squirly was?)

Happy Lefton Turtle

The turtle is a Lefton (Number 2042) piece.

She's a thimble holder (hat)
A pin cushion (shell top)

Made of porcelain she still has her original label on the underside.  I'm not sure if the thimble is original.

I gave all the dye supplies away - it was a fun 'phase'.  This week I'm be photographing some more of my antique quilts and will post those again soon.

What was your creative 'phase' 10 years ago?

Happy November - Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Basket Challenge

A while back I signed up for a challenge.
It was a fabulous opportunity for me to step out of my routine and play with some COLOR.

This picture jumps ahead in the story - my little finished wall quilt is quite happy to be on the wall of our back porch.  I am enjoying it with the pillow collection in this little eclectic area that looks out on the garden flowers.

It started HERE when Kathie asked who might be interested in a challenge!

I was sent a collection of four baskets all put together 2 x 2 and with no rules - make a project!

'No rules' projects are harder than rules!

 My solution was really simple - no fuss.

I did time box myself to finish it before we left on vacation and before the holidays.

I chose a combination of reproduction and 'modern' prints from my stash - another self imposed rule - no fabric purchases for this.

The finished project includes, pieced hourglass blocks, applique and a little embroidery.

I hand quilted it and enjoy it most evenings relaxing on the back porch.....

See what Lori did HERE

Bird of Paradise in back garden

Thanks - it was FUN!

Have a great week!

UPDATE:  I felt so bad Kathie lost her blocks I sent this quilt to her.  She was so generous to share them and her fabulous sense of humor - she deserved it!!  Pay it forward ;-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sleep Tight Doll Quilts and Beds Exhibit

This was a special Exhibit of doll beds and quilts at International Quilt Festival in Houston.
I visited this exhibit like many others....lets just say more than once.
To get an idea of size - Each orange sign is 8.5" x 11" paper.  Also, in the link below their are other photos with the sets photographed with a ruler.

"Sleep Tight:  Doll Quilts and Beds Contest"
Little Red Schoolhouses
Judith H. Gunter - Maryland USA  3rd Place Traditional

There's a Rabbit in the Flowerbed
Samantha L. Nixon - Malmo Sweden 1st Place Handmade
More photos HERE

Mamas Rose garden
Donna E. Eng - Miliani, Hawaii Runner Up Traditional

Creative Kantha Tricia Warman - Long Crichel, Wimborne UK 3rd Place Art

Tickled Pink Nancie Roach Second Place Art

Flower Fairy Quilt - Vickie Clontz First Place Art 

Floro Allegro and Friends
Judith Hoffman Corwin - NYC, NY  Runner Up Handmade

Flowing Curves   Judith H. Gunter - Chestertown MD  Runner Up Art Quilt

Lucy Mocha    Luz Maria Hernandez First Place Traditional

Sleeping Sheep   Mimi McKay -  Chicago IL,  3rd Place Handmade

Pineapple Fantasy
Nancy (Nancie?)  Roach  Second Place Traditional

Happy Sleep   Christine Kelly  Second Place Handmade

Each a beautiful work of art!
Great International representation.
More Photos HERE with rulers beside the beds to show size/scale
More details HERE (about the contest sponsors, judges, rules etc)

To view an amazing collection of dolls, beds and quilts - click HERE
More doll information HERE

I have a doll bed and a few doll quilts.  How about you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The 27 Year WIP a Finished Lone Star

36" Lone Star started 1984 - Finished 2011
WIPs,'s never too late.
After reading Maureen's post HERE I was motivated to dig out my oldest project.

This is a strip pieced Star crib quilt started in 1984.  That's right - 27 YEARS ago.  I think I put it away - disappointed in the double poly was half hand quilted.  I still like the colors but not the stencil.

Many of the fabrics I would buy again, and still have some bits left that also worked their way into other projects over the years.

Backing Corner Flipped Back
Machine pieced and hand quilted....

The backing is pink, I used the excess to bind it this week.

Like Maureen's I have some Concord, VIP and probably Peter Pan.

It did make me think about the fabric selections we had in 1984.

I worked at a quilt shop then, while a FT student. I kept the swatches!

Swatches to order bolts for the shop

Do any of these look familiar?
Yours Truly, Inc. Circa 1984ish

The front of the swatch card says "Exclusive Calico Prints" ... hand written someone noted they liked the black/brown/gold colorway.  It was ordered for the shop and I made a queen sized Double Irish chain.  I still have that quilt and it was finished.  I'll share it soon.

Pin Cushion made from aluminum pop can

What else was going on?   Lots of crafty things...
How about sewing accessories made from pop cans?
Make a pin cushion HERE.  After I read step 2, I decided any new additions to my collection will be purchased!

Look at the loft of that poly batting!
Wonder why we needed double poly?!?

Retro sewing items

Plastic was so popular - were we supposed to believe a Celebrity would use this plastic sewing/mending set?

Tomato pin cushions were in every sewing bax and basket for many decades.   This one is plush and quite large.

Celebrity - inside the kit

The plastic lining is a fake velvet finish - in what else?  Royal Blue of course!

Most of the pieces are stamped made in the U.S.A.

I cut off a salvage last week that said printed in the U.S.A. - maybe I should keep that too!

What's your oldest WIP/UFO?  What's keeping you from finishing?