Monday, December 30, 2013

19th Century Noah and Matilda Album Quilt

82" x 94"  Noah and Matilda Album Quilt
The Noah and Matilda Album Quilt is part of our collection.  Well worn and loved we have created a pattern set for you to reproduce the quilt.

We are still researching the inked names and date on the quilt.

It is primarily red and green applique.  Several blocks have pieces of pink, yellow and purple.
Some blocks are accented with embroidery.

Each of the four border corners is unique and included in the pattern set mid way through the year.

Presentation Block Inking

The presentation block is hard to read.   The inking gives us clues and questions in researching this quilt.

Is the last name "Boyer" or "Boyce"

"United Lawrenceburg"  or  "Visited"

I think we could all agree the month of September is clear.

Is the date the "Sixth in 1851."  or "Sixteenth of 1854"

What do you see?

Some of the blocks are embellished with embroidery.

Interesting to see green stems outlined in red, orange and yellow embroidery.

A few green tendrils and stems are also embroidered.

There are Forty-Two Eight inch blocks in the complete pattern set as well as the border.  
The 12 monthly pattern sets are not in the order they appear in the quilt.  Each set will be available the first of each month for 12 months.
Instead, we grouped them with a variety each month.  Midway through the year we will start the borders.  I prefer not to wait to the end to do my borders.
We are doing this pattern as individual use .pdf files that are immediately delivered to your email address.  You print them on your home printer.
Order details are on the right side of the blog. Or, click HERE for month one.

What do you read in the inking?

Have a wonderful 2014!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays

Angel Bunnies Sharing a Wreath
So much to show and tell you about in the New Year.

Until then, enjoy the rest of 2013.

Wishing you and yours 
the very best of times!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hand Quilting White on White

Steiff Penguin, Red Leather Sewing Rolls, Hand Quilted Feathers
Oh the weather outside is frightful....
The snow and cold here made me think of the beauty of quilting - focusing on the quilting. 

White on white, cream on cream...
A touch of red...

I'm going to fold some quilts colored side in and stack them up for some holiday decorating.  Place a penguin on the stack, add some red sewing accents.

Velvet Sewing Roll, Quilted Circles and Lines

Maybe swap out the leather sewing rolls for
a larger velvet one?

- OR- 
Thimble Themed Votive, Sewing Emeries
Large 'thimble' full of emeries - wool, silk and cotton

If you are in a cold climate - stay warm!
If you are in a warm climate - well, ENJOY it!
 Wherever you are - enjoy some quilt related decorating.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meet Quilter Olive May

Olive May was a prolific quilter.  I am happy to be able to share a few of her quilts today as well as some of her story.  I never knew Olive, but I think she's a kindered spirit.                          

Olive was born May 2, 1897 in Pittsburgh, PA.  Her grandparents immigrated to the United States in the mid-1800s from Germany.  Her father worked in a print shop.  Her mother was not literate so her father read the newspaper aloud each evening.  From these humble beginnings came a family who valued education.

Olive had two much older brothers, Harry and Theodore who were 10 and 8 when she arrived. 
The boys were known to torment her, throwing mice into the outhouse when she was there at night.
Harry became an architect and designed the house Olive and her husband lived in.
Theodore was a theatre director, taught at Carnegie Tech and painter later in life.
Olive loved the color purple.  One of many heirlooms left to her family was a set of amythest stemware.
  Olive was also artistic.  She also attended  Carnegie Institute of Technology.  While studying piano there, she was invited to the Mellon (Banking Family) family home to provide live music for their daughters' interpretive dance lessons.  Olive told her family how a fancy car and driver would arrive at the school and drive her and the dance instructor to the Mellon's enormous house.  There she played Debussy and Chopin while the girls learned avant-garde dance.  She went on to teach piano, teaching into her 70's.

Olive May married a trombone-playing electrical engineer in 1921, she was 24 years old.  The couple moved into the house her brother designed.  It is believed most of her quilts were hand stitched over a 40 year span in this home.  Her first husband passed away when Olive was 65.  He was entertaining at a banquet, telling jokes, when he suffered a massive fatal heart attack.
With the loss of her husband, Olive moved in with her daughters family.  They have many fond memories of Olive.  She hand quilted in a hoop as she sat in a favorite chair.   When her granddaughter joined her for lunch in her room they would pretend to take a train trip.  Sitting in their 'dining car' they would watch the scenery out the window periodically adding whistle noises.  Olive was known as Gam or Gammy to her grandchildren.  One of her quilts is marked this way.  Olive had a studio grand piano and entertained the family most nights after dinner.  The family had two pianos and duets were common.  
 Olive remarried in 1967.  Her second husband was also artistic.  He designed the pink tulip quilt she made.  He also assisted her in how it should be signed with a contemporary font - 'GAM' is inked on the quilt.  She chose to also add her own cursive signature 'Gammy' - embroidered in green thread on the white background of the quilt.
Olive May loved the color purple
Olive's Hand Quilting
Olive passed away in 1983. 
Poppy Quilt made by Olive for her daughter in 1972
In her 86 years, Olive May completed more than 30 quilts, all hand appliqued and hand quilted.  She did beautiful handwork, with tiny wonderful stitches.  She hand quilted in a hoop while sitting comfortably in a favorite chair.
Her quilts were distributed to friends, family, and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado.  The remaining quilts need homes.  I never knew Olive May, but I know I would have liked her.  I am helping her family find homes for the quilts.  They are listed in our Etsy Shop, Collector With a Needle, links are also below.  If you know someone looking for a handmade vintage quilt please help Olive May's quilts find good homes.

UPDATE 11/30/2013 - A few more of Olive's quilts added to the Etsy shop HERE
(The shop is divided into two sections:  One with our patterns, the other with vintage treasures.
  • Bouquet Quilt SOLD HERE
  • Tulip Quilt SOLD HERE
  • Pair of Twin Quilts Purple SOLD HERE
  • Pansy Quilt  SOLD  HERE
UPDATE - Thank you, all the quilts have found loving quilty homes
Have a great week!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Two Color Quilts, Color Journey and 18,124 Hexagons (Ann Hathaway Cottage Quilt)

Feathered Star 82" x 86"
 I visited the new exhibition at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, "Twice as Nice". 

It is a great exhibit, so if you have a chance GO! 
To tempt you, enjoy these highlights.

Detail picture of a Feathered Star quilt displayed in a case.

Made by members of the Mill family, started in 1850, New York State.

According to the family, the quilt pieces were cut by the donors great-great-grandfather and pieced together by her great-great-grandmother.  It was quilted by her great-grandmother who was a young woman at the time.  c.1850

First names of the Mill family are unknown.

The case holds the quilt folded and protected.

You can see the wonderful texture created by the quilting.

You can see a bit of the brick wall behind the case.

76" x 76"   c. 1880

This is one of my favorite quilts in the exhibit.  I want to make one in indigo and white so it was wonderful to see the hand quilting - which is fabulous!

I think it is fabulous against the brick wall.

Pattern:  True Lovers Knot or Carpenters Square

This is a detail of the hand quilting on the Carpenters Square.

Another detail of the hand quilting motifs.

This applique motif is another example with wonderful hand quilting.

64" x 77"    c 1880

The applique is by machine.

Detail of an applique block.

Note the details in the corner stones and sashing.

Hand echo quilting around the motif.

Note the tiny machine stitching on the applique.

Sorry for the angle - this was in a smaller area of the museum.

Quilt Name:  Creek Mary's Blood
79" x 100"
Eugenia Mitchell (RMQM Founder)

Eugenia Mitchell made this quilt after seeing the motif inside the cover of the book, "Creek Mary's Blood" by Dee Brown.

She hand quilted teepees, fish, deer, bows and arrows, buffalo and other animals in the blocks.

This is one of the first quilts you see entering the exhibit.

Beautiful piecing and quilting make a wonderful greeting.

Pickle Dish
63" x 73"
c. 1880

Check the change in scale in the quilting.

Hand pieced and hand quilted.

This classic two color triple irish chain is precious.

Triple Irish Chain
74" x 81"
c. 1900

Look close at this detail shot, in the alternate block the corner square is appliqued.

A nursing home resident, known only as Anna, was said to have made this quilt for her hope chest.

After Anna's death, Eugenia Mitchell traded 10 lap robes for the quilt, which she repaired and rebound.  Where would the quilt be today if not for that trade?

Tree of Life
76" x 78"
c. 1890-1910

The donors purchased the quilt from an antiques dealer in Omaha, Nebraska.  The maker is unknown but the origin is thought to be Alliance, Ohio.

Detail of the hand quilting and border.

The exhibit has many more two color quilts, I just chose a few to share here.

A very special quilt on exhibit is the
Ann Hathaway Cottage Quilt.

Click on the photo of the exhibit poster for the story of this quilt.

Short version...garage sale find, the quilt is hand stitched and hand quilted of 18,124  half inch hexagons.

The family of the antique dealer who found the quilt has loaned it to the museum for display.

This photo does not do the quilt justice.

69" x 86"
18,124 Half Inch Hexagons
Ellen L. Austin (Also known as Aunt Ellen Austin) made the quilt based on the small 'yarn picture"in the 1945 McCall's Needlework magazine.  With help from her mother, daughter and granddaughter, Aunt Ellen completed the quilt in five years.  She entered it in a contest sponsored by the Detroit News, and it won second prize.

In case you aren't in the midst of the current hexagon resurgence, this is a detail picture.

My hand model B, graciously put her finger tip on the hexagon so you can see the scale.

Each hexagon is individually hand quilted.

Last but not least is the Color Journey exhibit.

32 quilts designed and constructed by National Quilting Association Certified Judges.

It is a row of quilts with a line consisting of 12 hues of color visually connecting each quilt.  The photo is of a portion of the installation.

I hope you can visit the museum soon and enjoy all of the quilts in person. 
Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

State Bird and State Flower Quilts

McKim Studios Lady Slipper Minnesota Block
 I don't have a state flower/bird quilt.  But I do have a couple block sets.

This is Minnesota's Lady Slipper embroidered on a light ground fabric.

Pattern source?

Clue:  The lower right corner circle with Minn

There's a new book available, "State Bird and State Flower Quilts"
Identification Guide by Rose Marie Werner

STATE BIRD AND STATE FLOWER QUILTS contains all-new information coming from research done by the author, Rose Marie Werner of Dundas, MN.  Rose Marie is an independent researcher of 20th Century quilt designs and patterns. She compares thirty seven different sets of bird and flower quilt blocks. This book also includes the history behind state birds and state flowers and information on the birds and flowers chosen by each state.

You can order a copy HERE or on Amazon.

State Flower clipping with block and extra fabric
My second set of McKim state flower blocks was stitched on a darker ground.  Included in the set are all of the newspaper clippings for the original patterns.

Makers are advised not to use a white ground fabric since so many of the flowers are white. They are also instructed to use carbon paper to transfer the design onto the fabric.

My set of McKim Studios State Flower patterns were published in the Kansas City MO Journal Post Newspaper in 1932.

Hard to find out of print reproduction fabrics

I owe a long over due thank you to JULIEROSE.   We had a little mix up with comments, readers with the same name and I think a husband was thrown into the mix!

Anyway, Julierose graciously sent me a goodie box over flowing with things I love!  Very thoughtful and I extend a heartfelt thank you!

I'm about to settle in for some long over due hand quilting.
I hope you are having a great week!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pairing Up, Work Bag and NEW Fabrics

One of many good times in Charleston included showing Calico Paradise together with the antique quilt.

Here they are after their public debut folded side-by-side in the hotel lobby.

They both have a purple printed stripe backing.  The reproduction is hand quilted, our pattern includes all of the hand quilting lines to quilt it just as the original.

Read more about the quilts HERE and HERE.

Of course we are working on more historically accurate patterns...more on that in another post.

Another event at the AQSG Seminar is the silent auction.

One of my donations this year was a work bag made in the Mill Book AQSG fabric line from Moda.

I based the bag on a vintage one in my collection.

The bag 'plumps' up as you fill it with your projects.

It includes a little clam shell case for small treasures like a thimble.  I've been making a few of these.

There is also a shell thread ring.
ADDED 2014 Pattern HERE

The new AQSG Fabric line is called CIRCA 1825, by In The Beginning Fabrics.

You can get the free to use patterns and fabric line details HERE.

Ask your local quilt shop to be sure and order it.

I had someone ask me recently how much free stuff I get blogging, and the answer is ZERO.  I have a small blog, write for myself and what I personally like.

No free products come here!

The benefit for me has been connecting with friends.


Many great prints in the line.
LOVE the detail in these.

A portion of the sales for this line go to the American Quilt Study Group.
We saw the samples at seminar.

Have a great week!

We are enjoying quiet evenings by the fire.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Charleston, Museum Storage and Chintz Books

Textiles - Behind The Scenes
Charleston Museum AQSG tour
I've just returned from the American Quilt Study Group 2013 Seminar in Charleston, South Carolina.  It was another fabulous opportunity to learn and meet with friends old and new.

I was fortunate to do a couple 'behind the scenes' museum tours, several study centers, a round table discussion and always look forward to the paper presentations.

In Columbia SC, we toured the McKissick Folk Art Museum and the Lexington County Museum.  Both places pulled quilts from storage just for our tour.  The time seeing quilts passed all too quickly.  We were asked not to share pictures from this your.  If you are in the area, they are worth a visit.

You can read more about the study centers HERE.  Many of these presenters will do presentations for your local quilt groups.

Charleston Museum - Textile Storage

Let's look in the back room...

This is one portion of the storage area at the Charleston Museum.

The staff pulled a variety of pieces from their collection for us to see.  This was in addition to the quilts in their current exhibit.

Do you wonder what is under the sheeting?
Online photos of their collection HERE.

Charleston Museum - Textile in Storage

As I walked down the aisles I took a couple pictures of some treasures peeking from their wrappers...

Charleston Museum

Given their limited space, we viewed an assortment of quilts in the middle of storage racks.

Those are saddles and leather tack on the shelves.

On the table, not shown in this photo, are beautiful pieces of mosaic patchwork, chintz and quilted pieces.

Charleston Museum

This is the sewing machine storage aisle.

In the current exhibit there are several wonderful sewing boxes and accessories.

They were often times tiny gems out shown by the beautiful quilts sharing display case space with them.

Charleston Museum

Here's a spectacular work box, filled with lovely implements and accessories.

New York Work table 1805-1815
Mahogany, rosewood, Spanish cedar,
white pine and poplar
Fabric and trim not noted

I'm digressing a bit share some other museum storage...

It's not always possible to get behind the scenes of a museum.

This is a portion of the open storage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

They have climate controlled cases filled with objects.  We strolled the aisles seeing thousands of objects, that in the past would have been unavailable without special study appointments.

Another view of open storage at the Met.
Transfer ware section.

While it is more educational to see the objects displayed in period settings, seeing them this way is better than not at all!

Photo detail
We saw a lot of antique chintz in Charleston.

When you have some Internet time,
       visit Quilt & Textile Collections.

I highly recommend their books, the newest of which is "Chintz Quilts from the Poos Collection" by Kay & Lori Triplet and Xenia Cord.

Xenia provides a history of Chintz that contains important information to give context to the fabrics used to create the antiques treasures in the Poos Chintz Collection.
It is an excellent resource I will be referring to often.

The photography is exquisite, you will feel like you can reach out and feel the texture of the stitches.

Photo detail

It is a large book (320+ oversized pages), and a good value for the high quality of the content.
(This is NOT a pattern/how to make a quilt book)

There are also numerous photos, and important attention to detail, you will spend hours with the book!

You can order the book:
   The Quilt Merchant
   Quiltmania (you can also preview 16 pages of                       the book here)

Charleston Museum current exhibit "Quintessential Quilts"  

I'll leave you with a photo from the Charleston Museum exhibit, "Quintessential Quilts"

Have a great week.  I hope you are enjoying some fabulous fabric, book or museum time!

To Read More:
Mosaic Quilts: Paper Template Piecing in the Lowcountry 
Calico & Chintz: Antique Quilts from the Collection of Patricia S. Smith
     (this is out of print and used pirces vary widely)
Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West by Rosemary Crill
Chintz Quilts:  Unfading Glory by Bullard/Shiell
Trade Goods:  A Study of Indian Chintz by Alicw Baldwin Beer (b&w)
Uncoverings 2013 - two research papers related to chintz and panels for chintz quilts
Printed Textiles English and American Cottons and Linens
                            1700-1850 by FLorence Montgomery (b&w)
Victoria and Albert Museum English Chintz (small b&w)
Victoria and Albert Indian Florals (Includes a CD of print images)
Chintz Quilts from the Poos Collection by Kay & Lori Triplet and Xenia Cord.