Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Block Holders Vintage and New

I shared with Hilda, (Every Stitch) I had a few block holders.  She suggested I share mine here.

The first one, I purchased from Hoopla (Here)
It is a super little travel set I highly recommend.

I used it when I was making Froncie's Calico Garden quilt many years ago.  I was traveling and it is a perfect take along.

It is small, at 7" square - perfect for a purse.

Many years ago my sit and sew group discussed larger block rolls. We thought someone taught a class in Houston around 1980?  Email me if you know I will update this post.

We challenged ourselves to go home and make a block roll and bring it the following month.

This is mine with obnoxious  the old ribbon ties on it.  When I got it out for this blog post, even Velma thought the ribbons were cat toys a bit much.

So I changed the ribbons out, and now I like it better.
The core (tube) is PVC pipe cut to length.  I cut mine to fit in my carry on roller bag - perfect for travel.  I chose a 2" diameter so it doesn't roll the blocks inside too tightly.

I covered the end of the tube with matching fabric.
You could use a mailing or blue print tube with a cap at the end.  Having access to the end of the tube provides additional storage.

I glued my fabric to the tube.  The raw edges were covered up by the quilted mat.

This photo shows the finished covered end.
Since I made it years ago I don't have WIP photos.

Flannel Cat Nap Block Holder

The inside of the holder is neutral flannel.
It is like making a small whole cloth quilt.
Measure block size, in my example 22"
   Add the circumference of the tube, in my example 7.5"
My finished and bound rectangle was 29.5"  I included the ribbon in the binding process, about 5" from the ends.
For quilting designs - I used stencils I already had and practiced some FMQ - remember, this project is about 12 years old. (?) 

When the tube ends are finished to your liking, and your 'mat' is finished, roll the mat around the tube/pipe.

Hand stitch the short edge of the binding to the inside flannel.

Variations from our group:  Pony tail holders for closures, shoulder strap, storage pockets along tube length and 'pages' inside the roll.
It was a fun project with lots of options to customize.

This is a vintage block holder I purchased.  I believe it was made as a teaching aid.

There are over 40 muslin pages.
Each page has at least one block basted to the page.
Hand inked on each page is 'their' name for each block.  In some cases multiple names are noted.

Most of the blocks are hand sewn and the newest fabric is circa 1890.  Most of the blocks are machine stitched to the muslin page.

Was the maker a quilt teacher?  Who and where did they teach?
A collector organizing research?  A quilter?
It is a nice stroll through some quilt history.  The maker added no dates, just block names.

Each page has a selvage edge folded over at the top - through that double layer a pair of brass rivets were added.

A pair of loose leaf bundle rings hold the pages together like a flip book.

A lot of effort - I think the block holder was designed to be durable and easy to add pages.

Do you have block holders?
     For storage?
     For  documenting spare/test blocks?
     For travel?

Have a great week!

Other Block Holders
Book:  Baltimore Elegance Elly Sienkiewicz
Embroidered and Hand Quilted HERE
Three Ring Binders w Page Savers HERE
Hilda's Project HERE
Happy to add more - let me know!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Game Piece or Thread Winder

Along with my textile collection I collect antique and vintage needlework tools.  I have a Facebook Group:  "Antique and Vintage Sewing Tools" where we share photos and information.

One discussion involved mother of pearl (MOP) thread winders.

Are they thread winders or game pieces?

So far the answer seems to be...Maybe.

In Diane Pelham Burn's book, "Thread Winders" the style in this post are listed as oriental game

A member of our Facebook group recommended "Chinese Mother of Pearl Gaming Counters" by Bill Neal.
Website (HERE)
In this book, Bill shows the style in this post and states they are game counters OR silk thread winders.

I have some of the snowflake style but have not included them in this post.

These photos are "Double Dog of Fo" design.  They were in game counter sets and also included in imported sewing boxes.  He proposes with the decline in the popularity of gaming sets, perhaps the artists branched out.

Could it be as sets were broken up, creative stitchers saw an opportunity to use them as winders?  Some parlor sets included game boards and storage features for hand sewing. (HERE)
I wrote about one I saw in Milwaukee (HERE)

MOP pieces in this style are sometimes found with silk thread wound around the jaws of the dog.  I am pleased with the four Dog of Fo pieces and appreciate learning more about them.  I now look for the snowflake winders.  I'll share those in a future post.

You are welcome to join the Antique and Vintage Sewing Tool FB group - let me know if you would like an invite.

How boring are spools today - we are all about the threads.  My project embroidery threads get reproduction MOP rings - so pretty, but I'm glad I don't have to keep up a 'parlor' appearance with my sewing!

Have a great week,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

A few treasures for you to enjoy....Carnelian topped silver thimble, red velvet thimble post in a leather cylinder, 3/8" strawberry emery all on vintage and antique red cotton prints.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pink Tulip SVBAQ

I finished my pink tulip block for the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt Along.

It was another fun block. I wait to press until assembly day.

I used to live on a street named Tulip Court and we had contests to see who could get the most tulips to bloom. Neighbors on Brinker Street usually always won!

You can still join the quilt along, the pattern is available HERE.  The Virginia Quilt Museum sells it in paper or digital options.

One block a month is very manageable.

Seeing flowers in the winter months is a treat and reminder summer gardens are not too far away.

These tulips were for sale in the Amsterdam flower market in January.

So much like Esther Blair Mathews tulip, yellow, red with the lovely green leaves.

This is the view from our yard.  The tall peak pictured is at about 14,000 feet.  Our cycling son bikes to the summit each summer.
Our son is off to Tanzania for service work.  He always says don't worry!
But I do.
Stitching is relaxing so I expect I will be doing lots of stitching in the coming weeks.  How about you?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Netherlands Part Three

Day 6 
We visited the Overloon War Museum.  (HERE)
I didn't really know what to expect, I am glad we went.

With the motto, "War Belongs In A Museum" it is an important reminder of what war is.  Overloon, the picturesque village I admire with it's beautiful homes and people - had been completely destroyed (Fall 1945).
Farmers still find live ammo in their fields.

Not to minimize or skip over all that the HUGE museum holds, I did find a Red Cross layette set, complete with a flannel quilt.

1840 sheet 25 #3 of the Aglaja
44" Long by 27" Wide

Day 7
We met with independent antique textile historian An Moonen in Westervoort. (HERE)
I am honored that An generously shared her time and collections.  It fulfilled a dream!  I only wish I had more time and could attend all of her lectures.

Her books on Dutch Quilts are available on Amazon.
I was able to have An sign a copy of my treasured book, "A History of Dutch Quilts".  I saw the quilts from her collection in the book.  I also saw some new collection additions.

I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to hear An lecture to do so.  An provides the rich cultural heritage the Dutch have in the world of textile history.  Contact information and fees are available on her website.

Detail of Patchwork Crib Quilt
33" x 28"

The vibrancy of this double sided crib quilt is an important illustration of available colorful cotton prints.  Many retain their original finishes.  This crib quilt includes prints that date from 1750 - 1815.

Additional details are in An's book.  The pattern for this double sided quilt is in the book, "Promenade in a Dutch Garden" by Petra Prins and An Moonen - out of print.   Maybe a new book will be available. soon...

This embroidered quilt example dates to circa 1675.  The top is embroidered silk, the filling is two woolen cloths and the backing is plain weave silk.  The back and front of the quilt do not share the same quilting.
The backing silk is quilted through the second layer of wool filling.  The wool layers are bound together by herringbone stitch.  The quilt is blind seamed all around.
Additional details are in An's book and generously shared on her website.

In addition to quilts, An's important textile collection include a diverse collection of Dutch samplers.
She has documented relationships between samplers and trousseau linens.  We saw examples in sheets, pillow covers and samplers.  Including examples dated to the 18th century.
We also saw garments and accessories.

An's website has additional information, grab a cup of coffee and visit all of the site pages.

All too soon we reluctantly had to return to Amsterdam.
When you have the opportunity to attend a workshop/lecture with An - Please do so! So much important textile history! 

Day 8-10

Our last few days we spent back in Amsterdam.
We visited antique shops, the flower market and museums.

In addition to textiles, the Netherlands has a rich heritage in precious metals that includes the genre of needlework tools.

The Museum of Bags and Purses was another fascinating stop.  A global representation of bags from 12th century to present.

Housed in a restored 17th century row house the tea room offers a glimpse of what the original interiors would have looked like.

The museum displays include examples needlework and sewing tools.

The museum originated with one individual collection - an interesting story!

We were unable to visit every place we wanted.  We have already started a list of stops for the next trip.
Fortunately - a very special person helped ease that angst and I have some special keepsakes.
The red floral fabric is called 'dekenbloemd' or 'milk-en-bloed'  The red plaid is a vintage scarf and mourning hat that are still worn today in some regions.  The hat fabric is 'made' (to simulate fabric no longer produced) by dipping the ends of multiple sized wood dowels in paint the dabbing it on the ground fabric to create circles.

The card shows the baby pram with a cover from a red floral print coverlet.

This regional dress illustrates the use of a scarf at the shoulders.

Note the point of the cap on the forehead.

More special gifts and shopping

Velma approves of more gifts and shopping.
Her house sitter did great, but she is happy we are home.

Now, it is back to reality....

The quilts are back in their special acid free storage boxes.  Padded at the folds in acid free tissue they are waiting for their next adventure in a few months.

Before they come out again, a few of the older quilts in another stack are coming out.

We are selective when and where many of them are taken out.
Send me a note if you are interested in a program in 2017 or later.

Thank you very much for your comments!

Additional Information:
War Museum Website (HERE)
An Moonen Website  (HERE)
An Moonen Blog   (HERE)
Needlework Tools and Accessories:  A Dutch Tradition - - Made in Holland
        by Kay Sullivan see Amazon

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Netherlands Part Two Overloon

Day 4
Travel day to Overloon, Netherlands.
We lived the saying, "Getting there is half the fun".
Sure, we could have rented a car, taken the highways etc. etc...Been there done that!  We wanted to see the country.
The train ride through the countryside is beautiful, we could sit back and enjoy the views.  Even in January the landscape was green.

Dorry was at the station waiting - she always has a smile!

We went to her home and met her beautiful family.  We had a tour of the shop (a separate building on the property) and her home.
She is a gourmet cook and serves everything from her AGA.
You can read more about AGA cooking HERE.

After a delicious meal we had a look at some of Dorry's  quilts.  I didn't take enough photos!

She has beautiful quilts she made covering the tables and displayed throughout her home.
She has antique quilts from about 1830-1930, English and American.

Hexagon from one of Dorry's antique quilts
One of her antique quilts was patterned in this magazine along with a feature article about her shop.  Her current shop is in a new location, now in Overloon.
She offers many workshops from a variety of teachers.  Not only are her workshops well attended, customers know they will have delicious food - homemade baked goods, quiches, brownies, great coffee...a feast!
She serves the food on festive ceramics from Emma Bridgewater.
The food and the presentation is lovely, as well as the table full of happy quilters.

Day 5
Workshop and Trunk Show in Overloon
"Quilt- It and Dotty" her website HERE

Pulling up at the front of the shop you are greeted by this beautiful entry, designed by Dorry.  A sign of the treasures inside!

Note the bicycle - a popular mode of transportation in the Netherlands.  So smart and healthy.

The shop is beautifully stocked with fabrics and quilting supplies.  Inspiring samples are displayed throughout the shop.

Decorative accents include vintage toy sewing machines and doll quilts, French laces on wooden spools and colorful banners.

Most of her fabric inventory is American.  Because of import and currency exchange rates cotton is more expensive than in the US.

We had the workshop before the trunk show.

Just as we were getting started special visitors arrived.  It was Mardi Gras time in Overloon (note the hats).  These gentlemen arrived to greet us with their Mardi Gras guide and accepted coins to assist in supporting the upcoming  festivities.  This celebration is unique to certain areas of Netherlands.  You can read more about it HERE.
I'm not sure why they didn't want to stay and sew, they must have had prior commitments!

The entertainment did not stop with our visitors.

Dorry has a basket of kittens!

We had five precious kittens full of antics to entertain the class while they stitched.  The kittens were only to happy to explore sewing baskets, cuddle and pose for pictures.
Mama cat was very generous with her babies and didn't seem bothered with all of the attention her babies received.

The girls are all very talented with their needles.  They do a lot of handwork and took to the back basting technique like pros.  So much skill in one room!

After a very successful workshop we had a gourmet lunch, prepared by Dorry in the AGA.

I don't have photos from the trunk show, as I was showing and talking - not taking photos.  The attendees were knowledgeable about antique American quilts and enthusiastic to learn more.

They admired the American handwork from 19th century quilt makers. The Dutch quilt heritage is much older with quilts as early as the 17th century.  

I also brought along a few antique sewing related tools from the 19th century.

We ended the day with a another wonderful gourmet meal from Dorry - fresh out of the AGA.
In part three I will show some antique Dutch textile history.
Thanks for following along, I hope you are enjoying the trip.