Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking Out The Tool Collection

View looking down the table
My quilt study group offered me the opportunity to give a presentation on needlework tools.
It was quite an adventure figuring out how to transport and display even part of my collection.  We meet at a local quilt shop and space is limited.
I used two tables at the front with chairs facing the tables.  The group doesn't have a projector so I 'talked' my way through my PowerPoint presentation, holding up pictures as needed.  Next, we went back through the items on the tables.  Afterwards people were free to come up and have closer looks.  Some took pictures and looked at the reference books I brought.

The tables were over flowing
 Last year I promised some of you I'd show how I "Take the tools on the road".  This time I used Riker specimen cases in two depths for the smaller pieces.  They are glass topped and contain sheets of padding.  Here you can see them stacked on the table.  Ideally I would have had space to place the tools by era with the corresponding era of needlework in front of the case.

A few of my needle cases

The shallow cases are for the smaller pieces - like needle cases.
In this case I included photographs with the needle cases open, showing how they store thread and needles.  In some examples the lid is a thimble.
I also enlarged photos to show the signatures on some of the art and signatures on the cases.
The cases worked OK, I somehow managed to crack three of the glass covers during loading/transport so I have some glass work to do.

End of the second table

The other end of table two.

In future posts I will share all of these pieces with you.  It was nice to share them in person with others and have 'live' discussions.

Members also brought pieces from their collections and shared with the group.

Do you have some older needlework tools?  If so what is your favorite?  I can't chose a favorite...

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ferns and Berries a Little Detail

I was asked to show some detail in my Ferns and Berries (aka Staghorn Fern) quilt.
It lived a full life before it came to live here - but there is still plenty left to enjoy about this faded beauty.
I think documenting quilts that could potentially become 'cutters' is very important.
This quilt has exquisite hand quilting, and we've captured it all.
A lot of love and dedication was put into finishing this quilt.
It makes me wonder what she would think if she saw it now?

It has a few holes, worn fabric, tattered binding and some light stains.

I am happy to have it.   Even in its worn condition I think of it as a work of art.

I think it is great the quilt was loved and used.  It certainly brightened the lives it touched.

I do not plan to do any 'restoration' - and have enjoyed it as is.

I was also asked about the stems and berries.
They vary a bit, as with most hand work.  Here's a photo with a measure along side the applique.

Our pattern has them all drawn exact - but don't worry about perfection - IMHO perfection is over rated anyway.

Perfect circles?  Who needs them?
I think these circles look more like real berries and add some interest to the quilt as a whole.  It doesn't have an engineered factory made look.

The pattern has very detailed quilting lines as well as the applique (full size) - so you can duplicate it or improvise.

I have seen a few other similar quilts: The Christ Collection, a crib version sold in a Pook & Pook Auction, and a couple in a book I noted in the post link below.

Have a wonderful weekend (for those of you in the US - enjoy the holiday)

Previous post about this quilt HERE
See the full quilt and pattern HERE
Books from The Christ Collection HERE

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flower Baskets and Hexagons

Fussy cutting fabrics in the tiniest of pieces
Happy Mother's Day weekend if you are celebrating in the USA.

I have my little brown flower baskets out for additional fussy cutting.  The hexagons for the same project are also out.

I love looking at the print details to 'find' the right little piece I want.

So much fun in a half inch scrap of fabric!

Grouping of hexagons - some fussy cut

I placed all the hexagons (1/2" paper pieces) out to see what I have so far....they may not all make it into this project.

They have been a great take along for travel....and I seem to have a fair bit of that coming up.

I have the hexagons and applique supplies in my travel basket along with a good book.  I can pick it up in a moments notice and keep busy.

My interpretation of the baskets

These are my baskets (to date) - some are still missing details with audition pieces pinned in place.  There will be 22 baskets in all.

There are also small 6 pointed stars in this quilt.  I plan to fussy cut and paper piece them as well.

I am really enjoying the medium background.  It is a nice opportunity to use some lighter fabrics in the applique.

UPDATE:  This was not a purchased pattern - I made drawings and am stitching off them as patterns - after seeing the original.

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Related Links:
Previous Post about this quilt HERE
Pre cut paper piece supplies HERE
Original Quilt HERE   (Many pictures online of this popular quilt)
   (Exhibited at several International Quilt Fest venues in 2010)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Park Avenue Armory - Loving Old Buildings

Armory floor reflecting pavilion framework
Remember the "Infinite Variety" quilt exhibit held at the Armory in NYC? (Silly question, right?)
The exhibit was a fabulous experience so I was thrilled to read a recent article in Preservation magazine, "A Salute To Armories" - with a feature section on the Park Avenue Armory.
For those of who toured the Drill Hall Interior Rooms and saw some of the restoration in progress it is interesting to see some of the completed work.  The site also has an Interiors Guide to download.

Restoration in progress on walls

The Park Avenue Armory has been an amazing venue - look at these events.  Many beautiful pictures.

It is a wonderful thing to have the rooms restored to their "historic essence while fulfilling contemporary needs"

Is it gathering with other quilters and quilts?

What does this have to do with quilts?
I was thinking of the quilt exhibits I have most enjoyed and why.

Is it the people? the quilts? the setting?
A combination of the total experience?

The setting is an added bonus for me when it includes a historic building.
Museums also offer interesting settings.

Do you have a favorite local exhibit or venue?

Other shows held in historic buildings:  (Not a comprehensive list)
    The Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2012 Quilt Show
    Galveston Mainland Quilt Guild
    Cape May Quilt and Fiber Show
   Aurora Colony - includes slide show