Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
I Hope it is a year filled with smooth sailing...

Mother of Pearl Sail Boat Thimble Holder on a sea of frothy shell buttons

We will be back in a few days with all kinds of surprises!
New Patterns, a New Digital BOM for 2015
New Collections and Updates
Thank you for a wonderful 2014, I look forward to all we share in 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Illuminated Indigo and Cheddar Stars

More square than it looks!  12" in fact
This Little quilt was inspired by a group of friends this summer.

We were together for quilt study and fun.  As we looked at quilts in J's collection - we were challenged to make a small reproduction version of one quilt in particular.

The illuminated indigo and cheddar stars glow with the light of summer sunshine.  The original quilt is glorious with glazed chintz in the center of the stars.

Who could resist?

Not I!

This is a picture of the antique original with one of the little reproduction quilts.

While we were not able to come up with just the right stripe, we did capture the essence of the quilt.

The little reproductions are machine pieced 4" stars, set with an alternate block.  The pieces are hand quilted.

They serve as a wonderful memory of good times spent with friends, enjoying quilts and conversation.  I think I will add all of our names on the tag to commemorate the summer of 2014!

We had hoped to find a stripe similar to the original, but this print was the end choice.  Sometimes you go with what you have!

These are the stars auditioning for their new home.

It doesn't take long to make five machine pieced stars.  That's is part of the fun of a simple little quilt.

Let the fabric add the drama.

The backing was an exciting choice.  The original has vegetable dyed brown linen.

My friend graciously and generously dyed linen for backing.  Our first attempt was with coffee as dye and didn't achieve the look we wanted.  Isn't this great?  It looks just like antique vegetable dye.

Here you can also see the blue thread - yes, the antique is quilted in blue thread!  However, it is a double line fan.  The little quilts are a single line fan.

The binding on the original is a wonderful eccentric indigo print.  We used a licensed Andover reproduction from The International Quilt Study Center.

Fussy cutting this from the stripe, captured the eccentric print perfectly.

I am very happy with how this little piece turned out.

I did wake up Velma to let her know the hand quilting was finished.

She was interested, but then went back to her nap.

I suspect she might like a nap on this little quilt if it ever comes off the wall.

We are enjoying some light snow today - and some stitching - maybe you are too?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Noah and Matilda Month 12

Not the final setting, borders for all four sides
Piecing together Noah and Matilda's life is still a work in progress.  Each time I find a verifiable primary source, a new question comes to mind.  With a large family and a 217 year span - there is a lot of important information to cover.  There's also the curiosity factor.  When I found they lost a grand daughter and daughter in law, curiosity led me the the smallpox and typhoid outbreaks in the 1860's.

I've included my draft notes below for anyone also doing the genealogy to compare notes.  Feedback welcome!  (deb3891 - where are you?)  My local genealogy group finds it very interesting someone would spend time researching a family based on a textile.  I think it is a good topic for a future meeting presentation.

The last pattern set is posted - the complete pattern is now available.  All 12 pattern sets are posted HERE.  We've been asked about paper patterns and plan to have those available in January.  We have enjoyed all of your enthusiasm and support with this project.

Have a fantastic week!

For those of you following the family story behind the quilt:
DRAFT:  Chronological Timeline BOYCE
YEAR Event Comments  Questions Source
1790 William (b1760-70?) and Abby settle in Lytle's Fork, Scott Co KY - From Delaware Where in Delaware?
1797 July 16 Matilda Miles Toadvine Born Where was she born?  Parents?
1798 January 15 Noah born in Scott Co KY Manoah?
1810 National Census - Family still in Scott Ky
1820 National Census - Family still in Scott Ky
1821 Noah and Matilda Married July 20 Harrison County KY Marriage bond signed by Charles Miles?  
1823 William Boyce helped establish Methodist Society of Christian's in Lytle's Fork Scott County KY Noah's father
1822 or 1823  Abbey W born to Noah and Matilda Listed in 1860 and 1870 Census in Morgan CO IL    FIND HER BIRTH CERT
1823 Morgan County IL Formed County Website
1829 Thomas Taylor born to Noah and Matilda in Scott County KY
1832 Daniel Durbin Boyce born to Noah and Matilda In Scott CO KY? Durbin - name of French Origin
1835 Noah and son Thomas move to Morgan Co IL Thomas was six years old?  1850 census Thomas was listed as 21
1835 Angeline  1850 census lists Angeline and Eveline both as 15 yr olds in household
1835 Evaline C born to Noah and Matilda June 15, Morgan County IL ? Matilda was not able to travel w Noah in 1835 due to pregnancy?
1836 William H. Boyce 8/15 1836-11/5 1896 Need birth record and census records
1839 daughter Abby marries Logan Brown August 10 Morgan Co Ill Abby was about 16 years old.     1860 & 1870 Census they are together
1839 Margaret Ann born to Noah and Matilda, Matilda is 42 years old  Daughter Ann is listed in 1850 census as 11 yr old in household
1839 William and Abby move to Illinois
1840 Population of Morgan County IL 19,547
1845 Amelia (Millie) R Boyce marries Christian Spigel, 16 June - Morgan County IL Need her birth record
1850 William H Boyce born to ? Noah and Matilda    unlikely, see 1836 Proof he was their son?  Birth record? Parents age given this DOB William H Boyce 1850-1925  Wife Maria Sophronia Stafford Boyce (1851 - 1944)  Children  Emma Frances Boyce (1878 - 1881), Callie E Snodgrass Dill (1876-1950), Minnie 1877
1851 30th Wedding Anniversary of Noah and Matilda Boyce.  She was 54 Yrs old, Noah was 53
1856 Approx wedding year Danial and Sarah Need marriage record 55/56/57?
1861 Elizabeth S. Boyce(9-57/2-61), daughter of Daniel and Sarah dies at age 3yrs 5m Buried in Fairview cemetery Harrison County MO
1863 Daniel's first wife, Sarah C. Maddox Boyce (1834-1863) dies Buried in Fairview cemetery Harrison County MO
1888 History of Harrison County MO includes Daniel Durbin Boyce

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tree of Life Quilt

When I read Audrey's post about her Tree of Life quilt, it motivated me to get mine out.

It was time anyway with our windy and cold weather.  This is a quilt that is used most winters.

I love this pattern!  Another reason why Audrey's quilt resonated with me.

Mine is scrappy green and brown prints in the leaves,  A variety of brown prints for the trunks.
Machine pieced and machine quilted by me.

If I were to remake it I think the alternate squares would be a red print.

Here is a closeup of a block.  You can see the prints I mixed in.  The machine quilting is so-so.  All cotton Aurofil thread and Blue Ribbon batting.

I enjoy using a quilt and I can see all the reproduction prints.
I also like the touches of blue, red, pink mixing with the green.

That's 30 HSTs x 16 block = 480 HSTs  Not bad.
I paper pieced them by the sheet.

Several washing later I think about maybe not using it, but I think it is OK to wear some of these out.  I machine wash and dry it on gentle at the end of the winter season.

"Cat in The Woods"

Excuse the poor photo - with my helper these days I have to move quickly.
Quilts become napping spots in a matter of seconds.

It is wonderful to hand stitch with her curled up in my lap.  We keep each other warm.

The back is a green bird toile reporduction print.
After all, there are never too many birds in the trees.

Staged photo from book

This is the antique inspiration quilt from the book.

Beautiful display.  You can see why I was inspired to use pink in the alternate blocks.

I really like the plaid tree trunks.  I used a few plaids in mine, but never enough!  Great touches of red.

You can also see the straight line quilting in this example.

All the antique accessories and bed add so much.

Book Cover

This is the book:
Leisure Arts Presents
Big Book of 
Best Loved
Quilt Patterns

Old, but good!
There are so many freat used books at guild and museum sales.

Happy stitching,

I hope you enjoyed The Tree of Life

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ready For First Snow

Never enough!
I was at a standstill selecting fabrics for the graduation quilt.

I made a monumental decision...I'm cutting and including some of the fabrics I thought I might never cut.  I wish I had yards of this fabric.

What better reason than to include a beloved fabric in a quilt for a special person?

Snip - snip ... after all, it's just fabric!

Marked, in the frame ready for quilting

We are expecting our first snow this week.
Yesterday I marked a quilt and got it in the frame.
I will have all the outline quilting done by the time the graduation project is a top - so I think my timeline is still OK.  I can only hand quilt or machine piece so much in one day.  Rotation is a good thing!
I have marked for years with General's Sketch N Wash pencils - have never had trouble with it coming off when the project is done.  It is usually all gone by the time the quilt is finished.

Happy Stitching,

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Noah and Matilda Month 11

Month eleven includes three patterns.  Next month we are back to four.  As with other months, there is no shortage of fun and a bit of challenge.

This block is ideal to ink your name and date - or  quilt your name and date in the center.

I chose to mix prints and solids, and not make the use of prints symmetrical.  I am trying to exercise constraint selecting my fabrics.  I tend to avoid solids.  Using them in this project was good for me.

All of the blocks were completed using back basting.

This block looks symbolic to me.
I find it interesting the maker has the top stars sitting on the larger center shape.

Have you ever seen this block or shape?

I completed mine using back basting.  It went together quite quickly and I am pleased with the results.

Have I mentioned how much I love these blocks?

Have you seen a block like this one?

Another beauty, floral looking.
I did it all with back basting.  At first I thought it looked hard.  I tackled it piece by piece and enjoyed every stitch.

Again, I chose to mix solids and prints.

You will find the block sets HERE.
All eleven sets are still available.  We have new quilters starting each month.

I think Matilda was very creative!

Have a great week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Graduation Quilt Progress

Not the final setting
I am making progress on the graduation gift quilt.

I was able to work in some additional fabrics that have personal meaning.  Prints include cats, ducks, turtles, garlic and grapes.  Very fun to step out of my usual reproduction choices and think of my recipient.

The long piece on the left is a bicycle wheel print I am thinking about for binding.

I think if I can make at least 12 blocks a week I think I can get it in the quilt frame before the snow hits!  That's the goal anyway.  I think all these colors and prints will be wonderful to look at as I quilt this winter.

I have so many floral prints in my stash it has been a challenge to find some masculine prints.  I'm digging deep in the stripes!

Velma in her play tunnel

Velma is a very happy quilting buddy.

She's not allowed in the sewing room because she is a thread chewer!  I wish she could join me for sewing sessions, but for now we have to be content with lap sitting as I hand stitch.

Thank you for your encouragement!
Have a great week stitching.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Traveling Quilt, Can you Help?

My Quilt Hanging at Seminar
My 2014 American Quilt Study Group Civil War Era Study quilt was chosen to travel for exhibit the next four years.  

What's an AQSG study quilt?  Click HERE to read to the guidelines.

With permission, I am adopting an idea from Racheldaisy, of Blue Mountain Daisy's blog.

Here's where you can help!

If you visit a venue where my quilt is on display, will you take some pictures and email them to me?  I am making a journal to go with my quilt.  It can be whatever inspires you!  You with the quilt, my quilt next to other quilts, the building etc...feel free to be creative.
From the first stitch of the quilt, to the time it arrives back home it will be a six year journey!

Exhibit Travel Schedule:
Quilt on my wall before Milwaukee

  • February to June of 2015 
    Monroe County History Center, Bloomington IN
  • July 1 to October 2015
    New England Quilt Museum
  • November 2015 to March 1, 2016
    Virginia Quilt Museum
  • March 11-13, 2016 
    The Dallas Quilt Show
  • April 1 to July 30, 2016
    Quilter's Hall of Fame, Marion, Indiana
  • September 15 to December 15, 2016
    Northern Michigan University, DeVos Art Museum
  • December 20 to February 20, 2017
    Baldwin Reynolds House Museum, Meadville, PA
  • March 1 to May 31, 2017
    Gilbert Historical Museum, Gilbert AZ
  • June 2017 to October 20, 2017
    Rocky Mountain  Quilt Museum, Boulder, CO
  • November 1 to February 28, 2018
    Sheerer Museum of Stillwater, Stillwater, OK
  • June 1 to August, 2018
    La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum, LaConner, WA

Antique Inspiration Quilt

My inspiration quilt was chosen because it had a patriotic theme for the 1850-1865 time period.  By current judged quilt show standards it also has an unusual layout.   The unique setting with the central flag appealed to me. 
I was fortunate the owner of the quilt, Jeananne Wright, generously allowed me to borrow the treasured original.  I took close up photographs of the quilt including each star, the flag, binding and backing.  On the photos I added observational notes on thread, fabric and stitching.

In designing my reproduction I reduced the size to fit within the study guidelines and to have a wall size quilt.  It was important to me that I used the same layout as the original and incorporated what we might consider mistakes using today’s aesthetic quilt standards.  The layout includes omitted sashing, partial stars and cut off star points.  In executing the design I stitched the entire quilt by hand as the original maker did.   I used 100% cotton fabric, batting, light and dark thread to replicate the materials of the time.
My quilt in process - completely hand stitched
The quilts central flag design inspired me to research the use of flags in American history.  The American flag was changing during the study period (1850-1865) with the split between the north and south as well as the admission of new states to the union.  Patriotism ran high during the Civil War.  Numerous military flags were used in the civil war in both the north and the south.  There were numerous flags for infantry, cavalry, and artillery regiments and battalions. The navy also used multiple national flag styles.  Brigades, divisions and corps also carried designation flags.  In some cases flags were homemade and presented to the military companies.  Flags were protected by a color guard of a regiment’s most experienced noncommissioned officers.  A flag was also a rallying point in the confusion of battle.

Stars on the original quilt 
Flags are enormously important in the history of our nation.  Seeing the stars and stripes in any form evokes strong emotion and sentiment.  The maker of the inspiration quilt identified with a particular flag design that was important to capture and preserve in a quilt.  Imagine the anonymous makers surprise if he/she could see it now."

It is a stunning exhibit and I didn't have nearly enough time to see it in Milwaukee.  I am hoping to catch it at least once as it travels, I hope you can too. 
Thank you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New England Comforter

Detail of fabric and ties from my NE Comforter
In September I attended the American Quilt Study Group's annual seminar.  This year the annual seminar was held in Milwaukee.  I filled my schedule with three full days of quilt study.

Besides the special exhibits, bed turnings and study quilts there are tours and study centers.  One of the study centers I thoroughly enjoyed was, "New England Comforters:  From the Homely to the Elegant" by Lorie Chase.

 I thought I had one in my collection, as I inspected it after returning home - I was right!

Scrappy, planned arrangement
AQSG Study Center Description:

"Comforters showed up in New England estate inventories in the late 18th century and increased in popularity in the 19th century.  They graced milady's boudoir in the 20th century and became dreaded wedding gift from aunties by mid-century.  Based on a survey of early estate inventories, focused discussion, and analysis of a collection of comforters participants will place comforters in the bedding context and explore their materials, workmanship, use, aesthetics, ownership and value.  Together we will better understand their place in quilt history"

This is a picture of a portion of my New England comforter.
Most obvious at first is the planned color arrangement.  A scrappy, yet thoughtfully arranged and creative comforter.

Fabric and tie detail 

On closer examination, once you get past the wonderful early fabrics, note the color of ties change - in a secondary design element.  It is tied with knots to the front with blue and white wool yarn.
My comforter is in like new condition.  Perhaps in cold New England winters it was sandwiched between layers of bedding - protecting it from wear?
After sharing photos of my comfort with Lorie, she has this exact fabric in one of her comforters.

Shadowy picture - the comforter is really pristine, filled with great fabrics

My example is made to accomodate a four poster bed.  In this photo, the comforter is folded in half.

The nothches allow for the coverlet to drape around the bottom bed posts, rather than bunch up at the corners.

It has deep drop (approx. 24") to still cover the sides of the bed once the sleepers are in bed.  The solids still retain their original glaze.  The maker used many scraps and creatively made it all work.

I have several four poster style quilts in my collection.

I also have a four poster bed in one of the guest rooms - so nice to dress the bed in an antique quilt or comforter.  Years ago I bought a hand tied canopy for the bed.  It had finials to use without the canopy frame.

Rows of ties by color

In the study center, after the presentation,  we broke into small groups and spent time with numerous comforters and examined them up close, hand on.

Using what we learned - we made informal presentations to the group with our assigned example.  The small group I was in had an early example with glazed chintz.  Even the back had been pieced with early chintz examples.

As other groups presented their examples we saw; cottons, velvets, wools and silks.  All tied, numerous edge finishes, creative layouts and piecing, backs that could be fronts - or was the front the back?

Great discussion ensued and much was learned.
I was so engrossed I didn't take any pictures.
I am happy I had an example to share with you.

Have a great week!
If you have a tied comforter please leave a comment and tell us all about it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Month 10 Matilda's Pineapple

Mix of prints and solids
This isn't the setting or layout for the blocks, I just wanted you to see all the blocks together through month 10.
Thank you for joining this journey, if you are stitching or reading along.

Month ten is ready.  Plenty of surprise blocks left.  We tried to bundle the monthly sets with at least one surprise block.

This evening I was speculating how Matilda felt when she saw the quilt completed.
Applique bands on the pineapple block

The three Noah and Matilda blocks for month ten include a potted cactus, a Mexican rose and a pineapple.

In Matilda's colonial America, pineapples were both symbolic (hospitality), as well as a food delicacy.  Having a pineapple on her quilt and home may have been a rarity.  But then, the cactus isn't a common 1850's applique pattern either.

My pineapple applique bands

In the 1850's most entertaining was done in homes.   Creative food displays were popular for formal dinners.  Pineapples are visually attractive in a centerpiece, they were rare and expensive - if available at all in 1850.  The pineapples imported from the Caribbean Islands were candied chunk, glazed and packed in sugar.  An actual whole fruit was even harder to obtain.  They did show up in markets (delivered on the fastest ships) in larges cities like Boston, Philadelphia and Williamsburg.

Perhaps botanical prints were the inspiration for the cactus blocks.  

This print has many similarities to Matilda's blocks.

Matilda's Cactus Flower

This is one of Matilda's yellow flowers - the quilting adds beautiful texture next to the yellow wave print.

You can see the hand piecing of the block seams.

I love her green dot print, but was unable to find one I liked.

My Cactus Flower

This is one of  my yellow flowers.
I got as close as I could to a stripe/wavy print.

I think any medium yellow would work, even a solid.  I chose fabrics in the colors the quilt would have been, not the way it is today - faded.

You can read more about the quilt and the block sets HERE.

I hope you have a great weekend, we are enjoying some fall color here, as well as cooler temperatures - great stitching weather!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thread Cabinet

I recently added to my collection of thread cabinets.  This one varies from my others.  It is a two drawer, shelf with eight thread guides.  It also has bone finials.  Even though the original pin cushion is missing, it is still a great piece.

I always wonder who originally owned it?  How did she use it?

Now I have some answers with this piece.

I have some family history!

Ann gifted the box to her daughter

It was owned By Constance (keeping the last name private).  

She was born in 1896 in Boston MA.  

Throughout her life everyone called her Christine, except her grandchildren - who called her Mimi.  

The box was a gift from her mother, Ann.  Ann is pictured on the right.

Ann had six children: Aida, Arthur, Gerard, Marjorie Roger and Christine.

Christine is the youngest - with the white bow on her head. Roger is next to her in a sailor style outfit.

Constance (Christine) and Roger

Christine and Roger were close.  

What fun, giggling together on the lawn.

They shared many laughs as children.  

Little did they know a war would someday separate them.

At some point in her childhood Christine stitched a sampler, still owned by the family.

Ann's son Roger was called Uncle Buzzy - he was a WWI Flying Ace.

Roger spent time in a German POW Camp in Landau Germany.

Here, he is pictured second from the left (white collar, part in the center of his hair).

Imagine their joy when he came home!

Christine Married Edmond and had three children.  

Only one, Patricia survived to adulthood.

This is Christine and her daughter Patricia in 1926.

Wonderful isn't it?

I don't have the year the thread cabinet was given by Ann to Christine. Perhaps it was a wedding gift?

The box was gifted by Ann to Christine. Christine later passed it to Patricia.  Patricia passed it to one of her daughters. It has since come to me (not family) and I will keep the family history with the box.  

The family permitted me to share this story with you.

These are a few of Christine's (Mimi's) grandchildren having fun at her summer home in Connecticut.

What a party! 

With those big smiles I can imagine that summers with Mimi were filled with fun parties.

drawers and shelf out

How was the box used?

Ann and Christine (Mimi) were ladies, with the means enabling them to not HAVE to sew.  

They stored basics in the box. Their maids did the majority of the sewing and mending for the household.

The cabinet is in very good condition. However, the pin cushion was worn out and removed before it came to me.

Top level of cabinet

Patricia, Christine's daughter made needlepoint pillows. The wools were to bulky for the dainty drawers of this thread cabinet. It was displayed in their home with empty drawers.

Here, with the lid off you can see a small spool of thread, the end of the thread extends through the bone eyelet.

With the lid replaced, the thread can be used, yet remain hidden.

Closeup of the bone finial - there are 12 total on this cabinet.

They about 3/4" tall. The grooves were painted with thin black lines.

I hope you enjoyed the story that came with the cabinet. Maybe one day we can see a picture of the sampler Mimi stitched.

I treasure this cabinet!