Friday, July 29, 2011

Private Canadian Collection of Antique Quilts from one family

 My friend, who wishes to remain anonymous has a collection of her families antique quilts and I caught a rare viewing for a family gathering. These date back to the mid 1880's when her Great Grand Parents began farming in New Brunswich, Canada. The hand embroidery of the one above is a Redwork done by various men and women of the family. I think they are done on 6 inch blocks of white cotton.

 The Wedding Ring quilt is my favorite and is just divine, tiny little hand quilted stitches patiently walk you across the surface like a dream into the past. Beautiful work, patient timeless talent is raw and so welcoming.

 Dresden Plate Fan quilt is so special, I would love to have wrapped myself up in it.
 Hand applique and hand quilted.
The quilt I think she called the "Bells of the Ball" is also hand appliqued and hand quilted.
So lovely, with such minute detail in the hand embroidery is stunning!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dresden Fireside Quilt

 Ok, this is not a quilt, yet! But its one of my projects that are slowly turning into patterns. OMG, for a distracted quilt nut, I raise my glass to those thousands of other pattern makers! Its a tough job for one who flits around the studio with my magic wand ruler picking and poking textures every ten minutes! Those of you who live in the Bulkley Valley, must know by now, the summer is hung up in the last postal strike because quilts is what we need to cover up around the fire. It helps with the mosquitoes too!
 This next pattern is going to be an awesome dresden plate fan with a twist. As you know, I'm motivated to blend fabrics and someone emailed me the other day to ask what I meant by Blended Fabric Quilts. I thought, heh, that's a great segway into this latest quilt pattern. Yes, I actually hand applique the plates to my blocks, but I'll have both versions on how to do this in the pattern. I love to mix and mash fabric that are not in the collection on sale today! As you know, designers design collections, all the right color compliments to each other and so forth. I love collections, but why couldn't a person just mix and match 1991 collections with 2000 collections or 1970's collections with 2011 collections. This idea that all quilts must be made on mass from one collection repeated thousands of times, just kind of makes me feel like a drone. I am not a drone and this  blog is all about how to take your stash and blend it into today's lovely fabrics.
 As you know, I'm a fisherperson, woman, whatever, I like to fish. My husband is my hero, he does all the fitting of gear and then I get to fish. Below is one of my crazy Dresden plates in one of my crazy quilts.

 Above and below are two examples of antique Dresden plates, these were done in early 1900's from New Brunswich.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Doll Quilt

Dolls and little girls still go together despite some ideas that girls are bored with being girls. My sons played with dolls, they just didn't think anything of it. Because we didn't make a  big deal about it. Our sons are kind and compassionate men and proud of it. I made this one for a nieghbor who has this darling little playhouse on their property and grandchildren to play with too.

Just thought you might like to see it, its so cute!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mixing and Mashing Technique

 While I'm designing, I often get lost in the moment. I find this to be a great asset to creation of a new design. Over the summer, I've been perfecting this technique. This mixing and mashing kind of construction is freeing in all aspects of designing. Its a technique that leaves you thinking about further adjustments that might be beneficial to the end product.

The quilt police are likely to pick up that the seams don't match or that the piecing looks not coordinated or straight or whatever. I am not concerned about that. I'm concerned with developing a fun and fast way to piece and then create from there. 

Again the technique is so simple but leaves a complicated look at the end. Here's how to start: Decide on your background color. I like to use solid colors, but I've had good results with a print as you'll see in further postings. Then pick 5 colors for the complementary strips. Then cut (1) 10 in. square from each complimentary color. Lay each one on top of each other, being careful to think about lights and dark's not being up against each other in the stack.

 Then, cut 4 random slices through the stack vertically. These random cuts seem to work well, if not even or perfectly straight up and down. Varying the slice is part of the mystery to this technique. The on the first stack slice, take the top piece and replace underneath, then top two from the next and so forth, with the last slice not changing at all. Sew the strips together one square at a time. If you try to do all the left side two pieces, then the middle two pieces then the last piece, you tend to get mixed up and may loose the whole look, so just do one re-sewn square at a time.When all the 10 inch squares are sewn together, press and turn the stack once to the right and cut across the stack again, re-sew the pieced strips and press again. Then for further pieced strips, you are ready to cut the stack into whatever strip width you like and create from here.

Have fun, let me know how it works for you?

You might be interested in this new link for the tutorial technique at Quilting Gallery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EQ7 and Quilt Pro available

 EQ7 purchased last fall, still has the warranty and registration in tact. I'd like to sell it. I have never used it. I just don't see the point in transferring at this same the way I design. Anyone interested, contact me. I paid $278 Oct 2010
Quilt Pro was purchased and I did use a couple of time, but didn't have the time to learn new software and stayed where I was with what I'm doing. I'm interested in selling both. Contact me.

Quilting with Recycled Cloth Tips!

 Sometimes, I've had other quilters tell me that they'd never put a T-shirt into a quilt. When I asked "why not?" they replied, "its not like cotton, I tried and it gets all bunched up." I have taught classes on recycling since the early 1990's. But fair is fair, its all about knowing how to handle recycled cloth. Not everything I recycle ends up in a quilt! For sure there are limits. You certainly don't want to waste your quilting time on fabric that is not good quality, so lets start there.
Having said this, you can make a t-shirt quilt from cotton t-shirts and iron on a stabilizer on the back or not. Its all about what kind of quilt you want in the end. Many of my customers for T-shirt quilts don't really care, but I do, so I usually recommend a stabilizer on the back side of your T-shirts and here's why.
 Looking at this photo, you can see all sorts of draping going on as the various pieces hang from my design wall. Drape and body shape is exaggerated once any piece of clothing has been worn. So I find it much easier and less taxing on my old brain if I stabilize first. The quilts turn out fantastic, my customers are thrilled and all is well in my studio.
Stabilizing is not just for T-shirts, you can also stabilize dress shirts, blouses, dress materials, lace, the list goes on. Do a little test, just for yourself. You don't have to show it off or blog about it unless you want to. Just try it out?
Another beautiful thing about making T-shirt quilts is that if you have change something, you can and its won't show up in the finished product. You can use tea towels, doilies, hankies, lacey stuff, you name it. I think we should have new categories in Canadian Quilters Assn annual quilt show and any other show? What do you think? Would you support a "Retro Quilt" category? Let me know how you feel about not recognizing the efforts of those who enjoy working with alternative fabric pre-used from clothing?
Here is an example of a recent t-shirt quilt. Enjoy! I'm the one in purple.

Robert Cerins Earrings!!

I just love Robert Cerins earrings for the Art To Wear they promote, but also because they use a different non-reacting metal for their han...