Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Patchwork Quilt in Progress

The scrappy quilt made with 5-inch squares is coming along pretty good. It's looking much than I thought it would. I am so tired of cutting and sewing squares at this point! Of course at my house if anything is put on the floor for a few minutes, some furry rear-end will be on top of it pretty quick. This is Trixie.....

Here is part of the quilt without a dog on it.

I got a new quilt book in the mail yesterday. It is called "Prairie Quilts" by Johanna Wilson. It is projects inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book has 27 projects (wall hangings, table runners and bed quilts). The pictures are nice and the instructions seem to be clearly written.

I've been a huge Laura fan since I first read some of her books when I was about 7 years old. I've read the series numerous times and have other books about her and by her. In a few weeks I'm going to go to Mansfield, Missouri to visit her home and museum. The only odd thing about sewing quilts inspired by her books is that Laura didn't like to sew. It is mentioned in her books that while Mary enjoyed learning to sew Laura was more interested in what was going on outside.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fabric scraps

Oh, what to do with those scraps. We save them and save them and save them. Like any self-respecting quilter I have a stash. Mine is very small compared to others I've heard of. I can fit all of mine in one small closet. Still I feel the need to whittle it down, especially the ugly fabrics that I'm not sure why I hold on to them. I have some scraps people have given me, some that I have bought and some from quilts and garments I have sewn. I also have those fabrics that fall into the category of "what WAS I thinking?". Some most have been appealing at the time but the colors from the late 80's no longer seem to fit into my color schemes.

This week I finally started on the much thought about scrappy quilt. I have been cutting 6-inch and 5-inch blocks. I started out cutting 5-inch then I found a large stack of 6-inch squares that I bought a long time ago. I have plenty of fabric to make one quilt in 6-inch blocks and one in 5-inch. I'm talking about large king-sized bed quilts.

Here is a picture of a large number of 5-inch blocks

Some of the ugly fabric is already starting to look better just by being in small squares and next to some "pretty" fabric. I guess I shouldn't be so biased about the ugly fabric.
Since I got sick of cutting today after about 300 squares, I started sewing things together. Here are a few pieces together.

Hopefully there will be more updates soon on this quilt and happy updates at that!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gee's Bend Quilt

As I walked to get some lunch at work on Monday, I noticed a quilt being set up for display. I knew immediately it had to be a quilt from Gee's Bend. If you don't know about Gee's Bend read more here http://www.quiltsofgeesbend.com/

This quilt was commissioned by AT&T to be made by the quilters of Gee's Bend. It was hard to get a good photo because it was behind glass. It is made from various types of material - I could spot some stretch polyester and cordoruy. It is hand quilted. AT&T is displaying as part of Black History Month.

You can read more about the quilt on this page http://www.att.com/Common/quilts/index.html

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Old Quilt Books

Last week my mother gave me some quilt pattern books that she had cleaned out of a closet. My mother did sew when I was growing up but never made a quilt of any size. She thought about it a few times but never made one. Even after rotary cutters came on the scene, she has not been able to convince herself to make a quilt. She said always wanted to sew things she could start and finish in one day. She does crochet afghans that take more than one day but says those are easy for her to pick up and put down.

These booklets are from the lates 60's and early 70's. Here is the first one published by Parade Magazine in 1974 --- Nifty Fifty Quilts - 50 patchwork and applique quilts

In the back of this one is an advertisement to order more books. The three below were 50 Cents each, add 25 cents each for postage and handling.

Quilt Book # 1 - has a variety of 16 showpiece quilts. Patch patterns, complete directions for each quilt. (no copyright date)

Museum Quilt Book #2 - Patterns for 15 quilts dating from 1815 to mid 19th century. Quilting Designs, yardages. (no copyright date)

Quilts for Today's Living - 15 bold, bright modern designs -- all easy to cut, piece. Also quilte for baby. (copyright 1968)

The patterns are for single beds and double beds. The quilts for children refer to "junior bed" size. The books are in colored print but not photographs except for the cover of book 1. Of course this was way before rotary cutters and strip piecing so the directions are along the line of "cut 796 of pattern A". That's the sort of thing that kept me from quilting for many years. I think it also kept my mother from quilting. All the piecing and quilting was done by hand as well. I love to sew and even enjoy some handwork but hand piecing is not for me.

Some of the quilt patterns include:

Presidential Quilt - Has a large applique eagle grasping the 3 arros and olive granch. This was based on a quilt in the Smithsonion made in 1846.

Cowboy - Youngters Favorite Lovely in many Gay Colors -- it is a bucking bronco with a ragdoll looking cowboy appliqued on 7 1/2 inch squares which are set on point. Is it just me or is this cowboy wearing bell bottoms and high heel boots?

There are star quilts with many pieces, pinwheels, nine-patch, clamshells, corn and beans, grandmother's flower patch hexagons and a "old time crazy quilt".

One that looks like a ripple pattern you would see in an afghan. The title says "The tailored quilt for the he-man who likes his comfort". Then it says "This pieced quilt is tailored enough to please the most viril man. It is made of 192 blocks for the single bed or 224 blocks for the double bed."

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fabric shopping

Today I went to my favorite quilt store, Quilts 'N Fixins in Jonesboro, Georgia. You can find out more about them at http://www.quiltsandfixins.org/

The ladies there are always friendly and helpful. They have a great selection of fabrics and will take the time to help you find just the right fabric for your quilt. The first Friday of each month is "Fat Quarter Friday". All fat quarters are only $1.50!!!! They will even cut fat quarters off the bolt for you at that same price. I picked up 21 fat quarters. I also found a few remnants that I liked. Here is my bounty from today....

Then I had a delivery of some fabric I had ordered earlier this week from http://www.thousandsofbolts.com/ .....aren't these pretty?

I have most of the weekend to myself so I plan sewing, of course.