Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eureka ! Mystery Children Identified!

I bought a crib sized quilt top a few years ago. I had never seen the design. It was 'interesting' ... but the border was rather strange! (ugly)
I bought it anyway.

Ouch....where's my ripper?

Today I was looking through a pile of vintage quilt pattern leaflets and there it was!
It's called Raggedy Ann and Andy. Would you have guessed that?
Blonde braids? I thought they looked German or Scandinavian (but then what IS the ethnicity of Ann and Andy?) More on that search later....
The maker tried to achieve the triangle border shown in the pattern - but her fabric choice (probably what she had on hand) doesn't really 'work' does it? She had to piece the lighter triangle and using a variety of bold plaids and stripes didn't help! (the concept of bias meant nothing to her!)

Here's the cover of the booklet.
There is no date on the publication but it is identified on the back as Aunt Martha's Studios, Inc. The business was started in Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1930's but this specific name was used starting in 1949. (In addition to information about quilt kits, the Quilt Kit Identification site includes Rose Werner's extensive research on many pattern companies) Aunt Martha published patterns through the 1950's. 

Pattern templates and directions
I love reading the directions - the boy's clothing is called overalls on the template and pantaloons in the directions for embroidery. Thread colors are suggested for the embroidery and rick rack is to be stitched at the bottom of the girl's dress. This maker outlined all applique edges with a neat small blanket-stitch in thread colors matching the fabrics. It appears that she did this to secure the raw edges of her applique. This saved her from regular needle turn applique BUT...can't be faster!
She used tiny rick-rack 'inside' the girl's dress rather than at the bottom. It doesn't show much on this print.

Click to enlarge for a closer look at the details

I have quite a few of these vintage pattern booklets. They are fun to look never know what you'll find. I hope you don't toss things like this thinking they are 'old fashioned' - they are quilt history; the stuff quilt scholars love!

What is so exciting to me about quilt study is the many paths it leads me down. In this case I had to get out the top to look more closely at it and compare it to the pattern directions.Then I got curious about Raggedy Ann's hair....I have only seen her with red hair and the pattern specifies that the hair be yellow. Google Image to the rescue. That led me to more sites about the history of Ann and Andy. Click  HERE  if you also would like to read the various theories of how these dolls came to be. I found it fascinating AND I verified that all the images had red hair! By the way, the pattern does not specify a color for Andy's hair but the color in the pattern is red/orange.

Now, back to my little top - I think I need to take off that border and use some of my vintage fabrics to make a new one. Now I have the pattern! I've added it to 'the list'..... I'll let you know when I get it done. 

Don't hold your breath......

Friday, January 18, 2013

Alzheimer's Project to End

Mom and Me 2003
I just received an email from Ami Simms with the wonderful news that the goal of making $1,000,000 to aid Alzheimer's research will likely be met in 2013! I have pasted that note below so that you can read all the details. I am annoucing this so that if you wanted to participate you would know that time is running out!

I am proud to have been part of the initiative. My mother suffered from the disease; passing away in 2004. I am grateful to Ami and all the people it has taken to organize it. They have dedicated themselves to helping find answers to this devastating disease.
About  $200,000 is still needed to make this milestone so any help from you will be most appreciated. You can donate a quilt or purchase one. If you prefer to make a monetary donation it is really simple, fast.... and tax deductible. Go here for details.

 From Ami:

AmiMommyThe Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative will most likely reach the $1,000,000 mark in money raised for Alzheimer’s research some time in 2013!
The work of your hands and the compassion in your hearts has brought us to this milestone. I will be forever grateful to each and every one of you for your support and dedication.
Ami and her mother, Beebe, in 2006 shortly after the AAQI began.
What began as one person’s response to sorrow and frustration has grown into a national charity embraced by a large portion of the quilting community. More than 13,000 quilts have been donated, turning sweat equity into over $883,000 for research so far. For many donors these quilts were healing works of art which helped them grieve as they stitched for the greater good. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the AAQI’s two traveling quilt exhibits about Alzheimer’s. Through this artistry came the realization for many that they were not alone on this journey of heartbreak; others understood, perhaps for the first time, what a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s really means. Together quilters have funded 11 research studies at six universities and a medical school. Three more studies will be funded this month and hopefully more throughout 2013. Because of the AAQI, scientists know a little bit more about Alzheimer’s than they did before. Hopefully this understanding will bring us all closer to a cure.
When I created the AAQI back in 2006, I never expected it to become so successful! I also never imaged how much work it would take to keep it going. As the AAQI blossomed, board members and core volunteers have had to increase our hours and pace to keep up. While I find enormous satisfaction in nurturing the AAQI, I much prefer sewing to administrating. I miss just being a full-time quilter.
For this reason, 2013 will be the last year of fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. I hope you will help the AAQI reach our goal of One Million Dollars for research and then at the end of 2013 celebrate with everyone who made this tremendous achievement possible. Please review the important dates below:
February 15, 2013: All bookings for the traveling exhibit “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” must be finalized.
March 1, 2013:  First online auction of quilts from “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” traveling exhibit. Twenty-six Name Quilts will be auctioned during the first 10 days of March, April, May, June, July, August, and September. Payment will be required at the conclusion of each auction with shipping in October 2013 after the exhibit retires. The 54 Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts from the traveling exhibit will be auctioned during the first 10 days of October and December.
July 2013: Last month to participate in the Quilt-A-Month Club.
August 1, 2013: Last day to register Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts. Quilts delivered to scanners after August 20 will be refused.
October 29 – November 3, 2013: International Quilt Festival. We hope to be invited back one last time to sell quilts in Houston, TX.
November 1-10, 2013: Celebrity Invitational Quilt Online Auction
December 30, 2013: Last day Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts can be purchased online.
December 31, 2013: Quilts For Sale and Donation pages will be removed from the AAQI website and all solicitations will cease.
2014-2015: The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative will monitor research grants awarded in 2013. The AQQI web page will be left intact for at least six months. Any funds not needed to sustain the AAQI’s final expenses will be donated to research. Remaining assets will be disposed of according to IRS regulations after which time the corporation will be dissolved.
There is still much work to this year as we sprint to the finish line. I hope everyone who reads this will join in, either as a seasoned veteran or a first time quilt donor or quilt buyer. We will continue to make a difference until the very last quilt is sold. Let’s make 2013 the best year ever!
Thank you for your support,
Ami Simms
Founder & Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative

One of my bird quilts is still available!
From the Home Page  Search for 11748

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On My Design Wall - Pre-cutting for a Scrap Quilt

The blocks on my design wall may look familiar to you if you've been following my blog for awhile. They are from my 'Hand" quilt - a project I shared in this previous post where you can also see the vintage quilt that inspired it.
I decided to pre-cut the remaining blocks so that I could get them sewn together in Arizona this year. They will be separated with a sash but I'm not sure of what - or how wide. I may set them on-point.....

Doing a scrap quilt certainly is more
time consuming than using just a few fabrics - unless you are truly working with a bag of bona fide scraps. I was pulling from my stash with certain colors and types of prints in mind....and what a mess I made in my sewing room! It was putzy work and not how I usually go about things but it will be nice to sit down at the machine and zip along.

Do you make scrap quilts?
Do you have any tips?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Humming Along - Machine Maintenance

I took the time today to clean my machine.
I took out the bobbin, cleaned that area, oiled it, put in a new needle and wiped down the sounds so hums nicely as I stitch along.
I know I don't change needles often enough.
I think I'll fill a few bobbins with neutral thread now. It's always nice to have one ready when you run out as you are trying to finish something.

It's a new year - does your machine need a new needle and a bit of TLC?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I'm afraid I make the same two or three resolutions every year and that means I don't reach them, right? But still,  I am not opposed to thinking of a new year as a fresh start - they say it's never too late and that giving up is the only way to fail. So...once again I plan to eat better, shed some pounds and get more exercise into my life...oh. I mean 'Move More'. That's the way to think about it, they say. Don't use the 'E' word!
As for quilt goals I have decided, after reviewing the last two years, that though I've had great fun doing new projects I really WANT to get some things done from the past. If I can't finish at least a few of them by the end of this year, I will get rid of them. If they aren't important enough to finish up they will not take up space in my house or cause guilt in my head any longer. You heard it here!

I've chosen the following. The photos are not full views...just enough to get an idea. I will machine quilt all of them.

Mexican Star - Wall Quilt

Flags - twin size  - nice Americana look for one of the beds at the cabin.

 Coins - lap size probably ...started years ago with left over pre-cut strips from another project

Pink 25 Patch...crib size - no particular destination - This was also started as a way to use up my 1.5" strips!

Square in Square - Twin bed size....Also destined for the cabin. I used up a lot of my 2.5" strips on this one - but not all unfortunately!

These are by no means the ONLY unfinished projects I have... but I have to start somewhere and these are either close to the finish line or just projects I'm tired of looking at.

Do you make resolutions?