Saturday, June 29, 2013

Little 'Bricks' ....Charming?

15" x 19.5"
I just finished the second small quilt in a series I'm doing using the rectangles from a c. 1910 top that I took apart some time ago.
(To see the top and that first post click HERE )

The bricks making up the center section are each different....and each of the blue border bricks is different from the other bricks in the border but are repeats of some of the central blues.....clear as mud?
So I am still calling it a charm quilt....with some qualifications!

I am trying, at this point, to be a purist about using only fabrics from this particular top in this series.

I had a hard time deciding how to join the layers.
I always think I'll do a quick finish with machine quilting on these little ones but when it comes down to it, I just don't want to!
I tried tying it with perle cotton.....didn't like that. Tried quilting a few rows vertically in the ditch...didn't like that. I wanted to maintain a vertical feel so I ruled out curvy things like an overall fan for this one. Still not happy, I started going through books and pictures on-line to see how other brick quilts were quilted and decided on this big elongated "X" and then two parallel rows for the border.

I finished the edge by turning the tiny pink woven gingham backing (also vintage but not sure how early) to the front in a very narrow hem.

To do this you cannot quilt right up to the edge because you need to fold the backing out of the way to trim the top and batting only.

Then bring the back out fully and trim depending on how wide a hem you want. For this quilt I trimmed it to 1/2", folded the raw edge halfway and then to the front.

I spend a lot of time making decisions on even the smallest project but the bottom line is, I'm doing this for fun, I want to like what I end up I enjoy taking whatever time that process takes.

Now....I need to get back to finishing two other projects....but I AM thinking of what #3 should be.

To see quilt #1 in this series click HERE

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Minnesota Quilt Show

Just back from a trip to Duluth, Minnesota, for the annual state quilt show. My sister and I look forward to a 'sister getaway' each June and always have a good time. This year was no exception. 

Our three hour drive north included a stop for lunch at Tobies in Hinkley and a few stops at antique stores. 

Here's a peek at quilt I couldn't pass up! The pieced stars are only 5.5" and the yellow setting squares really make it shine.

It combines hand and machine piecing. The hand quilting is utilitarian but it 'works' for me!
The backgrounds of the stars vary but each has the same blue center and solid red points. An unexpected floral print makes a fun backing!

The quilt show was held at the DECC center on the shores of Lake Superior. 

We both came home with some new ideas, a load of inspiration and a few necessary purchases!

Until next year....

Have you been to a quilt show lately? 
What effect does it have on your own work?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Retirement...a new phase

For the past 11 years I have worked as a quilt appraiser, certified by the American Quilters Society. I decided to retire as of this June.

I have met so many wonderful people, seen thousands upon thousands of quilts and heard the many incredible stories passed down with those quilts. I have enjoyed travel and countless fulfilling experiences as an appraiser. A quick review of my database shows clients from thirty states from Arizona to Wyoming and from Canada, Ireland and Japan!
I am pleased to have helped promote the idea that quilts have value! It  has been especially rewarding to help family members gain a greater knowledge and appreciation of the quilt 'Grandma made'.
Makers of new quilts have learned how to properly insure their quilts with a documented insurance replacement value. Some quiltmakers have told me that their husbands have new respect for their work when they see the appraisal!

I have discussed quilt care, the pros and cons of finishing old tops and blocks and shared tips and advice on quilt care.
I have shared my knowledge and my personal quilt collection in many guilds and quilt events and I remain available for consultations, trunk shows and presentations.

My love for all things quilt is not diminished but rather it is expanding into new and exciting directions.
I plan to be blogging more often now on both my passion for quilt history and my own quiltmaking  I do hope you'll stay tuned!

Now off to Duluth for the annual Minnesota Quilters show!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Scraps Come Together

34" square
I finished something!

I started playing with leftover 1.5" strips and squares some time ago. The urge to 'use them up' and have fun seeing what I could do with them has led to several quilts.
I knew I didn't want to put in the time to hand quilt this. There are too many seams and I see it being used as a baby quilt - machine quilting will stand up to harder use and frequent washings.
But that seems to be the point in a project that I get stalled.  I just am not skilled enough to decide on the design or execute it with my machine. Tops can pile up waiting to be taken to the finish line!

I settled for the wavy straight line anchoring it all on either side of the sashing and did the loopy free-motion flower I've done on several other things for inside the 36 patch.

I applied the binding by machine and then zig-zagged it for a quick and functional finish.

Next: An Announcement!