Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Comments anyone?

I am writing today with a question.
A follower that used to comment quite often has let me know that when she tries to comment now it doesn't go through. I am not an expert on settings and options so I thought I'd ask for feedback from you.
I do get some comments that are SPAM.....they contain a weird message that is poorly written and include their own website link. This prompted me to look into security and I discovered that I need to have comments sent to me first so that I can approve and 'publish' or 'mark as spam' and delete before they get to the site.
If you are a follower - officially listed as such whether identified or anonymous, would you try to Comment today to this blog? Just try it to see if it works and if it does say "Hi' or whatever. If not, my email address is available if you click 'view my complete profile' under my intro on the right.
If you are not a Follower but do read the blog are you able to comment?
I will work with your replies to make it easier to comment so we can all learn and share more effectively and with less frustration.

PS - to comment go to the bottom and if you are the first to do so you'll have to click "No Comments" (kind of strange but...) After the first comment it will show how many comments have been left.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May Tulips

This seems like the perfect time to share an exciting addition to my vintage quilt collection. I was thrilled to find May Tulips, a Marie Webster design, at a flea market in Minnesota last winter. A restless spirit sent me out to the convention center event one snowy, slushy Sunday.  Various dealers had set up tables; everything from tools, to comic books to jewelry. As I paid my entrance fee and  looked around I saw a number of empty tables and vacant areas - I guessed that the weather had kept some of the usual vendors away. I was a bit discouraged and wondered if it was even worth looking around.

But....seen at a distance of several rows of tables, (across a crowded room, you might say!)  folded neatly at the outer corner of one table, was this lovely quilt. I examined it, unfolded it, noted the fine applique work and lovely hand quilting. It was so soft - it had been used and washed and loved. It was a bit faded  from it's original colors but very clean, no holes or rips or even worn binding.

I'm not sure I even want to tell you this - but here's the amazing part of the story. A piece of paper on top of it said, " pink afghan $30".  I thought to myself, "Someone very uneducated about textiles thinks this is an afghan and priced it reflecting that. My lucky day!"
I brought it over to the man running the booth with this paper that was on top of it but he said "Oh, that's for something else".  And I thought, "figures" shoulda known"! It knew it was too good to be true.... but before I could even complete that thought he said, "That one is $10".

Could I make this up?
I was flabbergasted as he continued, " I wouldn't wanna 'take' ya."!
I told him that was definitely worth that and paid him.  I felt like I was stealing it. I walked away slowly, (though I wanted to run for the door) in case he somehow realized he'd made a mistake and wanted to chase me down.

Yes. Sometimes we get the deal of a lifetime. I have had a few other unbelievable buys and this is not the lowest price I've paid for a nice quilt  (see Goodwill Quilt ) but being a Marie Webster design I think it is my best bargain to date! And just so you know, I have paid way more than I should for a few so...maybe it evens out!

According to A Joy Forever, Marie designed the pattern in 1920 and it became one of her most popular offerings.

The May 1931 issue of Needlecraft magazine advertised either a kit ($3.65) or stamped blocks ($.25 each)  in the May Tulips pattern.

This book contains wonderful information about Marie and her company as well as full-color photos and patterns for twelve of her designs.

This full vertical view of the design in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, NE, shows more clearly the 'art deco' influence of the border applique and the more geometric shape of the scalloped edge.

I guess the deal I got helped me justify this purchase before I got out the door- a sterling silver needle case with the bail on top for wearing with a chain.

What great buys have you made? I'd love to hear your stories!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'm still here!

Hello again dear blog readers!

I apologize for disappearing after a busy March...and now April is over. I won't make any excuses although I do have some great ones, trust me...but I'll just show you a few things I'm working on.

Here's my Scottie Dog crib quilt in progress. ( Full view of the top in this previous post.)  I am hand quilting in a plaid design with rust thread. I wanted the quilting to be part of the design element of the quilt and I'm happy with how it looks. When each stitch is so visible I find it easier (and more important!) to concentrate on 'even and straight'. I hope to improve as I go AND I hope to be showing you the finished quilt soon!

32" x 37"

I also put together a little quilt top for an upcoming baby shower. I will baste and machine quilt this one as it needs to be done soon!
I found the pattern in Quilt Along with Emilie Richards. She writes the Shenandoah series of fiction with quilt related themes and has put out pattern books for the quilts in her novels. I adapted the border.

14.5" x 22"
Then one day I washed a little doll quilt I found on my travels. Sometimes I look for things to avoid doing real work!

c. 1900   Machine quilted

I decided I just had to have it clean. I knew the brown stains would be unlikely to be improved but it was filthy. I hand washed with Orvus soap, spun in the washer and then laid flat to dry outdoor with a light cotton dish towel over it. I put it in the dryer for 10 minutes on low to fluff it a bit after it was dry. Considering it was made about 100 years ago I think it turned out fine...risky but I did it.

Here's the back - a printed patchwork some call 'cheater' fabric but I learned at an AQSG seminar that 'printed patchwork' is a more descriptive and appropriate term..and I agree.

I am wrapping up my appraisal business and finishing up work from the Northfield and Mankato quilt shows in Minnesota. I hope to have MORE time to sew and share my passion for textiiles and quilts with you very soon.

Thanks for stopping by!