Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's getting close to Christmas so not much time for sewing these days.  I just wanted to share my bit of red and green gloriousness.  I am not certain about the name but did a little asking around and the consensus was Prairie Rose.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Antique quilts

I was looking forward to sharing more pictures of great museum quilts from another DAR session this week. But, Mother Nature decided to dump snow on the DC area and when that happens everything halts around here.  So, the museum was closed and I missed out on something I've been looking forward to more than Christmas.  Ah, well, I am sure it will be rescheduled.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a few of my own quilts.

Last winter, I bought quilts at an auction for the first time ever.  What fun! I knew I would have to be careful not to get swept up in the bidding excitement so I put a very firm limit on what I was willing to pay and things worked out well for me.  I got what I wanted and didn't break the bank.  The star quilt above is the reason I decided on giving it a shot at all.  I may have mentioned (two or three hundred times) that I love 8-pointed (aka Lemoyne/Lemon stars).  I've seen some really early examples in others' collections and I think this one may be one of the oldest in my own collection.

Here is a close-up of the soft pink toile border.  If you squint, you can see that the maker had to piece the border in the corner.  You can also get a look at the quilting which is pretty decent.  There are clamshells quilted in the border and some nice grid and outline quilting on the stars.  The alternate blocks have an unusual motif which wasn't captured here.

Above is a close-up of the stars so you can get a look at the fabrics.  They are different from what I see in my later quilts.

Speaking of fabrics, this is a chintz quilt from the same lot at the stars one above.  When I bid, it was for the stars in my mind but I knew there was another "chintz" as part of the deal.  I had no expectations so when I saw this one I was more than a little excited.  It's hard to get a good look at the fabrics in the two photos below but they are incredible.  Some, like the browns on the right in the upper photo and near the top in the second photo below, are nearly gone but most are just fine.  There is a blue and white toile in one of the nine-patches pictured that is a "bear baiting" toile.  That's what I was told, at least, by someone who knows toiles much better than I do.  These quilts came from New York and the backing on this chintz quilt has the stamp of the mill that made the fabric - Lowell Mills.  I hope to do a little research to see if I can find out more about the fabrics made at that mill.  There is not a lot of quilting in this one.

The feathered star quilt below is another quilt from the same sale.  All of these were part of a single family collection.  I am not sure if they were family quilts or just collected by the family but they were from New York.  It is rare that I know where my quilts are from so this is pleasing to me.  The feathered star is not well quilted - there is not a lot of it and the pattern looks rather hurried - but is all hand pieced and that was done well.  I like the way the browns were kind of clumped together and the colors (pinks, yellow, gold, blues) are more on the left and bottom.  I saw an Ohio star in the Nebraska Historical Society collection that had its colors arranged like this one.  When I saw this one it just charmed me into buying it.  Besides, hardly anyone else bid on it so it wasn't expensive.  Some of the browns look like they are about to give up but it is still in reasonable shape.  And, the fabrics are quite fun to look at.

So, I don't have the wonderful DAR quilts to show you but I enjoyed sharing some of my own favorites.  I hope you are able to enjoy them, too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Doing some sewing

It's finished!  My little "Cheri" quilt was hand quilted by Bellwether last year but was left unbound until last weekend. Having hand quilted quilts - no matter how small - hanging around in that unbound state makes one feel a little guilty.  And not in the guilty pleasure sort of way.  So, finally, I cleaned out the sewing machine area and bound all 50" or so of this little cutie.  I love this design Cheri provided for free and I copied shamelessly right down to her idea to sneak in some rogue colors.  That mistake in the center left?  Cheri did put a deliberate one in hers but mine was definitely not a deliberate error.  It's a legitimate goof-up.

I've mentioned it before that the way I get back on the sewing/quilting horse is to pull out my tiniest scraps and make one of these little - very little - quilts.  Again, this one was already finished but was just a top.  When cleaning out my sewing area for the other quilt's binding I unearthed some scraps of batting and backing so I put this guy together and quilted and bound it.  It took an NFL football game to finish.  I did lay out and sew another one and it's basted and ready for me to do more quilting.

Since I finished two entire "quilts" I decided it was new project time.  Cheri Payne's design style is so inspiring and she provides some free patterns on her blog from time to time (I also bought plenty of her patterns, too).  This little 4-patch was posted in June 2011.  Cheri did hers with a black background and scrappy 4-patches.  When I saw it I immediately thought "red and green!"  It's an easy quilt with easy directions but making those little 1-1/2" 4-patches is kind of time consuming.  But it's so fun to dig around in the scrap box and fabric stash.

I bought that green fabric when looking for greens that were not "poison green" at Little Quilts a couple of months ago.  Hmm, that pattern sure looked familiar.  It seems that when I find a good thing I keep going back for more.  I bought the blue when I wanted to do a blue and brown quilt for my son but it just wasn't right with the brown.  Then I saw a basket pattern by Linda Sawrey at Temecula and was thrilled I had many yards of that blue.  The brown was a trial run for my Lemoyne stars but didn't work for that.  It will, however, be going into another project.  The red is a lovely cherry red - not too orange - and the green, well that works so well in red and green quilts.  These are nice subtle but not boring prints and the colors are fantastic.  They are from the "Tavern" lines (Tavern Blues, Tavern Reds - get the picture?) by Paula Barnes for Marcus Fabrics.

That's it for now but I am still doing some sewing and should be back for more quilt chatter soon.

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