Thursday, April 17, 2014

Building Houses, Building Friendships!

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Love these girls!  How fun they are to be around!

We joked and laughed and encouraged and arm twisted – they came to me right off and said that they wanted some help in NOT being so matchy matchy…and every time I made a suggestion it was….”I don’t know if I can do that!  You want me to put what where?!?”

Hahahaha!  But by the end of the day they HAD pushed their boundaries and the houses were so much more interesting because of the fun mix of fabrics they were finally allowing themselves to put next to each other.

Sometimes it is baby steps when it comes to letting go and letting the scraps play where they might class a bit more loudly than you are used to, but it makes for a much more fun quilt to work on, and the blocks never get boring this way!  Go for the unpredictable!

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Neighborhoods growing as houses are erected one by one!

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Once we get them “On the tilt”  They get really fun!

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Happy Houses, Indeed!

I’ve uploaded all the other photos into a slide show for your viewing pleasure!

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device. You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

Happy Scrappy Houses, Carrollton, KY 2014

After class was done, and the van was loaded --I did what I'd been wanting to do since Monday --It was only 4pm and I had an hour to head downtown and check out that antique shop that was closed on Monday when I had walked by.

And I found THIS:

Vintage Iron Love!

This is a twin to the same universal iron I already have, but this one is like brand new, never been used, in its own original carrying case which says "travel iron and sewing kit."  SEE the goodies in the lid??  It also has the original box!  I'm
tickled to find it!

I'm on my way home this morning -- who knows what goodies I'll find along mjy route -- it's going to be a long day.  It's a 9 hour drive.  The MP3 player is loaded with audio books and I'm hitting the road...

Catch you from home!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sharing the Oldies #2

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What thrills you about antique quilt finds?

I’ll tell you what thrills me ----


((Of course!))

But mostly, the humble fabrics that were used to make them.

Quilts used to come out of ordindary every day scraps, the bottom of the bag, the less usable pieces that were too small for making clothing, or the cuts left after making clothing, or sometimes the salvageable parts of clothing after they had lived their lives as wearable articles.

We often look at old quilts and find places where two smaller pieces of the same fabric have been seamed together to make a piece big enough to cut out a patch the size and shape needed for the quilt block ---sometimes those seams were indeed, already there ---and templates were just placed over the seams in clothing and patches were cut – with the seam wherever it already was.

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This is a lovely Album quilt owned by Terri Ayers!

This is another one of those quilts “sold on the cheap” to her by a couple of young uppities who didn’t want “old stuff” and didn’t know the value of what they had.  Were they selling off Great Grannie’s quilts?  ((Check out the quilt I shared last night HERE!))

I love the almost patriotic appearance of this quilt – but there are some other “non flag” colored fabrics going on in these sweet blocks too….check it out:

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Some brown and some double pink!

Love those shirtings and backgrounds!

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This fabric is a surprise!

There are a lot of more masculine prints in this quilt, plaids and indigoes and stripes especially, but this dress print…can you SEE this as a dress?

I was thinking at first that this was a quilt from around 1900, hut this dress fabric might be from just a bit earlier --

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One purple gingham in the center!

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More purple gingham in the center, but framed by a lavender stripe around the outside edge of the block.  The pastel purples make me think around 1920 for them --this quilt came from a deep scrap stash!

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Some dress print, some indigo – and LOVE those huge polka dots!

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If it’s blue, it goes here!

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Or here too!

I really wish these old quilts could talk and tell their story.  This one was quilted by the piece in each block, and on the diagonal in one direction in the alternate red setting blocks.

I love the connection to quilters past and the time honored recognizable blocks they made –each changing them and making them in their own way to suit their own personalities.  I imagine them working on their blocks, laying them out carefully, pulling fabrics they thought would work here or there, that feeling of finishing the top…of stretching the top, backing and batting in the frame, those first quilting stitches taken, that moment of completion, of sewing down the binding – and finally, finally, spreading the quilt over a comfy bed and snuggling in for a long night next to someone she loved dearly.

Yes, antique quilts are all that and more to me ---and I just can’t get enough of them!

The Sewing Expo has come to a close.  I had such a great time with everyone – I’m staying the night because it is too late to start a 9 hour journey home this evening – so I’ll get a good night’s sleep and hit the road in the morning.

Tonight?  I sew!

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iPhone-o-Gram! Houses Under Construction!

Lunch break at the Sew Expo in Carrollton, Kentucky –

Boy, is this day flying fast –

We started out our master building class by stockpiling rows of chimney sections – the chimney section is the trickiest of all –if  seams are too big, the chimney section will not measure correctly and will not fit the rest of the block – it seems are too narrow – the chimney section will be too long – and our chimneys will be hanging off the edge of our roof!

Once we got the chimneys built to their specific measurements – we were able to go onto the rest of the houses with reckless abandon –

Whole neighborhoods are now appearing!

Wait until you see all of the fun houses that are coming out of this class –

Much love from Kentucky,

Hidden Spools at Sew Expo!

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What makes a dreary cold day in April brighter?  MORE FABRIC!  HAPPY FABRIC!

Fabric and colors can impact my mood ---and even though we grumbled about waking up to snow outside – ((Yes, this is what I saw all over poor Shamu when I went to drive to the Conference center from the lodge ---UGH!!!)) we knew we were going to get to spend the whole day playing with our fabric, petting it, sewing it, pressing it, UNSTITCHING it, and even swapping it with others for more variety in some cases.

And we got SO MUCH sewing done ----you gotta check this out:

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Oooh, pretty!  No cold in here!

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Irons keep us nice and toasty warm too!

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Measuring twice, and cutting ONCE!

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And once again, until blocks appear from strip sets!

And blocks turn into THIS:

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And even the silliness of this:

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And some zealous quilter blows us away with this:

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We are in awe!!  Isn't this going to be great?

You'll find the free pattern for Hidden Spools under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog.  Is there a Hidden Spools in your near future?

Check out the slide show for more of our class photos. You’ll even see some shots of videography going on – we were being taped for promos for next year’s event sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the Extension Service.  COOL!

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

Hidden Spools, Carrollton, KY 2014

Today we will be building Happy Scrappy Houses All Day Long!

It's my last day in Kentucky, tomorrow I am headed all the way home...

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Date This One, Siobhan!

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While at Mountain Creek Quilts in Greenback, TN the other day ----we had the privilege of seeting some really extraordinary vintage quilts.

The story goes that these young and uppity folks came in, wanted to sell grandma’s quilts because they had “no need for old stuff” and offered them to Terri at a very low price.  Terri of course is no fool, and snatched them up….

Now looking at this quilt… ((OH MY!! GEESE OVERLOAD!!))  Where would you date this?

Check out the quilting – the very thin batting, the scale of the piecing and the colors…the solid burgundy on muslin…..

Any Ideas?

I left my friend Siobhan’s name in the title hoping it draws her in because I think she will get a kick out of this one….and I want to know if *I* am wrong!

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Is it 1800s or even early 1900s?

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The piecing and the blocks are incredible!  Look at the asymmetrical setting!

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The scale of the piecing!

Any ideas? What are you thinking?  Are you ready for this? Come closer ---

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Can you see now?  No? I think you need to come CLOSER still:

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Can you see now??

These look to me like late 1960s and early 1970s calicoes!  And the piecing and the hand quilting is exquisite!

And that is MY guess, but I need to know yours.  It is definitely NOT an 1800s quilt  even though the style of it is…..It’s later than the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s…these prints were just not available then.  But I KNOW I saw several prints I wore as  a child, being born in 1962 ---I had a Holly Hobby dress and matching doll in some of these fabrics – are you blown away?

I know I am!

So, Siobhan – what do YOU think??

I’m just on a short break before heading over to the conference center for our banquet tonight, and my presentation afterwards.  It’s been a fun full day – and I’ll be ready for my pillow tonight.

Still in Kentucky ---

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iPhone-o-Gram! Hidden-Spools-a-Thon!

Close to 50 quilters have gathered for today's Hidden Spools class in Carrollton Kentucky at the sew expo!

Hidden Spools is a hidden gem of a quilt, using all those 2" strips!  Check the free patterns tab for the directions. 

We've even got a mascot with us today--this is Molly, an 11 month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Just check out that sweet face!

We will be sewing until 4pm and then breaking until 6pm when we will gather for our banquet and my trunk show tonight---

Love from Kentucky--

Showin’ & Sharin’ in Loudon, TN!

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There were some really great quilts to share during our workshops and lecture in Loudon, TN with the Village Quitlers!

I was especially tickled to see Vicky’s Mai Tai’s in Paradise from a cruise we did with Sew Many Places almost a couple of years ago now…..Didn’t this turn out fabulous?  This pattern also appeared in a past issue of Quiltmaker Magazine, and is slated for a future book project so stay tuned!  I LOVE her red border!

Speaking of Sew Many Places – Along with our England Tour in August, we have another AWESOME cruise happening November 2-9, 2014. 

You can even extend your tour and start a bit earlier, taking in the International Quilt Festival in Houston the few days before the cruise leaves out of Galvaston!

It’s a Quilt-a-Palooza! 

We've got ports of call in Roatan, Honduras- Belize City, Belize- and Cozumel, Mexico as well as 3 days at sea full of quilting classes.

Click HERE for more info on the cruise, and check out our itinerary.  You’ll be cruising with me, Mickey Depre, Kim Diehl, and Pam Holland ---and we promise to show you a quilty-good time!  You can also click the Caribbean Cruise 2014 tab at the top of the blog, it will also take you to the info.

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Cathie’s Easy Street from More Adventures with Leaders & Enders!

I absolutely love the colors she has chosen!  She enlarged the quilt by adding an extra triangle border in between her inner and outer borders..isn’t it grand?

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Can you tell Cathy is a pink girl?
This is her Four Patch & Furrows from the Free Patterns tab!  All of those scraps found a great place to land in this beauty.

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Cathy’s hexie in progress! WOW!

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Check out how tiny!

Cathy is using the hexi stamps from my friend Cindy Blackberg, and just sewing on the line –check this out:

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See the stamped lines?  Easy to sew on!

Click HERE for info on Cindy’s stamps.  This mini is the 7/8” X 1” (Or 1/2” per side) stamp.  Because these hexies are so small, the seam allowance is smaller as most are with miniatures.  This helps with bulk.

So here we are – the first morning of Sew Expo, and temps have dropped incredibly.  Sunday evening on my walk it was 79 degrees.  It had reached the low 80s in the afternoon when I considered it “too hot” to want to go walking just yet!  This morning?  It’s 34.  I kid you not.  There is snowy rain in the forecast.  Good thing we will be inside sewing all day --- I had a good night’s sleep and I’m ready to tackle this day!

It’s time for 2” strips to fly ---Let’s go make some Hidden Spools quilts!

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