Monday, September 23, 2013

Another Quilting Road Trip

Last Thursday my quilting friends and I went to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XX Show in Phoenixville, PA. It took us exactly 2 hours to drive there and 5 hours to walk the show where there were over 600 quilts and 200 vendors. There was so much to see we were all in overload by the end of the day. I'm definitely attracted to quilts that look "old" or have that "folk art" appeal and photographed my favorites. But there's one contemporary quilt that also caught my eye plus my pick for Viewer's Choice.

Away From Home was hand appliqued and machine pieced by Sandra Davis of Lexington, VA, and machine quilted by Carolyn Campbell of Walkers Creek Quilts. Sandra's inspiration came from Nancy Rink's book Away From Home: Quilts Inspired by the Story of the Mill Girls about women working in the textile mills in Lowell, MA.

The fabric is from The Mill Girls 1830-1850 collection by Judie Rothermel of Marcus Fabrics.This quilt measures 101" x 101"!

Grandmother's Farmhouse Garden was made by Sandra Griffith of Reading, PA, and won a blue ribbon for Best Hand Workmanship in the Wall Quilt category. Sandra's inspiration came from an 1880s antique quilt that was reproduced by Gail Kessler in 2011. 

It is 31" x 31" and has over 1,000 fussy-cut 1/4" hexagons. Wow!

Marlene Shea's original design, Homecoming, is absolutely charming.  

The people in the windows are photo transfers representing the original families who lived in the houses. 

And check out the clever use of toile fabric under the willow trees. 

Great Aunt Minnie's Garden by Nancy Losee of Williamsburg, VA, was inspired by her reminiscence of her great aunt's garden surrounded by giant sunflowers and bean vines.

Feathered Star blocks are set with small Ohio Stars in the corners.The quilt was machine quilted by Sylvia Thompson.  

Pennsylvania Hearts and Hands by Kelly Cunningham of Stevensville, MD, is a reproduction of a quilt owned by the York County Heritage Trust in York, PA.

Kelly is a "longarmer" who created the patterns and stitched them on her longarm machine both freehand and using patterns she digitized herself.

And here is Eloise Joins the Circus by Janet Fogg of Milwaukie, OR. Eloise is an imaginary elephant who "joins the Circus of Paris and parades the streets wearing an organza ruffle and the Eiffel Tower atop her head bringing excitement to all she meets."  The hand-dyed fabrics are by Jeanette Viviano. 

BEST IN SHOW and my pick for Viewer's Choice was Creation Springs Forth by Betty Ekern Suiter of Racine, WI. This original-design quilt has it all--hand applique, hand quilting, and hand-dyed fabrics by the quilter in 35 colors.

It measures 80" x 80" and "took 3,000 yards of thread for the quilting and a total of 3,630 hours to complete. . ."

I thought the checkerboard quilting design along the outer edges was really interesting.    

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I've Got The Blues

For more than 30 years I've been holding onto a well-loved Double X quilt that I purchased for $2.00 at a garage sale thinking I'd like to reproduce it some day. Well, that thought finally came to fruition this year but not in the form of a reproduction quilt. I was inspired to make three different projects: a Double X wallhanging, a Mini Flying Geese doll quilt and a notebook cover.  


This is the Double X quilt (actually one of six) that I purchased in 1975. Back then I washed the quilt in the washing machine, threw it in the dryer and then put it on my son's bed where our St. Bernard chewed two holes in it.

And these are my three new projects that were inspired by that quilt.

I've been collecting blue fabrics for the past five years or so. 

Here is a detail of the blues in the old quilt--stripes and solids. 

And here are my blue prints. I started making 6" Double X blocks with a goal of making a total of nine for a small wall hanging. 

I expanded the block layout to include Flying Geese borders and then hand quilted it all. I decided to call it Flow Blue.

I refused to buy fabric for the back so used this print from my stash. 

At first I made these Flying Geese units thinking they would be the right size for the borders on the wall hanging but they were way too small so I made a doll quilt instead. I already had the blue striped fabric and the dark black/blue print but, boy!, I really ended up fussing over this small piece. I first sewed it together without the dark strip on the far right. Never even noticed that it was missing. So ripped it all apart and added the strip. Then I thought it would be a good piece to practice machine quilting but I wasn't comfortable doing that so ended up hand quilting it. It is the first time that I ever applied a 1/4" binding. The piece measures 14-1/2" x 15-1/2."

Here is the back.

I still had some large leftover geese from Flow Blue and decided to make a composition notebook cover. I first saw these on Barb Vedder's, Fun With Barb blog where she provided the link to a tutorial on how to make them.  

This is the back.

Here's a graph paper notebook I put on the inside. I use it for sketching block designs.

The inside front cover . . . 

And the inside back cover.

It was definitely a fun project. I'd like to make a few more but will need to re-think the layouts making sure there are no seams in places where they shouldn't be like at the front and back fold-overs or at the top and bottom edges of the notebook.

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer