Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Crafts

Last spring I had the pleasure of watching a fantastic concert as part of PBS fundraising.  It was the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables filmed in October 2010.  The tenor singing the role of Jean Valjean blew me away and I had to find out who he was.  Little did I know that it would change my life.  As I searched online for more information I joined his official website and have made friends from England and the US, one of which is a quilter so I will get to making this about quilting.  But first, Alfie Boe has an amazing voice, an amazing story and is a wonderful person. Just Google his name if you want to learn more and there are lots of videos on youtube but here's a link to one with images of the concert including Alfie singing the signature song, Bring Him Home:

The quilter I met is Nancy H. who is from Arizona.  Nancy went to London last September to see Mr. Boe perform the role of Jean Valjean in the stage production of Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre and I was there in October to celebrate my XXth (BIG) birthday seeing Alfie in Les Mis.  After months of online correspondence, Nancy recently came to visit and she brought me a lovely gift that she had made.

These buttons are all hand stitched to the red fabric and then set in the frame with the handsome bow.  Needless to say, I was quite surprised and pleased to have received this lovely gift.

So, in return, I have sent to Nancy this Snowman Door Hanger I made for her.

And while she was here visiting, we thought it appropriate that we should have Afternoon Tea to celebrate our trips to England and our new found friendship -- all because of a certain English Tenor. 
Nancy and Bobbi at Afternoon Tea
By the way, we both, separately, made quilts for Alfie for his birthday, but perhaps that's for another day's blog.

I hope all of your craft projects are finished and you are as happy to give and receive them as I am.
Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sierra Quilt Guild of Tuolumne County

On Monday, November 14, I had a great time in the Sierra foothills at the Sierra Quilt Guild of Tuolumne County in Sonora.  It was a beautiful autumn day and I got out before the first snow of the year a few days later!  We had a great workshop and I wanted to share the photos of the blocks made in the class.  As usual a great variety of fabrics were used and besides the two block patterns I offer for the workshop, one person used another pattern from the book with Civil War reproduction fabrics. The lecture in the evening introduced the historic tile quilts and I was rewarded with a copy of the Guild's cookbook.  I'm anxious to try some of the recipes!  

These blocks will be great when stitched and the "grout" (background fabric) is revealed between the "tiles".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tile Quilt Classes

I lectured and taught a workshop at my local guild the end of last month, the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Assn.  We had a great workshop and I wanted to post some pictures of the blocks in progress.
But first, at the Show and Tell portion of the meeting, Mel B. showed the Tile Quilt block she had made from a Starry Orange Peel pattern at a previous workshop at the local quilt shop.  When she finished her block she used it to make a great tote bag.  Here is a picture of the bag with a copy of Tile Quilt Revival conveniently tucked inside.  Mel was new to hand work but she persevered and finished the block by hand.  Thanks, Mel, you did a fantastic job.

And now for some of the photos from the SVCQA workshop.  Most of these photos were taken after the fabric selections were made but before the actual stitching was started to create the grout lines so you have to imagine the lines of background fabric showing between the pieces!  Thanks to you all.  You did a great job and you were so much fun to work with!

This block is an original design.

Carol and I have always said that the tile quilt technique invites interpretation in a great variety of fabrics and these blocks certainly illustrate that with the wonderful choices these students have made.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lotus Quilts

Earlier this year Carol and I learned of a group in Florida (with one member in Michigan!) who were making versions of Lotus, the quilt on the cover of Tile Quilt Revival.  Carol mentioned it on her blog at the time.  We now have pictures of each of the finished quilts.  They are wonderfully different and we are so pleased to see the many ways this quilt can be interpreted.  And so pleased that Tile Quilts continue to inspire others.  You can also find a photo of the group with their quilts on Carol's blog  and below are photos of the individual quilts.




 Marie from Michigan

Last but not least, Margaret, the organizer.

Three cheers for the Orlando/Michigan Lotus quilts.  Thanks for sharing your wonderful quilts.

Margaret has a website and a blog.  Here's a link to the blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eagle Quilts

Eagle quilts were a popular genre in the early 1800s - no doubt in celebration of our new country and its emblem.  I was attracted to quilts with eagles and my opportunity to make one came in 2006 when the topic for the Biennial Quilt Study of the American Quilt Study Group was "Pre-1840s Bed Coverings".   The format for the AQSG Quilt Studies is to choose an antique quilt in the topic category and study the antique quilt by making your own interpretation.  The interpretation could be an exact replica or simply "inspired by" the original.  A size restriction is imposed in order to facilitate displaying the quilts at Seminar so the interpretation could be a part of the original or simply scaled down.

The quilt I chose to interpret was made by Anna Catherine Hummel Markey Garnhart (1773 - 1860) of Frederick, Maryland.  From 1815 to 1830, Anna Garnhart made 11 quilts for each of her grandchildren.  At least nine of these quilts survive.  All feature extensive use of reverse applique and sumptuous fabrics.  At least four and possibly seven of the quilts feature a central eagle of her own design, possibly inspired by the eagle printed on an imported china pitcher she owned.  The other quilts feature flower baskets in the broderie perse style of applique.  The quilt I chose has both and eagle and a flower basket.

Anna's quilt can be seen at the Quilt Index website:  Search for Anna Garnhart.

I chose to interpret only the center medallion of the DAR quilt.  Being faithful to Anna, I used reverse applique for the eagle and stars.  I was half-way through the leaf border surrounding the medallion using regular needle-turn applique when I realized that Anna had probably used reverse applique for her quilt. My quilt is 40'' x 32'' and I call it "Remembering Anna Garnhart."

Remembering Anna Garnhart
One thing should be noted.  I worked from two  photographs of the quilt.published in two different DAR sources.  After the quilt was completed, I discovered another photo and found that the eagle was facing in the opposite direction of my quilt and the photographs I had used! Yikes!  I contacted Alden O'Brien, Curator at the DAR, and she confirmed that in Anna's quilt the eagle is indeed facing in the opposite direction of mine!

Last year, Sue Wildemuth of Illinois contacted me with the news that she was working on an interesting project called "Eagle Motif Wallhanging Decade by Decade".  She wanted to collect a wallhanging inspired by an eagle quilt from every decade through 2010 and asked if I would like to take part.  The quilt was to be no larger than 24'' x 24''.  I loved the idea and the 1820s decade was not taken yet so Anna's quilt was the perfect inspiration.  I loved making it again with a few changes to accommodate the size. This quilt is called Anna's Eagle.  And it gave me the opportunity to place the eagle facing in the right direction this time!

Here is Sue's blog:

Anna's Eagle

And, recently I found that I could have saved a lot of time and energy because Wyndham fabrics has produced a fabric line inspired from the DAR collection which included a panel of Anna's quilt.

Printed panel of Anna's quilt

Looks like Wyndham got the eagle facing the wrong way too!