Friday, June 29, 2018

Sue Spargo Fresh Cut Block of the Month BOM

Finally, I can share this FAB-U-LOUS quilt with everyone.  This Block of the Month 2017 is now available in book form so I can share the photos of one that I quilted.

Lots of photos, click to enlarge.  Very few words are necessary.  ENJOY and savor the stitch work that KB did on this amazing treasure.  Few stitch as good as her.

KB worked on this all year, did not waver, and had it finished in time to take to a Sue Spargo retreat.  How terrific. 
Keep the quilting simple, dense and make sure to quilt over the seams.  Wool shifts and moves, and when that happens, you can get bumps or ridges along the seam lines. 

I did a small paisley motif in black thread over the whole background.

Minimal stitching on or around the blocks using monopoly thread.

OK I know that was a lot of photos, but how could I not share every single one with you. I got to see every stitch up close when I quilted it. I hope you enjoyed seeing this lovely jewel of hand crafted loveliness.

Keep stitching,

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Giving Vintage Tops and Blocks a New Life

While attending a weekly meeting that has nothing to do with quilting, I became acquainted with someone that had a tub of parts and pieces of textiles from her mother.  The tub had moved from coast to coast, from the US to Canada and it was time to clean up boxes in her storage space.  Once BG learned I was a quilter, we became better acquainted and she brought her bin of "stuff" over to my studio, where it sat for far too long.  I posted here a year ago.  After going through everything, blocks were sorted, organized, and sold off.  A DWR shown here was gifted along and this top below was turned into a quilt.

The crazy piecing was stitched and flipped on a foundation fabric, but then it was top stitched along to stitched edge.  This dark fabric had a metallic stripe woven through it and I'm going to guess it was a swatch sample as it was in five colorways.
An array of prints and fabric designs were used in this top.  BG questioned getting these tops put into quilts as she shared that her daughters had no interest in these textiles.  She herself did not stitch and quilts were not part of their family history.  I assured her once they were done, she would look at these differently.

A simple ribbon motif did the trick for quilting.  I really loved getting close up to so many fabrics from days gone by. Plaids mixed with stripes stitched to dots and florals.  It's all good!

I used a simple plain muslin for the backing and found a light purple print for the binding. 

Next up was a stack of Bow Tie blocks with names embroidered on them.  I did contact the company where all the makers worked, but didn't get very far with the HR person I spoke with.  There was a slight language barrier, and I just could not communicate to her what I had.  She kept repeating "quilts" and although I left my contact information, I have never heard back.  Oh well.  On to turning the blocks into a quilt top.  Only a few blocks needed to be embroidered and the hand writing was clear so that was a quick fix.  Then I had to find the largest measurement I could trim the blocks down to. 

After trimming, I had 51 blocks setting them 7 x 7 left 2 extra blocks.  I promised that every block would get used and BG's mom's block would be in the center.  That's the block with the yellow post-it note stuck to it.  I wanted a place to add some fancier machine quilting, so after piecing the center, I added wide borders using muslin.  The remaining two blocks were set in opposite corners.
Here I got to put a wavy feather all around the quilt border.

and here you can see the corner block that I set opposite each other.
Rissie Moore, the center attraction.  This is who the blocks were all made for.  She left her job back in the 50's and her co workers all signed and pieced a bow tie block for here.  Here we are in 2018 and the blocks are now stitched together, quilted and bound.

After getting everything finished, I returned the tub with one very small quilt, two larger quilts, and all the remaining blocks are now in the hands of other quilters who will now have the opportunity to give them a new life. 
As for these quilts, BG informed me that her daughters were arguing over which ones they would get.  One daughter wants all of them!  I told BG that what the kids didn't want was a box of "junk".  By turning the scraps into quilts changed the dynamics of these family treasures.  I've been thrilled to be part of saving this history.

If you have unquilted tops, take some time to go through them and make a plan to get them quilted.  Many of us have tops that we don't want to spend the money on the quilting, or don't think they are worthy of finishing.  If that's the case, pass them along.  Someone would like to quilt them and turn them into a quilt that just might be treasured! (or donated) Quilt tops, not so much.  They just don't have the same status as a finished quilt.

What are you going to finish in 2018?  I just loaded up a vintage top.  I've had it so long I can't even remember where or who I purchased it from.  I just know it needs to be quilted.

Keep stitching,

Monday, June 18, 2018

Canadian Quilters Association 2018

The Canadian Quilters Association put on their 30th Annual National Juried Show in Vancouver, BC May 31-June 2 It was held at Canada Place which is at the waterfront. The cruise ships dock here as well. There were 151 quilts juried into this show, as well as a traveling exhibit from a past Quilt Con and the Vancouver Quilt Guild also had a special exhibit.

I didn't take many photos as the show put out the most amazing catalog with a write up on every quilt. My niece came to the city and we took in this show together.  She had never been to a quilt show but has shown an interest in learning how to quilt.  I've already bought her a machine, and after the show, I pulled together a starter package for her.  It's all solids.  She loved anything that had curved piecing, used solid fabrics and was drawn to the Sashiko & Boro style of work when we wandered the vendor aisles.  I hope you enjoy the few photos I have to share.

This piece was faced, and I was so surprised my niece noticed that immediately.

Some amazing applique in this piece.  What a spectacular pictorial. This piece is 68 x 42 and I only have a partial shot of it.

There were a few of these large paper pieced quilts and the machine quilting was outstanding.

This Jinny Beyer pattern was striking and the machine quilting was outstanding. 

Yes, there were traditional patterns and this one was delightful.  Lots of piecing and it was great to get close up to this piece.

These next few pictures are from the Quilt Con traveling special exhibit.  This one drew me in, and once I looked at the info tag, it all became clear.  It's Tara Faughman work and I am a bit of a stalker on her IG account.  Her work intrigues me.  She uses simple shapes, but her color and value skills are of a very high level.  Simply turning a block here and there adds so much interest to her work.  This piece has been hand quilted with a metallic thread.

Wow, I loved this!

I hope you enjoyed a small sampling of what I shared.  This show was one where I put my camera away and looked with my eyes.  Sometimes I get so consumed with taking so many photos that I don't "see" the actual quilts.  Since the catalog was so amazing, and only $5, I enjoyed the show with my niece.  It was magical to see the talent of quilters draw her in and capture her imagination.

Keep stitching,

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Embroidery Kit Quilt

My customer KB emailed me saying a quilt was on it's way, and it was embroidered roses. I had no idea what that meant and was so surprised to see this beauty come out of the box. I've quilted a Sue Spargo for her recently, so my mind was going towards heavy thread roses, bright colors, maybe some wool. This top was given to her many years ago, and now that retirement has arrived, KB is getting time to clean out her sewing area. I'm pretty sure I don't have something like this hidden away.
Hobbs Wool was used and a slightly off white thread. The goal was to tone down the "pinkness" of the quilt. It has been hand embroidered and I would guess that there were two stitchers. Some blocks have a slightly different thread weight/color.

The single feather wreath set so nicely in these blocks and a background fill of swirls and leaves completed this piece.

An old top gets a new life, I like it! The lesson here is Get Your Tops Quilted.

So go through your pile of tops, and it you truly do not want to send some out, or do them yourself, donate them now. There are so many organizations that would love to turn your unwanted top into a quilt and put it to good use!

Keep stitching,