Scrap Bag: Oakland quilts, patchwork on the red carpet, vintage sewing machine display, and more

Folks here in the U.S. have been all about rivalries this week — Denver v. Carolina, Clinton v. Sanders,  Trump v. seemingly everyone — but we have our priorities straight, don’t we? It’s all about the quilting! Now that we’re agreed, let’s dive into this week’s scrap bag.

020516 Scrap Bag: Oakland quilts, patchwork on the red carpet, vintage sewing machine display, and more

 

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum has chosen a late-19th-century Scherenschnitte Applique Quilt from Pennsylvania as their February 2016 Quilt of the Month. Go to their website to learn why it’s possible this quilt was made by Mennonites and almost certainly not made by the Amish.
www.quiltstudy.org

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The New York Times recently published a very nice article with photos about the “Neighborhoods Coming Together: Quilts Around Oakland” exhibit produced by the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland and the quilters themselves. “About six months ago, Ms. Coleman and her guild sisters came up with an elaborate idea: designing narrative quilts that would convey in cloth the personality, history and social complexity of their home ground.”
www.nytimes.com

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Very often, patchwork-inspired couture can take a wrong turn, but actress Alicia Vikander has been getting nothing but accolades from fashion bloggers such as Tom & Lorenzo and many others for the sequined Louis Vuitton gown she wore to the Screen Actors Guild Awards last weekend. What do you think, hit or miss?
tomandlorenzo.com

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Mongoloian 800 Scrap Bag: Oakland quilts, patchwork on the red carpet, vintage sewing machine display, and more

Magnificent Horse, 37″ x 47″, 2014, by Byambalaa Lhagvansuren

QN readers may remember a feature article in our April/May 2015 issue about quilting in Mongolia. Nancy Zieman interviewed Maggie Ball, the American quilter who has worked closely with the Mongolian quilters, in a “Nancy’s Corner” segment in which Maggie gave an update on how things have been going. You can view the video for free on the WPT website.
wpt.org/SewingWithNancy/

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If you like vintage sewing machines, check out this recent Accuquilt blog post about the  AllSaints window display in New York City.
www.accuquilt.com

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Design blog Lonny published an interview with Seattle-based quilt designer Season Evans entitled “Quilts Are Getting a Seriously Cool Makeover.”
www.lonny.com

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Another article that was in our April/May 2015 issue was one on modern artist and textile designer Sonia Delaunay that I had the pleasure of writing. Even though she only made one quilt in her lifetime, I thought she was someone whose influence was far broader than most of us realize and was worth talking about from a quilter’s perspective.

Well, I just learned about another too-often overlooked female artist of the modern era, Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Particularly in light of the Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon coming up this month, Taeuber-Arp’s abstract work of the 1930s to 1940s is full of design inspiration for quilters of many styles.
www.google.com/culturalinstitute

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From Huffington Post blogger Kyrié Sue Carpenter come a profile of improvisational art quilter Heidi Parkes entitled “Leave Perfection to Those with Little Imagination.”
www.huffingtonpost.com

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And for those of us with more than a few UFOs, WIPs and quilt ideas we’ve put on the back burner, here is an essay about how your imagining your future projects is holding you back. What better incentive do you need to skip The Big Game on Sunday and just get to work?
jessicaabel.com

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QNFM16 Cover 500 221x300 Scrap Bag: Oakland quilts, patchwork on the red carpet, vintage sewing machine display, and moreDon’t forget, our February/March 2016 issue is now on sale, and it’s full of great stuff. Get yours today at your local quilt shop, on newsstands, in bookstores and online!

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+,  Pinterest,  Instagram,  YouTube,   QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see  Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on  Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

 

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So Many Books Part 16!

A fortune cookie I ate last week told me that I was soon going to travel to a distant land, and while I don’t believe much in the veracity of fortune cookie fortunes, I have been thinking about travel lately, whether virtual or otherwise. That was amplified when a blog prize giveaway winner this past week added “sorry it’s Canadian” after her address, and I was thinking that shipping to Canada is easy. In fact, shipping almost anywhere in the world is fairly easy (foreign counties just require a little more paperwork than domestic), and while most of our blog prize winners come from the United States and Canada, we’ve also had winners from (in no particular order) the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Israel, Brazil, South Africa, France, New Zealand, and Germany, and subscribers writing to us from all of the above countries, other places in Europe, South Korea, Japan, and all over the world. It’s nice to know that our mutual quilting hobby shares connections in corners of the world we may never get to visit in person. If you don’t see your country on the list, that’s all the more encouragement to enter. Since our winners are picked by random number generator (matching the number picked by the generator to the number of the comment left on that week’s post), it’s just as likely for someone to win who comes from right next door to our Golden, CO office as someone who comes from thousands of miles or kilometers away. And speaking of winning, would you like to win some quilting books? We have two sets of two identical quilting book prizes waiting to be shipped somewhere interesting this week:

Part 16 Prize 1 2 So Many Books Part 16!Prize 1 and Prize 2 both include Scrap Basket Beauties: Quilting with Scraps, Strips, and Jelly Rolls by Kim Bracket for That Patchwork Place; Scrappy Fat Quarter Quilts Favorite Projects from Fons & Porter; Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe for That Patchwork Place; and More Adventures with Leaders and Enders by Bonnie K Hunter for Kansas City Star Quilts.

Part 16 Prize 3 4 So Many Books Part 16!Prize 3 and Prize 4 both include Table Toppers: Quilted Projects from Fons & Porter; Imagine Quilts: 11 Patterns from Everyday Inspirations by Dana Bolyard for That Patchwork Place; Modern Basics II: 14 Easy Patchwork Quilt Patterns by Amy Ellis for That Patchwork Place; and Sew a Modern Home: Quilts and More for Every Room by Melissa Lunden for That Patchwork Place.

To enter for your chance to win one of the three sets of books, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday February 7, 2016 telling us about the most interesting place you’ve encountered something quilt or quilting related. If you have a preference between the prizes, let us know that in your comment as well. Since winners are randomly selected, we don’t guarantee you’ll win your preferred prize if chosen, but we’ll do our best! Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , | 170 Comments

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

101 3961 Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Snowtime

This is the view at the office this morning. It’s a really gray day. Our office is nestled right up against the foothills but you can just barely see them on the left side of the photo. Snow is falling but the snowflakes are tiny. The forecast is for a lot of the white stuff later today and tonight. I like it when it snows if I am home. I don’t like to be out driving in it but when I am home, it’s a perfect day for sewing. I open the blinds so I can watch the snow and get as much natural light as I can.

So what will I be sewing when I get home? I’m nearly done with the 1930s reproduction fabric quilt top I talked about in my blog post last week. I’ve made the blocks for the outside row, and I’m still using fabric from my stash so the half-square triangles are varied. I don’t think I have more than two of any one fabric.

top Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

I’ve made a little progress since last week.

I haven’t figured out yet what I am going to put in between the blocks. I have enough fabric that I could make blocks but in order to have square blocks on the sides, I’d need to add about a 4” border and I don’t know that I have any suitable yardage. And the top and bottom need four blocks to fit the space. I don’t have any more of the “embroidered” fabric to make more blocks so I need to figure out something in addition to a block. I’ll add a block on either side of the “embroidered” center block and then do something to fill the remaining spaces. Do any of you have an idea for those spaces between my blocks?

I can tell I’m going to have to spend some time playing on my design wall and looking for ideas for blocks as well as fillers for those ½-block spaces. One of the resources we have at the office is a book called The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.  I’m going to spend some time tonight looking through it for ideas. I like this book. It has 99 blocks with templates provided and rotary cutting instructions when possible. It’s available in hard copy or digitally. (The hard copy is even on sale right now.) Check it out at QuiltandSewShop.com.

Meanwhile, this project prompted my helpful hint this week, which is: take photos of things on your design wall. When you look at the photo, because you can see the whole quilt at once, somehow it’s easier to see things that are problematic. For example, I didn’t notice until I was looking at the photo of this quilt that the two blocks on the left side both have that same lavender fabric. Since it is one of the brighter fabrics, I need to move one of those blocks.

I’m hoping that I’ll have the top finished tomorrow evening. Then I can begin working again on the pieced back that my granddaughter is designing. When I get the top off of the design wall, she’ll have more room to work and we’ll get to move on with her sewing project.

Remember, to find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,  Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Scrap Bag: tropical shop hop, 88-year-old quilter, quilting games, and more

Happy Friday! Let’s just dig into this scrap bag of quilt tidbits, with a few other links for general artistic inspiration thrown in for variety.

scraps2 Scrap Bag: tropical shop hop, 88 year old quilter, quilting games, and more

The 8th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop — as in the Big Island of Hawaii — is taking place February 1-29, featuring six different shops between Kona to Hilo. I’ve never done a shop hop before and I really think I need to get one under my belt to be a well-rounded quilter, don’t you agree? Anyone want to join me?
www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii

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Wanda Long of Franklin, Indiana, is the quilter all of us want to be when we grow up. At 88 years old, Wanda is happy to live alone, surrounded by her many quilts and getting out of the house often to volunteer at the food pantry. “My theory is everyone should have a hobby,” she says, “because one of these days you’re not going to be working and you need something to occupy your time.” Watch the video at the link below for your moment of quilting zen.
www.thisisamerica.community

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Coloring books — everyone’s doing them, or so it seems. The Smithsonian is contributing to the recent craze for adult coloring books by making available a free downloadable coloring booklet featuring items in their collection, available as a pdf, as part of the #ColorOurCollections social media campaign. In addition to coloring, I can see a few illustrations that would offer great inspiration for quilting motifs and embroidery designs.
library.si.edu

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MJ’s Designs, a quilt shop in Angelina County, Texas, sustained a great deal of damage earlier this week when a truck plowed into the side of the building and then sped away. The local news station’s coverage reports the shop’s embroidery machines that were destroyed were worth more than $20,000, but I’m sure I see at least one longarm machine in the video, which makes more sense. Here’s hoping they catch whoever was behind the wheel of that truck.
www.kxxv.com

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Do you like to play games, either traditional board games or digital ones via apps? You may be interested in Patchwork, a 2-player game designed by Uwe Rosenberg. The board game is available now, and the app for mobile devices is set to be released in late February. Learning to make an actual quilt probably took me less time than I think it would take me to get the rules of this game straight (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating), but for games and quilt fans, this could be right up your alley.
www.pockettactics.com

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I love whole-cloth quilts. Love love love them. Which is why I enjoyed this blog post, “Who Made the Wholecloth?” from the Bowes Musuem in County Durham, England, about the stories behind traditional quilts made by the Rural Industries Bureau and the Northern Industries Workrooms from the late 1920s through the early years of World War II. And while you’re there, click on “The Bowes Museum’s Blog” link in the upper left corner of the page to scroll through all of their recent posts, including a handful on quilts.
thebowesmuseum.wordpress.com

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This story about 19th-century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron has nothing to do with quilting, but it has everything to do with creative vision versus technical excellence, and how sometimes the “mistakes make the art.” As a pioneer in the brand-new field of photography and one of the only women, Cameron seems to have deliberately made “messy” photographs that were derided by peers and critics at the time, but that are now seen as communicating an emotional resonance and groundbreaking artistic beauty.
www.bbc.com/culture

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QNFM16 Cover 500 221x300 Scrap Bag: tropical shop hop, 88 year old quilter, quilting games, and moreDon’t forget, our February/March 2016 is now on sale, and it’s full of great stuff. Get yours today at your local quilt shop, on newsstands, in bookstores and online!

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+,  Pinterest,  Instagram,  YouTube,   QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see  Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on  Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Highland

Quilted tigers, maps, appliques, landscapes, lotuses, wool felt, portraits, and much more are featured in Quilters Newsletter February/March 2016. QNFM16 Cover 500 221x300 Highland This latest issue officially went on sale yesterday, and it’s packed with gorgeous quilts, a venture into quilting history, techniques for art quilts and alternative fabrics, and three full quilt patterns (one of which, Berries and Cream, is also available as a kit). Check out previews of each of the articles inside this issue on our website, and if you can’t find our magazines locally, they’re available in both print and digital editions at Quilt and Sew Shopback issues, too! Now for the giveaway:

This week’s prize is a bundle of fabrics from the Highland collection by Lynette Anderson for RJR fabrics, as featured in Quilters Newsletter February/March 2016 Staff Picks: RJR Highland1 Highland

Not sure what to do with Highland? Here’s a quilt block we made from the collection: Highland Block Highland

To enter for your chance to win a bundle of Highland collection fabrics, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday January 31, 2016 telling us about a quilt you have or admire which you didn’t make. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , | 232 Comments

She Sews!!

One of the best things I know is teaching another person to sew. This weekend, my 4½-year-old granddaughter used a sewing machine for the first time. What fun we had. Let me tell you about it.

I’ve been working on a new quilt for a week or two now. I started with a Pretty Posies panel by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  It has the look of embroidered blocks set together with a small floral print sashing.

panel She Sews!!

The Panel

I cut it all apart and added sashing. I used the rest of the pieces I had from the Pretty Posies collection, then added pieces from the Walk in the Park collection by Maywood Studio. With both of the fabric collections, I was using header cards sent by the fabric companies so the pieces of fabric are small. The panel is the only large piece of fabric that I had.

second try She Sews!!

Ready to Start Sewing

Because of the way the fabric was attached to the header cards, there were small holes in the panel just about 1” from the edge of the “embroidered” blocks at the top of the panel. That was the main reason I cut the panel apart and added the sashing. I wanted to make the skinny strip of fabric up there look like part of the design, not a mistake. So I cut off enough of the printed sashing on each part to make them all the same width.

I decided to do simple pieced blocks to add to the panels on the sides and to make a piano key border.

pianokeys She Sews!!

Planning the Piano Keys

I had that much of the quilt put together and on my design wall when our granddaughter came to visit.

yesterday She Sews!!

Yesterday’s Design

I had the tub with all the 30s reproduction prints sitting there and she wanted to design something. I gave her the leftover strips from the piano key border and she started making the design.

She had a small design and wanted to know what was next and I told her we needed to sew the pieces together. She asked if she could help so she did. She sat on my lap. I ran the foot control and let her guide the fabric. I held her hand so she couldn’t get too close to the needle.

Tete sewing She Sews!!

Yes, her fingernails are blue for the Broncos.

She didn’t sew for long but we have a good start.

Tetes design She Sews!!

Tete’s Design

We’ll use her patchwork for the beginning of the pieced back for this quilt.

And in the meantime, I found another collection of “embroidered” blocks (mostly baskets set on point) that I’ll add to the front of the quilt. I’m excited about this quilt. It makes me think of Grandma Brown and she’s one of my heroes.

today She Sews!!

Today’s Updated Design

I just told one of my coworkers that I really wish I could just go home and spend the day sewing on it. Don’t you sometimes wish you could just hibernate in your sewing room? That’s how I feel today.

And just in case you’re just finishing your current project, looking for the next quilt to make and in the mood to go shopping for a bargain, check out the deal of the week at quiltandsewshop.com and the sale and clearance page. There are some great deals on kits and patterns. I’m betting something will catch your eye.

And as always, to find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,  Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quilting Patterns

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS ANDREA, JAN, JENNIFER and DAWN!

“So many ideas, so little time” seems to to be the motivating force behind this week for me, whether it’s quilting projects, crochet projects, to-do’s around the house, shopping lists, or things to get accomplished otherwise. That said, there may be no such thing as too many good ideas (or patterns) when it comes to quilting projects, so this week’s giveaway is full of them:

Patterns Prize 1 Quilting Patterns Prize 1 includes Camelot by Marcia Harmening of Happy Stash Quilts, Dancing in the Wind Pattern #101 by Prairie Grass Patterns, and Brooklyn 6-Pack Bag Collection by A Quilter’s Dream.

Patterns Prize 2 Quilting PatternsPrize 2 includes Jasmine, Unchain My Heart, and He Loves Me!, all Hearts and More patterns from Sue Pelland Designs.

Patterns Prize 3 Quilting PatternsPrize 3 includes Tiki Temple Disappearing Log Cabin, Bali Bamboo, and Big Kahuna Bag, all from Beyond the Reef.

Patterns Prize 4 Quilting PatternsPrize 4 includes Rose Garden and Just Squares and Rectangles from Ferris Wheel Designs and Ribbon Rings from Quilt Moments.

To enter for your chance to win one of the four sets of patterns, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Monday January 25, 2016 telling us about quilting you’ve been doing or wish you had time to do this week. If you have a preference between the prizes, let us know that in your comment as well. Since winners are randomly selected, we don’t guarantee you’ll win your preferred prize if chosen, but we’ll do our best! Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Scrap Bag: celebrating American quilt traditions, quilts at the South Pole, design by DNA, and more

If you’re lucky enough to be looking forward to a three-day Martin Luther King Day weekend (as we are), I hope you’re able to work in some sewing while commemorating the Civil Rights leader’s legacy. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some quilt and textile tidbits for inspiration.

IMG 2182 Scrap Bag: celebrating American quilt traditions, quilts at the South Pole, design by DNA, and more

This year the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian is highlighting how participation — people joining together to accomplish shared goals — shapes many aspects of American life, from our democracy to our culture. Using the museum’s collections, they’ll investigate the countless ways that ordinary Americans participate in causes of all types, and they’re kicking off this exploration of participation with quilts. “The quilt is just one of the many textiles in our collections that illustrates how ordinary Americans have changed the world by joining together, participating in clubs, associations, campaigns, and movements big and small.” Click here to visit the main American Participates website for the overview, or click the link below to read the blog post focusing on quilts.
americanhistory.si.edu/blog/

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International Quilt Festival is accepting submissions for the 2016 edition of In the American Tradition.  This special annual exhibit features the very best in contemporary traditional-based quilting. This exhibit will premiere at International Quilt Market and Festival, November 3-6, 2016. They are looking for both contemporary interpretations and traditional quilts, either by hand or machine, appliqued, pieced or whole cloth. Completed submissions with visuals must be received online by April 11, 2016, so get sewing!
callforentriesamerican.com

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Looking for the most personalized, unique quilt design that could only come from you? Let your DNA create the design! British company Dot One will extract your DNA from a simple cheek swab, analyze it, and convert the findings into a geometric design that you can choose to have printed as a poster or in the form of a scarf. They don’t offer screen printing on 44″-wide cotton or even just provide the design digitally (yet — they should think about it), but most quilters would be able to create a pattern based off the poster that would result in a one-of-a-kind quilt.
www.dotone.io

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A quilt that covered the dying British field marshal who ordered the charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War is to be auctioned January 22 in England. The quilt was used by Field Marshal Lord Raglan, Commander in Chief of British troops, who died of cholera in 1855. It is believed to have been made by injured soldiers during the war using fabrics from the uniforms of dead officers. If so, considering it’s an English paper-pieced hexagon quilt, those men sure knew what they were doing.
www.westerndailypress.co.uk

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For 83-year-old quilter Janet Steadman, having a quilt displayed in Antarctica marks a milestone: She now has had quilts shown on every continent. Wall hangings by Steadman and her longtime friend Louise Harris are hanging together at Palmer Station after being brought there by Harris’ granddaughter at the start of a six-week research project.
www.goskagit.com

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UNDULATION 800 Scrap Bag: celebrating American quilt traditions, quilts at the South Pole, design by DNA, and more

Undulations by Carol Ann Waugh, patterned in the April/May 2012 issue of Quilters Newsletter 

Quilt artist Carol Ann Waugh just shared some news that we find especially gratifying.

A couple of months ago I was contacted by our State Department to see if I would be willing to send one of my pieces to be hung in the Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  Seriously?  Turns out, yes!  I just signed the loan agreement and will be sending this piece to Washington, DC to be shipped with other art works to hang in Ambassador Jennifer Galt Ambassador’s office during her 2-3 year tenure.  She selected this piece “Undulations” which was featured in the April/May 2012 issue of Quilter’s Newsletter as a pattern.

We first saw Undulations at the Denver National Quilt Show in 2011 and loved it. We’re so happy to have published the pattern so that it was seen by the ambassador, and we know she and her staff will appreciate having it adorn their office for the next couple of years. Congrats, Carol!
www.carolannwaugh.com

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If there’s one type of quilt I’m pretty sure I’ll never make, it’s a yo-yo quilt. Thankfully for all of us, Marie Phipps of Marion, Virginia, feels differently. Although she started sewing eight decades ago when she was 11 years old, she didn’t make her first yo-yo quilts until 2008. Since then she’s made a large quilt that contains more than 3,300 yo-yos arranged in beautiful fashion, and has no desire to stop making them.
www.swvatoday.com

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Textile manufacturing in the U.S. is only a fraction of what it was a few decades ago, with most of it happening in Asia these days. However, a few historic mills in New England continue to produce textiles, and photographer Christopher Payne has documented their colorful work. Click here to read about and see excerpts from the photo essay on the Huffington Post, or click the link below to view the “Textiles” portfolio on Payne’s website.
www.chrispaynephoto.com

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For even more eye candy, take a look at the installations artist Gabriel Dawe makes out of embroidery thread strung across space to look like rainbows hovering in the air.
thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/

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After David Bowie’s death last weekend, I thought I might find a number of Bowie-inspired quilts online, considering his influence on art and design. There were far fewer than I expected, to be honest, but Ziggy! by Ann Beech really caught my eye. I suspect her quilt won’t be alone for long.
www.contemporaryquilt.org.uk

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Table toppers are some of the most popular projects quilters are working on these days and it’s no wonder why. With just a little bit of time and materials, it’s so easy to create placemats for yourself or as gifts for family and friends.

Patrick Lose is well known for his quilted table topper projects and, in his new course Terrific Table Toppers, he offers 13 of his charming and easy-to-make placemats. This course also includes Patrick’s Quilt Binding Basics course to give you all the information you need to bind all of your table toppers like a pro!

Learn more about Terrific Table Toppers on Craft Online University.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+,  Pinterest,  Instagram,  YouTube,   QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see  Web Seminars on  QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on  Craft Daily.com and  CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

These never were “your grandmother’s quilts”

Not too long ago the link to an article entitled “No longer square to quilt” by Karen Ridder, published by the Kansas City Star regarding the local modern quilt movement, came up a few times in my Facebook newsfeed. After more than five years at this job, headlines such as that one, in which a supposed new angle on quilting is identified in opposition to something considered undesirable — square, old-fashioned, passé,  grandmotherly — immediately set my teeth on edge.

I was relieved and even a little impressed when I read Ridder’s statement, “To say, ‘It’s not your grandma’s quilting’ is as cliché as it is inaccurate,” regarding the age range of quilters drawn to the modern aesthetic. Finally, someone in the non-quilting media gets it, I thought.

As Ridder points out, and as any trip to QuiltCon will tell you, quilters from the Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers to the more expected Gen X’ers and Millenials love modern quilting. But it goes deeper than that.

As far as I can tell, there is no bigger cliché about quilting in general, especially among mainstream editors and journalists, than that it’s the domain of grandmothers with sensible hair making traditional pieced quilts in church basements, and everyone and everything else is an outlier, an oddity or a radical innovation.

IMG 1934 These never were your grandmothers quilts

In this illustration, Clare Briggs satirized modern art while implying that crazy quilts were the work of elderly rural women. In fact the crazy quilt fad, a favorite of young urban women, was only about 30 years old in 1913.

I can’t even keep track of how many articles I’ve seen over the years with some variation on the “these aren’t your grandmother’s quilts” trope somewhere in there, usually regarding art quilts or modern quilts; an article about Craft Napa subtitled “Not your grandma’s quilting bee” and another about the Texas Quilt Museum’s exhibit of modern quilts are two of the most recent examples.

I know that journalists and editors who probably only think, let alone write, about quilts once a year at most are under tight deadlines to get these articles published, so they reach for the easiest and most easily recognized descriptions and titles they can think of. After all, in this day and age, it’s all about the clicks, and our jobs as editors is to make people want to click on our link or pay for the print edition to read our content. I get it, I really do.

But I’m getting really, really bored. And annoyed, to be honest.

This annoyance has been growing for years. That’s why last spring when quilt historian Barbara Brackman took the Washington Post to task on her blog for the headline “Grandmother’s trove of Civil War photos goes to Library of Congress,” I jumped at the chance to ask her to write an article for us on the topic.

Barbara wrote her take on  “These Aren’t Your Grandmother’s Quilts!” for our December/January 2016 issue. And did she ever dig deep to show just how old and tired the cliché of grandmother’s quilts is, not to mention sexist and ageist.

Her research yielded articles and stories from almost 200 years ago that lauded the “good old-fashioned way of our grandmothers” over household goods “bought ready made” by younger women. Which means that journalists of the 1830s were pining for the days after the Revolutionary War. Nostalgia: it ain’t what it used to be, am I right?

My own research has turned up some other examples, such as a sentimental poem entitled “Grandmamma’s Quilt,” published January 20, 1907, in the Los Angeles Herald, about a quilt “grandmamma” made at the age of 9.

LAH2907 847x1024 These never were your grandmothers quilts

Click the image to enlarge it.

If these historical examples show us anything, it’s that quilting is a constantly evolving medium. Quilters have always looked to the New and the Now for design inspiration and better, faster techniques. Which means that these have never been your grandmother’s quilts.

But my big question is, just who are these mythical grandmothers people are writing about today? Are they really referring to current grandmothers, women who might have been actively involved in movements for civil and women’s rights in the 1960s and ’70s, who might have seen the Beatles on Ed Sullivan or attended Woodstock? Heck, there are grandmothers these days who might have been regulars at CBGB or Club 54 and seen the Ramones or Earth, Wind & Fire perform in their heyday. It isn’t so much that these aren’t your grandmother’s quilts, it’s that these aren’t your grandmothers at all!

Even if we’re talking about the grandmothers of current grandmothers, we’re probably talking about women who were active in the 1920s to 1950s, eras that saw rapid growth to women’s rights, their roles in the home and workplace, and home economics that freed them from much of the “women’s work” of a few decades prior. It seems as if on a broad cultural level, when we think “grandma” we all see the Edwardian-style Granny character from the Looney Tunes cartoons, decked out in her high-collared blouse and cameo choker. But even Sylvester the Cat underestimated her at his own risk.

Which leads me to the real reason this lazy journalism bothers me: There is nothing wrong with being a grandmother of any type, even the quiet, unassuming, going-about-her-business grandmother. But when we trot out the phrase “grandmother’s quilts,” we’re basically insulting the matriarchs we purport to love and admire. Not only are we lumping together women of various ages and cultures based solely on their fertility and assuming they all made exactly the same types of quilts, we’re dismissing them, their interests and their creativity as out-of-date and inconsequential.

When Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote the now well-known phrase “Well-behaved women seldom make history” in 1976, she did so as an observation, not the challenge many take it as today. Even in this era, there are still a lot of well-behaved women out there who enjoy a variety of things, quilting included. There are many female quilters of a certain age who enjoy and derive great satisfaction from the craft of making something utilitarian and beautiful with fabric, and thank God they do. For a writer to compare the subject of an article to “grandmother’s quilts” is to denigrate the quilts grandmothers make — and by extension, the grandmothers themselves — by implying that they’re anodyne, anonymous and therefore unimportant; meanwhile, anyone who receives one of those quilts know they’re anything but.

Well, to paraphrase George Bailey, those grandmothers have done most of the working and paying and living and dying in their communities, living lives that afforded them little time, energy or resources to record each joyous and tragic event and transform them into towering works of art. Instead, those grandmothers turned to a women’s art — up until recently one of the few pursuits at which they were allowed to achieve mastery, and achieve it they did — to express themselves while perhaps making something useful (remember, art quilts have been around for much longer than we tend to think). One quilt at a time, they have created a vast timeline of women’s creative expression and developed an influential artistic tradition of its own, one that had to exist in order for the quilts of today to happen, from traditional to modern, utility to art.

So to all you current and future quilting grandmothers out there, you go on with your bad selves, making the quilts you want to make and not apologizing to anyone.  In the meantime, we at Quilters Newsletter will continue to try to tell your stories in all their fullness. Your work — our work — has value, no matter your age, gender or family situation, and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

QN11215 221x300 These never were your grandmothers quiltsTo read Barbara Brackman’s full article “These Aren’t Your Grandmother’s Quilts!” check out Quilters Newsletter’s December/January 2016 issue, available online in print and digital editions and in quilt shops, bookstores and newsstands.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Flying Geese

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS CATHY!

Statistically speaking, we’ve already reached the point in the new year where most people have disregarded any New Year’s Resolutions they’ve made. As far as quilting resolutions go, it’s fairly impossible for most of us to have given up yet as our resolutions tend to sound something like “I resolve to finish at least one UFO for each new project I start” or “I resolve to look in my stash first before buying new fabrics” and those resolutions by nature last as long as we still have UFOs or a fabric stash to look in. Most resolutions, quilting or otherwise, tend to focus on things we don’t like about ourselves, like having “too many” UFOs or not exercising enough, and while it’s easy to only think about the negatives when making resolutions or goals, we should also remember to think about the positives. For instance, in 2015 I started my first quilt that used odd-shaped templates rather than only rotary cut shapes, and that’s a big positive as I learned a new skill in the process. My goal based on that positive: Continue learning new quilting skills.

And speaking of new things in quilting, this week’s giveaway prize is a fat quarter bundle from the Flying Geese collection by Evonne Cook for Washington Street Studio. This collection is one of the Staff Picks fabrics in Quilters Newsletter  December/January 2016.WashingtonStreetStudio FlyingGeese 2 Flying Geese

If you’re in need of some inspiration for what to make with Flying Geese, how about a quilt block using flying geese units like this one: WashingtonStreetStudio FlyingGeese 800 Flying Geese

To enter for your chance to win a bundle of Flying Geese, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Monday January 18, 2015 telling us something you like about yourself. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about more giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and to see all the beautiful quilts we like to share, join us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, InstagramYouTube and our website. Plus, see quilting tutorial videos and shows on QNNtv.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Caitlin, Contests | Tagged , , , , | 334 Comments