Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Color Trend Conspiracy!

I was asking for ideas on color choices the other day, posting the question to the Quiltvillechat@yahoogroups.com list, and to the Quiltville fans page on facebook "What three colors are wow to you right now?"

The majority of people, I'd say easily 80% All shouted out Lime Green! Fuscia! Turquoise! Orange! (okay, there are 4, but pick any 3 of those 4 mentioned and you get nearly the same effect! *LOL*)

I have this theory that there is a bunch of brain washing going on!

Especially amongst quilters who frequent TARGET!!!!

You want to know what I mean? Well just take a walk with me through target and see what I'm talking about......there are subliminal messages for quilt themes on EVERY AISLE!

Let's start with the school/office supplies. So, okay, highlighters have always been bright yellow, lime, orange, turquoise. So maybe...they were planting the seeds early on??

I love office supplies....especially when school is about to start! I love to see all the binders and organizers and goodies. Don't you?

This little notebook really wanted to come home with me. See! It's a conspiracy! It's not even FABRIC...it just LOOKS like fabric...it's getting under my skin!

School chalk in bright tropical colors. How come we never had these?! I think the conspiracy is to get the kids USING these colors so the parents become used to them.....it starts LONG before the fabric store!

It goes on to the lotions and deodorants! I still see a tropical theme going on....it's starting to hum a quilt tune to my brain! Orange! Purple! Lime! Fuscia! I can hear it...my fingers are starting to tingle! :cD

Who would have thought a shampoo end cap could have dangerous results for a quilter who is trying to tame her stash? Is this not madness?! It's everywhere I turn!

And this aisle blew my color senses!!

It's in the kitchen aisles! Little does DH know that this has me also contemplating changing the colors in my kitchen. Conspiracy indeed! Target, you are poison to my budget!

Summer dinnerware....I see some gorgeous turquoise lime and yellow (with a bit of raspberry) possibilities here, don't you? Uhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm! I'm feeling myself giving in, I can't hold back much longer!

Good grief! It's in the electronics department....even the CD labels are infiltrating our ability to think of color schemes ourselves. It seems the colors have already been chosen for us. We only THINK we are doing something "NEW AND FRESH!"

I'm running out of words.....are there any OTHER colors in the world other than Orange, Turquoise, Lime, Yellow and Fuscia?! ANY!? By this time I'm starting to feel like what's "New and Hot" is getting really,really OLD!

AAAAUUUUGHHHHH!! Our feminine products have gone to the Tropical Side! Do they think we will buy them more just because they are in these "NEW" cool hot colors? *snicker*

Okay. Lime, Orange, Fuscia, Turquoise on BLACK!! That's one we didn't think of before! We'll really buy into it now! ;c)

I came home exhausted from color sensory overload. It was like there were no colors in the world that existed beyond these tropical colors. I came back to my fabric...looked at what made me feel peaceful and content. Maybe I can tone it down a little. Maybe my next quilt doesn't have to match the shampoo aisle at Target to be considered "NEW"....the fabrics I already have have served me well and will continue to do so. Orange is always a staple around here, but maybe I want to try a different combination this time around.

For the November mystery...I need some warmth, but not HOT HOT HOT. So be ready. I've decided on Chocolate Browns, Raspberry pinks, Green (not bright lime...but you could use it if you want)and a deep red. Neutrals will be my canvas, whites to creams to beiges all the way to a light tan. My eyes like it better. My brain likes it better. It's my quilt.....I'll color it my way, and not feel like I have to follow some trend.....

(But I still think I need to go back and buy that NOTEBOOK I liked!!)

Monday, August 02, 2010

More Cheddar.....

This time in STARS!!

This is the one that really had my jaw dropping when I opened the box. You guys KNOW me..you know how I bleed cheddar and red! And I love small small small....and LOOK AT THIS!?

This is "NOT" a quilt I would ever make myself. I love the scale, but to do the whole thing in 3 fabrics? All those white open spaces for heavy hand quilting? I just can NOT make myself stay focused with my ADD to do it. I might dream it..I might want to, but I KNOW ME. (Knowing myself is half the battle!)

And as much as I was blown away by the stars (Just over 2 3/4" each)I was doubly blown away by the quilting. Or make that QUADRUPLY!? The alternate blocks are filled with quadruple rows of wavy lines followed by a negative unquilted space, and then the 4 wavy lines repeated again to fill the area. Just check this out!!

These stitches are smaller than the previous applique peony quilt I showed the other day. There are no answers for why....we don't even know if they were quilted by the same person. But this one could have been made earlier when the quilter had younger (and better!) finger control. The batting is thinner, which also allows for smaller stitches.

Can you see the cross-hatching in the small blocks between the stars?

I also love how this quilt was OBVIOUSLY not squared up before adding the binding...by all counts, this border was probably rippling with the wind before it was quilted, so is this a story of "It will quilt out??!" Look at those diagonal lines behind the border feather and how they alternate direction...AWESOME!

This pic is a close up of the quadruple parallel lines of the quilting behind the border feather. Look at those stitches!!

More close up of the border quilting. Be sure to click all these pics to make them BIGGER. Really, seeing it up close just gives me the tingles! (I'm sure my DH wishes I said the same thing about him..hehehe!)

The stars are also quilted with triple lines of quilting. Remember the scale...these stars are just over 2 3/4"..less than 3"....how many triple lines would you do in a 3" space? There are 15 lines of quilting in each 2 3/4" star.

I wanted to get a pic with the ruler to help show you the scale. Does this prove it to you?

How about if I plunk a 10 cent euro piece down...maybe THAT will give you a good idea :cD

Am I the only one who's mouth waters at quilting texture like this? I took this pic out on my back deck in natural light to see if I could get the quilting to pop....and pop it did! I really am in awe. I wish I knew the maker. As hard as I try, I can NOT get small stitches like this. I am a tall/big woman. My hands are NOT dainty, the distance between my knuckles and how my fingers bend pretty much dictates that I will not have the same small stitches as some small boned woman even though we use the same rocking stitch. This is beyond my ability, but oh how I love it!

And THIS my friends, is what inspired my pondering over the past week. This is why I feel compelled to leave a part of myself, my OWN SIGNATURE, directly on the quilt. See this signature? The family name is Adams. I believe it says A.S. Adams, February 18th, 1862

Dear Miss Adams,

I just wish I could let you know how much I love and appreciate being the care taker of your quilts. Seeing as the gentleman down your family tree "Couldn't Care Less" (Being of the male gender and all!) I think he did a real fine job of passing them on to someone who will cherish them the rest of her life. Thank You!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Recent Aquisition...

*NOTE* Please click on the pics to get the BIG PICTURE!!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a lady in Florida who was friends with an older gentleman who was looking for a purchaser for a couple of family quilts that had been passed down.

How she found me, I have no idea, but she put us in touch with each other and sent pictures of these quilts which blew me away!

I want to share this one with you today, saving the other one for another time because I think there are too many pictures to cram all into one post!

I emailed Richard on the quilt history, trying to gather as much info as I could to keep with the quilts, and this is what he sent:

I'll tell you all I know, which is very little. They were kept in the cedar chest and seldom saw the light of day. Being of the male gender I couldn't care less. When both parents passed away the cedar chest went to N.J./N.C./ and finally Fla. I think they were made in early 1900's in Washington County. 24 miles from Pittsburgh,PA. Probably in an area called Mingo Creek which is now called Finleyville or Crookham. The main family involved was ADAMS. The McFeelys may have been involved. (My mothers maiden name.) That's about all I have. If any thing else comes to my mind I'll let you know.

Well....Richard could be about 50 years off or more. They are second half of 1800s by what we can gather from the style and the type of quilting used on them. And wait til you see the NEXT one! (How's that for a teaser?!?)

These quilts showed up on my door step the day before I left for Pennsylvania and it was VERY FUN to be teaching in the same area that these quilts originated. I brought the quilts with me hoping to get some information from other quilt historian friends at the Hershey show....My breakfast partner just happened to be Pepper Cory, and she ended up using these as examples in her Quilt Marking class! So it was a double win, she helped me with some info...and her excitement over the quilts intensified my own, letting me know that I had really stumbled upon some treasures.

We are not sure if the quilts are made by the same maker...the stitches in the "Other" quilt I'll show you in a future post are a bit smaller, but it could have been made earlier in the quilter's life. Also, the batting in THIS one is thicker, which can account for stitches not being as small, right? the binding on this one....could have been a replacement binding. It's quite wide, and doesn't fill to the edge of the binding..it's not showing the quality of workmanship that was evident in both the applique and the hand quilting...why would a quilter who was THIS skilled put on a sloppy binding? So maybe....we'll never know! But it is fun to wonder!

This Appliqued "Peony" for lack of a better word has 9 blocks, and the green fabric was most likely a blue over dyed with yellow....the yellow has faded away leaving a teal color that is crocking a bit. If you look on the back of the quilt, you can see where the yellow dye settled around the applique motifs on the backside, nearly outlining them in pale yellow in the stitching lines.

The quilting in the blocks is executed in triple rows followed by a negative space, then another group of triple rows...the borders and wide sashings are crosshatched.

I just can't stop looking at these and running my hands over them! I was also able to show them to my friend Mary Koval (She came to the show on Saturday with her grandson...what a cutie pie!)and she also confirmed that they were definitely PA quilts (or made by someone from that area who quilted in that style) so again, I was thrilled with the confirmation that indeed, these were a treasure and I was so lucky to have them!

Little by little life is getting "back to normal" around here. I returned home on Wednesday evening as you know...Thursday I had some extensive dental work, so that day was pretty much a wash out. Yesterday was mostly an office work day, getting caught up on book orders and updating my calendar and taking care of piles of stuff that had accumulated over 10 days gone.

Last night I finished the last hanging sleeve on the quilts to ship out to Kansas City Star for photography! They are boxed up and ready to go to Fed Ex today, tomorrow, monday...doesn't matter, I'm ahead of the game at this point!

I'm headed to the Kansas City Area on the 8th! Whoot! on the 13th....we'll be doing the photo shoot for the next book and I get to BE THERE! This has me so pumped because it's always been a "ship and wait" kind of thing..and now I'll get the experience of being there, being a part of it...this will rock!

My laptop quit on me while I was in PA....so...I'm doing the win7 upgrade hoping it will fix everything. I saved all the photo files and all the documents to my external drive, and I'm hoping this upgrade will get me a couple years more use out of this poor laptop. I hate that technology is so disposable anymore...we need a new cell phone every how often? (this one is 1.5 years old..so I'm keeping it til it dies) and how often do we need a new computer, a new tv, a new EVERYTHING?!?

Don't get me wrong, I love technology...I love the advancements. I just hate the waste of the stuff that is obsolete.

And I've rambled on long enough....if you made it this far, thanks for listening in! I appreciate the comments on yesterday's post about the Canadian border issues. It's a hard decision to make. It has nothing to do with my love for the Canadian quilters, some who have become very close friends! It does have everything to do with bureaucracy, incompetence of officers on BOTH sides and the hassle factor that needs to be minimized in my life. At some point...I need to draw the line where jumping through flaming hoops is concerned.

The jury is still out, but I'm waiting anxiously on the sidelines to see what other designers and quilting instructors are doing to combat the insanity.

Friday, July 30, 2010

With Sad Heart....

It is with deep regret that I feel compelled to cancel my visits to Canada in 2012

I am not sure if you are aware of the recent troubles with bringing quilts for show across US/Canadian borders. This past spring, a Canadian designer was forced to deface her quilts by writing "SAMPLE" across the front of all her quilts on the way to quilt market. The quilt world is in upheaval. If I were that quilter, I would have turned around and gone home rather than deface my quilts. Please see here: http://daphnegreig.blogspot.com/2010/05/quilt-market-report.html

The last time I traveled to Canada, I had a tough time getting 2 bags of quilts back OUT of the country at the airport on my way back to the US.

My heart is sick, I was really looking forward to these trips, but at this time, I can't risk the hassles that have been coming from border customs.

The trunk show is too valuable to me to ship it ahead of time and most of the time I don't have the convenience of enough time between guild dates to have it out of my hands...I go from one to the other without enough time to ship in between. Not to mention that shipping 100lbs of quilts would be of great cost to the guilds involved.

I regret that I am leaving Canadian guilds with big holes in their 2012 calendars. I hope that my letting you know NOW instead of later will enable you to find someone to fill these spots. And I hope in the future, if things ease up on quilters, that I'll be able to visit you again!

I've sent email to all the guild chairs involved, but I wanted any guild members who hear of my cancellation to know WHY...and to understand from my end too.

In Stitches---

PS...I also want it understood that it was a US TSA Agent who enforced the defacing of the quilts in Daphne's case. My previous trouble returning from Winnepeg last year was with Canadian officials at the airport.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I made it home in 8 hours, door to door from Kathie's house in Pittsburgh, PA to my own home in Wallburg, NC....I thought it would take longer! But then I didn't stop anywhere other than to fill up with gas and visit the facilities...just couldn't make myself even pull over for an antique mall or a gorge view overlook photo op in West Virginia....just...KEEP ON DRIVING!

I've got a week before I teach in Asheboro NC, and I am so excited to be visiting local quilters! That's only an hour down the road and I love those ladies down there!

This week's goal is to get the next book quilts ALL LABELED and ready to ship to Kansas City for the photo shoot on Aug 13th. They need to be shipped ahead of time because I can't carry those AND the trunk show on the plane with I go there on the 8th.

I've been thinking a lot about labels....and while computer generated looks great...more and more as I study antique quilts I am leaning to grabbing a micron pigma pen and just writing on the back of the quilt....it can't be removed that way....it will have MY handwriting on it to tell the story.

I just think that over time we will lose the intimate connection to a person's signature if everything is printed out in computer font all the time.

My mom still writes letters. She writes hand written notes and letters to all of her 8 kids, and all the grand kids in turn...I have stacks of her letters and I love seeing her handwriting on an envelope. I also know that inside that envelope there will be cartoons cut out of magazines she knows will bring a smile to my face, and there will be a stick of gum wrapped in a dollar bill. And I am always so excited to see it come!

So here we are in the information age, and we are great on communication by email, by text, by phone calls,by internet chat.....but all of our contacts are electronic and gone with a click of the delete button.

What about that stack of love letters? Remember those, the ones you saved? (if you did) Do kids save anything now? How personal can it be when it isn't written by that person's hand? How can we reflect back to it if we just reply and delete, reply and delete..poof, it's gone? That is....unless it is on twitter, then it goes into the library of congress? O_o

This is just something I've been thinking about as I face labeling these 12 quilts ready for the next book. Hand writing. Personal signatures. That connection with that person from years ago long gone. The stories that quilts and letters and personal memoirs leave behind for those who come after......what do our own signatures and handwriting tell about who we are?

Or doesn't it matter any more??

Monday, July 26, 2010

In between gigs....

It has been a go go go go go kind of week! Hard to believe it's Monday and I left Tuesday, and I haven't had one minute to post an update! How can that be?

Well, Tuesday I was on the road all day. And
I do LOVE being on the road all day.....Sites to see, places to go! And heading toward these mountains? Bliss!

I take some back roads to get me on 220 up toward Roanoke, VA. I get so excited when I start seeing the Blue Ridge appear in front of me!

Roanoke is one of my favorite small cities. It has a vibrant downtown district, unique shops, great restaurants, and I was hankering to visit a place that I went to on a past trip, maybe 8 years ago. EIGHT YEARS? Would it still be there?

I parked here...just below the historic Hotel Roanoke, and went up into the walkway that goes across the train yards:

There is my little car viewed from the walkway windows...

and on down the escalators to the other side! It was about 150 degrees in that walkway...it was a HOT DAY!

And on to the streets!

And the place I remembered, the place I was hankering for....was still there!

Back in the car.....a couple more hours up the road, and tom tom took me up to Harrisonburg, VA and to the Virginia Quilt Museum!

Even the logo had my palms sweating! I couldn't wait to get inside and see the collection.

I couldn't take pics inside, but I will tell you that it was well worth the drive and the visit to see the beautiful antique quilts. I've got two books of Virginia quilts, and to see these in person was just such a thrill.

The museum was open til 5...and I pushed the limits on my welcome I am sure! From then on....I drove on up to Lancaster, found a place to stay for $45. Yes. $45.

Now this is funny. It said breakfast included...which to me meant maybe cereal, yogurt, fruit. In fact, it was a loaf of white bread and a toaster!! No kidding! Breakfast? well...for $45 a night, I could afford to wait until I got to the Amish Bakery and really make it worth my while (There was no jam for the bread either, just butter...lol!!)

I'll continue on later...this was just my travels for Day 1!

Remember to set your watches for Pat's radio show today!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Live...from Pennsylvania!

It's the Pat Sloan Show!!

And you can listen in! Every Monday at 4pm EST she broadcasts her Creative Talk radio show.

I'll be the featured guest of the SECOND HALF of the show on Monday, July 26th! You won't want to miss it!

After it is taped, the show will be on her page at the radio station FOR-EVER! You can listen online or download it when you have time (which I HOPE is right away!).

I'll also link to the show archive here on my blog and on my website so if you miss it (wrong time zone or life just got in the way, we know how it goes..)you'll be able to listen in.

Be sure to go to Pat's Blog on the July 26th post....

Leave a comment telling her your favorite part of my interview!

Stay tuned for more info!

I left the Hershey show this morning, and will be teaching in Pittsburgh this week. It's been SUPER hot, but super fun as well! I know this is a short post, but I wanted to get the radio show info up here so that you'd be sure to listen in!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fixing The Train Wreck...

Sunday, while quilting "Welcome Home"....I had a bit of an accident - - a TRAIN WRECK of an accident! And I was commiserating this fact (While keeping any "cursing like a sailor" type adjectives out of my posts)on the Quiltville Friends Page on facebook.

What happened? Weeeeeeeeeeeellll...best as I can tell, the machine was humming along while I watched, and it hit a thick spot. The needle snapped, but the machine keeps going, and that broken needle shaft just kept poking holes in the quilt, breaking the fabric threads and making a general mess of things while I fumbled for the OFF button and got the machine to come to a full stop. It doesn't just instantly stop...it's got some momentum going, you know? And whammo. TRAIN WRECK.

This prompted a whole discussion on how I was going to fix the train wreck. Applique something? Well...there really isn't any way to do a "recognizable" something that close to the edge, but I could add a strip and wonky that area up as if it was originally pieced that way.

I could then quilt OVER the added area just as if it had always been there from the start. And that's what I did.

First, I went back and finished quilting the whole quilt. Took it out of the machine, and squared it up.

I found a 3.5" scrap strip of red that was just the ticket. I left myself a bit of raw edge, so that after stitching (yes through the whole quilt, the hanging sleeve was going to cover everything anyway)I could turn the raw edge right where the seam between the two blocks was.

After the strip was sewn, flipped, pressed and the raw edge turned and pinned, I simply appliqued that one turned edge in place along the block seam.

After removing the pins and pressing again, I took the quilt to the mat and trimmed off the excess strip even with the quilt edge.

Load Bernina with the fuscia thread, snap on the free motion quilting foot, and fill in the newly added area with stitching to blend in with the previous quilting. This was a challenge! My home machine skills are not as even as my compuquilter!! Good thing it was in an area where my herky-jerky stitching will not be THAT visible. Besides..the quilt now has a STORY right?

I already had my binding picked out...a black with a tealy-blue vine stripe. Cool. Put the binding on the quilt, going right over the train wreck area to further disguise it!

Apply Hanging Sleeve...which does a perfect job of hiding where the broken needle shaft had pushed pokies of batting through the broken thread holes. Yep...Hanging Sleeve to the rescue! (Isn't this a cool batik too? It's been in the stash forever. It has kind of a rough texture, so I'm glad to find it a home!)

Shot of quilting detail! I love this panto! This is "Paisley" by Darlene Epp. I had just finished quilting the LAST quilt for the book with this pattern and loved it so much I couldn't wait to use it again on the "Welcome Home" quilt. It is quilted with Fuscia...yes Fuscia...which blends into the reds well, and travels through the other colors quite nicely too!

I love looking at my life through fabric! Because of this train wreck, I was able to get up close and personal to what I had put in this quilt clear back in October...

I made this spacer section out of leader/ender 4 patches..and look what is in here! That pink calico that shows up every once in a while in my bins of precut squares and pieces. I made a DRESS out of this for my 2nd date with my hubby back in May of 1981. When I got married, the scraps came with me. You've come a long way baby!