Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quilting Across the Pond!

Just the other day I logged on to find a quilt show in my inbox!

The subject line of “Knitting and Stitching Show! Roving Reporter” caught my eye and made me smile.  I’ve exchanged emails with Stephen over the past few years and I love his take on things ----what could be more fun and different than seeing quilts or talking fabric and projects than through the eyes of a man living in London, England?!

The email went like this:

Hi Bonnie - thought you might like some photos from across the Pond. 

Took about 50 or 60 pics today, but there were relatively few traditional quilts on display, so I've only attached 7 - the Mariner's Compass quilt was ENTIRELY hand pieced and stitched, with some really subtle touches like the tiny flying geese in the sashings - quite the masterpiece! 

The darker Ohio Star plus Courthouse Steps was entirely machine pieced, and quilted, but to the very highest standard - good to see how well that showed up on a darker fabric too.
Thanks for your wonderful website and blog - it's a daily highlight for me.

Best wishes,

PS I live in a "row house" built in 1901 and very similar to those you photographed in Washington recently!

I asked Stephen if I could share the photos with you --- because they ARE spectacular!

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Completely hand stitched Mariner’s Compass!
Stephen Continues:

Both those quilts were displayed by The Quilt Guild, and I took the photos with permission, but did not note down the makers' names.  Both are around 7' square.
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Compass Close Up #1
The feathers look hand embroidered to me ---were they?
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Compass Close Up #2
I love how the flying geese in the sashings are barely there…..and be sure to see the quilting lines in the compass points themselves!  I sure wish I could see this quilt in person.
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Compass Close Up #3

There is a softness that exists in a quilt that is hand quilted that can not really be captured with machine quilting.  This quilt has a lightness and airy-ness to it that you can’t get any other way other than a single needle and thread and small well-placed stitches!
On to the second quilt ---
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Yes, I think Stephen knows me well!  I love Ohio Stars ---stars in general are a favorite, but I love all the versions of Ohio Stars – and pairing them with strategically colored alternate log cabin blocks….WOW!!  To me this has the same “On Point” feeling that Smith Mountain Morning has, minus the cornerstones in the log cabin blocks…and I just love how the log cabin block colors complete the design by matching the background colors of each of the star blocks.  It’s a straight-set quilt --- but it LOOKS on point!
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Star Quilt Close Up #1
FABULOUS quilting!
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Star Quilt Close Up #2
There is SO MUCH to look at and to inspire here!  That mustard yellow color just warms up the different blues and greys and others ----and I also love how some of the stars read as almost “barely there” ---I can’t stop looking at and studying this quilt!
Thanks so much, Stephen for thinking of me and knowing I’d love to see these ----I love them! 
Now what was on the other 60+ photos? LOL!!!
Today we have a Happy Scrappy Houses workshop ----we are at the Center for the Arts in Floyd – and I have ZERO cell access in this town.  Usually I post class photos of the ladies when we get sewing via phone upload– that won’t be possible, so I’ll take the photos and post them later in the day when I have access.
Have a GREAT Tuesday, everyone!


  1. Off across the pond myself. One stop will be a quilt show in Malvern ...you should go to the big show at the NEC in August in(Birmingham, UK).

  2. I had the opportunity to see both these quilts in person at the Festival of Quilts at NEC in Birmingham. They were truly pieces of art. I just loved the mariners compass one for its hand quilted softness. I do agree with you on that hand quilted gives a soft texture you cant get with a machine. I also saw the ohio star quilt and loved the feathers on it and the blend of fabrics but a completely different texture.

  3. Love those Ohio Stars! Thanks for the closeup photo or I'd still be trying to figure out the setting.

  4. I say Wow with you Bonnie, Especcally on the hand quilted one. Those flying geese with with timy berries are so unusual and soo many. Thanks for posting it for us to admire. Then on the Ohio Star it is hard to tell about the logcabin blocks. But beautiful quilting.

  5. Bonnie,
    Thanks for posting those lovely pictures. One thing that struck me was the beautiful, soft colors used in both quilts. I was wondering if this is an"English thing"? I noticed a few years back the Japanese quilters seemed to be very into using taupe and very muted colors. Maybe quilting, as a whole, within countries, moves thru color trends?
    Gorgeous work in both quilts - I'd like to see all 60 photos too!

    1. I think the maker's name on the Mariner's Compass quilt may well have been Japanese, but cannot be certain of that, the other quilt had an English and a German name as the maker and quilter respectively. Not sure if there is an "English" sensibility in colour choices for quilts - we are very heavily influenced by the USA!

  6. Love the posting. Although my stitching is not as fine as these, I am putting the binding on my "Ladies of Welling" quilt I just finished. Fabric exchange from when I was there last year.

  7. Absolutely fantastic. The mariners compass is unbelievable. The Ohio stars is so graphic yet so simple really. I may have to make one of those. I also agree with Margy T about those soft colors. I really love them.

  8. thanks for showing these 2 wonderful quilts. They both have a uniqueness about them but I especially love the hand pieced hand quilted mariners compass. Not to say we in the US do ordinary quilting - I have found in recent years that I think the quilters in Europe, Australia and Japan do more hand work and much more one of a kind quilts than we do here in the states. They have a "uniqueness" about them - you can tell they really take their time to produce a quality hand work that you won't see 50 more of the same if you know what I mean. Or maybe I am just partial to that kind of work being a hand quilter and most times hand piecer. Now if I could just design my own work!

  9. squeal(quilting)!!!! squeal(beautiful color combos)!!!! squeal(for you, for sharing)!!!!!!!!!

  10. Gorgeous--both of them--just gorgeous!!

  11. I saw these 2 quilts in original this year in Birmingham and I must say there are wonderful... if there is a word for more than wonderful think about it, my english cannot explain the beauty.
    Thanks for this post, my memory turned back and I'm happy!

  12. Someday when I grow up (i'm 60) I want to be a fabulous quilter like that!!!! Or maybe if I come back (reincarnation) bc this time line isn't ever going to be enough time!

  13. Bonnie asked if the blue feathers were hand-embroidered - they are indeed, in stem stitch, and in what may be a fine cotton perlé. They appeared to go through all the layers and act as quilting, just in a different stitch from the usual running stitch.

  14. I saw both these quilts at the NEC Festival of Quilts this summer. I loved both of them, they were beautiful!


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