Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quilts in the Mill Quilt Show!

Looking for a road trip this weekend?  Why not attend the Courthouse Quilters quilt show?

"Quilts in the Mill" is held at Prallsville Mill in Stockton NJ, about an hour from Allentown.  The guild has a show every other year and you may wish to check it out!!!  

The link to the website about the show is here.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Paws Day: Adios to the Dog Days of Summer

My dog has been ill since May.  At this point, after many tests and procedures all we know is that his liver is the problem (everything else was ruled out).  My job all summer has been to regulate his medication and keep him comfortable.  I don't mind.  As one writer stated, "Dogs are not our whole life--but they make our life whole."  Amen to that.

So I've spent the summer updating my inventory of quilts and finishing UFOs (unfinished quilts). The dog quilt above is one I just completed.  It was Ami Simms pattern, "Dog-Yeared."  I made many quilts using this pattern years ago and this is the last set of blocks.  Once quilted, I will probably donate it to the local hospital or to Camp Erin.

It is hard to imagine that the first day of autumn is later this week.  So I thought I would do another Paws Day posting as we hopefully say good-bye to the dog days of summer.  This one is entitled the "Cuddle Pup Coverlet".  

Here is a close-up; the photography is better:

I love the concept of this piece and think it is something to incorporate in kids' quilts today.  The wagon is actually a pocket and had a little stuffed puppy in it (a string kept him in the wagon-pocket.  I have the actual ad for this piece, in my McCall's Needlework, Fall/Winter 1953-53 magazine.  Isn't this an adorable idea?

Have a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

McKim Monday ( a day late)

Happy Labor Day (a day late)!
Clara Lemlich

Apologies for the late post!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday!!!

This month, I'm featuring a quilt top that is a variation of the pattern that Mckim referred to as "Indian Hatchet".  The pattern was published in McKim's book, One Hundred and One Patterns which was published in 1931.  It was also published in the Kansas City Star in 1935.  
Later that decade, Kansas City Star would feature my variation as "A Quilt of Variety"; Nancy Page quilt patterns would refer to it as "Lattice".  The variation is simple, the middle sections meet to form an X.  
I love the wild and scrappy look of this piece.  It seems to have everything in it but the kitchen sink and I find it cheerful and inspiring.  I hope you do too!

Saturday, September 3, 2016



August 6, 2016 - 9:30am to January 31, 2017 - 4:30pm
Take an up close look at more than a dozen exquisite quilts recently donated to CCHS that have never before been on exhibit.  Pieced or appliqued in the 1800s, they reveal an array of designs in cotton or silk fabrics.  This exhbit is being held at the Chester County Historical Society at  225 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380.  Also, you can visit the website here. Barb G. said there were 24 quilts to view!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jack and Jill

The photos were adjusted so that you could see the pattern.
My friend Carol brought over this crib quilt she found in her attic.  She isn't sure which over her parents this was made for but knowing the history of the family, she knows it had to be either for her mother or father.  Both parents had been born in the mid to late 1920s.  I haven't been able to trace the pattern or kit yet.

The kids do resemble others I have seen from the 1920s, I nicknamed them "the calamity kids."

It always seemed to me that the kids depicted in these pieces seemed about to have some kind of accident and that is why their mouth is open (in alarm).  On both of these pieces, I imagined the calamity was caused by the dogs.  I may be way off base on this assumption but it is the only thing I could create.  Jack and Jill fit into this genre pretty well:

There are many things I like about this piece.  First of all, it has a satin binding which was always my grandmother's choice for babies.  She often said "babies like to play with the satin."  

I also love the embroidery on the script and am going to implement this in another piece I am doing:
I hope you enjoy Carol's wonderful quilt!  I know I am :)  Thanks Carol!

Monday, August 1, 2016

McKim Monday: Fruit Basket

Summertime is the time of enjoying and preserving fresh fruit!
Ruby Short McKim's "Fruit Basket Quilt" was a series quilt published in 1932.  A few years ago, I found this top:
The pattern was meant to be appliqued and embroidered but this one was drawn and colored with crayon.
I've now seen a few quilts with various colored baskets that had fruit colored with crayons.  Because it was a top, I knew I could make a point that I often make in my embroidery program: embroidery can make a quilt better.  
I've done some outline work on a few of the baskets to make my point.
I like to see how well people did with crayon, partially because it's not as easy as it looks and also because the Lehigh Valley is the home of Crayola Crayons factory.
Ad from Needlecraft The Home Arts Magazine, May 1933

Most of the quilts done in this pattern were appliqued and embroidered.  Probably the best example is on the McKim website, here.
Enjoy the opportunity to eat fresh local fruit and happy quilting!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pick-up Work for Hot Summer Days

It's July in the Lehigh Valley and that means heat waves and humidity.  It doesn't help that most of us are all experiencing near drought conditions; my neighbor tells me we are about 5 inches below our normal yearly rainfall.  When I was young, most people didn't have airconditioning like we do now.  It makes one wonder how our fore-mothers dealt with the heat in bygone eras.

Well it certainly could be worse; we could be wearing these kinds of garments AND dealing with a lack of air conditioning.  One of my favorite headlines from old publications is a common advice that I find in the early twentieth century:  "Pick-Up Work for Hot Summer Days."
The articles that I have read from the late 19th century and into the early twentieth century usually mean some kind of handwork, often called fancy work.  "Commence now." The Cultivator and Country Gentleman advised in 1896,   "The long summer days are grand for such work."  

In 1915, The Young Woman's Journal  reminded young women of their duty to always be working and that, "During the summer there will be many opportunities for taking our sewing or crochet work into all sorts of odd nooks..."

I don't know about you but even with airconditioning, it feels too hot to be binding a quilt. These months I often spend completing embroidery projects and small sewing pieces.  If you are interested in some kind of embroidery work,  I suggest Pinterest, Q is for Quilter, or the Antique Pattern Library for free patterns.

What kind of sewing do you complete during the hot summer months?