Thursday, March 31, 2011

Antique Cherry Tree of Life

This pretty antique cherry tree of life quilt from the Southeast USA is for sale on eBay today. The opening bid is $464. There isn't much info about the quilt and I don't know the seller. But I thought the photos were interesting. I like the cherries made from two colors. The ad says they are stuffed, but it doesn't really show in the photos.

Yesterday I went back to see the red and white quilts in NYC, this time with my Mom who also lives in CT. She's not a quilter, but she enjoyed it too. We had lunch there within view of the quilts and it was wonderful. The title "Infinite Variety" is so appropriate for this collection of quilts! We were told by a representative of the American Folk Art Museum that the book about this collection by Elizabeth V. Warren, Guest Curator will be available in a few years. Well, this will be worth waiting for.

I'll be getting my new computer in about 3 weeks, then I'll be back to regular daily posting. I miss visiting with you every day. I can't wait to show you lots of red and white quilt photos. I hope you are all well and doing lots of quilting!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The American Folk Art Museum is exhibiting 650 red and white quilts. Not only are the quilts wonderful, but the way the quilts are displayed (back -to -back in huge spirals) will take your breath away! If there is any way you can get to New York City today, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of this week, please do. You will be reading about this event for years and this is your chance. This free exhibit is located at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue (between 66th and 67th Streets) in New York City. It's about 20 blocks due north of Grand Central Station, a $7 taxi ride. Show hours are: Sunday 11-5, Monday and Tuesday 11-7, and Wednesday 11-5. . I went to see this exhibit yesterday and I think it's the best quilt exhibit I've ever seen. It is the collection of Joanna S. Rose and titled: "Infinite Variety, Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts." A self-described treasure hunter, she's been acquiring quilts since the 1950's at tag sales and the like. To celebrate her 80th birthday she decided she'd like to see all her quilts at the same moment, and give a gift to New York City. Lucky for us, this is what she did. I took countless photos and I'll share the best ones with you soon. There will be a book about this exhibit so keep an eye out for it. You can also get a free app for your iPhone with all 650 images. Visit

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Passage Quilts

Sherri Lynn Wood made this quilt from her grandmother's clothes as part of the bereavement process. She also helps others make memorial quilts and quilts to mark life transitions as a therapeutic activity that you can read about on her website Passage Quilts. What a wonderful idea! See some amazing quilts here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Zigzag Selvage Quilt on Etsy

This delightful selvage quilt was made by my blogland friend Elena McDowell in Texas and it's for sale in her Etsy store for $180. It measures 30" x 37." I like the black and white striped fabric in this quilt. It looks like bold stitching from a distance. Elena makes the most amazing selvage quilts and other items, many of which (40!) have been featured here on the Selvage Blog.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Antique Applique Quilt

This stunning applique quilt is from Stella Rubin Antiques. I wonder if the quilter started by making the four flower and vase panels, then thought of the awesome sashing later. It looks like possibly more than one person worked on this quilt because some of the shapes are neater than others. Do you think she (they) liked how it came out? I do. It was well cared for and not used much judging by it's good condition. It was found in California but probably made in the South around 1920. It measures 68" x 80." Don't you wish this quilt could talk?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Create Your Own Fabric!

Did you know that you can create your own fabric design? Visit Spoonflower and see how you can upload your design image and order any amount of fabric for $18+ per yard. The website is very easy to use. You can test you pattern before ordering. I'd like to try this. There are examples of fabrics that people have already created, like the one above. I'd like to try this.

See my guest post on Bumblebeans today about a quilt that I started at the recent quilt retreat at Victoria's loft in New York City.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Computer is on its Last Leg

I'm going computer shopping and will be back online as soon as possible. I'm so behind on emails and posting your selvage projects but I'll catch up.

Other than that, all is well. Spring is coming. Everybody's okay. I'm stoked from the recent quilt retreat. Haha.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quilt Retreat in New York City!

Meet my friend Victoria of BumbleBeans in New York City. She hosted the most wonderful quilt retreat this weekend. Here she is at Rockefeller Center on Saturday. And here's our group below, from left to right: Jackie of CV Quiltworks, LeAnn of Nifty Quilts, me, Jessica of Life Under Quilts (in the blue coat), Kim of Pokeytown Kim (in the red coat), Victoria, Bonnie of The Scrappy Bee, and Helen from Long Island. (Andrea of The Little Collection wasn't in the photo.) We were in the Garment District and stopped for photos at this statue of a man working at a sewing machine.

This is Victoria's loft below, all set up for the retreat. We had plenty of space to work. She provided seven boxes of scraps for us to help ourselves to. Plus we brought more. And they were very cool scraps too! It was very interesting to see how other quilters used our scraps.

Victoria is a wonderful cook and she pampered us with all kinds of delicious dishes.

Here we are (above) sewing and talking and laughing. That's Jackie (below) working away.

This is Andrea above (The Little Collection) with a quilt that she made for her sister's wedding. See the quilting below. Isn't it beautiful?

LeeAnn brought her gorgeous eyelash quilt. We've seen it on her blog, so it was a real treat to see it in person.

Victoria showed us this stunning yellow star quilt (below) that she'll be exhibiting at the Empire Quilter's Show coming up later this month. She likes her quilts nice and big.

Here is LeeAnn in front of her zig-zag quilt that she made this weekend. Her color and pattern combinations were extraordinary. I love it.

Below are Bonnie's hand applique blocks. She alternated between machine and hand work. The foundation fabric is a pale gray, very nice. Each block has one "tile" that is cut in the shape of an object like a bird or a flower. And her stitches are tiny.

Below you can see my workspace. This quilt top in progress was inspired by a quilt that Bonnie has on her blog. I made blocks by randomly arranging the darker colors, then surrounding them with sawtooth borders. It doesn't look like Bonnie's anymore; but that's what started it all. I'll show you more as it develops.

After making a huge pile of sawtooth triangles, I took a break by starting the quilt top below. I think it needs some applique vines or something more, but I like it. There are some very unique fabrics in this quilt, including some that Victoria used in a Chinese New Year quilt.

It was so energizing and delightful to spend the weekend with talented and friendly quilters. Tomorrow I'll show you some photos from our Saturday afternoon "field trip" to see the quilts at the American Folk Art Museum.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Quilt Room is Coming Together

Remember a while back I asked for advice about wire baskets for fabric storage? Well this is what I got, an Elfa system from the Container Store. Even though each drawer is loaded pretty full, they still pull out smoothly, and the drawers come all the way out which is nice.

The 9-cube unit on top is from Target. I've always loved the look of yarn displayed like this. And 3 vases for needles and crochet hooks. Oh, the possibilities! (I bought the smallest vase to hold my crochet hooks for $1 at Goodwill this week.) Up on top there are some more needles in 2 antique Japanese vases, a wire dress decoration from Pier 1 Imports, and my sewing box, which you may also recognize as the Online Quilt Museum's Suggestion Box. Haha. Adding a little color to the scene is a chair that I painted just for fun.

The fabrics are sorted in categories like: solid red-yellow, solid green-blue, solid neutrals, Dots Stripes and Plaids, Kaffes, Pre-cuts, Novelty, Silk, Floral, Batik etc. One small drawer is just for greens and foliage prints! Some kind of jungle/garden quilt is on the horizon for me.

I still have a lot of plastic boxes though. Above you can see my selvage stash. Three boxes full and an empty one on top for new additions. I have some wire wreath frames in there that I may cover with selvages. Not sure about that; it seems like a waste of good selvages.

Hopefully these boxes of backing and quilt tops will be processed this year, reducing the quantity of stacked boxes. We'll see. The 7 boxes on the far left are scraps like one-inch strips and orphan bits (as opposed to bigger folded pieces).

There's still a long way to go to get organized after all these years of having stuff in storage, but it's coming along. My lower back is hurting this week. I wasn't careful about lifting, but I will be in the future!

Thanks for visiting me in my new quilt room. More photos to come as I make progress.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Aslan is on the Move - TQS Giveaway Winners

If you've read C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia," you'll remember that for a long time it was always winter and never Christmas. When winter finally broke they knew that the power of the white witch was ending and Aslan was on the move. That's what it felt like Sunday afternoon here in Litchfield, CT. It warmed up and we could see patches of grass. This is North Street where I like to go for walks. The houses date from the 1820's and it looks like these massive trees do too.

The winners of The Quilt Show membership giveaway are:
1. Samelia's Mum from Wollongong, NSW, Australia and the Samelia's Mum blog.
2. Sharon from Washington, and the Indigo Threads blog.
3. Quilt Rat from Ontario, Canada, and The Quilt Rat blog.

Congratulations! Book giveaway coming soon so stay tuned.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Creative New Fabrics by Mark Lipinski

Look at these new fabrics in the Chester Garden series for Northcott by Mark Lipinski on eQuilter. You can see all 49 fabrics right there. I really like these elegant swirls, toile-style drawings, birds, little vines, circular designs...They have a new look, but they also have a vintage feel. Beautiful job, Mark!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Do You Buy or Sell on Etsy?

Isn't this a striking string quilt? It's for sale from Pippa Patchwork for $80 on Etsy. I'm thinking about selling some quilts and I'd like your input about using Etsy. At this moment there are 33,715 quilts for sale on Etsy! A search for "new quilts" on eBay showed 18,954 listings. That's a lotta quilts! Any thoughts? Thanks.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Three Posts in One

Here's an eye-catching handbag for you! It's designed by Joao Sabino of Portugal.

This is a clever new invention, the Nubrella which protects you from wind as well as rain.

In a search for images of antique quilts, I found this beautiful sampler quilt. Each center square is surrounded by sawtooth and solid borders. The many striped fabrics used in the sawtooth triangles gives a distinctive look. I think it would be fun to make a scrappier and "wonkier" version of this quilt.

Have a creative day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Silk Quilt Top Found and Giveaway Winners Annouonced

As you know, I've been unpacking my boxes of quilt stuff and setting up my quilting room. One of the best boxes was full of quilt tops. This one is from my silk phase. I found silk dupioni (it has little nubs in it) in NYC for $7/yard a few years ago and stocked up on some pretty colors.

This photo was taken on the porch that's outside my quilt room, above our dining room. Yes, we still have over a foot of snow!

Aren't these colors delicious? This top is improvisationally pieced; lots of fun.

The winner of the "Flying Colors" book is Mimi from Ohio, and the Time for Mimi blog.
The winner of the Tinkerbell fat quarters is Shelia Heichel of TX and the Magical Damsel Fly blog.
TQS winners will be announced soon. Mr. Random Number Guy got tired. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Book Giveaway: Flying Colors by Gail Garber

Author Gail Garber shows how to design quilts with freeform shapes and loads of flying geese in this new book from C and T Publishing. The book is full of line drawings and beautiful color photos to guide and inspire. There are also 5 paper pieced projects with full-size pull out paper foundations. I think this book offers some a-ha! moments for most quilters, even beginners.

If you're looking to add new skills to your quilting in 2011, this might be just the ticket. Enter a comment for the random drawing for this book. Tell us where you stand with paper piecing at the moment. I'll go first: My sister Eileen showed me how to do it, and I tried it and thought it was pretty cool, but I haven't done it since. I do love a pickle dish design and those long "Karen Stone-style" points, so maybe it's high time to return to paper piecing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meet Eleanor McCain

Take a look at these fabulous quilts by art quilter Eleanor McCain in Florida. See her "Thirteen Series" too. I think my favorite is the complicated one below. Talk about "over the top!" Bravo, Eleanor!