25 April, 2012

Sow-A-Long Blocks 16, 17 &18 . . .

I started this project as a challenge to myself because I seldom, actually never, do well following others especially when it comes to making quilts. Kudos to Randy at BarristersBlock.blogspot.com for making this project interesting!  She offers just enough blocks for me to remain challenged to keep up without keeping me from working on other PIPs.

Vocabulary: 'PIP' means 'Projects in Progress' which I prefer over the alien reference more commonly used. :-)

I was otherwise occupied when Randy posted the 'Milky Way' block as a bonus on April 12th, but here it is:

I finished that one plus the three posted on the Third Wednesday of April last week when I had a little sewing time in between other commitments. 

Sow, what do you think of my version of blocks 16, 17 & 18?

Clockwise from left are Dutchman's Puzzle,
Hooker's Hat Patch*, and Sawtooth Star
(*from Carol Hopkins' 'Civil War Legacies')

Of course, I could not leave out the bonus block posted on April 18th . . .

Since the beginning of February Randy has posted 18 official blocks on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.  Add to that the 6 bonus blocks offered and I have been able to complete the third column of my quilt top.

I create the partial blocks as fillers from either duplicate blocks included in the challenge or elements from the blocks made up into half-blocks to complete what will be the even numbered columns.  

I have just read her blog post for today (April 25) and learned there is an additional bonus block for me to sew which will give me 3 of the 8 blocks I need for my 4th column.  Yippee!

Gelukkig zaaien!

11 April, 2012

AQSG Quilt Study - 2010

 This was my entry for the AQSG Quilt Study in 2010. 

'Homespun Star'
36" x 36"
Participants are asked to write a brief statement about our study projects that includes the following information:

1) Why you selected your inspiration quilt.  Was there something about that quilt in particular or the style that caught your interest?   

2) What approach you took in constructing your quilt.  Did you opt to replicate the original or did you find inspiration from the original to create your own?   How involved was your design process? 

3) What you learned from the process of making your study quilt.  What similarities or differences are there between you and your quilt and the maker of the original?  Did you get any sense of connection with the maker of the original quilt?  How did your experience differ from what you anticipated, or did it?  Why? 

My statement for Homespun Star reads:

Initially, I planned to use a quilt in my own collection as inspiration for the Quilt Study until this long-time favorite jumped off the page of my well-loved copy of Treasury of American Quilts, by Cyril I. Nelson and Carter Houck. As Co-chair of the AQSG Quilt Study project I reasoned that changing my original plan would give me an opportunity to do what other participants were being asked to do: seek permission to use images of the inspiration pieces used for the Quilt Study.
My only disappointment in the process came when I learned from the Museum of American Folk Art, the current owner of the ‘Center Star Quilt’, that there is very little provenance available for this amazing bedcover. After reviewing what is known, it became obvious the information had evolved as quilt historians learned more about identification of fibers used in early whole cloth quilts. For example, the fabrics in this quilt are identified as linsey-woolsey in one publication and wool in another. The confusion about early fabrics gave me just the inspiration I needed; I decided to investigate the process of how ‘home’ spun and woven fibers used in early quilts would have been produced.
My journey started with the purchase of a 19th century spinning wheel. I had never spun any type of fiber before. I found the process VERY challenging in the beginning, initially believing I would never be able to produce a yarn consistently fine enough to actually create fabric. However, with a pound of perseverance I succeeded in spinning enough wool to weave all of the fabrics in my quilt. The front is 100% wool from sheep raised near my home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. For contrast I opted to create ‘linsey-woolsey’ by weaving a wool weft through a purchased linen warp for the back of the quilt.
As a result of making ‘Homespun Star’ I have a genuine appreciation for the industrial revolution that helped relieve women of the responsibility to create the fabrics needed by their families and in their homes. Notwithstanding the hours required to create a few inches of genuine homespun fabric, I am inspired to spin all of the wools and linens to make a whole cloth bed quilt the old fashioned way.
The spinning wheel and rigid heddle loom
I used to make Homespun Star

If you are interested in seeing and reading about all 39 quilts that participated in the 2010 Quilt Study, click on the words "AQSG’s 2010 Quilt Study of Star Quilts".  Twenty-five of the quilts are included in a travelling exhibit that is being exhibited at museums and quilt shows throughout the United States.  The travel schedule is being extended into 2013 and possibly into 2014, so check for updates at http://www.americanquiltstudygroup.org/QS%20Exhibit%20Schedule.asp.

We are in the final stretch of the 2012 Study of Colonial Revival Quilts of the Early 20th Century, but there is still time to participate and space available.  You can review the guidelines at http://americanquiltstudygroup.org/Quilt%20Study.asp.  If you are interested in joining us please feel free to contact the AQSG Quilt Study Committee at AQSGQuiltStudy@yahoo.com or email me directly. 

P.S. - I owe a debt of thanks to my good friend Betty Clarkson, proprietor of Little Pine Traditional Crafts in Lancaster, PA for helping me learn the skills necessary to complete this project.  The shop carries everything a new or experienced spinner, weaver, and dyer of wool could ever need; and Betty's expertise and kindness is unsurpassed!

10 April, 2012

Sow-A-Long Blocks 13, 14 & 15

Life has been busy here.  Yet in between all the fun I have managed to keep up with the Sow-A-Long project organized by Randy at Barrister's Block.  She occasionally speeds this project along by posting extra blocks, as was the case the last week of March. 

March 29, 2012 - Papa's Birds

March 30, 2012 - Scrappy Star

With my limited color palate my it seems my Scrappy Star is not so scrappy, but I like it just the same. 

I only needed one of these two extra blocks, plus two half blocks to finish the second row of my quilt top. 

Last week three 'regular' blocks were posted on the first Wednesday in April.  I had  all of my blocks up-to-date by Thursday, but it has taken me this long to post them. . .

Cups & Saucers, Steps to the Alter
and Friendship Star

The next row requires a total of 7 complete blocks with another two half blocks.  The center of this top will be either a total of 7 or 9 rows.  I have a few ideas already for the borders, but we will have to wait to see what the quilt decides.
Vrolijke lente!

06 April, 2012

AQSG Quilt Study - 2008

The quilt below was my inspiration for the American Quilt Study Group's 2008 Study of Mid 19th Century Red & Green Quilts.

The original quilt is owned by a generous neighbor who allowed me to use their quilt as inspiration for my project.  The shades of tan were once green and the center includes machine quilting.

The quilt was made by a women who may have been a former slave.  Verbal family history indicates the quilt was made sometime after the quilt maker obtained her freedom.  Research is ongoing.

I was fascinated to find machine quilting in the red shapes at the center of each block, but the remainder of the quilting is by hand. The construction of the quilt is a combination of hand and machine. The solid red has held up reasonably well, however, the greens have faded to shades of brown and tan and it is obvious more than one fabric was used.

I deviated from the original solid colors and used earlier 19th century prints for a subtle visual interest. I did all of the applique by hand and used a treadle sewing machine for assembly of the top and all of the quilting.

My 2008 Study Quilt
Study Quilt Label

You can see this quilt and 18 other quilts inspired by 19th Century Red & Green Quilts that were all part of the AQSG 2008 Quilt Study at:

I will share my 2010 study quilt in a future post.

If this type of quilt study is interesting to you, please check out more about this great project at the AQSG website:  http://www.americanquiltstudygroup.org/Quilt%20Study.asp

You can also ask me.  I am the current Quilt Study Committee Chairperson!

05 April, 2012

More Siggies . . .

Here are a few more Siggy blocks I have received . . .

Thank you, Arianne!

Thank you, Mary!
Thank you, Annette!

Swapping these little Siggy blocks with new friends around the world is a great deal of fun!

02 April, 2012

Siggy Blocks . . .

My collection of Siggy blocks is growing. 
Check out some of the recent additions . . .

Thank you, Jeanneke!
Thank you, Chris!
Thank you, Riekie!
Thank you, Linda!

Thank you, Marjo!

If you would like more information about this fun block swap
check out Annelies' blog 'Quilts and Siggies'.
Thank you to Annelies for organizing this project.