Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wedding Quilt Roundup

There's been a request to share the wedding quilts I have made and gifted to family members, and friends so close that they might as well be family.
With love and blessings to all these couples - Here we go:

For Michelle and Jared:
Wedding Album 2008

For Amy and Mitch:
Dakota Star 2011

For Rachel and Trevor:
Navy Star 2011

For John and Sarah:
Celtic Square 2013

For Chrissy and Derek:
Rhapsody in Bloom 2014

For Laura and Yingda:
Chinese Coins and Lanterns 2014

For Sara and Brent:
Wedding Album 2014 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wedding Album for Sara

My third, and hopefully final, wedding quilt for this year was completed the night before the wedding.  It seems I keep cutting things closer each time!  But yesterday our niece was married and it was a spectacular Minnesota autumn day.  We were so happy to celebrate this wonderful event with them.

Her wedding quilt has been in the works for many years!  The cream fabric with geraniums, which I love so much, had a copyright date of 1991 in the selvage.  Hmmm...  The fabric was purchased 'just because I loved it' and put in the stash.  Years later it was pulled out and sewn into 12 inch album blocks because I loved the pattern.  Now, finally they are put together into a quilt, which I hope is just right for our niece.  A little vintage, a little sassy, pretty, practical and just plain fun.

The black border looks a little abrupt in this photo, but it has a grey geometric pattern on it.  Family members signed the blocks in the outer row and added their blessings and good wishes to the newlyweds.

My daughter is in town for the wedding, and remarked that she couldn't find a photo of her wedding quilt on the blog.  So I have had to promise to put that in a post soon.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Heritage Days 2014

Saturday was a beautiful day for our community festival.  Most of my quilts were brought out of various storage spaces around the house and they filled the quilt demonstration area!  Hubby was aghast at the number of quilts that I pulled out, and I know it was only about half of the ones I have around here.  ...Busted!

There were a couple of my very first quilts that were yarn tied - to demonstrate how the stress on those tie points eventually leads to the fabric tearing out.  There were quilts from old denim jeans and old sweatshirts (didn't have my son's T-shirt quilt this year) - to demonstrate that we still make quilts today out of our old clothing, just like in the 'old days'.  It's just different fabrics.

There were examples of 9-Patch, Log Cabin, Irish Chain, applique' and paper pieced quilts.  I set up the quilting frames that I was gifted a few years back.  They belonged to my dear friend's mother:  One with long poles, and the other a hooped lap stand.  Quilts in trunks, on ladders, on quilt racks and hanging from the tree!

The most fun was to be able to talk about the reproduction of the 1893 Album quilt.  There was a steady flow of two or four people in the booth all day long from 11-4.  Then a storm rolled in and we hustled to get everything picked up before the rain.  It was an exhausting day, but such fun too!  I don't sell any of the quilts, they're just there for 'props', but I keep getting asked about it.  I did sell two books about the Album Quilt though!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pond Album Quilt Reproduction Finished!

Doing my happy dance today!  The reproduction of the Album Quilt from the Bloomington Historical Society is quilted, bound and finished.  It was a huge push to get it done in time for the quilting presentation I will be giving from 11-6 on this Saturday at Heritage Days.

The top was finished in time for last year's festival, and then it 'rested'.  Finally, last weekend as I was planning out this year's quilting presentation I decided to Git'r Done!

Monday morning the sewing machine came out and I got to work.  Baptist Fans.  Millions of them! lol  Just like the original, but by machine instead of by hand.  Don't you just love the texture they give to this quilt?

The great things I discovered about quilting Baptist Fans are: 1) you don't have to mark anything - just start in one corner with a quarter circle and then use the side of the presser foot to make parallel arcs.  When I finished 12 arcs, I just made a new little quarter circle and started over.  2)  The arcs make all the quilting lines bias at some point.  This really helps with easing in fabric to make things lie flat.  There are small puckers here and there, but the overall quilting texture hides them so well!  And I refuse to go crazy if something isn't perfect.  Life is too short!

Last night I put in the last stitches just before bedtime.  Twenty-seven hours of quilting and 17 bobbins used.  But it's done - and I couldn't be more excited.  The original is so fragile, so it will be so nice to have a hands-on quilt that people can touch and see while I share information that I have gathered about the original quilt and the Native American women who made it back in 1893.

My family teases me that I'm becoming a celebrity. lol   I gave the initial presentation about the quilt last July at the Bloomington Museum, and now have been asked to make a couple more presentations:
Saturday, Sept. 20th at Bloomington MN Heritage Days  11-6 near the Historical Society tent.
Sunday, Oct. 19th at the Pond Dakota Mission, Blooomington MN  2pm.
Next April at the local DAR chapter meeting. TBD

I do hope that the 1893 Album quilt becomes more well known, and the stories of the women whose names appear on it can once again come alive.

A small book about the 1893 Album Quilt will be available at the presentations for $6, and by mail for $8 (includes postage within the US.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Friends and Companions update

Today I had some bobbins I needed to use up so I could have them available to do some machine quilting this week, so I finished a few more blocks from the Marcus Friends and Companions Sew Along.  Blocks 1-6 are done in all three colorways.  Let's take a look!

Autumn colors- just for fun.

I used red in place of yellow for the baskets in block 5. I thought it needed more contrast.

Marcus original color suggestions: I ran out of green, so block 6 has 'black' instead.

Block 7 has been posted, but I won't get to that one until next week.

This week is going to be a full week of quilting!  This Saturday is Bloomington Heritage Days and I will be demonstrating quilting all day at the Historical Society booth area.  Over the weekend I pin-basted up the replica of the Pond Album Quilt in the BHS collection and I've been quilting it with Baptist Fans all day.  I put in 8 hours on it today and it looks like I have another 20 hours of quilting to go!  I usually don't wish I had a long arm quilting machine, but I actually thought about it this morning.  My little Elna is doing pretty well, but she may need to be treated to a cleaning and tune-up when I'm done quilting up this Album quilt and another queen quilt for my Niece Sara's wedding which is less than two weeks away.