Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Chores

This is a little frustrating.  If you've been looking for details about the Sisters Quilt Weekend on the Pinecone Playhouse site, it isn't there as of 7:50 PM on Saturday, October 16.  The event  is happening, and will be next weekend at the Pinecone Playhouse in West Yellowstone.  Here are all the details:

Sisters Quilt Weekend:      

UFO (Un finished Quilt Object) Workshop
October 22 and 23, 2010

Pinecone Playhouse, 121 Madison Ave
West Yellowstone, Montana,

Yes! A workshop dedicated to finishing quilts! All the fun of a great escape, and a finished project too!

Finishing a quilt is an occasion for celebration, so please come to our party!  Come prepared to finish a project or two, or at least come prepared to commit to considering the possibility of setting a completion date.  Quilters may be genetic sisters, sisters of the heart, sisters of the cloth met in a fabric shop, or innocent bystanders. Non-quilting friends are welcome, but must accept the possibility of becoming convinced of the importance of UFO’s in the universe. Please, no children except as paid participants. 

Please plan to declare your quilt completion commitment when you arrive, and bring a finished quilt or two to share for our quilt show.

Door prizes!  Fat quarter exchange!  Ugly fabric contest!  Participant Quilt Show!
This is our biggest event of the year, so register early!  Deadline:  October 20, 12:00 Noon

$10.00 Registration fee, non-refundable
$45.00  Friday and Saturday, includes dinner Friday, breakfast and lunch Saturday)
$20.00  No meals, attend Friday and/or Saturday
$20.00  Saturday with  lunch

So, everyone pays the registration fee, but other costs will depend on the meal/no meal option you choose.

Schedule: Friday
12:00 Noon             Registration, unfinished quilt project deadline selection begins
1:00-3:00 PM         Quilting, piecing, appliqué, or kibitzing
3:00-3:10 PM         Recess
3:10-5:30 PM         Quilt!
5:30-6:00 PM         Pre-dinner break
6:00 PM                 Dinner
7:00 PM                 Informal Quilt Show and Victoria Rose Quilts trunk show
8:30 AM                 Breakfast
9:00 AM                 Quilt!
10:30-10:40AM      Recess
10:40-12:00 Noon   Quilt
12:00-12:30PM      Lunch and door prize drawing
12:30-3:00 PM       Quilt! 
3:00-4:00 PM         Final opportunity to present finished projects, Clean-up

To register, call Anna at (435) 734-2635.  If  your call is missed, please leave a  message; your call will be returned.  Or email

Heritage Quilt Workshop and Pinecone Playhouse are programs of the Western Heritage Arts Center, Preserving, Presenting, and Promoting the Best of the American West.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yellowstone in Autumn

I spent last weekend in the "greater Yellowstone" area.  The potato harvest is nearly finished in Southeast Idaho, and there are migrating swans resting on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River below my mother's house. 

After quilt class related business in West Yellowstone on Friday, I drove into Yellowstone Park to see the new Visitor's Center at Old Faithful.  Nice building, great bookshop, and quilt stuff too!  The Yellowstone Association bookshop has a section labeled Crafts which includes a couple of counted cross-stitch kits and an intriguing selection of color prints of various park icons on fabric.  We will chase down the manufacturer and distributor to let you know where else those prints might be available.  I know there are a few at the Send It Home shop in West Yellowstone, which, by the way, is the only place in West with quilt fabric.  Our Columbine Sillhouette and Baby Bear Paw quilt patterns are in the shop.  Patti also has a selection of Yellowstone themed fat quarters (fish, wolves, cowboys, etc.) and kits and books from Quilting in the Country.  There is an intriguing selection of yarns, including buffalo yarn.  Patti takes a break in late October and opens again in December, but her yarns and knitting kits are available on line.

The big news is Sisters Quilt Weekend, October 22 and 23, at Pinecone Playhouse in West Yellowstone.  This year the theme is UFO's, with prizes for quilters who finish their Un-Finished-quilt-Objects during the party.  Check in and start working any time after noon on Friday, the 22nd.  Dinner on Friday, breakfast on Saturday, and lunch Saturday are included in the price.  And chocolate.  There is a no-food option for our quilting friends who are on severely restricted diets.  There's also a Saturday only option.  By Tuesday, October 12, all the details will be available on the Pinecone Playhouse website (click on Heritage Quilt Workshop) too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

French doll quilt and UFO quilt

Hand pieced doll quilt Nine-Patch-Nine-Patch

This little quilt is ready for binding.  Making these small quilts as class and pattern samplers is delightful.  I can take a whole quilt with me to my grandson's dentist appointment in plastic sandwich bags, or do the piecing and quilting while watching football games or traveling.  I haven't managed to quilt while eating breakfast and reading the cereal box, but where there's a will...."

While sorting and organizing my stash, I got down to the bottom of the back of the closet in the sewing room. What does one do with a 90 X 90 applique quilt in colors that are no longer particularly enticing?  I'm beginning to think there is a reason this quilt never was quilted.  Hmmm.   Now there's a quilt for the UFO/UFQ Sister's Quilt Weekend.  At least there will be several people with ideas about how to improve the quilt. I'll take the fabrics with me.  Maybe someone will fall in love with it and take it home to live in her closet!

Sister's Quilt Weekend:  UFO/UFQ party:  October 22 and 23 in West Yellowstone, Montana.  See September Sister's Quilt Weekend blog below for more information. 

To register: Call Pinecone Playhouse 121 Madison Ave, West Yellowstone, Montana, (406) 646-4107

Heritage Quilt Workshop and Pinecone Playhouse are programs of Western Heritage Arts Center.

Applique Christmas quilt progress

One of four green blooks in the Christmas Hawaiian Applique quilt
The quilting phase of the Hawaiian Appliqué Christmas quilt is going quickly. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of appliqué I forget how much fun the quilting is. I love being able to take the one square I’m working on with me, instead of having the whole quilt taking up the family room for days on end.

Center block for the Christmas Hawaiian Applique quilt

The setting for this quilt is similar to the Baby Bear Paw, putting the appliqué blocks “on point.” (Not to be confused with “en pointe,” which leaves the dancer's toes aching. Remind me to post some pictures of my Nutcracker Ballet costumes for the Dream Pointe Ballet Company) The quilt will take advantage of the concepts behind speed cutting of triangles to manage the quilt-then-assemble order of construction for Hawaiian style appliqué

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anna's Anxiety List Sept 22

Applique thread selection is one of my current anxieties.  I've used YLI silk thread for years, and love the way it disappears into the turned edge on needle-turn projects.  However, many of the shops which used to carry silk thread don't have it now.  I suspect part of the problem is cost, as silk thread can be twice as expensive as cotton.  Size 50 cotton thread works, but just doesn't have the strength of silk of the same weight.  For hand-applique projects, I am investing so many hours that I want the materials be the best available.  That's also why I hand-quilt applique projects.  So, what is your experience with applique threads?

Weekend in the islands, Montana variation

The weekend Hawaiian style applique class in West Yellowstone was terrific, at least from my point of view.  I hadn't realized that teaching quilt classes outside my home area would result in making new friends.  The ladies were so pleasant to work with and so cheerful  that the learning process was delightful.  Our hosts at Pinecone Playhouse provide not only a pleasant space but also do the "running" for lunches and other errands.  

The next Hawaiian applique class is October 8 and 9, again in West Yellowstone.  We'd love to see you there!  All the information is in the September 14 post below.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1896 Quilt revisited

1896 Quilt revisited:

So, why make a reproduction of an old quilt?  (The photo here is of one of the base blocks in the hand-pieced reproduction quilt.  The fabrics are batiks from Quilt Expressions in Boise.  Karen has a fabulous array of batiks.)

The 1896 quilt looks so great in the photo (below in 1896 Quilt post), it is hard to believe it is 114 years old.  Of course there is wear, and a lot of it.    Hanging on a wall somewhere just isn't an option, and neither is lying on a bed in a house with a cat, so the quilt usually lives rolled into a well-washed cotton sheet and tucked into a cotton pillowcase.  Washing it isn't an option, either.  The indigo dyed cotton still has so much pigment in it that a damp Q-tip brushed across it picks up blue.  So, the quilt gets admired occasionally, but is usually in a cool, dark closet, wrapped like a cotton clad mummy.

Here's what Ruth M had to say about her baby quilt:

Ruth’s description of the quilt:

“When I was born, Aunt Sally Buck gave me a quilt she had made.  She made one for each of us from Pat down to me, five quilts.  I still have the one she gave me, a dear keepsake.  It is blue, red, and yellow with unbleached cotton cloth for a lining.  Mother told me that when I was born Aunt Sally wanted me named Sally, but Mother said "No.  There are enough Sally's in the family already."  So Sally Buck flounced out of the room saying, "Well, I am about done giving anyway."  But that may be why one of Dad's nicknames for me was "Little Sal."  Another one was "Duck."  Aunt Sally died the following year, October 1897, leaving Dad a horse and buggy.  He was her executor.”
Ruth’s description of the batting for similar quilts:

“In those days quilts were made of calico and pieces of dress material left over from sewing, and they were filled with cotton.  We picked cotton from our field to make the filling. After we washed it, we carded it into little bats about three inches wide and ten inches long.  We children picked the seed out of the cotton before it was washed.  I remember having my shoe filled with cotton, and my job was to pick out the seed before I could go to bed.  The quilting was done on very closely marked lines.  Most people were able to make fine stitches as the quilts were not very thick.  You may wonder how we were able to keep warm with such light weight cover.  Well, we all slept on feather beds.  When I lay on the feather bed, I just sank in and the bed pushed up around me.  So it did not take much cover to keep warm.”

Excerpts from Histories of Arnold Lewis Sorensen and Ruth M Sorensen  edited by Marion S. Ellingford and Jerelyn S. Decker  © 2000

If you look back at the photo of the complete quilt (1896 Quilt post) you'll see that the single block above has large blue triangles with smaller red ones rather than the large red with small blue of the original.  This block is also slightly larger, using 4" finished blocks rather than the 3 !/2" blocks of the original.  Our choice of measurement was partly made to accommodate using 5" charm squares with the pattern.  Our "Ruth M Rides Again: the 1896 Quilt" has instructions for both 4" and 3 1/2" finished basic blocks.  (We're calling the half-triangle squares the "basic blocks" for this quilt.) 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hawaiian applique quilt classes

Hawaiian Appliqué Christmas Quilt           
October 8 and 9

We're delighted to be presenting a  Hawaiian style appliqué and quilting  class in the Heritage Quilt Workshop.     The project is a hand-made Christmas heirloom, if you choose Christmas fabrics for the applique.  If you've tried hand appliqué and been dissatisfied with the result, are eager to learn needle-turn appliqué, or are just ready for a couple of days focused on quilting, come stitch with us.  Yellowstone is beautiful in the fall, and the fishing is great.

Description: Christmas print 18” pillow or wall hanging, or five block quilt. Two-day class includes lunches.  Instruction includes needle-turn appliqué instruction (including pattern transfer, cutting, basting, and stitching) and pieced block construction, plus the unique quilting and joining method used in Hawaiian style quilts.  Pattern with instruction for completing the pillow or 5 block quilt top.

Please  phone 406-646-4107 for additional information and to register. 

Heritage Quilt Workshop and Pinecone Playhouse are programs of the Western  Heritage Arts Center,
Preserving, Presenting, and Promoting the Best of the American West.

The 1896 Quilt

The 1896 Quilt was made in 1896 by Sally Buck as a baby gift for Ruth Pearl Mallard, who was born September 4, 1896 in Jones County, North Carolina. The original is 75” x 75,” and was hand-pieced from indigo, scarlet, and orange cotton fabrics and hand quilted. The batting is cotton gleaned from the fences and bushes around the Mallard cotton fields. The close quilting is certainly part of the reason it has endured the past 114 years so well. The quilt first came West in 1902 when David Mallard moved his family and experience growing cotton to Pima County, Arizona. In 1921, Ruth M. married an Idaho rancher and moved to Teton Valley, bringing the quilt along.

Our class includes drafting, cutting the pieces and constructing the blocks, hand-piecing instruction, analysis of the quilting and how it stabilizes and increases the visual impact of the quilt, and care and storage of heirloom textiles.  We'll also share more of the history behind the quilt.  Heritage Quilt Workshop classes include "box" lunches.

Our reproduction of The 1896 quilt can be hand or machine pieced. Come spend two days with congenial quilters and expert instruction in the splendor of Yellowstone country in the fall.

If you are interested in the Sept. 20-21 classes to make the 1896 quilt, please call (406) 646-4107 to register.

Fabric requirements for the 1896 quilt:

75” x 75” Reproduction   (3 1/2” blocks)

Orange: 10” square

Red: 2 3/4 yards

Indigo: 3 ⅝ yards  (Borders cut lengthwise)

Thread: Piecing: red or black    Quilting: off white

Back: 4 ½ yards 

45” x 45” Single Panel with borders

Color 1: 1 fat quarter (18” x 22”)

Color 2: 2 fat quarters (18” x 22”)

1 straight quarter (9” x 44”)


Inner: ½ yard (borders cut crosswise)

Outer: ⅔ yard (borders cut crosswise)

Back: 1⅓ yards

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sisters' Quilt Weekend

Sisters’ Quilt Weekend: 
UFQ (Unfinished Quilt) Workshop

October 22 and 23, 2010
12:00 Noon Friday to 4:00PM Saturday 

Finishing a quilt project is an occasion for celebration, so please come to our party!  Come prepared to finish a project or two, or at least come prepared to commit to considering the possibility of setting a completion date.  Quilters may be genetic sisters, sisters of the heart, sisters of the cloth met in a fabric shop, or innocent bystanders. Non-quilting friends are welcome, but must accept the possibility of becoming convinced of the importance of UFQ’s in the universe.

Door prizes!  Fat quarter exchange!  Ugly fabric contest!  Participant Quilt Show!  Patterns and kits for new Yellowstone and Western Heritage related quilts!

Appliqué Trunk show from Marjorie and Anna of Victoria Rose Quilts

Please, no children except as paid participants. 

Please plan to declare your quilt completion commitment when you arrive, and. bring a finished quilt or two to share for our quilt show.

This is our biggest event of the year, so register early! 

Meals:  Please inquire about our meals option for those with severely restricted diets.

$10.00             Registration fee (non-refundable
$55.00             Workshop fee (includes lunches Friday and Saturday, dinner 
                         Friday, chocolate)

To register:       Call Pinecone Playhouse 121 Madison Ave, West Yellowstone, Montana,    (406) 646-4107 

Heritage Quilt Workshop and Pinecone Playhouse are programs of
Western Heritage Arts Center.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Zan in the jungle

Feeling a bit embarrassed over having no picture of the baby quilt I'm working on, I decided to share a gratuitously cute small child instead.
Xan in the jungle

Quilts, pictures, and total frustration

I just realized that I've spent 8 hours working on quilt class registration information, and haven't watered the lawn, fed the cat, or called out for pizza. I do have beautiful informative quilt class registration and information forms, except for the minor problem of no picture of the 1896 quilt. which was made in 1896, in North Carolina.  Sally Buck made the quilt as a gift for the infant Ruth Pearl Mallard.  Family legend says that Aunt Sally was less than pleased when the baby wasn't named after her, and never made another quilt for the Mallard children.  The quilt is red and indigo blue.  Indigo dyed, not just indigo colored, it is hand pieced and hand quilted. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby Bear Paw ready for adventure

The first Baby Bear Paw quilt is not only peiced, appliqued, quilted, and bound, it has been delivered to its new home in the lobby of Pinecone Playhouse in West Yellowstone, Montana.  The theater lobby is also an art gallery, so it is terrific to see a piece of handwork there.  (It suddenly seems odd to use that term only for needle and thread, yarn and cloth works, since the watercolors and oils are done by hand too. ) My sister Antonia handquilted the Baby Bear.  Yes, My Sisters Quilt.  The capital letters are because I want to do an article or perhaps a book some day with the title My Sister's Quilt. At present the quilters are sisters and sisters-in-law, but neices and granddaughters are coming along quickly. 

One of the things that excites me about the Heritage Quilt Workshop is the opportunity to pass on the skills I've learned both in the family, from friends and teachers, and by trial and error.  One of the questions we've had about the workshop is whether we should insist on Only By Hand as the guiding principle. The Baby Bear Paw is machine pieced, hand appliqued, and hand quilted.  Is there a problem with that?

When I first started attending The Quilt Set meetings, the ladies were rather apalled by my mix of hand and machine work.  They were disciples of Sandi Fox (who did a great deal not only to promote quilting when it seemed to be dying, but also to teach techniques that lead her students and their students to understand the art) and thought I was a little brash to be dabbling in strip pieceing and machine applique. I think theyput up with me because I was willing to thread needles for some of the more mature eyes in the group. 

My answer to the dear women of the original Quilt Set group is the same I offer now:  my great-great grandfather's sister's husband bought one of the first sewing machines to 'cross the plains' for the use of their pioneer household.  My grandmother who was born in 1893 used a machine to piece her quilts, whether made in 1925 or 1975, but they were always hand-quilted. 

I enjoy hand-peicing and applique, and handquilting, but I also enjoy the speed with which I can machine piece and quilt for my rambuntious grandson.  There are occasions for combining machine and hand work, and there is no moral imperative to seek an imagined purity of as-our-grandmothers-did-it.  Whatever degree of space age technology we may use, somewhere on the continuum, there is a place for all of us as quilters

So whether you are a hand-piecer or a machine-piecer, or even a stripper, the finished quilts and a comfortable closet full of projects for next week and the week beyond are valuable, whatever the method of construction.

Hmm.  I wonder if a picture of a planned quilt is an appropriate gift for newlyweds who sent virtual invitations to their wedding festivities. ???

Quote of the week:   "There's perfect, and there's good-enough."  Renae G. Allen (RGA Designs)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Too Many Fish

"Over the Limit:  Too Many Fish" is hand pieced.  The fish are fussy cut batiks.  Each fish block is 4" finished.  At the moment I'm trying to decide how to quilt it.  When is not a question, now!  This is a great project for charm squares, since each "fish" can be cut from a 5" square.

One of the pleasures of patchwork by hand is portability.  I did all the block-to-block sewing on a trip to Montana. 

The next Fish quilt combines applique and piecing, and is currently nameless.  Maybe "School's Out."
Here's the finished Baby Bear Paw.  Finished as in pieced, appliqued, quilted, bound, and washed.  I'm always amazed at the difference the last step makes.  This quilt is 100% batiks, with a bamboo batt.

Antonia did a superb job of quilting, which is most obvious on the back, where her beautiful stitching show very strongly against the dark background.

I had some trouble with bearding, which I started to blame on the batt, but not waxing the thread helped a little, and using Thread Heaven  helped a lot.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Columbine Silhouette

Today I was on a Sunday Drive...and I'm inspired to re-visit my Rocky Mountain Wildflowers blocks.  The Arrowleaf Balsam Root, Lupines, and wild roses are blooming in the foothills of Western Idaho.
Happy Quilting!    Marjorie

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Huckleberry Babies

Here"s Baby Bear Paw in brighter batiks.  We're beginning to suspect that everything looks better in batik. (Okay, brides excepted.)

Making two quilts by the same pattern is very unusual around here.  There is always a new idea we want to try (or someone in the family getting married) driving the next quilts. Test-driving the Baby Bear Paw instructions helped pinpoint the rough spots, and the  pattern will be available by May 15.

There will definitely be more baby quilts.  They'll have their own sub-title:  Huckleberry Baby Quilts from Victoria Rose. They'll join  the Ruth M Rides Again heirloom quilt patterns, and designs By Marjorie for Victoria Rose.   The next baby quilt will be a Spring Butterfly, also a combination of pieced and applique blocks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Bear Paw Quilt

The Baby Bear Paw quilt (48" x 48") finally exists as more than a figment of my imagination.  Here is the top, with the borders cropped a bit.  Next up is quilting it, unless I can't wait to piece and applique it in Very Bright.  The heartline is reverse applique and the same fabric as the Bear Paw block center posts. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Victoria Rose Heirloom Clothes is branching out with the addition of Victoria Rose Quilts.  We've been quilting for decades, but only for our own pleasure and amusement.  Now we have an opportunity to share our tips, techniques and original designs through a series of workshops in West Yellowstone, Montana.  Our quilt events will happen May through October at the Western Heritage Arts Center.

Our focus in 2010 will be on teaching hand-work techniques as well as putting a modern spin on traditional designs.  We're all hard at work on projects.  Anna is sewing up the Baby Bears samples for the May workshop.  Marjorie is designing and sewing columbine applique blocks.  And Fred is editing photos of all our inspiration quilts.   We can't wait to get things done so we can share the photos on the blog!