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.