Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quilting Arts & the role of non-traditional quilt projects

One of my favorite reads is Quilting Arts Magazine, as it reflects my more recent interest in bold color combinations and non-traditional quilt patterns.

Don't get me wrong ~ I appreciate the intricacies of a Baltimore Album Quilt. Be sure to see the online quilt exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society website with some prime examples.

Maybe I'm just not that disciplined anymore. (Was I ever?!) Or maybe I am just spreading wings to embrace non-traditional fiber art. For years I've hid behind my old-fashioned black-and-white DearMYRTLE logo, but I recently updated my blog to include a wacky background design.

I still see quilts as precious family heirlooms - evidence of the creativity and skill of the women (and some few men) who quilted.

When it comes to my own work of late, I tend to play around with color. I am influenced by the trip to Alaska this spring where the Native totems offer bold design elements in my sketch book. Batik fabrics intrigue me.

Where once I used to piece by machine and hand quilt, I am now poised to do more machine quilting with the new Pfaff Quilt Expressions my husband purchased for me last fall. It is so much easier than just lowering the feed dogs on my old Singer. We set up a sewing center in the daylight basement of our home out west, complete with a 4x6 foot, 38-inch high cutting table. (Read that no more back aches!) We also created a sunny, bright upstairs sewing room at our townhouse in Virginia. Gordon had to remove a few battlefield maps, and he even understood I'd prefer the shocking pink office chair to a black leather model from Staples for my new sewing space.

I never cease to be amazed by the gorgeous quilts our ancestresses created, totally by hand in less than ideal conditions. I've been reading a book about Appalachian quilters, and have seen pictures of their quilt frames suspended from the ceiling. Their projects could be rolled up when not in use. Isn't setting up space for quilting projects a big problem for any generation?

High tech for previous generations brought the advent of a foot-pedal sewing machine. But no amount of mechanization can replace the creativity of color choices and patterns.

The concept of quilting bees is something I believe all to many 21st century quilters may be overlooking. Women getting together ~ quilting, talking, sharing ~ all great elements offered by quilting bees. Historically quilting bees were a socially accepted break from routine. Sharing squares, making quilts for church fund-raisers and wedding presents -- so much of a woman's social life revolved around this creative artistic outlet.

Maybe the enthusiasm to be together quilting -- even if virtually -- is why the Genea-Quilters Facebook page and this blog have become so popular in just two weeks of existence.

So what are the driving forces behind your quilt work?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's Your Favorite Quilt Read?

I love quilt books. I even have some that mix genealogy with quilting. My favorite quilt magazine is Quilter's Home. This magazine is fun and has great articles. It's very different than your everyday quilt magazine.

My favorite quilt books are those that involve the state quilt documentation projects. One example is North Carolina Quilts. These books are great because they not only tell the history of quilts in that state but they include the maker's photograph and bio. These are a great genealogical source for finding information on women's lives.

So what is your favorite quilt read?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FGS 2010: Genea-Quilters Field Trip pic

(c) 2010 Tami Glatz, used with permission.

We've gone.
We've shopped
We even learned the Quilters' Theme Song. 

If you twist our arms, we'll sing it for ya!

Monday, August 16, 2010

#FGS2010 Genea-Quilters Field Trip INFO

Mammaw's Thimble Fabric & Quilt Shop
4028 Papermill Drive NW
Knoxville, Tennessee 37909

From downtown Knoxville, take I-40 west to Papermill, turning a sharp right at the exit. 2/3 of the way there you'll pass a school on the right. About 20 blocks on the right you'll find the innocuous strip mall on your right. MawMaw's is about 2/3 of the way down the line of businesses. 
5pm Tuesday,  17th August 2010

I'll be leaving the front of the Hilton Hotel, 501 West Church Avenue, Knoxville at 5:05 pm.


#FGS2010 Genea-Quilters Raffle INFO

Be sure to stop by the Fairfax Genealogical Society's booth #613 in the exhibit hall at the Knoxville Convention Center Thursday (doors open at 9:30am) through Saturday Noon (when we have our drawing!) to examine the three prizes in our Genea-Quilters 1st Semi-Annual Raffle. Buy raffle tickets:
  • $2 each
  • 10 for $10 
  • 20 for $15 
OUR DRAWING will be held at noon on Saturday at the booth -- while we're doing our FAT QUARTER SHARE!

Exhibit Hall Hours - Map
  • Wednesday: (set-up only; not open to the public)
  • Thursday, August 19, 9:30am - 5:00pm
  • Friday, August 20, 12:00pm - 7:00pm Due to banquet being on Thursday night, Friday night will be EXHIBIT HALL NIGHT.
  • Saturday, August 21, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Six fat-Quarters shown below -- enough to do a mini-wall hanging, a quilted bag or embellish a vest. Value $15. ( I am piecing a quilt out of these companion fabrics. Great hand, gorgeous colors and snazzy patterns! I think you'll love this combination, too!)

Snap Happy II Pattern for a cute little bag that snaps closed by using part of a carpenter's metal measuring tape. No raw seams, and has an inside pocket and a boxed bottom. Whip several up with the combination of brights (1 each fat quarter in orange and an orange/blue polka dots) or traditionals (1 each fat quarter prints in green, larger multiprint, burgundy, gold and navy) as shown below! Value: $25.

11th Edition 2010-2012 Quilters' Travel Companion ($19.95 value) 2 yards each pink flannel (one polka dots, one animal print); 2 yards each Halloween Prints (candy corn & Boo!); 3 fabric-covered book marks ($12.50 value); Summer Song mix 'n' match fat 1/8ths (pinks, oranges & bright greens). Total Value $125.

And just HOW to do you get Genea-Quilter's name badge? Visit Fairfax Genealogical Society's booth #613 on the side wall in the Exhibit Hall, buy some raffle tickets, and get the tag to attach to your conference badge. Otherwise, I'll also have a few to hand out as I see you at the APG-PMC and other events during the week.

You need NOT be present to win, but you must claim your prize by 3pm on Saturday 21 August 2010 at the Fairfax Genealogical Society Booth #613 as noted above.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to Bind a Quilt: 12 NEW Quilt Binding and Finishing Methods for Your Art Quilts - Quilting Arts

HALF the battle to actually FINISHING  that quilt or wall hanging is figuring out how to do the binding. Here's the link to a free e-book from our friends at chock full of ideas for getting the job done.

It's a quick, FREE 2.3 MB download, and your Acrobat Reader will open in this colorful book in a jiffy. So if you are into a bias tape mitered edge, plan on using the backing as the frame, or are dealing with a non-traditional "arsty" shaped wall hanging, this book is for you. They've even got one project where the quiltis mounted on a stretcher frame as if it were an oil painting.

These folks at Quilting Arts Magazine think outside the box.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Luana's Color Ideas from Italy at eQuilter Studio

We don't live in a black & white world, and sometimes you've just got to go wild -- hold nothing back.

If you are on the fence, then you'll probably love this's video featuring Luana Rubin on Quilting Arts TV about using inspiration from your surroundings to determine colors for your next few projects.

Tell me, what do you think of Luana's studio? Don't those bright colors get your creative juices flowing?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Across our sewing table - 12 August 2010

Thank-you for sharing your photos of family tree quilts, old timey-quilts ~ each a treasure created by loving hands. Some of you are pretty darned good quilters, too!

These folks who posted links via Facebook or email :

These folks posted photos of quilts by uploading them to our Genea-Quilters group on Facebook.
  • Gena Philibert Ortega uploaded a pic of her multi-fabric & well-stitched Crazy Quilt
  • Becky Jamison posed with her family photo quilt showing every member of her family from grandchildren to her grandparents. Love those colors, too Becky!
  • Tami Glatz uploaded a shot of her family tree quilt made for her Dad, reporting that her sister embroidered the names and dates on all the leaves.
  • Tami Glatz  also included a link to her public Picasa Web Album of quilts. You'll find a heart applique quilt made for the wedding of one of Caitie's friends, a baby quilt for Linda's 2nd baby, an Attic Windows baby Quilt for one of Caitie's Swiss babysitters (I'll volunteer to sit!), a delightful Christmas Tree Quilt, a collaboration quilt (look for the "spools" in one of the squares!), and a whimsical Cat Puzzle Quilt using reproduction prints. This girl can quilt!
  • Frenette Brown got busy laying out her heirloom quilts and taking pics of them. See the quilt made in 1957 for her wedding by her grandmother. She had to pack this up because her son took the quilt to the beach, of all places! 
  • Frenette Brown included a quilt made by her grandmother, a modified Bear Claw design that looks like little May baskets of pink flowers on a field of lavender.
  • Frenette Brown explains the 1915 North Georgia multi-pieced star patch quilt was made by her great-grandmother. "This may be the oldest one I have, and the black fabric is rotten. Don't guess it could be fixed, but I have saved it - love the design. [...] It was made by my Great-grandmother, who raised my Father and his 2 siblings after his Mother died. This was in North Georgia, probably around 1915." 
  • Frenette Brown shared a predominately Yellow and Lavendar Rose Quilt -- all hand stitched.
  • Frenette Brown also added the Tufted Blue & White bedspread shown in the upper right. She explains "This may not be of interest to quilters, but maybe to historians on bedspreads. Dalton, GA. was the start of tufted spreads, A woman invented the single-needle tufting machine- lot of women had one in their homes and sewed designs printed on the sheeting supplied by a company, or made their own. This was made by my Mother. This led to machines with many tufting needles, and eventually to carpet-making, and Dalton is considered the 'Carpet Capital of the World' now."

    I'm CERTAINLY interested, Frenette, and I am sure other Genea-Quilters will be as well. I never knew about the tufting  patterns and the printed patterned sheet tufting kits. Very kewl!

    By the time I was a little girl, one could purchase these tufted spreads. Mine was white on white, and I had one for each of the twin beds in my room. They replaced the yellow "Sunbonnet Sue" quilts my mother had made for me by the local Relief Society. I remember walking under the quilt frames as the ladies did the hand quilting.
Somehow I'll try to keep up with posting the links to things people share with me privately or publicly. Folks have written to ask if hand tatting or crocheted heirlooms might be added to the mix. I say YES! What a wonderful way to honor the handiwork of our ancestors.

1st Semi-Annual Genea-Quilters Raffle @FGS2010

FOR DETAILS of the #FGS2010 raffle, click here.

WHAT would you like to see in the Genea-Quilters 1st semi-annual raffle?

A new rotary cutter?

A sought after quilt book?

Fabric brights or pastels?

An cache of fat quarters?

Fabric for Halloween? Christmas?  New Years?

What about  a gift card to use at your favorite fabric store?

A pack of ink-jet printer fabric for photo transfers?

A subscription to your favorite quilting magazine?

Give me some ideas, and I'll try to make most of it happen for the 1st semi-annual Genea-Quilters Raffle at FGS 2010 Knoxville next week, building up to the 2nd semi-annual Genea-Quilters Raffle at NGS in the spring.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Make Photo Memory Quilts

Here's a smattering of suggestions for making photo quilts like the one I made my Dad for his 70th birthday.

If you'd like someone else to make the memory quilt here is a suggestion. I don't know these folks, but their website looks pretty good.
  • (by Sandi, with lots of completed quilts on display! They will make a personal web page for you, so you can help them arrange the photo layout, select your basic color scheme, etc.)

FGS Conference - Genea-Quilters field trip & fat quarter share

OK, Gang! Let's meet up ~ just before our annual FGS Conference next week!

I know of a great shop in Knoxville -- Mammaw's Thimble Fabric & Quilt Shop. Gordon and I shopped there during our honeymoon on our way to FGS-Little Rock last summer. It is located in an innocuous strip mall about ten minutes from the Knoxville Convention Center. I think you'll  agree that the owner is a kick, and she has some GREAT fabric collections.
We will meet Tuesday the 17th at the front of the Knoxville Convention Center Hilton Conference Hotel, 501 West Church Avenue, Knoxville at noon 5pm. I have enough room in my bright red GMC Envoy for 4 riders. If we have more takers, perhaps someone else can drive as well. We will be gone 3 2 hours, and be back in time to pick up our FGS registration materials when the desk opens at 3pm. to attend the 7-9pm APG Roundtable.

Here's the schedule for the APG, Librarian's Day & FGS Conference schedules, in case you are worried about a conflict with your genealogy-related events for the week.

  • Tuesday Wednesday, 17 18 Aug 2010 - APG Professional Management Conference, 8:30am - 5pm. at the Hilton, Salon AB on the BR level (FGS Confernce Hotel) - Ooops! The FGS conference brochure was incorrectly listed this event for 18 Aug on page 16. 
  • Tuesday 17 Aug 2010 - FGS Conference Registration 3-6pm, Knoxville Convention Center.
  • Tuesday, 17 Aug 2010 - OUR FIELD TRIP to MawMaw Thimbles!
  • Tuesday, 17 August 2010 - APG Roundtable, 7-9pm
  • Wednesday, 18 August 2010 - ProQuest Librarian's Day.
  • Wednesday, 18 August 2010 through 21 August 2010 - FGS Conference
  • Thursday, 19 August 2010 - Exhibit Hall opens at the Knoxville Convention Center.
Even if you cannot go on the field trip, you CAN participate in our first semi-annual Genea-Quilters Fat Quarter Share.  We will hold the share in the vendor hall on Saturday, 21 Aug 2010 in the FGS Exhibit Hall at the Nashville Convention Center just BEFORE the drawing to see who wins the raffle! I've just got to find a vendor who is willing to share a tiny bit of space with our group!

Purchase a raffle ticket from Ol' Myrt at FGS to win a basket of quilting supplies. The drawing will be held  on Saturday, 21 Aug 2010 in the FGS Exhibit Hall at the Nashville Convention Center as we finish up the Genea-Quilters Fat Quarter Share. Proceeds repay the donor and go toward the next raffle, to be held at NGS If we work this right,  as the years go on, the raffle prize could include some really great stuff!

What haven't I thought of yet?

Honor Your Ancestor: Share her quilt

Kansas Troubles
Got an heirloom quilt to share?

Want to be a contributor to this blog?

Wish to honor an ancestor & tell the story of his/her quilt?

Just drop us a line or join us on Facebook.

Dad's 88th Birthday Quilt

This is the quilt I made for dad for his 88th birthday, 15 Sept 2006. He already had everything, and he LOVES family. That is a picture of Dad and Blanche in the middle. Scattered around are appliques of each of their children and grandchildren. I arranged them in family groups.

Little did I realize that Dad would request we look at the quilt whenever we knew a family member would come by for a visit. He said he was afraid he'd forget who was who, and he wanted to be able to ask real questions in his conversations. "So they know that I love them!"

Blanche died the day after Christmas 2006, and then Dad died 28 Sept 2008.

I never dreamed I'd inherit this quilt so quickly.

WELCOME quilters!

We're excited to develop this new group for genealogists who also love quilting.

What sorts of activities do you think we could do -- long distance, and at regional and national genealogy conferences?

The Facebook page for this group will open shortly.