Sunday, July 26, 2009

Library of Congress Archive

The Library of Congress has a wonderful prints and photographs site that is full of surprising images including this Japanese woodblock print. Click here to see the search page: I think I found this by searching for the word sewing. Once the hits come up click on the button Preview Images.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stars on Point

The bolts of The Morris Garden fabric should be in the quilt shops any day now. If you are looking for pattern ideas I'd suggest a simple sawtooth star. Set it with alternate blocks of large-scale fabric and turn it on point. It's a great way to show off complex fabrics.

My friends have been making this quilt for years. They've traded print squares and traded stars (generally 10" finished stars). Here's a collage of a few. (Roseanne Smith at top left and bottom center & right, Judy Severson in the center, Jerrye VanLeer top right, Carol Gilham Jones, bottom left)

If you made stars that finish to 9" you could use a package of Moda's Layer Cakes (fabric precut to 10" squares) for the alternate squares.

It's also an authentic pattern for an early reproduction quilt to feature chintzes and toiles. Click on the links below to see three early versions from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Snow Ball Wreath

I got some photos of a quilt top made in Alabama in the 1930s or '40s asking for help with pattern identification. I recognized it immediately as one of the most complex designs from the newspaper pattern source that used the names Laura Wheeler/Alice Brooks. It's number 1515 in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns with the name "Snowball Wreath."

The quilt in question is appliqued with leaves tucked behind the pieced snowballs but the original pattern is designed to be all pieced. You can find it in BlockBase, the computer program that is a digitization of my Encyclopedia. Here's the drawing from BlockBase. You can print out templates, any size.

It's always fun to see if any of the audience for the newspaper patterns ever made up the designs. I don't recall seeing this one actually made into a quilt. If you are inspired send me a picture.

For more on BlockBase from Electric Quilt click here:

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Thrift Store Quilts

Sujata Shah, 36" x 48", recycled shirts.

A few more quilt tops from correspondents in Washington state.

Sujata writes:
"This quilt is based on the Gee's Bend quilts. I used to teach at a local shop and ran a club for couple of years. The club was called, 'Inspirations from Quilts of Gee's Bend'. I got really interested in free hand cutting and curve piecing. This is made out of shirts and I plan to hand quilt it with pearl cotton. "

Foggy Day Quilt by Dorothy LeBoeuf, 20' x 20"
Dorothy writes:
" dispell the fog. Made from solids in stash plus awful curtain fabric. So freeing to work with this stuff, after working with today's expensive fabrics. Also freeing to not use a ruler althugh it seemed strange at first. We are going to be sad when we run out of the awful curtain fabric."

A shirt and "the awful curtain fabric"

Scrap Challenge by Dorothy LeBoeuf, 64" x 75"

"Silk garments waiting on the muse."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stepping Stones Nine Patch

People are asking for suggestions as to what to do with The Morris Workshop fabric. One possibility that uses simple patchwork to show off complex prints is the "Stepping Stones" pattern Moda did for our first William Morris collection. That free pattern for A Morris Garden, is still posted on Moda's Free Patterns page. Click here:

The quilt top on the left is done in the Morris Garden fabrics. I found it on Sadie Bird's blog, and the other is by Rebecca Rohrkaste, showing off large scale prints. The one below is a collaboration between Georgann Eglinski, Bobbi Finley and Carol Gilham Jones.

To see more antique versions of this basic nine-patch on point check out the Quilt Index on line. Click on these for an early quilt and two by Amish women in Illinois.