QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Floral Vase by Denniele Bohannon
Floral Vase by Elsie Ridgley
The vase in Block #4 (a crystal container?) echoes many vintage designs.
Floral Vase by Becky Brown
You get 6 sheets this month, three to do the pattern in the dogtooth
technique as Becky did and three to stitch template style.
Example from a quilt in the International Quilt Museum
Floral Vase by Jeanne Arnieri
Saturday, September 30, 2023
William Morris and I have a new collection of his designs for Moda.
We've been following the trends.
The Best of Morris
"Best" means our favorites.
We're having a Give-Away this week. I'll send a Jelly Roll of Ebony Suite fabric to
the random winner when I get back from the American Quilt Study Group seminar next week.
1. One entry per person.
2. Delivery in U.S. only (Sorry!)
3. Comment before midnight October 1, 2023 (Central US Time Zone)
4. Tell us what you think about gray as the interior color of the year.
5. Be sure I have some way to email you.
6. I'll announce winner here next week and email you.
7. I'll take down all the comments next week.
Now, interior decorating fashions come and go but we want you to know we are absolutely on top of it here. Some thoughts on interior design trends:
Butterfly chair of the '60s
As you can see, we study the media and we are glad to see that flowing Morris design is the thing after a few years of angular moderne.
Ebony Suites is riding the crest of three design waves:
1) William Morris revival
2) Wallpaper as interior design
3) Gray as interior palette
Designer Laura Hunter with Morris wallpaper
What goes better with your Morris wallpaper
than Morris accessories and quilts?
And we have noticed that the color of the year is
As you might guess Ebony Suite is William Morris prints
in shades of gray from charcoal to taupe.
The solids that go with the line.
Gray---the height of cool
"It's certain that fine women eat A crazy salad with their meat."
William Butler Yeats
Here's a simple idea for a stack of Layer Cakes, cut to 10"
and finishing to 9-1/2" blocks. Plus your scraps of bright solids
cut to 1-1/2" wide.
Applique strips finishing to 1" in the center
If you want the background to flow across the block
you could try to piece strips cut from two 10" squares...but
Applique is easier.
And since you are appliqueing you could
just sew rather rectangular strips onto the squares for a truly Crazy Salad.
We'll have plenty of ideas for projects and quilts in the next few months.
Monday, September 25, 2023
If one were looking for an exercise in pattern complexity, one might consider Lucky Star from the Laura Wheeler syndicated newspaper column in the 1930s.
Syndicated to many newspapers in July, 1934
BlockBase+ Pattern ID 2989
BlockBase will draw setting arrangements for you as well as patterns.
Two mid-century quilts made from the newspaper pattern.
During the 1930s quilters loved white as a contrast to their pastel prints and plains.
These two vintage quilts highlight the blocks as separate units, using that emphasis on white (design idea revived today.)
EQ8 sketch of BlockBase #2989
But you might want to consider design interactions
in the corners using different shading.
Laura liked a template-cut block so here are two sheets
for a 12" finished block, drawn in EQ8 & BlockBase+.
Thursday, September 21, 2023
And one more connection for a last post this week.
See previous blogposts about Sylvia Queen's quilts and other Garden of Eden quilts:
Those tightly stuffed grapes, likely of wool or mixed wool fabric, in Sylvia Queen's quilt in the Johnson County Museum reminded me of something I'd seen.
And then in the middle of the night (of course) I sat up and said
Olive Bachelor Wells, Spencer Museum.
The grape vine border---the Garden of Eden theme.
And Olive Bachelor Wells lived in Ohio, just a few miles from Sylvia Queen.
Olive Wells's Adam & Eve are "stump work," three-dimensional
figures stitched to the surface.
As I recall the late Jean Mitchell came across this quilt in Kansas City and suggested that the owner, "the maker's great-grandson's wife," donate it to the Spencer, which she generously did in 1978.
The unusual dark background fabric was intriguing
and that is another design characteristic this Garden of Eden
shares with the Sylvia Queen quilt.
Jean and I spent some enjoyable time examining the Spencer donation. We communicated with Quilt Historian Ricky Clark of Ohio who was analyzing the Ohio Project's findings in Quilts in Community: Ohio's Traditions, published in 1991.
Rhoda Wells Warner, Painesville Ohio.
Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society
Each star represents a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Ricky had noted the Wells Garden of Eden's similarities to a patriotic-themed extravaganza by Rhoda Warner, summarized below by Aimee E. Newell in a footnote in her book A Stitch in Time.
Fading purple stuffed grapes in Rhoda Warner's quilt
These women all lived up by Lake Erie in eastern Ohio in Geauga and Lake Counties in the 1850s, within thirty miles of each other. Similarities in their quilts give us a glimpse of the influence of fair prizes, sharing of techniques and perhaps some professional quiltmakers.
And a glimpse is all we have.
And that's the last post on the Garden of Eden quilts and the elusive Sylvia Warner Quinn (Queen.)
Rhoda Wells Warner's husband's grave: