Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ladies' Album Yardage Shipped!

Becky Brown
Block 1: Portsmouth Star for Threads of Memory.

I hear the yardage for my latest reproduction collection for Moda has been shipped and should be in your shop momentarily. 

The precut packages for Ladies' Album have been out for a few weeks. Now you can buy those yards and yards for borders, sashing and any other ideas you might have.

The best way to show off this collection of late-19th-century reproduction prints is to show you Becky Brown's blocks, the models for our Threads of Memory Block of the Month. 

Becky Brown
Block 2: Mercer County Star for Threads of Memory.

I designed the star blocks on the theme of the underground railroad and she's stitching this version Ladies' Album prints. She loves to fussy cut with terrific results.

Becky Brown
Block 3: New Garden Star for Threads of Memory.

"New Garden Star" was just posted today Saturday, March 29, 2014. Check out the blog with the free pattern here:

I like to design a fabric label for the back of your quilt so here's a free printable label for your quilt made with my Ladies' Album collection. 

Click on the picture. Save it as a JPG or a Word file. Print it on treated cotton. I left you plenty of space to write under the 19th-century flourish. I planned it to be 5" square.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Morris Flowerpot Design

Flowerpot Embroidered Panel
Designed by William Morris
Embroidered by daughter May Morris
Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum

There is some confusion over who designed this cushion. The V&A has an example embroidered by May Morris.

"[May] embroidered both her own designs and those of family and friends. The 'Flowerpot' pattern you see here is probably William Morris's last design for embroidery. His inspiration was two lacis panels acquired by the V&A in 1875." [Lacis is drawn-thread lace.]

Curator Linda Parry in her William Morris Textiles describes the cushion cover:

"One of the earliest [late 1870s]  the Flowerpot is taken directly from the design of two samples of seventeenth century Italian lacis work...."The successful format of the design, starting as it does from the centre bottom and working up and out in a flurry of stems, leaves and flowers."
Yet, she notes, "Flowerpot itself has a stiffness uncharacteristic of his work." [Page 29]

After 1885 May Morris was in charge of Morris & Co.'s embroidery workshops and she and John Henry Dearle designed new patterns after that date. It may be that May designed the Flowerpot.

 The panel with its striped, footed vase has inspired several quilters and designers.

Flowering Urn by Rosemary Makhan

Rosemary Makhan featured an appliqued striped vase on the cover of
her Floral Abundance book and added a pair of Morris birds.

Applique artists continue to use her patterns published in the year 2000 to great effect.

Garden of Life
Friendship Knot Quilters Guild,

Garden of Life
Friendship Knot Quilters Guild, 2011
The pattern is the Flowering Urn Medallion from Floral Abundance

A Matter of Morris
by Mary Mix, 2013

Mary Mix's version of the Flowering Urn Medallion.

Di Abram has recently won a lot of prizes with her sampler, a combination of
Rosemary Makhan's center framed by blocks from Michele Hill's Friends.

Pat Cox 
Ode to William Morris 
Center panel

Pat Cox used the striped vase with a pair of birds for
the focus in her sampler

Pat Cox 
Ode to William Morris 

The Tapestry Shop UK
You can buy a hand-embroidered copy as a pillow.
Several embroiderers have worked out close interpretations.

Counted embroidery from
The Stitchery

Do a web search for the words
William Morris Flowerpot
or Flower Pot if 
you are looking for an embroidery pattern or kit.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Fun with Fabric

Zach Braff in and on William Morris's Acanthus print

Chrysanthemum by Morris
Morris prints invite the idea of fading into the wallpaper.

Yayoi Kusama's been playing with the wallflower idea for years.

She recently did a piece with George Clooney for W.

Yorgo Tloupas portrait

Another version of the Zach Braff portrait

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Costumes of Downton Abbey

Winterthur Museum gallery

Perhaps you have heard that the Winterthur Museum in Delaware has installed a new exhibit called The Costumes of Downton Abbey.

Winterthur has rented costumes, primarily from Cosprop Ltd, which specializes in period costumes.

Here is the schedule for a series of lectures.

The exhibit will be up through January 4, 2015.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Big Dotz Table Runner

Big Dotz Table Runner

I've been playing with EQ7 and Moda Charm Square precuts (5" square) and came up with a table runner design.

I started with my Civil War Jubilee collection from last summer. The prints are derived from antique fabrics, but if you use dark prints in graphic patchwork you get a modern look. The colors in that line tend to be dark and the most dramatic contrast is with a plain white. 

I was trying to make a pattern that got two pie-shaped pieces out of a 5" square. It's a tight fit but it can be done so you can get by with 2 packs of charm squares. Three packs would give you lots of room and choices.

I guess I made this block up.
I couldn't find it in BlockBase but found a close relation.
#2671 is unnamed.

I imported it into EQ7 and added another seam in each corner and printed
out templates for a 9" finished block.
If you wanted to change the size you could do the same and print it out .

Unnamed Block
Big Dotz
The table runner finishes to 18" x 54"
Blocks finish to 9"
You need 12.

Fabric Requirements
2 or 3 Charm Packs of dark prints
1 yard plain white for background and binding
3/4 yard for pieced back (Cut 2 rectangles 18-1/2" x 27-1/2" and piece into a long strip.)
Flannel or thin batting cut 22" x 58"

Cutting for a 9" Pieced Block
A - Using the template cut 8 pieces for each block----96 in all
B - Using the template cut 1 white per block---12 in all. Notice you only get half a template so it fits on one page. Make a plastic template twice that size.

Click on this, save it to a JPG or a Word file and print it so it's 8-1/2" x 11"

You could also applique it.

Cutting for a 9" Appliqued Block
A - Using the template cut 8 pieces for each block----96 in all
B - Cut 9-1/2" squares of the white fabric for the background.

Fold and press the block into quarters and diagonals so you have placement guides.

Piece a pair of A shapes as shown above. Turn the edges of curve under by basting or with glue, or leave the edges raw.
Then applique them to the corners.

Yayoi Kusama and George Clooney for W

Friday, March 14, 2014

Remembering Ricky Clark

Red and Green Quilt
from the cover of Quilters Newsletter

Ricky Clark

Ricky Clark died recently in Oberlin, Ohio. She was a quilt scholar who did much to move quilt history from imaginary tales of pioneer women to research based on geography, culture, genealogy and style.

She was the lead author on the Ohio Quilt Project book,
one of the best of the project books.
She specialized in Ohio quilts and red and green applique.

Quilted Gardens: Floral Quilts of the Nineteenth Century 

The best way to celebrate her life might be with some "quilted gardens," a small show of red and green florals
from various online auction quilts.

See an obituary here: