Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary Stories

I save horror pictures---the kind where a quilt fades so badly the original design is significantly changed.

For Halloween I thought I'd scare you

with pictures of quilts made between 1880 and 1920

when the new synthetic dyes were so unreliable
you could start with two identical looking reds

and after one washing wind up with a little
red and a lot of tan.

Do notice that the spiky points in this New York Beauty/Rocky Mount
quilt are almost completely faded to white.


The worst culprit in the gang of fugitive dyes
was red.

But green also disappeared...

leaving few clues behind.

Could this happen to YOU?

Unlikely today because we use more color-fast dyes.
But that's the point of goblins---they could be under the bed.

Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Sculpture, 1998

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Union Blues for Spring Delivery

Typical eagle from Baltimore Album quilts 
of the 1840s and '50s

Union Blues, my new Moda reproduction collection, is
scheduled for delivery to shops in mid March and shop buyers
are planning their spring arrivals now.

The collection includes a variety of blues, light tan shirtings,
and darker taupe browns and olives.

Among the blues are a few rainbow or foundue prints,

The first three eagle blocks here are from antique Baltimore
Album quilts.

which are good reproductions of the shaded Prussian blue
prints popular in the 1840s and '50s.

We have two shades of blue and two shades of 
taupe/brown in the rainbow or ombre prints.

Buy lots. The ombre prints will be very useful for mid-19th-century repro quilts.

From Sea to Shining Sea by Gaye Rice Ingram

Gaye made good use of reproduction ombre prints in this small quilt
based on the Baltimore eagles.  

See some Prussian blue period quilts from the Quilt Index at this site:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Linda Makes Me Look Good

Barbara's Birds
by Linda Frost and Barbara Brackman
28-1/2" x 38"

Years ago I got an idea---to do a state birds quilt
that was sort of like the diagram below.

A Double Irish Chain quilt with alternating
blocks of checkerboards and appliqued birds.

I appliqued a lot of birds before I realized I made a big mistake. The contrast between the birds and the olive green backgrounds was so minimal you could hardly see the birds.

This is as far as I got.

Dot on the voluminous bad idea file.

So I filed the birds away in the bad idea file for a decade or more.

A few years ago I cleaned that file out and gave the poor bird
blocks to my friend Linda Frost, who loves birds
and a challenge. Do what you will, I said.

To increase the contrast between bird and background
she painted a dye remover on the backgrounds. 

Read her account at her blog here:

Now that the contrast was better she worked on my hand applique by drawing black outlines with
her machine stitching.
She embellished the birds by adding some evolutionary details the actual robin never thought of.

The birds now look skillfully drawn.

The blocks finish to 9-1/2"

The quilt looks out of focus in this overall shot
but that's because of the repeated outlines.

It's a great quilt if I do say so myself.

Thanks to Linda...

Tumbled Stones
by Linda Frost

who has a quilt in the Dinner at Eight group's special exhibit Reflections in Houston this week. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Virtual Sample Spree: Winners

Union Blues:
My newest collection for Moda

Jelly Roll of strips cut to 2-1/2"

Sample Spree is one of the craziest events at
quilt market.

The fabric companies bring sample bundles of the
new lines they are showing and sell them
to market attendees for a short period of time.

The Moda sample booth is always nuts!

The reason it's so crazy---besides the Moda people---
is that the samples are 6 months ahead of the shipping date,
You get things NOBODY else has.

We still recall when someone stepped on
Karla's head to get at a Jelly Roll bundle.

Yesterday I posted a virtual sample spree and the winners are

Rosa in Murcia Spain for the Layer Cake
and Gunilla for the Jelly Rolls

I'll email you two and ship off the packages.

The rest of you (209 commenters):

Thanks for commenting. I'm going to delete all the comments soon.

Here's my method this time of picking a winner. The
Blogger program lists the comments for me in large groups.
I went to the bottom of the first page of comments and started back up, picking the last two on that page who had email addresses on their profiles.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Houston Quilt Market 2014

My virtual Quilt Market booth for October, 2014

Quilt shop buyers and other quilt world professionals are in Houston this week for the annual Quilt Market in which designers show off their new stuff for spring.

To market, to market....

Moda will be revealing my newest reproduction prints---Union Blues--- scheduled to be shipped to shops in March, 2015.

I'm not going to Houston but I like to plan a virtual booth and invite you all to come by on the internet.

I've invited this Civil-War-era seamstress who works for a sewing machine company to welcome visitors. Her usual job is to demonstrate a machine from about 1865, but I've asked her to show how to chain-piece triangles, a skill that will be useful in making the Union Blues kit quilt.

No! She will not tell you how many
triangles you will need to piece to make this
spectacular quilt. This
project is one where you focus on the
pleasure of the process.

We're giving you a nice range of 19th-century blues
in this new collection.

Click here to see more about Union Blues:

 More tomorrow.