Sunday, November 30, 2014

AQSG's Past & Present Quilt Challenge

Circa 1825 collection from In the Beginning

The American Quilt Study Group  is sponsoring a repro fabric challenge in collaboration with In the Beginning Fabrics. In the Beginning has a fabric line currently in shops called Circa 1825.

A portion of the profits for the fabric from Circa 1825 go to benefit
the American Quilt Study Group.

Jason and Sharon Yenter of In the Beginning Fabrics.

Thanks to the Yenters.

The challenge theme is Past and Present. The deadline for the contest is February 28, 2015. Your small quilt needs to be finished and a jpg photo sent with your name to AQSGchallenge@gmail.com by that date.

The Awards:
  • One year gift membership to AQSG
  • Fabric tower of In the Beginning Fabrics
  • Top 20 quilts will participate in a traveling exhibit for a year
Photo from Dawn at Collector with a Needle blog

You must use at least 8 prints from the Circa 1825 line.

The Rules:
  • All items must be three layers and quilted
  • Each quilt must use at least 8 fabrics from this line
  • Additional fabrics may be used
  • Size: No larger than 160” perimeter

Semi-finalist quilts will be exhibited at AQSG Seminar 2015 being held in Indianapolis September 9-13, 2015

See the AQSG webpage here:

The collection is full of great repro prints from
the first decades of the 19th century---styles that
are hard to find.
I especially like this coral stripe

See more pictures of the line here:


Old Sturbridge Village, the Massachusetts museum, is doing a similar challenge with their latest reproduction line. Click on the link for more information:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HUMOROUS QUILTS: Keeping Us In Stitches

Sunbonnet Soup by Bette Kelley

HUMOROUS QUILTS: Keeping Us In Stitches is currently on display at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts through December 27, 2014


I noticed  a familiar face in their show description---well a familiar hat. Bette Kelley's
"Sunbonnet Soup" is from the Seamsters' Union's 1979 quilt.

The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue, The Seamster's Union (Local #500), 
Lawrence, Kansas

A few details:

The quilt, which I worked on, is now in the Kitty Cole Clark collection at the Museum at Michigan State University. MSU must have loaned it to the New England Quilt Museum.

See more details here:

The Humorous Quilt show features other satirical Sunbonnet quilts.

Barbara Barber and Friends
Sam & Sue Do It Better in the Nude

Teddy McMahon Pruett
The Salacious Secrets of Sam and Sue

Sue represents a well-mannered pillar of the community who just begs for needling. Read a 1979 a newspaper article about our quilt when it was denied display space at a regional fair. If our job as artists is to Ă‰pater la bourgeoisie (Shock the middle class) we did a fine job in 1979.

Sue Breaks Bad by the City Sewers

And we continue to do so today. Last spring the City Sewers displayed an altered Sunbonnet Sue quilt at our local guild show. Some people were gravely offended by Anarchist Sue, Tagger Sue, Meth-Making Sue, etc.

Tattoo Sue

Pole Dancer Sue

Hate-filled Sue
See more photos at this post by Deb:

We have dropped the ball, however, in the metaphorical game. Urban Threads offers machine embroidery patterns for the Seven Deadly Sinbonnet Sues. Above: Sloth.


See more of their Sinbonnet Sue designs:

The perfect holiday gift for someone on your list.

Read about our motive for creating the 1979 Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue at this post:

Monday, November 24, 2014

AQSG Quilt Study 2016 19th-C Basket Quilts

Star and Flag Quilt by Dawn on her 
Collector with a Needle Blog

See Dawn's post about this Civil War Study Quilt here:

One of the ways that members of the American Quilt Study Group learn about vintage quilts is by interpreting them in today's fabrics. Every other year the organization does a Quilt Study on a theme. This past year's was Civil War Era Quilts.

Dawn interpreted this Civil War era quilt from
the collection of Jeananne Wright.
The original has faded; Dawn did the quilt as it
once was.

In 2016 the theme is Nineteenth-Century Basket Quilts.
The entries will be shown at the fall 2016 AQSG Seminar and then selected entries will tour for several years beginning in 2017. That seems like a long time away, but the Quilt Study event is so popular that they have to put some kind of a limit on entries. You have to apply to enter your interpretation. That deadline is coming right up in the new year---January 2.

A page of basket patterns from my BlockBase program for PC computers.

Here's what their webpage says:
"Your application forms may be postmarked or emailed beginning on January 2, 2015. We will treat postmark and email dates equally as we accept reservations for the study and assign participant numbers."
If this sounds interesting do go to their webpage and read the rules.

The Chase is On by Vicki from her What a Load of Scrap blog. It's 42-1/2" square.

I was one of the judges on the 2014 Civil War Quilt Study. We selected about half of the quilts to go in a touring show. Our informal criteria for selection included:

  • Accuracy of the reproduction.
  • Points for overall attractiveness and workmanship.
  • How well the quilt would hold up physically touring for several years.
Here's the schedule for the 2015-2018 tour of the selections from this year's Civil War Quilt Study:

February-June of 2015: Monroe County History Center, Bloomington IN
July 1- October 2015: New England Quilt Museum
November 2015- March 1, 2016: Virginia Quilt Museum
March 11-13, 2016: The Dallas Quilt Show
April 1- July 30, 2016: Quilter's Hall of Fame, Marion, Indiana
September 15- December 15, 2016: Northern Michigan University, DeVos Art Museum
December 20 -February 20, 2017: Baldwin Reynolds House Museum, Meadville, PA
March 1 -May 31, 2017: Gilbert Historical Museum, Gilbert AZ
June 2017 - October 20, 2017: Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Boulder, CO
November 1-February 28, 2018: Sheerer Museum of Stillwater, Stillwater, OK
June 1 - August, 2018: La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum, LaConner, WA

And see the entries in the 2010 Star Quilt Study here:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sampler Sets in Traditional Fashion

Cookie's Creek's version of my Dixie Diary BOM
12 Blocks Set with Sashing

I've been designing block-of-the-month (and block-of-the-week) samplers for several years for my various blogs and books. I'm thinking about sets for next year' series on my Civil War Quilts blog so I've been collecting ideas. I've often used some basic sets.

20 Blocks set with sashing from my book Facts & Fabrications

Cass County (Missouri) Historical Society's
 version of my Butternut and Blue sampler.

But the stitchers who follow the samplers sometimes come
up with great sets.

Setting the blocks and sashing on point gives you a different look
(and a bigger quilt.)

Stitch & Knit's version of my 2012
Grandmother's Choice sampler of 36 blocks

She alternated half-square triangle blocks, which can give you
the look of  a strip set when sampler blocks and HST's are
set on point.

The alternate block

Lori Smith has used this set to great effect in her
Road to Freedom sampler pattern for 5" blocks.

Westering Women 

You get a diagonal set if the blocks are set on the square rather than on point.
This is a sampler I did for my guild several years ago.

Ruth in Dallas's prizewinning version of my 
Civil War Sampler

If you shade the alternate blocks correctly you 
get the illusion of a medallion quilt.

Back Home Again by Kaye England

Another good period look is a true strip set
in which the blocks are set on point with large
triangles. A striped print between them separates the strips.

Jo Morton and her Leesburg sampler.

Vintage quilt about 1870-1890

If you offset those block strips and forget the separating
strips you get the classic zig-zag set.

Here's a diagram of how the blocks are set in strips.

In this case the 12th block was cut in half
to finish out the edges. The photo is  was one
of those Pinterest orphans, floating around the
internet with no i.d. Maybe you know whose
clever design this is.
Rae found it. It's 
Dawna's Cherry Fizz Sampler
on her Dawna's Folk Art Flickr page

If you'd rather think innovatively Jen Kingwell's 
Gypsy Wife sampler set is
nothing but new!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Threads of Memory BOM Coming to a Close

Threads of Memory Sampler by Rosemary Youngs

Over on my Civil War Quilts blog we've been doing a free Block of the Month called Threads of Memory on the theme of the Underground Railroad and the history of slavery. The history
may be serious but the fabric choices are fun.

Above: Rosemary has set the January to October blocks with a Flying Geese set. The stars are all new designs based on traditional patchwork.

See the blog here:

Suzie at Oz Farmer is planning to use the same set
with the blocks she's made from my Voysey reproduction
prints Morris Modernized.

BeeJayM at the half way point.

The blocks began on the last Saturday of January, 2014
and will go till the last Saturday of December.

Model-maker Becky Brown has been making two sets of blocks each month. She designed
the Flying Geese set for one group of blocks.

Here's her spiky triangles sashing idea for the other set.
She'll alternate different stars.

When Jean Stanclift made these blocks
a few years ago we used a 
stars-in-the-sashing set.

The Civil War Quilts group has been meeting informally through the blog and our Flickr pages. I design the blocks and maintain the blog, Becky Brown and Dustin Cecil make the models. Dustin maintains the Flickr page.

Inspired by Becky's skills at fussy cutting you can
see a real style has developed in the group.


And then there is Dustin's set done only in tickings.

See more blocks and stripes at this post:

I must say the group works very well together. Each new Block of the Month we do (or Block of the Week) inspires some very creative uses of fabric and set designs.

Terry's designed her own set. This is Block 10
Britain's Star.

She's going to put each of the stars I designed
into another star. Quite clever.

Sheila is thinking about strips
of leftovers.

Keep your eyes on our Flickr page:

What's the plan for next year? Stay tuned.