Friday, March 27, 2015

Best of Morris Kits

Best of Morris
Designed by Susan Stiff & Barbara Brackman for Moda
82" x 82"

Now that the Best of Morris bolts are in shops you can also find our kit for the collection. This is the Moda "official kit."

See a PDF about this line here:

Hancock's of Paducah also created a kit using the Best of Morris Fabric with the Floral Trick pattern by Jenice Belling of Quilted Garden Designs.

Here's a link:

I'll post other kits available as I find them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Quilt Shows: Antique Quilts Spring/Summer 2015

Pack a lunch and get on the road to see some
shows featuring antique quilts spring and summer, 2015.

California, San Diego
The Mingei Museum will display changing selections from the Pat L. Nickols collection throughout 2015 in its Theater Gallery.

Kiracofe Collection
California, Sonoma
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Unconventional and Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar, 1950–2000Visually stunning pieced quilts and quilt tops, mid-to late-20th century, from the collection of Rod Kiracofe. Through May 17, 2015

Colorado, Golden
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. Past Presence: Antique Quilts that Capture the Imagination. Through April 28. 
It's What We Do: 25 Years of Collecting. July 30 through October 27, 2015.

Kentucky, Paducah
National Quilt Museum. This year's New Quilts from an Old Favorite features the Nine Patch with innovative quilts and antiques. Though May 19.
A Tradition of Variations from the Pilgrim/Roy Collection, traditional quilts with unique style.
May 22 - August 17

The Paducah Rotary will show hexagon quilts from Mary Kerr's collection during Quilt Week,
April 21–25, 2015.

Massachusetts, Lowell
New England Quilt Museum. A Passion for Prussian Blue, curated by Anita Loscalzo, focuses on this brilliant dye. Through April 4, 2015.

Nebraska, Lincoln
International Quilt Study Center & Museum/Quilt House.

  • Signature Cloths.
  • Reflections of the Exotic East in American Quilts.
  • Covering the War: American Quilts in Times of Conflict.

IQSC's Seventh Biennial Symposium, Making and Mending: Quilts for Causes & Commemoration, will be held April 16-18, 2015. See more here:

Nebraska State Historical Society at the Great Plains Art Museum. Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War. This show from the American Textile History Museum "highlights a broad range of textile artifacts and other objects to explore the Civil War." Through June 27, 2015.

Log Cabin from IQSC collection
Texas, LaGrange
Texas Quilt Museum. Antique Log Cabin Quilts from the International Quilt Study Center plus Vintage Apps: Block Quilts and Appliqué.

  • Kimono Quilts and Kimonos April 2-June 28, 2015
  • Antique Four-Poster Quilts July 2-September 27, 2015.

Virginia, Christiansburg
Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center. A Pieced History: Quilts of Montgomery County. Twenty locally made historical quilts, through April, 2015.

Virginia, Harrisonburg
Civil War Quilts: Antebellum to Reunion. July 14 to October 3, 2015

Virginia, Williamsburg
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, A Celebration of Quilts " quilts that represent the diversity of quilts made in America from the 18th through 20th centuries. Several of the quilts are new to the collection and have never before been seen by the public."
Through June, 2016.

Quilt by Amelia Haskell Lauck
DAR Museum

Washington D.C.
D.A.R. Museum. Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia. Through September 5, 2015.
Curator of Costume and Textiles Alden O’Brien looks at quilts from Maryland and Virginia in an exhibit of 36 quilts with a focus on quilts from 1790 to 1860, design migrations and the many hands who made the quilts.

Wisconsin, Cedarburg
Wisconsin Quilt Museum. In Stitches: Embroidery Needle Arts. Exhibit includes crazy quilts, punchneedle, redwork, needlepoint, counted cross-stitch artwork. April 15 – July 12, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Means Geese Flying

Photo of snow geese from hjhipster/Flickr via

Snow Geese
60" x 60"
See the free patchwork pattern by scrolling down.
  • 8 pieced strips
  • 7 plain strips between
  • 2 narrower strips on the edges.
Say goodbye to winter with some Flying Geese heading north.

I've been playing with all the indigo blues in my Best of Morris collection and decided to match them up with some textured whites from other designers. In the EQ7 sketch above I used the "Strawberry Thief" print in the strips.

But any of the larger blue prints would work great.

Here are two snow geese ideas from Moda. The lighter is a Grunge print
from Basic Gray called Vanilla
The darker a Rustic Weave in Eggshell.

Another option is to use the light for the background and
a variety of Best of Morris prints for the geese.

Cutting Instructions

I planned the first set of measurements to make the most of 5" pre-cut Charm squares for piece B. You'll need 2 Charm packs. Your geese and your alternating strips will finish to 3-3/4" wide.

A- Cut squares 2-3/4". Cut each into 2 triangles with one diagonal cut. You need 512 triangle A. Cut 256 squares.

 B - Cut squares 5". Cut each into 4 triangles with two diagonal cuts. You need 256 triangle B. Cut 64 squares.

Strips between the geese: Cut strips 4-1/4"
Strips on either side.Cut strips 2-3/8".

A Larger block---Larger Quilt

6 pieced strips; 5 plain.
About 102" square.
No edge strips.

You can also use Layer Cakes (10" squares) for piece B. You need 36 squares for 144 geese (B).

A -Cut squares 5-1/4". Cut each into 2 triangles with one diagonal cut.
B - Cut squares 10". Cut each into 4 triangles with two diagonal cuts.
Cut your strips 9-1/4" wide.
Geese and strips will then be 8-3/4" wide finished.

Fabric for the larger quilt. EQ sez:
  • 5 yards for the alternate strips and binding
  • 3-1/4 yards of the light for triangles A
Then I started thinking summer geese with color.

How about Kathy Schmitz's Crackle in Yellow

As summer fields...

...Or autumn

Using a large Morris print for the background
and the Crackle behind each goose.

The large print:
 Cherwell in Brown

Then there's a spring green, one of Moda's new Crossweaves
in a color called Pond.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Fabulous Weekend in Washington

Block from a Baltimore Album quilt in the collection
of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum

The DAR Museum hosted a two-day seminar last weekend that was perfection for fans of Baltimore quilts and antique fabrics. "Eye-Opening Symposium" was held in conjunction with their ongoing exhibition "Eye on Elegance:  Early Quilts of Maryland & Virginia "

Deborah Cooney & Ronda Harrell gave a joint paper, "Saw Some Pretty Squares," on the
joint making of the BAQ album blocks in the 1840s and '50s, updating research on the cooperative producers of these masterpieces of applique---from designers to basters to stitchers.

Detail from a bedcover from the Wilkins workshop,
recent gift of Bill Volkening

Ronda also talked about Achsah Goodwin Wilkins and her earlier workshop.

Deborah Kraak in the background here
with Dr. Patricia Cox Crews and Newbie Richardson
in the foreground. 

Deb talked about "Fabrics a la Mode," recurring floral imagery and the botany behind the chintzes.

The supply chain in 1780s' Connecticut

Me: I talked about sources for quilt patterns and fabrics before the Civil War.

Detail of the reverse applique vine in one of  
Anna Catherine Markey Garnhart's quilts

Bunnie Jordan gave us an overview of the "Quilts of Early Maryland and Virginia" and what makes them unique.

Detail of an album quilt

Curator Alden O'Brien discussed the themes of elegance and refinement in those quilts and the social context of the society that produced them.

Detail of the Penn Album quilt, Designer #4.
UPDATE: Virginia corrects me:
"It's one of one of the several variations of design style II, "
Dang-I'll never get them straight.

Virginia Vis asked "Haven't I Seen That Before?" adding to our knowledge about details of style in the Baltimore Album quilt blocks' design.

We had a good time. Wish you were there.

See more of the quilts in the excellent online exhibit at the DAR Museum's website:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Machine Applique How-To

Karla Menaugh's Sweet Harmony Crib Quilt detail.
Occasionally you find our old Sunflower Pattern Co-operative
patterns for sale on line.

I found a stack of our books when I moved, but the stand-alone patterns are scarce. 

This crib quilt of Karla's is one of my favorites.
Inspired by an antique, we chose subdued colors
in classic primitive style.

It's a simple pattern it would
look quite graphic in more vivid color.

We gave you a whole alphabet so you could
write anything you wanted such as baby's name

After telling you all about it I have to say it's out of print.

The group developed a fine machine-applique method over a lot of trial and error. We decided that the overcast stitch (shown below on two different machines) gave the best results in mimicking hand applique.

We use freezer paper templates to get accurate shapes.

And removable office dots for circles. 
The art department (me) adapted the patterns
just for machine applique with simple inner and outer curves.

People asked us about our technique so the technical department (Karla) organized a how-to book called Quiltmaker's Guide to Fine Machine Applique...

We described and pictured every step. Above:
how to get the best results in ironing a stack freezer paper leaves.

Inner curves....

Sharp points.

The teaching sampler goes from simple to sophisticated stitching in various blocks.

New Century Garden by Karla Menaugh

Cactus flowers are the basic lesson.

and split leaves one of the more difficult.

You can teach yourself (or your students) to do really nice machine applique using this book. I might modestly brag that it's an excellent technique book.

Buffy's version of the New Century Garden

And we still have copies. Buy the book at my Etsy Store: