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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New Museum Catalogs: Antique Quilts & Fabric

Four Centuries of Quilts: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection

by Linda Baumgarten and Kimberly Smith Ivey

Colonial Williamsburg's impressive quilt collection has finally been documented in a catalog. Not only that, the curators in charge are two of the most knowledgeable working today. It's a must-have. (In case anyone is thinking about holiday gifts....)

Star quilt made by members of the Jones or the Terry families
mid-19th century.
Collection of Colonial Williamsburg.

Published by Yale University Press, it's 368 pages with 320 color pictures in hard-cover format. $75.00

Read more at the Colonial Williamsburg site:

...which says:

"Fascinating essays by two noted scholars trace the evolution of quilting styles and trends as they relate to the social, political, and economic issues of their time."
This catalog is available on line from the bookstore and other retail sites.

Medallion Quilt 
Made by Ludwell Harrison Goosley (1754-1813)
 and her daughters.
Early-19th century.
Collection of the D.A.R. Museum

And just as important is a catalog from the D.A.R. Museum:

Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia by Alden O'Brien

This catalog of the exhibit currently on display at the Museum in Washington D.C. is over 150 pages with pictures of every quilt in the show. It is scheduled to arrive December, 2014. Price $35. You can pre-order by calling the museum shop.

Read more here:

Here's what the webpage says:

"The item is not available for online purchase. Please call (202) 879-3208 to order."

So you'd better call NOW.

And you have to have this one too.... 
Linda Eaton's new edition of the Winterthur Museum's
Printed Textiles: British and American Cottons & Linens 1700-1850.

Florence Montgomery's catalog of Winterthur textiles
has been the authoritative book on early furnishing prints for 45 years.

Peter Floud  & Florence Montgomery

The original was by Textile Curator Florence Montgomery, who received a good deal of assistance from Peter Floud, curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The original was fabulous but it was black and white for the most part.

This new catalog in full color and with new findings is a necessity. Price: $85

Here's what the Winterthur gift shop says:
"Take the 'bones' of a classic volume, rewrite with updated and newly researched material, add 450 glorious color images, and you have the makings of a new standard in the field: Printed Textiles: British and American Cottons and Linens, 1700-1850. Author Linda Eaton, the John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles at Winterthur, has produced the worthy sequel to Florence Montgomery?s 1970 publication, Printed Textiles."

Here's a link to the Winterthur Museum shop:

See a preview at Amazon:

A smaller catalog has been published by the Denver Art Museum, featuring quilts in their current exhibit. First Glance - Second Look: Quilts from the Collection is available on line. Price: $10.95.

"A fully illustrated exhibition companion catalog contains close ups and details of the quilts on view as well as additional information, comparative examples, and a brief history of the Denver Art Museum quilt collection."

Competition Quilt, late 19th century.
Collection of the Denver Art Museum

Friday, October 17, 2014

Richmond Reds: Bloomington

Document print for the Bloomington
fabric in my Richmond Reds collection
for Moda

The original print here was a shirting print done in two shades of red on white, a very common
19th-century style found in clothing and quilts.

If you compare the original to the reproduction
you will notice several differences. We toned
down the shades so this small print would
fit in with the larger prints in the line. We call this
colorway "Aged."

We also changed the figure's set. The original was
a directional print. The leaves all went one way.

This directionality is not often desirable in patchwork
or clothing construction. For a garment one has to 
"buy extra fabric," as the patterns always warn. 

Fabric has to be wasted if the prints have to go one way as in the stripe above. In a quilt one has to plan for the directionality. Non-directional prints are generally more useful.

Why Bloomington?
Another pretty name. Here's Bloomington, Indiana
in the mid-19th-century.

Denniele Bohannon has used the Rebel Red
colorway for the background of this experiment
in 3-dimensionality. She's also used the other two
colorways as mediums and lights.