Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Say Cheese, Please!

I love old quilts that use cheddar-colored fabrics. A quilt made today in orange would not excite me... but for some reason the old ones do. I'll show you a few in a bit. Note: after I received a comment on this posting, I realized I should have said that I am not drawn to orange as a color -- unless it is in a quilt that mimics the old cheddar. I am actually in the midst of making a very large cheddar and teal 4-block quilt, myself, and cannot wait to finish it!

This month I have a few things to share - including the fact that I am pedaling as fast as I can to finish my Baltimore qiult. Next month you should see the quilt top. The hand-quilting that follows will take a bit longer. Before I show you what else I have been working on, I wanted to share a link to P and B Textile's website -- their blog has my fabric design on it, full of childhood sing-songs like Row, Row, Row your Boat and A Tisket, A Tasket. It excites me to see this fabric! You can see it too at: http://www.pbtex.com/html/pblog.html. Check it out... and then come back here and take a look at what's below.

First of all, here is a quick look at a new quilt I'm working on. It will be a large medallion quilt filled with baskets and surrounded by a very unusual border on the outside. The rich, soft pastels are all from a new line that P and B Textiles has produced, called "Bear Essentials." I love the new line -- the fabrics are all wonderful tone-on-tone prints that go across the entire color spectrum! You'll be seeing more of this quilt later... so keep on coming back here.

Before I show some cheddar quilts, I have to say: I am not an authentic quilt collector. I do not search out the best antique quilts and spend a fortune buying them and putting them somewhere in my house. Nope - I am more like the garage sale and eBay scavenger who finds a relative bargain and snatches it up, usually because a) the price is right, b) the pattern is very unique, and/or c) the fabrics in the quilt interest me. A quilt with 2 out of those 3 criteria is great -- if it hits all three, I'm in heaven! So here are a few old quilts that I've picked up here and there... and why I bought them.

The green and yellow quilt above excited me because I love yellow in a quilt - my grandmother used to tell me that "every garden must have yellow flowers somewhere in it." This quilt was beautifully hand-quilted -- but what I loved about it was that the blocks -- look at them carefully -- are nothing but churn dash blocks with the corner half-square triangles turned inside out. And then, using a half-square triangle as a sashing cornerstone -- how often do you see that in a quilt? So this beauty called to me and I answered... it lays on one of the beds in my home down on Galveston Island.

This next quilt was just quirky enough to get my attention! It is not particularly well-made, and will take some real work to get it to lay flat when I eventually quilt it. But the design, alone, trumped any common sense and made me buy it.

Below is a closeup of one of the blocks in the above quilt. This was a quilt that said to me, "design one just like me, please!" Someday... I probably will!

The next quilt is a good old-fashioned, common wedding ring quilt from the thirties. I've nearly finished hand-quilting it -- I like buying quilt tops because they are at least half the price of finished quilts and they are often in better shape than finished quilts because nobody ever used them! This particular wedding ring quilt called to me because it had an abundance of cheddar pieces in each of the arcs, and I do like that old cheddar fabric.
Below is another cheddar quilt -- it uses a Dresden plate design, with the background of cheddar, rather than the more common white or off-white.And below is a closeup of the cheddar Dresden plate blocks. Awesome!

And once again... another cheddar quilt top. The Ohio Stars in this quilt are unusual; they are definitely made of scavenged scraps, with no block using a consistent set of fabrics in the block.

In fact, if you take a close look at the blocks, you will see that the maker often used background fabric as part of the star points in the block, thus losing the sense of the "Ohio Star" in it. Quirky, yes? It may be part of why the maker never finished the quilt... she may have looked at it and said, "What was I thinking???"

Now here is a lovely cheddar quilt! With 4" Ohio Stars, it just sings to my heart! I'm going to have to look around and find a strip of cheddar to finish the unfinished top border... but otherwise, this quilt is in great shape!
The maker used quite a few black and white or black and madder striped fabrics in her blocks -- they add to the movement across the face of the quilt. What a creative quiltmaker this person was!

Okay, that's all for this month... Next month, I hope to have a whole new set of photos of quilts to show. I'm planning on attending a large quilt show in Austin, Texas in a couple of weeks... and I'm crossing my fingers that my Baltimore will be finished in a month!
Until then... happy sewing to all of you!
(c)2010 Susan H. Garman

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baltimore... Continued!

Somehow I managed to post zero, zip, nada, nothing last month... and I'm late in posting this month, after promising myself that I would regularly post something new by the first of each month. Darn, but time flies! I was going to post the remaining 6 blocks of my Baltimore, after posting the first ten. Somehow I managed to take pictures of only 5 of the 6 blocks, so you're going to have to do a little searching... the 16th block is buried within the picture of the overall quilt, as it now stands (which means it's still not finished!). So let's get started on the block update.

Before you look, I'd like to mention something. A friend sent me a link to another person's blog - she copied one of my block pictures from last month and posted it on her blog with no reference to me or my designs. That's a no-no, folks! These are my original, copyrighted designs. I will likely say yes to anyone who ASKS if they can post a copy of the photos shown my blog - as long as there is a link back here to my blog, and as long as they are not using them to make money. That seems like a pretty fair deal to me.

So here are the new blocks...

And last, but certainly not least, here is the latest picture of where these blocks are going. I have sewn all of the inner sashings - and laid them on the floor to see how they look, along with two partial borders.

It's coming along nicely, though I still have a long way to go to get this quilt finished. First, I need to finish appliqueing all of the borders and all of the corner blocks -- the corner blocks will be uninterrupted continuations of the side borders, with a unique vase in each corner. Then there is a LOT of embroidery and embellishment that needs to happen on each border. And finally, there is a final border of 1" half-square triangles on the outside edge of the assembled quilt. Be still my heart - I am really enjoying how this quilt looks!

So until next month... hopefully by the first of the month... you'll see a completed top. Or at least a top with 3 of the 4 borders done! Until then...

Happy sewing!

(c)2010 Susan H. Garman, All Rights Reserved