Monday, May 28, 2012

Used Bookstore Finds

Since I have started the red and green album quilt I have been looking through my collection of applique books for inspiration and patterns for some of my favorite blocks. This led to my shopping at a second hand book store, browsing through their craft section I hit a jackpot. My first find was the above March, 1994 issue of Antiques magazine.
Inside was an article about Baltimore Album quilts by Jennifer Goldsborough (at that publishing she was the chief curator of the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore).

Since the magazine was among the quilting books in the store I figured it is known as a collectible issue to quilters.

Jennifer Goldsborough also wrote Lavish Legacies: Baltimore Album and Related Quilts in the Collection of the Maryland Historical Society. This book was the result of the exhibition of the Maryland Historical Society's (1994-1995) collection of Baltimore Album quilts. The Antiques magazine article was because of this exhibition and Jennifer Goldsborough's study and book. I had heard of Lavish Legacies and have always wanted to read it but the book is quite expensive on the secondary market. Well, jackpot # 2 at the used book store.

This copy of the book has a torn and taped cover, hardly noticeable. 

I have been studying and enjoying it ever since.

I picked up one more old book that day, Forget Me Not, A Gallery of Friendship and Album Quilts by Jane Bentley Kolter, published in 1985.

I have just browsed quickly through it at this point, but am anxious to read it also.

I have managed to get another Ladies of the Sea (pattern by Sue Garman) block completed, the America.

She was commissioned by the New York Yacht club in 1851 and is the namesake of the challenge race, The America's Cup.

I also completed one more block for the red and green album quilt.

Happy Stitching All,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2012

Yea!  It is spring Bloggers' Quilt Festival time.  This is such a fun event out in blogger land, hosted by Amy Ellis from Amy's Creative Side

"Hello" to all of you fellow bloggers participating in the festival and visiting my blog, I love visiting your blogs and reading about your quilts.   This is my second year participating.  There was really no decision in which quilt I would share, it would be the States Quilt.

I made the States Quilt with my Mom.   My mother has early dementia/Alzheimer's and last summer she and my Dad moved into assisted living.  Because her sewing machine was becoming increasingly difficult for her to operate the decision was made not to move it with them. She was also struggling with knitting and hand quilting, but I noticed she was doing some hand embroidery on dish towels etc.  I had seen this quilt with the 50 states embroidered and an idea was born. 

She was very excited to work on this quilt together.  I would trace the embroidery patterns in colored Pigma Pens so she would know what colors to embroider the state outlines, birds, and flowers and then because they live in another state I would mail 5 or 6 blocks at a time to her.  We continued in this fashion over the fall and winter, in the mean time I worked on star applique blocks and came up with the center eagle block. 

By the end of winter I was starting to sew the blocks together.  I must say I was not  thinking ahead when I choose a pattern with hexagon blocks...LOTS of set in seams. 

I machine quilted the States quilt on my home sewing machine.

 This past April I was able to bring the finished quilt back to my Mom, she was thrilled to see it completed and she enjoys showing it to her many new friends at the assisted living center.   

Happy Stitching All,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

May Free Motion Quilt Challenge with Leah Day

I have been learning so much from the Free Motion Quilt Challenge sponsored by SewCalGirl.   Each month I have picked up some tips.  I was a little late posting about the April lesson and it was my last post, but when I looked at the video for Leah Day's lesson I really could not wait to try some of her suggestions.  I was particularly interested in her suggestion to NOT drop the feed dogs, but to bring the stitch length to zero and try your free motion quilting with the feed dogs still up.  Her reason for this is that free motion quilting is somewhat hard on the home machine and they are not really designed to sew in this fashion, something I have been told by my local sewing machine dealer.  She feels dropping the feed dogs also disengages something else in the machine that is necessary for balanced stitching.

 I gave it a try with sample two, the railroad track pattern, and really could not tell that much difference.  I think my bottom line is going to be if I am having trouble with balanced stitches in my machine quilting for whatever reason, thread, humid weather, dry weather...whatever, I am going to try leaving the feed dogs up and see if that helps on that particular quilt.  She also described a little product I have not ever heard of, Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers.  I did not have access to these but would be very interested if anyone has used them in a Bernina and if they thought it reduced bobbin thread problems such as bird's nest.

Leah Day's website is wonderful, she also is sponsoring a free motion quilt project or quilt along that gives machine quilters of any level of experience lots of practice.
Happy Stitching!