Friday, November 21, 2014

Second Satrday Sampler Show and Tell - part 2

Many of us have a stack of UFO’s just waiting for us to return to them. Sue is actually finishing a few things before Christmas! These rug punch Christmas stockings are sure to be a special treasure for her family.

 Linda brought several finished projects to Wednesday Workshop. She calls this quilt “What if?” ….What if she cut this….then this….then did this… What a fun quilt and a great stash buster!

Linda also finished a great Halloween quilt featuring a fun Halloween fabric, “The Hauntings.” Very clever the way she showcased different sections of a fabric she really liked – a great technique that could be used with any great focal fabric.
 When one of our customers needed a fast wedding gift with a Caribbean feeling, she went right to the new Batavian Batik and Essential Gem Jelly Roll packs that are new in the shop. With just twenty-four strips in a pack, it’s easy to mix and match the strips for a spectacular quilt.

 Ann brought in her completed "Classic Nutcrackers". This was a block of the month we did many years ago. What a family heirloom this will be. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Patchwork of the Crosses

When one moves into a 900 year old house of stone, where does one start with decorating?  Lucy moved into the Manor, Hemingford Grey, in 1939, and immediately started the restoration, realizing very quickly that she would need curtains and bedcovers.  Because it was during war time, fabric was scarce so Lucy had to use her creativity to come up with a solution.
While American-style patchwork was virtually unknown in England at the time, Lucy, a very resourceful seamstress, looked at her fabric stash and recognized the possibilities.  Without ever sacrificing precious wartime clothing ration coupons, Lucy selected favorite pieces of scrap fabric, cut them into squares, combined them with towels and dusters, and pieced everything into bedspreads and furniture covers.
The curtain problem was cleverly solved by buying old hexagon quilts from the early 1800’s and hanging them at the windows. Not only did they work as insulators, they added a splash of color and design to the cold look of the stone walls. 
As with any quilts left out for long lengths of time exposed to the dust and light, the window quilts started to show their age and some of the fabrics began to disintegrate.  Mending them is what inspired Lucy to make her own more complicated patchworks starting in the 1950’S.
All of Lucy’s patchworks were sewn by hand using the English Paper Piecing method.  When she first began, she bought the paper pieces in precut packs…not from Little Quilts, but from a firm in Oxford.  When this became too expensive, she started making her own shapes just like many of us try to do.  Die cutters, photocopiers, and rotary cutters were not available at the time, though, so you can imagine what a tedious job this was.   Lucy frequently enlisted the help of her friends to cut the shapes … now there are some good friends!
Lucy was an artist and clearly had an eye for color and texture.  She made many patchworks besides the Patchwork of the Crosses quilt we’re working on.  Blocks in all her patchworks are like miniature works of art.  Lucy’s finished projects are not technically quilts since they are made of only two layers – the pieced top and a plain backing - with no batting in between.

The majority of her quilts were made when she was in her eighties, and she was still quilting well into her nineties.  According to her daughter-in-law, Diana Boston, children would stop in after school to thread needles for her, and her last few quilts were stitched with white thread so she could see the stitching.
Patchwork and writing were winter hobbies – spring, summer, and fall were reserved for gardening.  All her stitching was done sitting by the fire in the warmest, but also the darkest room of the house with artificial light, as depicted in this scene from the movie "From Time To Time" starring Maggie Smith.
What an inspiration for all of us!

For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest Board where I'm posting  gorgeous "work of art" blocks from pictures sent in by all of you.
If you need more patchwork papers, glue refills or other supplies, check out our website.  Don't forget about the new Fussy Cut Finders we found at Quilt Market.  They're available on the website, too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Second Saturday Sampler Show and Tell - pt 1

Jan completed this work of art using the High Tech Tucks technique made popular by Caryl Bryer Fallert. The fabrics are what make these wall hangings sparkle. The background fabric and the gradient fabrics used in this piece were hand dyed by Caryl.
Jean’s wall hanging is her entry for a guild challenge. Guild members were given a black square and a white square of fabric that had to be used in the finished project. Jean worked her “magic” using various thread techniques on her original squares. When she was finished, the original blocks were almost unrecognizable to most members of the guild! 
It’s hard to believe Valerie’s quilt started out as a preprinted Christmas panel. What a cute quilt to use during the holidays! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Best of the Best

These are pictures of the quilt that won Best of Show in Houston.  A picture of the quilt and several close-ups. It looked like a Currier and Ives picture.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Patchwork of the Crosses

Another block to work on this week...
 These are the fabrics I used (or similar fabrics to what I used) :
The pink fabric in the corners is left-over from one of the earlier fabric packs.  I didn't really have enough fabric left to fussy cut the pink, so, if you look closely, you'll see they aren't exactly the same, but they don't really need to be. 

I'm posted some new customer blocks yesterday on our Pinterest Board .  Check them out!

Need more paper piecing supplies?  Order from our website here.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Patchwork of the Crosses

Traveling to Houston also allowed me a little extra time to catch up on reading and I was finally able to finish the third book in the Lucy Boston series of books for children, "The River of Green Knowe." 
In the book, Lucy Boston's thrilling and chilling tales of Green Knowe, a haunted manor deep in an overgrown garden in the English countryside continue, and the children of Green Knowe--both alive and ghostly--are back.

In this story, Tolly and his grandmother are away (presumably in Cornwall) - I must say, I missed them!  Two women, archaeologist Dr. Maud Biggin, and her friend, Miss Bun, have rented the house for the summer and ask three children to stay. When Ida, niece of Dr. Maud, and two "displaced" refugee children, Ping and Oskar arrive, strange and wonderful things begin to happen from the first day of this fantastical holiday of pure adventure. 
Of course, the story is about The Great Ouse River that flows past the Manor at Heminford Grey with lots of islands and tributaries to explore.
The children find an old canoe and begin to explore the river and canals round Green Knowe, both during the day and at night, even maneuvering through the many locks along the river.
The magic of Green Knowe is much more fantasy-based in this book, but mingles with real life - the children meet swans, hermits and giants, winged horses, and witness a Bronze Age moon ceremony.  The subtext of homeless children being protected and healed by the house and its enchatments is particularly strong and I loved that part of the story.
No matter what your age you will enjoy this book - with a magic touch, Lucy Boston weaves a spell that will have you wishing you could join the children on their river journeys.  It’s a fun, beautifully written story, very different from the first two books, but equally clever where the everyday becomes magical and the magical becomes believable.  A great read for those with an imagination and an adventourous spirit!  Pencil drawn illustrations by Lucy Boston’s son Peter make the book come to life.
Don't forget about our Patchwork of the Crosses Pinterest Board to see beautiful Lucy Boston blocks in many different fabrics.
Need more supplies?  Click here for our website


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

New Embroidery Products from Fall Quilt Market

Fun with embroidery stitches and silk ribbon! Just arrived.... from quilt market.... Lots of silk ribbon for embroidery! Check out all the colors in the notions room.