Monday, March 13, 2023

Pieces Connecting the Past

At least once a year 
I try to dig into my collection 
of Dutch Heritage fabrics designed by
Petra Prins of the Netherlands.
I love the colors and the traditional floral designs 
inspired by antique Dutch prints.

Anneke Van Leuvan
1747 -1785
My 5th Great Grandmother

This quilt really began with the center background fabric.
I was gifted a fat quarter of this historical 18th century reproduction,
Trails and Leaves,
from the fabric collection at Colonial Williamsburg.
It was just calling to be used for as a
background for some applique

I found the perfect design in the book,
Quilts from the Colonies, 
by Australian Quilt designer,  Margaret Mew.

From there it was pure fun.
Using my Dutch fabrics and some other
fabrics that wanted to play along,
I made lots of hst's and appliqued
melon shaped leaves.

The machine quilting was kept simple
as to not distract from the fabric's patterns.
I even had a large piece that I could use for the backing.

When it came time for the binding,
it took a bit of hunting to find the right piece.

I finally chose one of my favorite fabrics.
It was part of a group of reproduction  fabrics 
from Smithsonian's quilt collection printed in the
mid 1990's.

It's almost gone. 😢

Recently, I had been playing around on
Ancestry and rediscovered a family 
line that was located in Saugerties, New York
 along the Hudson River, which was an area
colonized by the Dutch.

I wanted to honor my family
that originally found their way 
from Oosterhout, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands 
to the America's sometime between the 1630's and 1650's.

A photo shoot.

The weather was warm so
 I headed to the perennial gardens 
at Colorado State University.
Most plants are still hibernating from
the winter weather,
but the ornamental grasses add
texture to the dormant garden.

My quilt added some color to these barren branches 
that will eventually change to green once spring arrives.

In September, 1981 Andy Warhol came to the CSU campus

and was commissioned for one of his iconic soup can sculptures. 

My quilt and Andy's Soup Can
are visually very different.

But maybe we both 
have found a sense of fulfillment in being creative.

Until Next Time-

Monday, February 27, 2023

Vintage Grandmother's Flower Garden and More

It was finally a clear day
here in Colorado.
My antique Grandmother's Flower Garden
was ready to be displayed.

Vintage 1940's Grandmother's Flower Garden
Completed 2023

I was lucky to acquire 
these 94 fabulous blocks about a 
year ago.
I spent a lot of time 
carefully hand sewing the blocks together. 

With each added row,
the top got more colorful and beautiful

The original quiltmaker was very skilled
and each hexagon was perfectly sewn to create
these fantastic flowers.
Many of them had the
designs fussy cut from the fabrics.

And we think we're so clever today.

After it was pieced together, I began the hand quilting.

That was the easy part.
Then it was decision making time.  
What to do with the edge and binding.

Many ideas were considered.
I finally cut strips 7/8" wide and used
a Clover bias tape maker to create the narrow binding.

There was no way I could attach it by machine
or even hand stitch it through all the layers.

I appliqued one folded edge to the top of the quilt
going around and around each hexagon side.

Then did it all again. 
Appliqueing the other folded edge of the binding
to the backing.

The binding ended up 
being about 3/16" wide on each side.

It went perfectly around all those 
jagged edges.
If I had had more of the original fabrics,
I could have filled in some of that space on the outer edges,
but I worked with what I had or didn't have,
and love the finished look.

I took it to the Benson Sculpture Garden
in Loveland, Colorado to see what others might think
about this finished quilt.

"Perfect, my dear."
"It's just the way I would have done it."

"Say hey, Good Lookin'
What ya got cookin'?
How's about cookin' somethin' up 
with me?"

"Come away with me to
my fairy garden."

I brought along a second quilt I had
just finished as a charity donation
to Children's Hospital in Denver.

The children let it join in and play.

Everyone was having a good time.

Hey, bring that back!

It was a fun place to hang around.

Until Next Time-


Monday, February 13, 2023

A Cross Stitch Update

 I'm very fortunate to have the
as my local cross stitch shop.
She's organized a weekly stitching group
that meets at her shop to
share project ideas, motivation
and inspiration.  

I have been stitching, sewing
and finishing a few projects both
with floss and cloth.

Yes, the Christmas holiday has
long passed, but here's a new addition
for next year.

'Joyful Scene'
Teresa Kogut

I finished the cross stitch piece as
the top of a paper mache' box
that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.

I simply used paint and 
scrapbook paper to finish the box.

 Some of the design elements 
were eliminated from the pattern
in order for it to fit the box top.

It simplified the look and 
focused on Santa and his friends.

The cording was made using the 
Krenik Cording drill and the
excellent YouTube videos

This next pattern seemed
very appropriate for the kind of
winter weather we've been having.

My daughter, who is a first grade teacher,
must have been doing a snow dance 
a couple of times because everyone shouted...

'Hurray It's A Snow Day'
Homespun Elegance
Sandra Sullivan

This was a quick stitch and
the white eyelash trim was the perfect embellishment
to finish the snowy look.

This latest finish was not a quick stitch,
but one that I enjoyed a great deal.
Lots of fill in so, it was a good
project to bring to my weekly stitching time
at the Colorado Cross Stitcher.

I finally had a frame made at Hobby Lobby 
and got the stitching mounted, 
framed and hung.

'The Gather Inn'
Plum Street Samplers
Paulette Stewart

Autumn colors are probably my favorites.
This piece had all the right elements,
pumpkins, leaves, sunflowers and
even a barn quilt pattern.

I've also been finishing up a few
quilts and those are just waiting for a 
warmer day for a photo shoot.  

Until Next Time-

Monday, January 23, 2023

Chasing the January Blues Away Quilt

This morning,
 I woke up to a gentle
falling snow.
It was quiet, peaceful,
and the light was soft.
It's a good day to share
what I've been working on 
as a new start for 2023.

I love this photo.
It reminds me to always keep going.

On your mark, get set, go!

Earlier this month
 I rediscovered a set of 
indigo (more a cadet blue) and shirting blocks (1890 -1910) 
that I had purchased years ago.

It was time to do
something with them or what 
was the point of keeping them in a drawer.

The hst blocks were sewn together with a combination
of hand and machine stitching.

It's interesting, I've found, that no matter
how many different vintage
machine stitched blocks I've unstitched,
 the original stitchers have wanted to use 
a very tiny stitch length. 
Was it the philosophy: 
 More is Better?

You can see here how close the stitches were
and how it almost perforates this 100+ year old fabric.

Each of the hst's measured 
about 4 inches.
I decided to cut each block into quarters and
have two smaller hst's, an indigo square and
a light square.

A simple churn dash block had all
the right elements.  

I love these fabrics.
I had enough to make 16 blocks.

Chasing the January Blues Away
32" x 32"

The blocks were set together with a 
large scale print by Betsy Chutchian. (Maria's Sky)

I had to add a repro shirting fabric as I needed more 
2 inch squares to complete the blocks.  The new
fabric coordinated with the old perfectly.

The center was machine quilted, but the 
border needed simple diagonal hand quilting
to honor those antique fabrics.

The soft winter light last week was
perfect for a photo shoot of a
 blue and white quilt
made with vintage fabrics.

"Chase the January Blues Away"
Fossil Creek Reservoir
Fort Collins, Colorado


How to be popular during  
the Great Egg Shortage of 2023.
Too funny!
Until Next Time:

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

A Fence Parade: Quilts Throughout the Year 2022

I thought a year in review might
be a good way to begin 2023.

 I started last January taking monthly 
photos of quilts on the back yard
barbwire fence.
That's 12 months,
and a lot of minis.

Hope you enjoy the parade.













Until Next Time-