New top


I started making a quilt top about a year ago.    I was planning to do it with spiderweb blocks.


I made a few and it just didn’t feel right so in December (while cleaning up to decorate) I packed it away.   I started again on Sunday with a fresh perspective.   Over the course of the year I have expanded my view of quilts.   I still love the very traditional, but I also appreciate the less formal improvisational style.  When an idea strikes I need to go with it right away so that is what I did.

Using the same fabrics I did the piecing like I did in the last quilt.



I incorporated the blocks I had already finished into the top


Now i like it.   I might add a border


without a border it is 58 x 68 inches


Teddy looks good in(on) these colors

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The pictures without Teddy are a truer color ….I took the Teddy pictures without a flash so he eyes wouldn’t get spots.

I was very excited to get a new book today (I have been waiting for months for it to come out) Unconventional & Unexpected  American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe


I have one of his other books “The American Quilt:  A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950″  and this book completes the story.    People often view quilting as nonexistent between the late 40’s and the quilt revival of the 70’s.  This book shows that this was not the case.  The nearly 150 quilts in this book are surprisingly improvisational, much like Jazz is to music .   The notes are the same but they are played differently.    It is a beautiful book and I highly recommend it.

Now that I have satisfied my improvisational desires for a few days I am back to work on some traditional hand quilting.

Happy Quilting


Ohio Quilts

I recently did a lecture/trunk show for the Black Swamp Quilters Guild in Bowling Green Ohio.   One of the members, Louise Kimpel, said that she had 2 quilts that she would like me to have.   I was very happy to accept the offer and they arrived today.

I almost never know who made any of the quilts in my collection so it is a real treat to know about these.

They were made by Ida Mae Dearth Eckhardt, a Lutheran minister’s wife, in the 30’s or 40’s in Lima, Ohio.

and they are wonderful!

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I am not a fabric expert but I suspect that the majority of the fabric is rayon.

Rayon was the first manufactured fiber developed, it made from wood or cotton pulp and was first known as artificial silk.
The Swiss chemist, Georges Audemars invented the first crude artificial silk around 1855, by dipping a needle into liquid mulberry bark pulp and gummy rubber to make threads.
The method was too slow to be practical.

In 1884, a French chemist, Hilaire de Charbonnet, Comte de Chardonnay, patented an artificial silk that was a cellulose-based fabric known as Chardonnay silk.”
Pretty but very flammable, it was removed from the market.

In 1894, British inventors, Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle, patented a safe a practical method of making artificial silk that came to be known as viscose rayon.
Avtex Fibers Incorporated first commercially produced artificial silk or rayon in 1910 in the United States. The term “rayon” was first used in 1924.


I imagine that they were all dress fabrics.

The first one is in great shape

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and has a pale blue backing fabric


The colors go well with Teddy :)


The crazy quilt has applique flowers

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as is often the case with old fabric there is some disintegration , it might be hard to see in the pictures but look for the white spots, that is where the backing is showing through.

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The backing is a pretty floral


It is still a beautiful quilt and fine for display, and use in presentations but this one will not go into the washing machine!   the delicate fabrics would be gone…..I will enjoy it as it is!


Thanks so much Louise for sending them my way, and thanks to Ida Mae for making them

Happy Quilting


Are they trying to tell me something?

Look what came in yesterday’s mail.


Are they trying to tell me something? Am I old?   I sure do feel old sometimes, creaky joints,  bad eyes, easily tired, aches and pains, forgetting everything I don’t write down, etc.

Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
― Bette Davis

But I’m only 48 so perhaps AARP could stay away for about 17 years.  I’m sure those 17 years will go fast enough!


I haven’t got much progress to show today.   Here is the snowflake quilt…..

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I just took it out of the hoop and you can see how the hoop leaves a mark…that goes away after a bit of time out of the hoop.   I got some huge 48″ wide paper so I can draw up the  pattern for this …it is now on the growing to do list.

Perhaps for now it is time for a nap?

no I think it is time to get to work :)

Happy Quilting



Indian Summer


I have yet another project to work on.   This one is a big restoration project.    My Friend Julie Silber contacted me recently about a quilt that had been  cannibalized for blocks.   She thought I might be interested in putting it back into a useable form.

Julie Silber is one of the world’s most respected quilt experts. She has been selling antique quilts to museums, businesses, and individuals since 1968. Julie was the curator of the world-renowned Esprit Quilt Collection in San Francisco and is the co-author of the critically acclaimed books, Hearts and Hands and Amish: The Art of the Quilt, and is an overall super person.

If you are a fan of antique and vintage quilts like I am you need to see her website be sure to look at the quilts for sale section, a great source of inspiration!

Julie sent me the quilt to look at to see if I want to buy it…..YES I do…we need to finalize the deal but I couldn’t wait to post some pictures.

The block has a few different names.

sunflower block

I am using the name Indian Summer because it seems seasonally appropriate.

This is how we would probably piece it today….with fans in the corners…..set together to make circles

sunflower block 2

and probably foundation paper pieced to get all those points to work out.

In this quilts the circles were pieced as one unit and attached to the pink and blue setting pieces. this was all hand pieced and not using paper piecing.


As you can see from the picture this was a tied quilt.   it has no batting so I imagine it was used in the summer.

I said that it was cannibalized for blocks.   someone started taking it apart, harvesting the circles presumably to use for some other project.


there were 80 circles and now there are 48

the circles are small.  about 7 1/2  inches finished size.   and the triangles are about 3/4″ at the base and 1 1/2 inches tall.


there is no binding, the edges are turned in and stitched to the back

Time for a little measuring

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I think I can rearrange the blocks (after I finish the job of taking it all apart) and make it into a small quilt of about 48″ x 60″

Each block is made with a different fabric. (click on the pictures to enlarge)


when I get it back together I plan to hand quilt it, even thought it was originally tied.   It was used and washed in its past and some of the blocks are showing the results of that.   The seam allowances are pretty far gone on some of the blocks and I will need to replace some of the fabrics in those blocks. I will post pictures of that when I get to work on it. ( I should have taken pictures of those rather than just the good ones) hand quilting it pretty densely will add strength to it and help keep the seams from further splitting.


I think it will make a very pretty little quilt!

I did do a little more Paper foundation piecing on the Batik project.

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As you can see I have a hard time getting the camera to give me consistent color on this.  I need to take some pictures in natural sunlight to get it right.   But you can get the idea.  Every block I do makes me more excited about how it is going to look.

here is the design again (computer mock-up)

Batik plan

Happy Quilting





September Garden


I took a few garden pictures on Sunday.    Sad to see that the end of the summer is here but there are still some flowers … here are a few (click pictures to enlarge)


Happy gardening


Sunday Update

I have made a few more of the Batik Blocks…..only 91 to go now :)


Working on some more hand quilting

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I plan to make a pattern for this one as soon as I finish it.   I want to fine tune some of the details before I do that.


Now I need to get to work in the garden…..fall is starting and I need to start some clean up …pictures of the garden next time

Happy Quilting


More Piecing


A few weeks ago I posted about a signature quilt I started

I am using a reproduction line of fabric by Barbara Brackman …see her post here

I finished the blocks and pieced them together


I had to make some adjustments. The squares with the signatures are 6 inches ….using a jelly roll to make the nine patches makes a 6 1/2 inch block. I had to trim them down to 6 inches to fit them with the signature blocks. The result is that not everything lines up perfectly, however I really do like the look.

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The signature blocks were white.   I felt like it was too bright for the reproduction fabrics so I Tea Dyed them.  Some of the blocks took the Tea Dye better than others so you can see a few darker blocks mixed in.   I don’t mind it at all.  I have a few vintage Signature tops and quilts and the blocks do not all match….different fabrics used by each person so the variation in this is fine with me.


I did add several more blocks without signatures to make the quilt larger.   I will add a border.   This fabric was leftover from a previous quilt and it was handy so put it around the top to see it with a border.


I think I will see if I have enough blue to do the border, I think a darker color will fit it better.

It will be a smallish quilt….about 60″ x 55″  I have backing and batting for it already. Now all I need to do is add the border and hand quilt it.

For now I am going to work on some of the Batik blocks   and some of the hand quilting projects in progress.

Happy Quilting