Monday, October 31, 2011

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go!

  Are you familiar with that old saying? That's been me all week, or, really it's been my Giveaway prize to be more exact. I've had it packaged ready to ship to my winner, but my winner never sent me her address! I really was excited to hold a giveaway and disappointed that a nice bag of goodies is sitting patiently in my sewing room waiting for the winner to claim it. I have decided I'm tired of waiting, sooooo, the first FOLLOWER to comment on this post and send me their address will claim the prize! For privacy, use the email button on this blog to send your address privately.

  Here's a reminder what's up for grabs....

   Ready, set, GO!!!!

Keep stitching,
Becky

Friday, October 21, 2011

We've got a Winner!

   Hello to all  my wonderful followers! It's been fun this week reading which of my posts is your favorite. Thanks for all the great comments and for entering in my little give away. I know, I know, you're saying "Alright, already, cut to the chase! Tell us who won!" Sorry, I was only trying to create some suspense, you know? It's not every day that I have a give away. In fact, this is my first! Ok, enough already. I've tried your patience too long. It took me a long time to get 100 followers and I don't want to lose any of you now! Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was about to announce the winner. Drum roll please.................the winner is #27, ytsmom, who commented at 8:40 AM on Monday, October 17th! I just need you to email me your name and address and I'll ship your prize. I wish I could give one to all of you. Hey, if I reach 200, who knows what I'll do to celebrate!

  I'll share a little news with you all. We sent out our book proposal to multiple publishers who expressed interest in my book this week! I'm terribly excited, but it's not published yet. Please keep those positive vibes heading my way. I'll keep you informed. Heck, if a publisher offers me a deal, you'll probably hear me squeal (literally) wherever you are!

  This seems like a pretty puny post, so I'll share some more Civil War Era photos. It's been cold the last few days and I've had to wear a jacket to work, so my theme I chose photos for was ladies in jackets.

   Look how short the first lady is! She is barely taller than her husband with him seated. This is a foreign photo. Maybe one of my European followers can tell me where it was taken. The back says,"H. Sander. Photographisches Atelier Neumunster." Anyone know what language this is?

             The standing lady in the picture on the right is in a maternity jacket...
  I think this lady's jacket is a maternity one also. Isn't that little girl adorable? Love her curls!



  This photo was taken in Plymouth, Indiana. The man is identified as John Shaile. His wife's identity was ignored!

  150 years ago newspapers would have been reporting on several battles this week. On the 16th of October Union troops took control of Lexington, Missouri from the Confederate forces who had commanded that position since September 20, 1861. Naval forces joined the fight when the USS Massachusetts engaged the CSS Florida off the shores of Ship Island on October 19th. Two days later the Confederates defeated Federal forces at Ball's Bluff, Virginia on the 21st and by the 22nd news of that loss reached the North alarming the citizens. The first 90 day enlistments had long expired and people now realized this war would not be over anytime soon.


   I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and find time to sew. I certainly plan to!

Keep stitching,
Becky

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It'a Give Away Time!

  Since I've passed the 100 Follower milestone I want to celebrate with a give away. For the give away prize I bought a really cute vinyl tote, 1/3 yd. pink and browns bundle, Fall 2011 issue of Primitive Quilts, and a magnetic quilt bookmark at Quilter's General Store last week. I'm adding an assortment of 3 quilting rulers, an Orphan's of War pattern, and just for fun a Ziploc bag full of Civil War repro scraps left from making the quilts for my book, Love and Valor Quilts. It's about a $75 value altogether.

  To enter, you must be a Follower and leave me a comment telling me what has been your favorite post so far. I'll choose the winner Friday night. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my quilting adventures and sometimes, misadventures!

  Here's a picture of the prize. I can't wait to send it out to one of you!

Good luck! Keep stitching,
Becky

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Treasures and Travels

  Last week was a busy one for me. I gave 2 Civil War presentations. The first was for the Old Capital Quilt Guild in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a large and very active group of quilters. I was fortunate enough to see the show 'n' tell portion of their meeting. Members shared some pretty quilts, but I was dressed in my Civil War costume and didn't have my camera on me to take pictures to share with you. Later in the week, I traveled to Delafield, Wisconsin, accompanied by my friend, Darla. We stayed overnight in the beautiful Colonial style home of Pam Quebbermann. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and by bedtime felt like old friends. What a gracious hostess. We each had our own bedroom with lovely quilts made by Pam, and our own bathroom. My presentation for the Lake Country Quilt Guild was at 10 AM the next morning. They have a large membership and lots of activities going on. I was surprised to meet Barb Johnson, who is the sister in law of Robert Johnson (Christopher Staffinger's great great grandson) and the owner of Tea and Textiles, a quilt shop in Jefferson, Wisconsin. She treated us to lunch after the guild meeting.

   On our way to Wisconsin, we stopped at the Vintage Threads Quilt Shoppe in Dyersville, Iowa. It was featured in the latest issue of Quilt Sampler magazine. It was a lovely shop with something for every quilter's taste. If you're in the NE Iowa area, you'll want to check it out. Coming home, we detoured so we could stop in at Quilter's General Store in Rockford, Illinois. It is fantastic and I posted about it in an earlier post a few posts back if you want to see photos.

  Have you seen Barbara Brackman's new line of fabrics, Lately Arrived from London? It is gorgeous and when I saw the full line at Inspirations, in Hills, Iowa, I had to buy the fat quarter bundle plus 3 yards of one of the large florals in the line. Sorry for the picture quality. I took this at night and it doesn't do the fabric justice at all.


   I told you about finding a lot of orphan blocks to buy in Des Moines when I was there for the Expo, but I haven't shown you pictures of them. Here are some of my favorite orphans...
and...

and...
and, lastly...
I love them all! Here is a picture of an 1880's 4 - Patch quilt top I bought at the Jean S. Lyle booth at the Expo. It is a treasure trove of 1860-1880 fabrics.
A little closer look...

   Pam Quebbermann, our hostess in Wisconsin, had this wonderful 1880 quilt draped over the banister in the upstairs hallway. It has many Civil War Era fabrics in it and 1870-1880 fabrics as well. Someone had a great scrap basket! We had a lot of fun examining it, spotting a few fabrics that have now been reproduced, but many more that we wish would be  reproduced! 

A closeup of some favorite pieces...
 
   I passed the 100 Followers mark this week! I'm very excited about that. Thank you to all who have signed up. I'll try to keep you entertained and informed. I'm planning a give-away to celebrate this event. I bought some goodies at Quilter's General Store to add to some other goodies I already had for the give-away. I'll take pictures tomorrow and post the particulars on how to enter either tomorrow night or Monday. Check back then to enter. I'll draw the winner Friday evening.

Keep stitching!
Becky

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shhh! Can You Keep a Secret?

  When asked what I do with antique quilt tops, to quilt or not to quilt, I always say,"Don't quilt them! They are too fragile and it devalues them to add new work to them." Uh oh. I broke my own rule! The 1880's doll quilt top that I showed in my last post was partially made and I had the vintage fabrics bought with it to finish it. I thought it was so small, it could surely be finished and quilted. It would be so cute finished. I got half-way through the quilting and guess what happened. A brown polished cotton piece in the center "shattered." The brown dye used at the time  it was milled was harsh. Fabric with that dye, would over time, basically crumble, or "shatter." It looked perfectly normal when I started quilting, but obviously, it had never been handled or exposed to light. Those pieced blocks had probably been kept in a closed box or trunk for decades protecting them from wear. I should have known better. If it had been a full-size top, I would have followed the rules. Here's the problem...




See, right in the center, of course!

My solution...
 
A closer look... just don't look too close to my applique stitches!
   Lucky I had some of the vintage red circle fabric that was used in the blocks. Lesson learned; follow my own rules!!! Lesson to you; do as I say, not as I do!!! 

  Confession is supposed to be good for the soul. I confessed my quilting transgression to you, but it can be our little secret, ok?

Keep stitching,
Becky

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011 Des Moines Quilt Expo Finds

  I've got to get to work, but I have to share some photos first. The first is the vintage 1930's doll quilt kit I bought from the Farmer's Dotter. I have it pin-basted ready to quilt...

This is an 1880's doll quilt top and vintage back, that I'm now quilting...





And this doll bed arrived in a big box while I was at the Expo. It was made by William and Karen Schultz. It was a perfect fit for the Civil War doll quilt I bought in Maine in August. I first heard of their doll beds on Kathleen Tracy's blog.
I'm late! Keep stitching,
Becky

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 Des Moines Quilt Expo

  I got home at 8;30PM from Des Moines last night. Kayla, Darla, and I were there 2 days and stayed at the Staybridge Suites. We had a great time at the Quilt Expo. I think attendance was down and there were less vendors than usual, but I think those who were there enjoyed it. There were beautiful quilts on display and tons of quilting wares to tempt the most frugal shoppers. I certainly did my part to help the economy. I'm very patriotic after all!
  I had hoped to find some 1800's orphan blocks  and I sure did. I made a huge haul at the show and a couple of antique malls. One of the most fun things at the expo was digging through the sales reps' samples at WV Quilt. Those things were like candy, costing $1 to $3 each. I found plenty to buy for myself and a friend who didn't go to the expo. My most exciting acquisition?...I bought an 1870 quilt from the Jean S Lyle booth, a little after the Civil War, but close enough. Actually, I had to put it on layaway, as it was a little pricey for me. Jean is very knowledgeable about antique quilts and I had a very enjoyable conversation with him. If I had more money, I would have bought several of his quilts. He has the real McCoys in his booth. I also bought an 1880 4-Patch quilt top with some earlier prints in it. Yummy!
  I had hoped to meet other bloggers there, but I didn't have much luck. I did meet The Farmer's Dotter (Brenda Weed) and she was delightful. I also met Lisa Bonegan, but her booth was packed with shoppers and we couldn't chat. I "almost" met Jan Patek. : ) She had just left when I got to her booth on Friday and her son was taking over for the remainder of the expo. He was fun and a very energetic salesman. Jan should be proud!
  I hope the economy turns around soon so we can continue to have the big quilt shows and expos. I've heard of a lot of quilt shops closing and it makes me sad. Sad for the owners and for the quilters who used to shop at them. It's important that we buy from those shops or we';ll have a lot less of them to go to. We can't take it for granted that they'll always be there for us. Please think twice before buying your quilt supplies from the big discount stores. Ok, I'll step down from my soap box now.
  I'll be busy the next week or so. I'm speaking to the Old Capital Quilt Guild in Iowa City on the 10th and in Delafield, WS on the 13th. I should have plenty to post about after those travels.
  I sure wish I didn't have to work tomorrow. I'd really like to stay home and have fun with all my goodies from the expo. Oh, well, I guess I need to replenish my wallet after this weekend and it's homecoming week at school. It should be hectic everyday and I'll have something to look forward to coming home for at night.

Here's my 1870 quilt ...

Isn't it a beauty? I can't wait to bring it home. I love the random basket block, which was made by the quilter's granddaughter who expected grandma to put it in her quilt. I especially like the poison green double sawtooth border.

  My friend, Julee Prose had a quilt hanging at the expo...Bizzy Bird Farm. I hope I got that right!
  She is an applique expert. The quilt is to die for.

  Karen Woten, another old friend from Ottumwa, Iowa won 2nd place for her applique quilt...

  I'll take photos of my goodies and post in the next couple of days. Till then, keep stitching!

Becky