Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nose to the Grind Stone!

  As promised, I've been keeping my nose to the grind stone the last few days. I've sat at my computer drawing and writing the first 2 patterns in my Love & Valor series. They go to the printer tomorrow. Let me tell you, 8-10 hour days at the computer does not make me a happy camper! It does make me happy to get 2 patterns done though. The sore shoulders, lower back, and tired eyes are almost worth it. I really want to get them all on the market this fall, but they won't make it to Fall Market, darn. I do have some exciting news, though; the movie, Love and Valor, based on Charles F. Larimer's book, is scheduled to appear on Virginia Public Television in the near future. The video will be offered for sale during the show, as well as my L&V patterns! Hopefully, other public television stations across the country will pick it up too. That definitely motivates me to get them ready. I will start with seven and if they are popular, I have others for the series in the planning stage.

  To keep my spirits up while toiling at the computer, I've taken little mini sewing breaks to paper-piece some tiny Log Cabin blocks. They are so cute. I have no plans for them, but they're fun to make. Maybe I'll sew them into a doll quilt. Speaking of doll quilts, the mailman has been good to me this week. I received 2 more doll quilts via mail.

On Tuesday...Isn't this one nice? It's from the 1930's and measures 20' x 20".


 This one came the next day.  A simple 4-Patch on point c1900-1910, with some repairs made in the 1930's (based on the fabrics appliqued over the worn patches.) It has a neat homespun blue/white check binding. It is 20" x 21".
 
   I don't think I shared these with you yet. They came a few weeks ago while I was busy getting ready for my Florissant, MO trip. This c1930's Periwinkle is an eye popper with all that red, no quilting, just backed with muslin and front and back edges turned in without binding. It is 18" x 22 1/2".





 This c1880-1900 Nine-Patch fits perfectly on the large walnut doll bed I got in New Hampshire this year. It is 14 1/2" x 19 1/2". The back is pieced of several pieces of homespun in charcoal/white and tan/white.
   I made a ticking wool-stuffed mattress for the bed the day this quilt came. No pillow yet, but Kathleen Tracy posted a great tutorial on making a doll bed pillow and pillow case on July 24th. I intend to make one using her directions. Thanks, Kathleen!

  Ok, that's the end of my break for this evening. Back to work! Keep stitching. I'll be stitching again soon, I hope.

Becky

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Final Day in Florissant!

  After the excitement of visiting the vault and talking late, we finally got some much needed sleep Friday night. We packed our bags, ate breakfast, and checked out of our hotel. The workshop for Saturday was Reap the Whirlwind. Most of the same ladies took this one too, but there were a few new faces as well. Another fun day ahead. The "Over-Achievers" didn't have as much done before hand this time. I actually got to teach a little! Ha ha. A couple of them worked on the paper-pieced mini version, a few did a crib or wall-size, and the rest planned to make a full-size quilt. Again the color and fabric choices were varied. What fun seeing them go together!
   It actually got real quiet at times when they were hard at work. It didn't last long though! Out of all this class clutter came beautiful results.





                                     So exciting getting that first block done and it turns out right!

                                      Navy and cheddar, YUM...




 Later in the day as work progressed...This red, black, gray quilt was being made for a son who picked out his own fabric. It is a bold look.

I love the raspberry pink and chocolate brown corner triangles in this setting...

Carolyn, (one of the "O-A'S") modified my pattern and made it her own, tricky girl! Love the blue and pink!


A scrappy version using my red/green color scheme, very effective...

  We ate another scrumptious lunch at the Whistle Stop cafe, YUM; then it was back to work. the day flew by, but everyone got a good portion of their tops done. At 3PM Kayla and I reluctantly packed up to go home. I remembered to take a class picture (I forgot to take one the first day, darn it!) I really felt like I had met and made new friends there. If I lived there I'd definitely join the Flower Valley Quilt Guild.

Here's my Saturday Class...
Front row, left to right: Judy, Beverly, Vickie Ungers (V.P.), Kathy(Pres.) Back row left to right: Carolyn, Susan, Me, Carol, Julie, Connie, Rita, Cynthia. One left early before the picture.

  We were about 5 minutes away and congratulating ourselves on our getting on the road earlier than expected, (thanks to the ladies helping us carry out and load the General) when my cell phone rang. It was Kathy Parks calling to say Kayla left her jacket and I left my felt design board...oops! We made a quick u-turn, got our stuff, and were still on our way by 3:30 PM. I don't go anywhere without having to return at least once for something I forgot. It's heck to get old and forgetful!

  I forgot to post the picture of Jan Copeland's Dear Jane quilt yesterday. It is too gorgeous to leave out. Jan is on the right...

   Remember I was quilting the CW quilt my niece bought me last year? I got it finished and bound in time to take to Florissant. It was the first time I'd quilted Baptist Fans and I like how it turned out. I used a thin wool batting and the original backing fabric. It had been a tied quilt with one inch thick wool batting and HEAVY! I was able to bind it with a repro of one of the paisley madder prints that was in the quilt. It originally had the front and back turned in and whip-stitched closed-no binding.

                                       A look at the back before removing it from the quilt frame...
                                     The front...

                         The madder paisley repro binding...
  I really love this quilt. The almost periwinkle sashing is so unusual with those madder prints. It's one of my favorites. I'm not currently sewing on any project, though I have plenty begun. I have my new pattern line to work on and school starts soon, so I need to keep my nose to the grindstone till they are all written. I hope you are all sewing at least and until I have time, keep stitching,

Becky

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2nd Day of Fun In Florissant!

  We didn't sleep much Thursday night...too chatty and too wound up, I guess. We ate a hearty breakfast at the Hampton and got to the church at 9 AM, just in time for the workshop. The ladies taking the Winds of War workshop were a self-proclaimed group of over-achievers. And, boy, were they. They all, but one, had their quilts all cut out and blocks or even rows put together before they got there!  What could I teach them?! I think they paid me to keep them company really. They were so much fun, cracking jokes and teasing each other all day. They were serious about their sewing though. Everyone made great progress on their quilt and some even finished their tops!

Some of the "Over-Achievers" hard at work...

Laying them out playing with the block placement...

A few of the tops in various stages of completion...



  It was so interesting seeing all the different color and fabric choices they made. The one above was a coppery greenish print in the outer setting triangles with black print setting squares and subtle earthy prints for the pieced blocks. It will be gorgeous when done. I didn't see a combination I didn't like. I've been assured by Kathy Parks, guild president and a member of the "over-achievers", that they will send me pictures of the finished quilts. Hers is the 3rd one from the top and done in the original color scheme of my pattern.

  We broke for lunch and ate at the Whistle Stop Cafe down the hill from the church. It is in the old Ferguson, MO railroad station. OMG! What a treat that was. It is totally refurbished and full of railroad momentos in glass cases. The ticket counter is original and you go to the ticket window to order; then you're given a number on a "Boarding Pass" and wait for a "conductor" waiter to call it. You have to go to the boarding window to pick up your food when your number is called, "258 is now boarding!" What a hoot that was and the food was DELICIOUS! Most everything has a railroad theme, of course. You can order such edibles as The Club Car (ham, turkey, & bacon layered on ciabatta bread with tomatoes, cheese, & dressing, or  The Brakeman (Italian meatballs on ciabatta bread & topped with mozzarella and tangy marinara. If you aren't full after  the entree, you can order fabulous desserts like a sundae called End of the Line (with oreos, peanuts, and caramel) or the Smokestack (a unique vertical banana split) or maybe you'd prefer one of their Concrete Mixers, their version of a blizzard, like a Cow Catcher (peanut butter cups & chocolate) the Armored Car (Ande's Mint chips &Cream de Menthe). I wish I'd had room for one of them, but we ate there both Friday and Saturday and I was stuffed before dessert, darn! We had the rare treat of a train going by while we ate. They told us it is a seldom used track anymore. If you find yourself in the area of Ferguson, you MUST eat there! You won't be disappointed. The decor is worth seeing and you couldn't find better food for more reasonable prices anywhere. It's located at 1 Carson Road, Ferguson, MO.

  Here are some pictures inside the depot. I didn't think to take any of the outside, but I think you all know what an old time depot looks like....





    All day Friday, as I walked around the workshop giving pointers (rarely) and mostly admiring the ladies progress, I kept seeing yummidy CW fabrics I'd never seen before! The ladies kept saying, "Oh, I got that at the Patchwork Plus, a quilt shop across the river in Wood River, Illinois. (62 E. Ferguson Ave.)By the end of the day I was drooling and had to go there. Kayla is fearless in rush hour traffic up to 6 lanes across, so I gave her the keys to the General and off we went! We got to the shop at 5 minutes before it closed!






   We had decided we'd take a quick look around and if it was worth it, we'd plan on trying to load up fast on Saturday and go back. Welllll, we took one step inside and were hooked. I started oohing and aahing (I'm NOT subtle or quiet when I get excited by fabric). I grabbed a couple bolts; then realized there was no time, but I looked at the owner, Jan Copeland, and I must have looked desperate, because she smiled and said, "Take your time, we're in no hurry." Well, that was all the prompting I needed! I soon had a large stack of bolts waiting to be cut. I noticed an applique album style quilt in a corner and Jan got it out and held it up for me to photograph. It's her own design and she offered it as a BOM several years ago. Oh, was it gorgeous!

And a couple of closeups...


   If I enjoyed doing applique or if I was any good at it, I'd have to make this one! She had a display case with vintage toile fabrics from the early 1800's and you know I love toile! She opened the case and I even got to touch the toile! I was temporarily in Heaven there for awhile. Jan and her helper stayed open for Kayla and I till 5:15 PM!!! Jan and I got to talking toile and vintage fabrics and before we checked out, she invited us to her house to see her "quilt vault", a room her husband built for her with floor to ceiling shelves in the basement to house her vast vintage fabric collection. I nearly had a coronary when I entered. Talk about Heaven, that was it for me! She has toile and chintz pieces dating back to the late 1700's. We saw fabrics you won't find anywhere else but in a museum. I couldn't believe she was so gracious to share it with us and let me take pictures to boot! I talked of little else till I fell asleep late that night.(Poor Kayla!) What an experience. Jan could write a book about her collection or at least charge admission to see her "vault". I know I'd pay to see it again. I told her, a day in there for me would be like a day at Disney World for someone else! She said ""We'll have to stay in touch." That won't be a problem!

  You  are now entering the "vault"...




 Here are a few of the early fabrics in her collection...









 An early 1800 Mariner's Compass quilt...
A circa Civil War Era Autograph quilt...

Another Civil War era quilt featuring early flag fabric (now reproduced) and a wonderful madder print...
This is a very early quilt top sewn of 3 political panels and is the only one known to exist other than one like it in a museum...

   Now, can you see why I had trouble settling down to sleep that night?! I'll post tomorrow night about Saturday's workshop. Till then, keep stitching,

Becky

**I have to apologize to Jan Copeland, owner of PATCHWORK PLUS! I made a typo and said it was Patchwork Place. Thankfully a reader noticed it and was kind enough to send me a heads up email. Thank you Momma Bear! Sorry Jan!!! I really did love my visit at your shop and your vault.**