Friday, August 15, 2014

My Trip into The Attic

I have heard (horror) stories about the quilt historian's basement and attic for YEARS. Much stored there, not visited for years, memories, (shudder) WORK clearing it ...

Well, the quilt historian is moving. Actually, she already moved - next door to me! Yes, they are our new neighbors and we are enjoying their fine company.

A moving sale is in the works at her old place at 500 Louisiana. I was invited to see the attic and basement and jumped at the chance. The basement is already cleared so it looks nothing like I imagined. It is actually a pretty decent space (now that it is cleared and swept out).

The attic is entered through a drop staircase in the kitchen of the house. It was just as I had imagined, a bit of a time capsule, full of fascinating things covered with dust and cobwebs.

Because it's a 1885 Victorian cottage, there are cute windows on three sides:

Standing up straight is only possible occasionally. We decided to remove all the salvageable fabric stored there. Our method: boxes dropped into the room below. Voila!

We sorted fabric into the responsible piles: some to discard, some for the garage sale, a bit to keep ... I got vintage scraps. BB recalled that she used to find them neatly wrapped up at garage sales.

There will be a sale Sept. 5-6, here's the flyer:

It will be truly exciting! Be there or be square, there really is a tremendous amount of wonderful stuff for any quilter or collector. Here is something else we found in the attic:

p.s. the HOUSE is for sale too, I have a flyer about it if you know anyone who is interested.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Wild Kansas Weather

We go to Colorado each summer, to relax and escape the heat. It is a long drive but the weather was so exciting as we returned Saturday that we hardly noticed it ... it was a stormy day.

We got ahead of a storm as we left Denver, but encountered this wierd sky as we crossed into Kansas. It looked like someone painted half of it with gray paint:

A guy at the rest area snorted, "That's hail!" and sure enough, it started hailing. Luckily, we pulled into an underpass and escaped damage.

We kept the radio on and learned that there was a dangerous storm ahead, so we stopped for dinner in Colby. As we proceeded east at sunset, the sky changed to this:

We didn't know what it was! Turns out this is a phenomenon called

Anticrepuscular rays.

That faded and turned to this!

A full double rainbow, here's the other half:

PS: I took all these photos from the passenger seat as my husband drove. We drove through that rainbow into a rainstorm, but got through it and ahead of it and made it home safely. 

And some people think it is boring driving through Kansas. Show them this!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A very scrappy Flower Garden

You know how it is, when people find out you make quilts, they bring one to show you. This is our friend Cheryl in Yankton, South Dakota who showed me a quilt I knew you would love to see too!

It's probably the happiest, scrappiest Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt ever. It has fabrics dating to the 1930s (lots of feedsack fabric) - there could be some '50s fabrics too. I always like to imagine quilts like this being a handwork project for a long time. Cheryl acquired this top from an aunt who bought it in Salina, Kansas.

It has been well cared for and is in great shape. It is large - there was a label on the back with a size of 101" x 80". Seems like it was hand pieced. My advice when i see a quilt like this is if you love it and want to use it, go ahead and have it quilted. Sometimes machine quilting is a real help in holding older quilts like this one together. Enjoy it and love it! And thanks to Cheryl for sharing it!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Made Fabric

I was so busy posting photos of my fellow classmates in the last blog, I thought I'd do a separate post for my made fabric from Victoria Findlay Wolfe's workshop last week.

I've been making my own fabric from scraps for a long time so I was eager to hear a new perspective on it. I often start with squares or strips - Victoria had us start with 5-sided shapes, aka pentagons.

I've decided to use this technique in a sawtooth border for a t-shirt quilt I'm working on for my daughter. This will certainly jazz up the quilt!

If you can't take a workshop with Victoria soon, you can get her book and learn about made fabric! It's 15 Minutes of Play, I highly recommend it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Victoria comes to town

Victoria with Mary Kay Fosnacht and her block.
We had a wonderful time with Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who visited our guild this week.

I "met" Victoria several years ago through this blog so spending a day in her company yesterday IN PERSON was a real treat. Her lecture was great: she is warm and personable and fun. Her quilts were dynamite, the ones that make you want to drop everything and SEW. She is on a summer drive through the country's midsection, talking and sewing.

Kelly Cline's block

An afternoon in her workshop taught me these things:
For made fabric, sew with a tinier stitch so the ends don't come apart.
I will consider using made fabric in all my future quilts.
Victoria does not categorize herself as a modern quilter, rather a quilter influenced more by quilts of the past.
"I'm basically being a fabric designer (while piecing together scraps)."
"Think of scraps as made fabric."
"When I cut out fabric, things happen that I could not have planned."

Suzy Anderson is making GREAT made fabric using her husband's ties interspersed with silk.

An evening together on the porch taught me these things:
We like the same quilts.
She bought one of my wonky quilts in the antique mall booth!
We both have a ukelele player in the family.

Victoria is a lovely guest, good listener, very brave, exciting and adventurous, and a truly nice person. Come back soon!

I love the block Carol Ingenthron made.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A perfect spot for Rosemary's mini

My friend Rosemary Cromer made this delightful small quilt for me a while back. Yikes, almost 10 years ago!

I was going through the quilts in my closet recently and there it was, in a pile. I decided the perfect spot for it was a narrow wall in our living room. I just love the colors - it measures 8" x 30".

I met Rosemary a decade ago - she had just retired and was loving her work in our favorite quilt shop. Her story is included in my 2005 book, Quilters Stories. Her thoughts on creativity were exciting then and she has continued to be very creative in the years since.

She still teaches at Harper's. For years, she has led a creative forum that meets there called the Fractured Fabric Society. She recently posted a photo of a group from that club visiting the Kemper Museum of Art.

Go Rosemary! Check out her Facebook page for a photo of the happy group!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Turquoise sewing machine

My friend Reta Ousdahl downsized last summer and I ended up with her mother-in-law's White Zigzag sewing machine. It matches my house and is so dang cute. I had fantasies of setting it up in the living room to do 15 minutes of play a day, sewing on the porch with it.

The machine needed servicing to I took it to the local shop. The owner oohed and aahed over it. All metal, he exclaimed! So much better than the plastic machines that followed ...

AND it comes with all the accoutrements: manual, accessories ...

Not to mention nice table and the cutest chair on the planet, with storage in the seat ...

Well! Reality has caught up with me. I have enough machines already ... so I'm offering this one for sale. If you know of someone who needs a nice machine, send them my way. I'm asking $125, mainly to recoup the cost of the servicing, and I can be flexible ... I'd just like it to have a good home.