Friday, August 14, 2015

ugly fabric...


Found this listing for fabric on Ebay. It describes this print as being ugly, weird and bizarre. While not appealing to me in any way this fabric got me thinking. Is there such a thing as fabric that is too ugly? Bonnie Hunter would say it just needs to be cut up enough. Have you ever seen or bought (?!) a fabric that you felt was irretrievably awful? Can anything me made to look beautiful?

Also apologies, am inexplicably having problems receiving comments these days so please excuse me if it takes awhile to get back to you. I really appreciate your thoughts!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

housetop...


This quilt speaks for itself. It is a gorgeous and graphic house top variation made by the late Clementine Kennedy of Gee's Bend Alabama in the 40's. I have serious fabric envy. These geometric prints are timeless...


Sunday, August 2, 2015

indian horse...


Finally had some time to draft the horse pattern for my Indian Marwari quilt. The weather is stormy and our motivation to leave the house this evening was low.

Tried to draw straight onto the fabric but horses are peculiar animals in that while extraordinarily beautiful moving, standing still they are disproportionate and rather top heavy with delicate legs. Eventually, I drew the outline with some inspiration from various online images on regular letter size paper. Thanks to Splitprint I tiled the drawing up to the just under 4 ft size needed. I love this app and have used it to make patterns for both tiny and very large images.

Now to think about the elaborate surface embroidery and quilting. Know what I want to do but it may be ambitious for my skill set...


Sunday, July 26, 2015

twinkle twinkle little star...


WOW. I love a star quilt and this one from Pennsylvania is a standout. Made in the late 1800's each block is 2 3/4" with a whopping total of 600 stars...


Love the turkey red, cheddar and the acidic yellow colors which unify all the other prints...


Am equally  in love with the half square triangle and shirting border. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

red and white...


Four years ago the American Folk Art Museum in NYC staged the most extraordinary exhibition of red and white quilts. I remain a bitter kitten that I didn't see the quilts in person but am thrilled to discover that a book is coming out at the end of September. You can pre-order it here and at the museum's shop. The book will contain lots of interesting and insightful articles but what is most exciting is that images of all 650 quilts from the exhibit are included. The wait will be worse than as a kid counting down days to Christmas...


Sunday, July 12, 2015

georgia on my mind...


This African-American utility quilt is from rural Georgia probably sewn around 1900 and is from the collection of the late cultural historian and art expert Caroll Greene. Love the soft palette and the way the pieces of homespun work clothes remain intact in the top. Beautiful...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

dreaming of india...


Have you ever had a quilt dream?
I've been dying to go to India for ages. We've mapped out the ultimate trip in every detail including a short safari on horseback, riding Marwari horses a breed native to Rajasthan. Last week, I had the most vivid dream that I made a quilt from all of these travel plans. Upon waking, I felt compelled to actually make it in real life...


The background is lots of randomly sewn strips and triangles inspired by the spice markets and the beautiful architecture...


The plan is to add some rajasthani-inspired embroidery and applique a giant purple Indian horse across the top...


Have no idea whether the end result will be inspired or hideous but have decided to make what makes me happy:)




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

polyester and triangles...


Nostalgia seems to be an ongoing theme. There is the most beautiful 70's polyester top for sale on Ebay. It is meticulously sewn from 2" tall 60 degree triangles. Heart-breakingly, it is advertised as being "great for the ball field, beach, picnic". At least dog bed isn't included as a suggestion. I would love to own this bright and beautiful quilt...


Monday, June 8, 2015

up your nose with a rubber hose...



We have spring/early summer fever so every spare moment is being spent outdoors and/or going on mini road trips. We always check out used book stores and in my case, used clothing stores for fabric from every source. On the weekend, I was thrilled to find a bag of decent sized pieces printed with scenes from "Welcome Back Kotter". This show aired in the 70's but was a cult classic in reruns well into the late 90's. I watched lots of episodes at 2:00 am in college. DVD releases are as recent as 2015. Lifted from IMDB here's a description of the show:

"Gabe Kotter returns to his old high school -- this time as a teacher. He's put in charge of a class full of unruly remedial students called the Sweathogs. They're a bunch of wisecracking, underachieving and incorrigible students, and it takes all of Mr. Kotter's humor -- and experience as a former Sweathog himself -- to deal with his class."


The show takes place in the era when John Travolta had a mane of luxuriant hair, sported impossibly high waisted jeans and a dimple the size of a Manhattan apartment. The fabric is nominally a knit but so tightly made that it could go easily into a quilt. Have no idea what I'll do with it but for nostalgia's sake had to buy. Horshack's "up your nose with a rubber hose" remains a classic insult. Sing along with the theme song here...



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

babysitting...



I've been babysitting the most beautiful antique silk Tumbling Block quilt. It was given to my friend Karen by a client who found it in a trunk in her father's house in Poughkeepsie NY. It was probably bought by her mother who liked to go antiquing and to auctions. Her client doesn't know anything more about it and doesn't recall seeing it around the house growing up. When she emailed my friend and said she'd found a quilt and would she like to have it, Karen imagined something quite different like a more common one from the depression era. Needless to say, she was absolutely astonished!

The quilt is very fragile and K. would like to find a home for it in a museum perhaps back in the States. Best guess is that it is from the late 1800's. Any suggestions as to where this beauty might find a place to live???


Each side is less than an inch...


The variety of silks is extraordinary...


The quilting is beautiful too...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

happy mother's day...

 

This quilt is called "The Mothers" 1983 and was made by the incomparable Faith RinggoldFaith is a lauded African-American artist most famous for her story quilts. She has exhibited world wide and her work is in the permanent collections of many museums. She's also a superb illustrator well into her 80's. She seems a fitting artist to feature today as she always claims in interviews that the greatest influence in her life was her own mother...

To all the Moms, Mamas and in my case Mum, thank you so much for everything- We love you!