Friday, January 31, 2014

Scrappy Hour Glass Doll Quilt

I am a huge fan of mini quilts. The instant gratification, opportunity to hand quilt, and being able to play with different fabrics make mini quilts the perfect project for me. I love Kathleen Tracy's civil war mini quilts. I have several of her books, and I recently finished a mini quilt top using her kit. It's sitting in my Hingerberg hoop in the process of being hand quilted.  By the way, do you remove the quilt from the hoop when you are not working on the quilt? I have been too lazy to do this...

I love how these "ugly" colors come together so nicely. 

Although I have no clue what I am going to do with it, I am enjoying the process of making this quilt. It looks like my "unfinished project" drawer has several more mini quilt tops waiting to be quilted. I better get on that!

Are you excited about Stitches West? Two of my knitting friends and I are taking a Argyle sock class together. I am beyond excited to spend time with them! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Historical Quilts and Reproduction Fabrics

I have been super into historical quilts lately. I am fascinated by the stories behind them and the women who created them. I came across two YouTube videos (part one and two) by Eleanor Burns. They are called "Quilts from the Underground Railroad." Apparently quilts from that time were "coded" and used to navigate escape from slavery. For example, the Monkey Wrench Quilt was the first quilt displayed as a signal to gather your supplies and prepare for the escape. I don't think this concept was validated by historians, but who care!? I love the idea of it. I am tempted to make a collection of these quilts.

I visited the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles not too long ago. Although those were not related to Underground Railroad, I enjoyed seeing some historical quilts. I wasn't super into the textiles. Some of my favorites:

 "Log Cabin, Courthouse Steps Variation, c. 1900. Unknown maker. Hand and machine pieced, hand and machine quilted."

 "Job's Troubles, c. 1925. Sarah Shields Cross (1856-1940). Hand pieced and quilted"

Here is a close-up of the hand quilting. It's simply beautiful. 

"Tumbling Blocks, c. 1900. Unknown maker. Hand pieced and quilted."

What did I learn from my visit you ask? You must label your quilts! The makers spent hours working on these quilts, but we will never know their names. 

If historical quilts weren't enough, I coincidentally read "The House Girl" this past week. It's all about escaping slavery in 1850. Now is that enough history or what!?

I am working on a small wall hanging using reproduction fabrics. I will share a photo with you soon!