Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Those Crazy Quilts

Here is a bit of a shop update before I show you some of the Crazy Quilts I saw in Omaha.

This is the new "Pezzy Prints" from Moda.  This are a repeat of the very popular print from Peas and Carrots by American Jane.  We are very happy they have been reprinted.  There are more colourways to come.

West Indies by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit has arrived. I just love the bird toile.

We had a very productive workshop on Saturday with Catherine Butterworth.

Catherine will be teaching a regular monthly class next year.  The class will be on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.  Please ring the shop if you would like to book in.


We are thrilled to let you have a sneek peek of one of our new Blocks of the Month for 2012. 
It is called Kew Gardens.

We are creating this beauty with the help of Sue Ross.  You have the choice of two beautiful floral border fabrics.

We should have full details up on the web-site before Christmas.  We already have a number of customers who have booked their quilt (they saw it on the design wall).   So stay tuned.

Crazy in Omaha

The trick with Crazy Quilts is to take photos of the stitching.  This gives you a stitch reference library.  I was quite amazed at the variety of embroidery stitching on the quilts we saw.  The problem with most Crazys is that the silks they were made of has shattered. So when you are looking at restoring a crazy the main focus is on the stitching.

This was a very interesting quilt.  We tried to put together its story.  The photos are of the back of the quilt (yes the back was a crazy) it is all done in black and grey wools.  The embroidery stitching was all there.  The front of the quilt is a brick pattern of wool suiting fabrics cut into rectangles.  The front appears to have been made in the 1920's - 30's.  The quilt was then quilted in the red and yellow "big stitch " quilting around the rectangles on the front.  This gave the back a really cool look.

The story we made up was Mum made the crazy top in the black grey wools.  Brightened it up with the embroidery.  She never finished her crazy quilt.  The daughter used the crazy top as the back for her utilitarian "depression era quilt".  She hated Mum's dark crazy.  But waste not, want not.

That's our story, who knows it might be true.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm Back - Nancy Kirk Restoration Workshp

Sorry about the gap in posting, I arrived back last Sunday to be greeted with the 37C day.  I had left from Denver in the snow, so it was a bit of a shock.  I'm now over the jet lag (I think), seen to all the shop stuff, so I can sit down and look at my photos, and send out a blog.

In this post I will show you some photos from the Quilt Restoration Workshop I did in Omaha, Nebraska with antique quilt legend Nancy Kirk.  Wow.  Five days of visual learning about antique quilts, fabric dating and of course how to fix tears, stains etc.  I felt like I was in antique quilt Wonderland.

Day one was a trip to the International Quilt Study Centre and Museum, in Lincoln Nebraska.  This is a brand new purpose built quilt Museum.  Wish we had something like it here.

This is the staircase up to the Museum level.  Lots of glass (which is interesting in a quilt Museum where light is a real problem) but it works and looks great.

This is the major exhibition we saw.  Wonderful.  I recommend to any antique hexy quilt lover to buy the catalog for the exhibition. These are available directly from the Museum -

We could take photos in the exhibition, but no flash photography.  The combination of that and the low UV lighting used by the Museum have turned all the photos very yellow. I took these shots to give you an idea of what the Museum is like.

The rest of the Workshop was held in our hotel.  Just masses of information was shared.  I feel like I need to take a month off just to sort everything out.  Guess what I'm doing over Christmas.

Here is Nancy, with one of her treasures that she keeps in acid free boxes.

Workshop participants were asked to bring along some of their own quilts that needed restoration.  This little Cir. 1860's doll quilt was a winner.

These are a few of the wonderful fabrics and blocks in Nancy's Collection.

Just a fabric feast.  Who says antique fabrics are dull and brown?

I will send out another post looking at all the Crazy Quilts we saw. 

But only in America.  It was approaching Halloween when I was at the workshop.

Here is the standard pumpkin shot. 

This was a great place to have lunch.  Shame we were too busy to have dessert.

I bought this Halloween Sugar Cookie, but just couldn't eat it.


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