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I've been practicing my ladder stitch. It's a sewing method used to repair seams invisibly. I have used this stitch many times on qu...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts continues to amaze. I participated in University Days yesterday by offering my one hour lecture on using orphan blocks and tops. What a fun day!

I'm not sure where else you can hear key note speakers, attend classes, win raffle items and get a great lunch and snacks for the price! The attendees were enthusiastic and, of course, all of the fabulous volunteers were cheerful and helpful. What a wonderful place.

Check it out!  wiquiltmuseum.com

Monday, May 1, 2017

I continue to be involved with the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts located in Cedarburg Wisconsin. The group of people that raised the money for the museum as it stands now (and since 2011) did a masterful job of turning an old barn into a wonderful exhibit space. The new part of the building provides classrooms, quilt collection storage, office space and a gift shop. There is a plan to add another barn once the money is raised which will allow the expansion of exhibit, classroom and storage space.

In previous posts I described the things that go on during documentation day which is held twice a year. The museum has a busy event calendar also. In addition to having an ever changing main quilt/fiber oriented exhibit in the barn space, there are classes, group events, sales, and tours all through the year.

The amazing thing about the museum is that there are only four full time employees and a couple of part time ones. Most of the events and activities and day to day work is provided by volunteers. The total number of hours donated by volunteers in 2016 at the museum was close to 9200 with a monetary value of almost $207,000. Amazing!

The museum is a treasure, both for Wisconsin and for the quilt and fiber art world. Visit it if you can.
Check wiquiltmuseum.com for details about hours, events, classes and opportunities.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Two weeks ago I presented at 3 open studio sessions at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. An Open Studio is an opportunity for me to work on my own projects while talking to other quilters. The format is informal, with audience members staying for an hour or so before they move on to another presenter. Each Open Studio session is two hours long.

I presented twice in two days on working with orphan blocks, block sets and unfinished or unquilted tops. It was a great opportunity to show my ideas and get feedback from others about what I make from my finds. I showed pillows, quilts, runners, wall quilts and framed pieces. I received some really good ideas from the great people I met.

The second presentation was about repairing and renewing damaged and worn quilts. I chose 5 quilts from my collection specifically so I could show how to applique a piece over a worn one, how to insert a piece when one is missing, how to replace missing batting, and how to add new binding over a worn one. During the conversation many issues about cleaning and storing quilts came up. The most interesting and extensive comments and questions were about evaluating damage and the decision process about how much repair is needed to actually renew a quilt.

The disappointing factor for me personally about the quilt festival this year was that virtually every class centered on some aspect of long arm quilting. I don't think I'm alone when I say that I can't afford a long arm machine and if I could, I don't have the room for it in my home. I like to quilt even queen size quilts on my home machine since I find the cost of having someone else quilt it on a long arm machine to be expensive. Maybe there is a huge interest in this kind of work that I am missing but many people I talk to share my views. I really missed opportunities to learn about things like surface design, embellishments, piecing techniques, color theory and dating quilts and fabric. This is the second year at this quilt festival that I have not been able to find a class to take that fit into my schedule. Last year there were only 3 hour, full day or multiple day classes. The trend continued this year so even if there had been more than just topics about long arm machine quilting, I wouldn't have been able to take any. I much prefer one and two hour class options. The planners of this festival has gone away from those options. Disappointing.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Busyness is good but the other day I actually stayed home all day. I drank lots of coffee ( a real favorite), puttered, did a little cleaning, worked on a presentation handout and SEWED!

I have finished the charity quilt I've been working on for a fundraising event for the Tubular Sclerosis Society. Our friends' son was tragically affected by this disease from birth and succumbed to it after only 2 years. They just let me know that it earned $450 for them in the raffle. So happy to make something that yields that kind of value.

The pictures could be better but you get the idea.  I tried to emphasize wintery rather than holiday so it could be used throughout January and February also.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I'm always happy when I find new orphan blocks to rescue. I got three in the mail from ebay that were intriguing. Here is one but the three are the same design with some variation in the fabrics.

I had a couple of ideas for making them into decorative items. The first is
framing them in a three part frame. Not sure I could find one though.

So I decided to make one into a pillow. I appliqued the block onto bleached muslin. Then I added centered a small lace round into the center and added buttons from my ridiculous collection. Here is how it turned out.

I left the center scallops unattached and nestled some buttons under the edges so the entire space would be filled. After that, I opted to tack the scallops at the corners. I used pre-made piping that I was able to find in yellow.  The round pillow form is from Joann's. I like the effect.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Another set of orphan blocks that I have are 36 patch constructions. Some have pink plaid fabric alternated with navy/white prints or solid navy. I chose four of the blocks to make a doll quilt that I backed in pink. I made the binding in white. Now that I have twin granddaughters I need to make another one!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Well, it has been awhile since I have been able to post, three and a half months actually. Life has been speeding along, full and wonderful.
I have been quilting. Right now I'm finishing a quilt for a raffle at a charity event my friends hold every year in memory of their son. I'm happy to lend a hand for this worthy cause.
I've also been volunteering at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. I've worked in the gift shop, participated in two documentation days. I hope I'll be able to be involved with collections also.
I've posted about documentation day previously, right after the event in November. The spring documentation day was held last Saturday. 20 quits were documented which included recording detailed descriptions of color, pattern, measurements, materials, batting and binding. Data about each quilt is entered into the national quilt data base.
The most interesting quilt to me of the day was a hexagon quilt made entirely of dress silk fabric scraps. Between the rows of hexagons were rows of diamonds made of black silk. The quilt was pretty old and some of the hexagon fabrics had shattered. But the owner loved it and had it hanging in her house. it was handed down in her family so held lots of sentimental value to her.
I love stories like that.