Saturday, July 25, 2015

Where and How Can I Display My Little Quilts??

Display Ideas for Small Quilts

I have become a lover of small quilts.  I like making them because I can try a pattern in miniature before I make a big one....or not!  They are so cute and I really enjoy the little-bitty piecing.

For those of you who also enjoy making "Littles," I thought it might be fun to take a tour of some ideas on how to display them.

There are as many ways to do this as there are creative people!  These are just a few.  I've linked to where the Pinterest photos originated.  Have fun!


Basket of Red & White Quilts


Wooden Crate of Antique Quilts


Clothesline Hung With Minis

Small Quilts on a Clothesline

Doll Beds

Antique Quilt on a Doll Bed


Little Quilt in a Frame

Cute Hangers & Easels

Little Quilts on Easels and Hangers

Old Hangers

Little Quilt on an Old Pants Hanger


Quilts on an Iron Wall Rack


Little Quilts on a Barn Wall

Small Quilts on a Hallway Wall

Wall Cabinets

Little Quilt in a Wall Rack

Yardstick Gallery

Little Quilts in a Yardstick Gallery

So, are you going to take part of your Saturday and find a way to display some of your "Littles"?  I'm trying out a few in my mom's old standing sewing box.  I'll let you know how it goes!

We'd love to hear about and see how you display your little quilts.  Please leave us a comment and tell us about your ideas!

Happy Quilting!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Quilt Patterns in the Snow!

"Simon Beck, snow artist, has the Alps for his canvas."

This is a bit off the normal track for me, but I came across these gorgeous pictures of snow art, and I saw quilt patterns! Go figure. :-)

The man who does this is Simon Beck.  His work is beyond amazing.  Not much commentary is needed, obviously.

They are captioned with the quilt pattern that came to mind when I saw each of them.

Simon Beck Snow Art  "Birds in the Air"

"Birds in the Air"

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Simon Beck Snow Art  "Intricate Pieced Circle"

"Intricate Pieced Circle Medallion"

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Simon Beck Snow Art  "Lone Star"

"Lone Star"

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Simon Beck Snow Art  "Tumbling Blocks"

"Tumbling Blocks"

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Simon Beck Snow Art  "Mariner's Compass"

"Mariner's Compass"

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Simon Beck Snow Art  "Sunflower"


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Simon Beck Snow Art "Hexies"


Amazing, aren't they?!  Wow.

He has a book of photographs of his artwork.  You can find it here:

I hope you find time for stitching this weekend!
Happy Quilting!!

Photographs were all found on Pinterest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PRODUCT REVIEW: Fussy Cut Rulers

fussy cut  /ˈfəsē/  /kət/ 
1. (quilting) To cut pieces of fabric so that a particular part of the printed design is centered or featured.

Coming up in our Block of the Week project, there are many fun opportunities to do some fussy cutting.  In my own quilt, I used the technique in eleven of the thirty-one blocks.  It just adds that fun detail that causes people to stop and take a second look.

As I have sought to find the perfect fussy cut rulers, these are the options that I have come across.

Fons & Porter
I have been on the hunt for a set of rulers with a number of sizes that are useful. This one has five! (2", 3", 4", 5", 6")  As you can see in the pictures, it's very easy to frame what you want to fussy cut.

The high points:
  • Beautifully clear acrylic
  • A centering mark
  • Frosted edges that really let you see what will show in your block once it's sewn
  • They are slip-resistant because of the edge frosting
The drawbacks:
  • There are not diagonal centering lines, which I have found useful in other rulers

Creative Grids
Another good choice is the 8 1/2" Creative Grids Square-it-Up or Fussy Cut Ruler.

This is an 8-in-1 ruler with small holes at the corners of each of 7 square sizes through which you can mark your fussy cutting corners (the 8th is the outside of the ruler).  It also serves as a squaring ruler for the same sizes.  It's pretty nifty, and it does have the Creative Grids non-slip feature, which I love.

The high points:
  • Beautifully clear acrylic
  • Diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines to center your design
  • Non-slip
  • Lots of sizes in one ruler
  • Multi-purpose
The drawbacks:
  • Not as easy to use as the individual rulers
  • Lots of lines that can give a feeling of "clutter"

Quilt in a Day
These two sets can work well together.  The first has 3 sizes (3", 4", 6") The second has a 2" along with two mini-flying geese rulers.

High points:
  • Clear acrylic
  • Diagonal lines to center your design
  • Limited sizes in the sets
  • They are not slip-resistant.

Whichever type you use, they are invaluable in easing the way in making the right fussy cuts!

To take a look at this selection of rulers, click on the button below:

Happy Fussy Cutting!!

This review was first seen on the Piecing the Past Quilts Blog.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday at the Quilt Museum - 19th Century Medallion Quilts - Part 2

Three weeks ago we took a look at 19th century English medallion quilts.  Today we'll look at some made in America during the same period.  It's such an education in the evolution of the quilting art as I look at these magnificent creations.  There are many, many out there!  I've chosen 6 that have particularly caught my eye.  They each have different elements that give us a glimpse into the craft during the 1800's.

First of all, the most common element during this period is chintz.  It appears in most medallion quilts of the period.  Sometimes a lot.  Sometimes just a bit.  It was used in borders, in panels, and was cut up and appliqued onto a neutral background using the Broderie Perse method.

Chintz was inspired by the painted and printed fabrics of India which fairly throbbed with vibrant color.  It was exclusively printed by British manufacturers until the 1830's when American mills then became a player in the industry.

There is a good article on Chintz applique at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Newsroom website. In 2008, they held an exhibition of Chintz Applique at the International Quilt Study and Museum.  Fascinating stuff.

These are presented in historical chronological order.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Tree of Life Quilt
Mary Johnston
97 3/4" x 96"

This first one is what was known as a Tree of Life Quilt.  There are many documented.  This was made by Mary Johnston in 1793.  I don't know this for sure, but my assumption is that the center is a printed panel, while the birds and flowers in the on-point square-looking sections are chintz applique.

The border around the center panel is so beautiful and the remaining borders do a beautiful job of framing the piece.  The flying geese, set to fly away from a center square, balance the outer border nicely.  This woman had an eye for design, in my opinion.  She embroidered her name and date at the bottom of the center panel.

The skirt is beautifully embellished with ribbons and flowers.  It must have adorned a bed in a very feminine room.

It is part of the Winterthur Museum Collection, where you can read more about it.

* * * * * * * * * * *
John Hewson Center Block Quilt
Unknown Artist
1790 - 1810

There is very little information I could find about this one.  The quiltmaker is unknown, as is the place of origin.  It is dated between 1790 and 1810.  The center block was printed by John Hewson, who is best known for his block printed designs of vases and flowers surrounded by birds and butterflies.

What caught my eye is the artistic display of pieced blocks surrounding the center panel, as well as the use of printed cotton in some squares in the borders.  The serpentine outer border nicely finishes the piece.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Eagle Medallion
Unknown Artist

This Eagle Medallion has a lot of our history wrapped up in it.  It is dated 1814, and the eagle motif with the 17 stars over it was the great seal of the Untied States, used from the 1780's until the induction of Louisiana as the 18th state in 1812.  The eagle's wings are chintz.  There is an inscribed motto underneath the eagle which reads:

"Strong in thy strength we bend no Knee
to Monarcks or to Tyranny
But borne upon thy ample opinion
We ride to freedom and dominion

The borders are amazingly done.  There are pieced stars and hexagon groupings.  The outer border is a pillar print with amazing detail.

You can read more about it and see more pictures here:
1812 War & Piecing

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Ann Dagg.S Quilt
Ann Dagg
84" x 80 1/2"

I fell in love with this one the moment I saw it.  It is so graceful in all its elements.  What a beautiful piece of art!

It was made by Ann Dagg in 1818.  The inscription reads thus:

Done BY Ann . Dagg - S
The .1. Of May  .  1818

The Smithsonian description tells us that it is hand-printed, indigo resist, white cottons and linen.
It measures 84" x 80 1/2"

The best thing to do is to go the Smithsonian American Art Museum website and get a good look up-close of the beautiful work.  Click on the picture and it will give you a larger version to observe.

There are also more pictures at 1812 War & Piecing.

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Tree Of Life
Mary Minor Simms Lester
1800 - 1849
86" x 90"

Another Tree of Life quilt, this one made by Mary Minor Simms Lester sometime between 1800 and 1849.  Unlike the first one we saw, it appears that this could be Broderie Perse in the center, instead of a printed panel.  It is surrounded by hand applique semi-circles cut from two different fabrics.  It is then bordered by LeMoyne stars, sashing, and a striped border print. It is a treasure trove of fabrics! It measures 86" x 90".

If you go to the Quilt Index, you can zoom in and see the fabrics up close, as well as read more about Mary Lester.

Here is a larger picture.
Here is where you can zoom in and read more.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Broderie Perse Medallion
Sophia Meyers Pearce
1830 - 1840
112" x 110"

And last we have a quilt by Sophia Meyers Pearce using prints from Bannister Hall Printworks, Baltimore Maryland.  It was made sometime between 1830 and 1840.  As you can see, it is done in Broderie Perse, using a border print for framing as well as dog-tooth borders of varying sizes.  As most of these are, it's large. 112" x 110".

This one caught my eye because it's brighter than some of the previous ones.  The blue is rather striking, don't you think?

It also resides at the Witnerthur Museum where you can read more about it.

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Well, that was fun!  Thanks for joining us on our museum tour today!

* * * * * * * * * * *

Di's Ford's fabulous book, Primarily Quilts is loaded with amazing designs in the nineteenth century English styles that we've just seen.

She does a stunning job of creating interesting frames/borders which make her quilts beautifully timeless.

She combines piecing, applique, broderie perse and English paper piecing, just as we have observed in the above quilts.

The color photography is absolutely gorgeous, and the instructions are presented in both English and French.  And, wonderfully, the patterns are all full-sized!

We are delighted to have several copies in stock again!

Buy Primarily Quilts Button

Happy Quilting!!

- I am not a quilt historian.  I simply enjoy finding interesting quilts and sharing them with you!
- The quilt images on this post were sourced from Pinterest unless otherwise noted, and are linked to their origin whenever possible.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day! We have a gift for you!

Happy Independence Day to you!  We are so very grateful for the sacrifices made which gave our forefathers the opportunity to establish a free country unlike any other in the history of the world.  We hope you have a good weekend in remembrance of our freedoms!

In celebration of those freedoms, we have a gift for you!
Our Mini Flag Quilt Pattern
is FREE for download.

Mini Flag Quilt

Click on the button below, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
You'll find the download there!

Get Free Pattern Button

Happy Quilting!!

Independence Day! - Patriotic Baltimore Album Quilt!

Oh my, what a quilt!

Isn't it just stunning?  Every time I look at it, my resolve to NOT do a Baltimore grows weaker!

I simply love what the creators of this beauty did.

It is said that there are four signatures on the quilt and that it was made in 1846.  Who were these women??  Their attention to detail, their flair for balance and color, their workmanship -- all are fabulous.

As you can see, there are 25 blocks, four of which are strawberries and placed at each corner of the arrangement. The combination of red, green and yellow was common for Baltimore Album quilts, which dominates here, but I love the introduction of blue!  The use of blue ombre in the eagle and other elements is wonderful, and is focused mainly in the "X" of the 9 center blocks.  The exception is the 2nd block from the right in the top row.  There's a lovely blue flower included with the red and yellow.  I wonder if she who made it just loves blue like I do, and had to include it??

The border is very precisely planned.  See how each corner is the same?  I love the symmetry of that, and the softness it provides around the squares.

Here you can see more detail.  The applique is amazing.

Look at the "weaving" in the flower vase!

The use of the ombre in the eagle is beautiful. And the Broderie Perse is sweet in the trailing flower on the left side of the block.  The little bit of brown used there and in various other strategically placed spots nicely sets off the other colors.

 The quilting on it is also beautifully done.  Notice the flow of the echo-quilting in the eagle block.  I wish I could see it in person!

The quilt is 100" x 101".  I think that means 16" blocks and 10" borders.  Almost big enough for a king size bed!

So, Happy Independence Day!
I am grateful to live here and enjoy the freedoms yet remaining to us.

Happy Quilting!