Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Moonlight Quilters are Blooming!

What a great day we had Saturday in Titusville, making flowers and leaves for the BLOOMS class!
This class was inspired quite a few years ago by Cherry-cherry, who wanted to know why a beginners' class had to be old tradtional blocks...why couldn't it be contemporary?
So I designed the piece on the left, to include the basic shapes of quiltmaking using fast-piecing techniques, but requiring very little matching.
It was rather bitter-sweet teaching this class, because the other basis of it is Designing on a Grid. I learned that truly valuable skill from Judy Hopkins' book One-of-a-Kind Quilts (That Patchwork Place, 1989). Judy passed away this month.
This fabulous big room had plenty of space for work tables and lunch tables both! It's the American Police Hall Of Fame museum, which happens to be right next door to the Astronaut Museum....just turn in when you see the Space Shuttle!
Almost everyone had strips cut and jumped right into the sewing.
We made the flower first, because it actually has sections that need to match. After that, the leaves are totally random. The hardest part of this class is throwing away the precision and matching that we've worked so hard to learn!
The Moonlight Quilters are a really fun group who also know how to get some sewing done.
One of the best parts of a class is looking at all the beautiful fabric...I love the way each person's choices reflect her personality. There was everything from Tropical to Traditional, with a large contingent of Batik Lovers.

We spent the morning sewing flowers and leaves, followed by a good lunch.  (I won't mention the fantastic snacks that simply appear by magic at any quilters' gathering!)
The afternoon started with a short round of sewing. Then everyone contributed some flowers and leaves to learn how to work out her own design by creating the grid space, moving parts around, and filling in the spaces with whatever pieces she thought would be best.

I can hardly wait to see some of the finished quilts!
Will they be larger? Smaller? Contain some new design elements? Be totally turned around? (C-C says she wants to see this as a landscape orientation instead of vertical).
I love to teach this class, where a simple-to-make pattern opens the doors of creativity!
And I love to teach for a group like the Moonlight Quilters, who enjoy learning and having so much fun together.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quilt Discovery Day in Jacksonville FL

Last Saturday the All Star Quilters Guild, Inc., hosted a Quilt Discovery Day for the public.
We invited people to bring their quilts to be documented for the Florida Quilt Project, which will be online as part of the Quilt Index by the end of the year.
With renting space and making lots of copies, there are some costs we got a grant from the Sunshine State Quilters Association to help out. Three other groups also received grants for hosting a QDD.

First the stations had to be set up, and we were fortunate to have so much space to work in!

When people arrived, they were welcomed and given the 10-page form on a clipboard.
Not to worry! The form seems long because it has lots of lists so you can just check things off, and questions to answer are mostly to jog somebody's memory.
So if you don't know who made the quilt, it doesn't take too long to fill in the form. As you move through the stations of the Quilt Discovery Day  the writing is done by the workers. All the quilt owners needed to fill in was their own contact information.

The next station is where an official number was given to each quilt to be sure the form can be matched up to the correct photo. There is also a release form to allow the pictures to be used online.
Then comes Photography.
The quilts are carefully attached to several pants hangers (the clip kind), and the number on a small sign is attached. Then the quilt is raised up on a stand so a full-length photo can be made.
Sometimes closeups are taken, or an extra picture is made if the back has something of interest.

This one is especially interesting to me because it was made by my great-great grandmother, sometime between 1850 and 1880.

Next comes Description, where the quilt is measured and carefully examined.

One of the items on the form is how many blocks...I am glad we did not have to count how many diamonds are this beautiful Broken Star!
Also at this station the quilt pattern and name have to be determined. We had a laptop computer running Block Base to help us, along with some books about patterns and fabric dating.
Only pencils are used around the quilts!
The next station is History, where the quilt owner can give the name and story of the maker, if known, as well as how they acquired the, purchase, inheritance, or self-made!
Each person is so excited to be able to talk about their cherished quilt with quilters who share that love! We also had Nan Moore, a quilt appraiser, working with us to help get the dates straight. 
Last is the Exit station, where the form was checked to be sure all sections had been looked at (even if there was nothing to record). A small label was given to each quilt saying that it is now part of the Florida Quilt Project.
We did put out a donation jar, because sometimes happy people want to say "Thank-you" with a few dollars. The money will go to continuing documentation of more quilts!

As usual, I was far too busy to pay attention to making a complete photo record of the event and all the wonderful quilts. I'd like to close with just a few more pictures, to give you a taste of what treasures are seen at one of these Quilt Discovery Days! Maybe your group would like to host one sometime. It's both educational and fun!
Beautiful embroidery from the 20's or 30's...I'd love to know the name of the designer!

There's always at least one Yo-Yo Quilt! This one has a pretty diamond & sashing arrangement.

Not sure of the date on this well-preserved scrap quilt, but that's the famous color called "Cheddar"!

Yes, I DO like scrap quilts! This one is almost too much.

A real find...this unfinished top is a piece of real folk art from the 1930's, portraying the maker's homestead and some lyrics from "The Old Oaken Bucket".

So very Southern!. These starburst styles were more often made in the South, despite the magazine-created name of New York Beauty.

Amazing quilt made by a freed slave in Newberry, So. Carolina. Even though it was passed along in the family, some of the story has been lost...but it still has enough clues that we my learn more yet!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

FANtastic Quilt Show in Mt. Dora

The Lake County Quilters Guild (Mt. Dora, FL) hosted their 29th annual  FANtastic Quilt Show March 3 & 4. This is a guild show (no outside entries), and it's amazing how they can produce so much wonderful work every year!
I'd like to share a few pictures and comments...and, as always, if you ask me to take a pic down, I will.
The guild does a great job of stating the pattern names, but please let me know if I miss any.
Spinning Stars by Betsy O'Neil from the Judy Martin pattern "Shakespeare in thePark"
What a great pattern, and who doersn't love a blue quilt?
Next we saw:
Bloomin' Kaffe by Kelly Woodworth from the Blooming 9-Patch pattern
All Kaffe Fassett fabrics! This is a really fun technique that blends one set of blocks into the next.

Blowing in the Wind by Betsy O'Neil using Pat Yemin (Come Quilt With Me) templates
I'm always taking pictures of red-white & black quilts because one of my friends really loves them!

Nest by Pat Arends from a Valori Wells pattern

OK, I admit I often take pictures of my friends' quilts...but it's beacuse I like them, and I also have lots of other people's quilts, too!
One thing this also shows off is the lovely venue of the show, Lake Receptions in Mt. Dora. It does add a bit of extra "class" to the show!

A Toast to Spandex by Shirley Schlimgen from the "Ladies in a Hot Tub" pattern by Changing Tides
It's always nice to see real women being celebrated!

Hooray for the White Glove Ladies!
I have been fighting with Blogger, trying to get this post done, for two weeks...I have done it every which way possible. Lake Co. Quilters deserve a much nicer post about their show, but my patience has run out!
If I can manage a few more pics, I will try.
Otherwise, go see next year's's always the first week in March!

Armenian Wedding II by Terry Reising