Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lake City Quilt Walk 2010

Lake City, FL, had a Quilt Walk last weekend, and I was there to enjoy the fun.
What is a Quilt Walk?
It's when shops along a street decorate their windows with quilts so you can walk along and enjoy the views!

Lake City has a lovely restored historical downtown area (N. Marion Ave, right off Route 90...only 6 miles from the exit on I-75). With plenty of parking, it's easy to leave your car behind for a peaceful stroll. You may decide to stop in for a visit at an antique shop, old time drugstore fountain or several  other businesses.
This car-hop gal is ready to serve up some tasty looking quilts!

The Computer Guys don't think quilts are too "old fashioned". I bet they have lots of quilters come in for help with keeping their computers and printers humming along.
Amygene's Embroidery Studio really does turn out shirts, caps and other embroidered items, but they also have a great selection of fabric. Gene Perry is very active in keeping the historic area alive and drawing visitors into Lake City. He and wife Charlotte are opening another fabric shop across the street to take care of stitchers who have been left stranded when Wal-Big Box got rid of the fabric department.
Right next door is the grand old Blanche Hotel, currently used for office spaces. The second floor mezzanine had Teddy Pruett doing quilt appraisals, a couple of quilters doing some great demonstrations, and a one-woman show by Sandy Lindfors.
I love to see a large collection of one person's work, all hung together.
To the right in the back you can see one of the two Lastest Trends among Lake City quilters...a free pattern from McCall's Quilting magazine called "Scrappity-Do-Dah".
The other popular pattern is "Four Patch Posey", a version of the old four-patch kaleidoscope setting merged with cutting "Stack & Whack" style. Simple...but loads of fun!
Also at the Blanche Hotel's restaurant, Tucker's Fine Dining, was "Lunch & Learn" each day.
I had the pleasure of sharing my talk "Pot Holder Therapy" with a group of very lively ladies. The food was great, and what's better than eating while someone entertains? The main idea of this humerous lecture is how to quilters can increase their mental health.

There was a quilt show planned for the Baptist Church at the end of the street, but at the last minute it was bounced out in favor of holding a wedding.
Never ones to be denied, quilters quickly found a spot at the mall in a vacant store space....though it was not within walking distance of the other events.

The show included quilts of all kinds and had quite a bit of hand-quilting. It's wonderful when quilters share what they've made...there were ribbons and awards, but the best part is seeing all the quilts hung up. There is so much to learn by looking at other people's quilts.

The "Goodwrench" quilt is crocheted...and yes, it actually is a quilt! It is backed, and therefore stabilized, with pre-quilted muslin, accounting for the layers neccesary to call it a "quilt". It's always interesting when things like this turn up to challenge our thinking! And even if it's not to my personal taste, it is obviously a labor of love. That's something we can all appriciate.
I can't show all every quilt, but this group-made Chicken Quilt is totally delightful! This great collection of appliqued and embroidered blocks, sashed with chicken-wire print fabric, must have been fun to make.
Also on display were two raffle quilts, one for the local guild Lady of the Lake, and another for Stephen Foster State Park where the guild hosts an annual show (October 15--17 this year). A demo out front, several vendors, and a private collection of antique red & green quilts completed the show.

Right across Rt. 90 from the mall is the Fabric Art Shop...I wish I had a picture of the beautiful purple building! Many quilters visiting the Quilt Walk found their way to this haven of fabric, art supplies and quilting machines.

The 2010 Quilt Walk may be over, but Lake City is always there waiting for you to visit when travelling on I-75.  Make a stop when you get to Exit 427!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Old Green Cupboard closing

It's a sad day when a quilt shop announces the doors will close soon.
Even though my wallet appreciated the 50% Off Sale, it's hard to imagine not being able to shop at the Old Green Cupboard.  Visit the website and get the latest updates...they are selling everything until it's mostly gone, including all the wonderful furnture and home dec items:
If you weren't able to see the shop, you may have seen OGC at some of the big quilt shows. They are just finishing at AQS's Lancaster show and will still make it to the April show in Paducah.
Last Monday was the first day of the sale, and Cheezdoodle reports that two ladies fainted while waiting in the check-out line!
Cherry-Cherry & I waited until after lunch to go, and the crowds had tapered off a bit...only 15 minutes in the check-out, instead of the 2 hour line in the morning.
The trick of a sale like this is to remind yourself it is 50% off...not "free"!
Mrs. Starbucks came up to check out what was left on Wednesday morning, and there was plenty. But that just indicates the tremendous amount of fabric there has always been!
The three quilting machines will be auctioned to those interested. Many of the shelving units are going to other shops (yes, I am nosy and read the papers taped to things that were SOLD)!
As long as there is something left, or until April 30, the shop is you might want to check it out.

OK, you want to know what I bought. I showed great restarint, but here it is:
I am always on the look out for a red batik. This is one I had used recently in a quilt (coming soon to PatchworkPie!) and knew it would be good for the ol' stash!
I never have enough greens, and that's funny, because I would not say it was my "favorite" color! But I always want to buy some.
These watery stripes just made me fall in love when I first saw them last year....
So many colorways....all just beautiful. The color changes over several feet before repeating. 
And when you buy stripes, it's usually a good idea to get some real yardage, especially if the stripes run along the selvedge. I got 2-1/2 to 3+ yards of all these stripes, including this challenge to the optic nerve:

It may come in handy for a black & white challenge that has just been announced.

So while I am happy to have some discounted fabric, it's sad that Old Green Cupboard is closing.
Best wishes to Gloria and all the great ladies who worked there....we'll be seeing you "around the block" somewhere!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heirloom Quilts at Amelia Island

Last week I had the pleasure of showing my Heirloom Quilts for the Amelia Island Quilt Guild  (mark your calendar for their show Feb. 25--6, 2011!) These quilts come from both sides of my family, with Mom's side being mostly 1930's style. The ones from Dad's side go back to about 1850.
Here's a Double Wedding Ring made by my Dad's maternal grandmother. I put a sleeve on it because it's in good enough shape to hang on a stand:
I adore this quilt! It's definitely the way I would make a DWR....heavy on the scrappy bold polka dots and tribal prints!
Nettie Brookover Eichhorn was a quiltmaker even at the age of 16 (yes, I do have the quilt she made in 1889).  I use her photo as my "avatar" online. This quilt was made closer to her death in 1930. The red fabric in the connecter units gives unity to the scrappiness, and is repeated in the very fine and narrow edge-shaped binding.

It was my mother's dream that the two of us would show these quilts and do a lecture, so I am pleased to be able to offer this for awhile. The quilts will eventually be too delicate to travel. There is a lot of wear & tear as they go in and out of the storage pillowcases, especially on ones like this:
The silks, satins, velvets, and brocades are in remarkably good shape...only one log has "shattered".
This one was made by my Dad's paternal grandmother and her mother!
I have been working on making labels for each quilt, using my computer to print the maker's photo and story. You can see one on top of the quilts...I am still deciding on the complete format, so they are not all done, but at least the quilts all have cloth ID tags on their pillowcases.
This talk is a lot about how to care for vintage quilts...including both my good and bad examples! Extremely important is any kind of label you can get attached to the quilt. Cloth is best, even if you just write with a permanent pen.
On the left is the quilt Nettie made at age 16, and a photo of her taken with friends about the same time.
The one in the middle is another of my favorites, and deserves an entire post for itself! It may remind you of the 30's pattern that Eleanor Burns has re-published as Magic Vine...but is not!
The one on the right is a top made for my grandmother's wedding by her great aunt, who died before it could be finished.
The quilts are displayed folded on a table:
These are the ones from Mom's mother and grandmother.
I am proud to say my fore-mothers on both sides could really handle those shaped-edge bindings! The one here is usually referred to as an Ice-cream Cone border.
I like to be able to really share these quilts and let people come up and touch them after I talk.
We all like to "look with our hands"! (thanks to Cheezdoodle for a rare picture of me!)
With the exception of the Log Cabin and flower-vine quilts, all these were made to be used, and most of them were, so I see no reason to stop touching now. Someday I'll have to put them away, and then no one will be enjoying them.
I'll be recording these treasures as part of the Florida Quilt Project, because they are now in this state. In the very near future, all the quilts recorded will become part of the Quilt Index  and live forever as digital images along with their stories, available to quilt lovers everywhere!
You know you will be hearing more about that!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quilting at the Central Florida Fair

At the risk of being considered "quaint", I enjoyed a day of quilting at the Central Florida Fair!
Yes, many county fairs are still held across the country, and there are still quilt competitions. But don't be expecting a calico extravaganza...I believe today even "Grandma"" has a rotary cutter and keeps up with the latest fabric trends!
Since this is a picture of a display, I have not recorded the makers names, etc. But I wish I had! Do you see the fabric Oprah?
There were many different quilts, as well as a group selling tickets on a quilt to raise money for a local food pantry.
From bed size to fabric postcards, every kind of quilt was represented.
Two intrepid quilters who shall remain nameless!
This was the reason for being at the Fair....the Sunshine State Quilters Association booth!
These happen to be two SSQA projects I designed. The quilt in the back was a Mystery Quilt for the Symposium "Chicks on the Beach". The folded quilt in the front is a wallhanging I taught at a meeting, "3-D Scrap Baskets".

I have been to many county fairs over the years. I am sure when I was younger they never had this sort of stand in the food area:
At least they weren't fried!
There was the usual assortment of foods-on-a-stick, including the newest one (to me) the Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie On a Stick. And there were several wild animal shows, as well as an elephant ride! That was a fun surprise. I could not convince Mrs. Starbucks to go on the elephant ride, though.
She claims to have done that already at some time.
I am not going to argue with her.

March has been...and will continue to be....a very busy month.
Stay tuned for more adventures as I travel around the state!