Thursday, March 26, 2015

Marcella - My very first Treadle

Look what followed me home from Green Bay at Christmas!  It is my very first treadle - a Singer model 66 from 1905 in its original case.  It was well cared during its 110 years, and works just fine now that Larry has replaced the belt.  All I had to do was dust it and clean out the drawers.

This wonderful gift is from my sister's mother-in-law, Ida Mae, and is named after Ida Mae's mother, Marcella.  You may remember Marcella, she is the great grandmother holding my niece in the picture for which Larry tatted a new frame.  Larry's first tatted commission made a terrific thank you gift for Ida Mae.

Isn't the face plate a beauty?  The motif matches the decals.  Ida lives next door to my sister, Cindi, and her husband, Dave, so we always visit with her whenever we are in town.  I have known Ida Mae for nearly forty years - Dave used to bike over to our house.  Cindi and Dave moved into his grandmother's house a few years ago and this came with the property.

Now Cindi is about as likely to ever treadle as she is to go scuba-diving under ice, so it was really just taking up space.  We dug it out of their closet last fall when we flew up for a family reunion.  They offered it to us (with Ida's permission) and Larry and Dave took it completely apart at Christmas, then we drove it back to Texas.

The decals on the machine are in great shape but the bed shows lots of wear, so I can assume Marcella was a keen seamstress in her day.  I do not know for certain, but I do not believe she was a quilter.  I will have to ask Ida. We have no plans to refinish the head; it is in too good of shape and holds too many memories.  The quartersawn oak veneer is another story; it has a few issues.  Someday I hope to strip it and bring it back to its former glory.

It is really precious to me.  I have fond memories of Dave's Grandma Marcella from the very early 80s, and Ida Mae is a very special lady.  I am so glad we get to welcome Marcella the treadle into our home.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Handkerchief with Tatted Edge

I'm still plowing through the final units of Grand Illusion Clue 3 so I really do not have much new to show yet for all that hard work. The end is near, though, and I am looking forward to it.

Grandma Vivian did the tatting on this vintage handkerchief, and I sewed it on for her.  This time I sewed it on by machine.  I think it looks a bit better but feels like it has a thicker edge, so there is rather a trade-off.

Grandma's tatting is a little more startsie-stopsie than it used to be, but still plenty amazing for 103. This means more knots, which means lots of ends to work into the edge stitch.  Doing this by machine took forever, and I still missed incorporating many loose ends.  It also had serious gaposis in places.  I ended up stitching in the leftover loose ends and remaining gaps by hand.

The linen was somewhat yellowed, especially compared to the white tatting.  I soaked it for a few days in a small leftover Retro Clean soak that had almost completely evaporated from sitting in the spare bathroom for a month or two.  I revitalized the old soak water with hot water and a bit more Retro Clean, then put in the handkerchief.  After a few days of soaking, it came out nice and bright.

One good ironing later and it was folded up to show Grandma.  She was pleased that I had finally finished the sewing.  It will make a nice little addition to the wedding gifts that Grandma has prepared for my two nieces.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tatting Tuesday - Modified Christmas Tree

After I completed the first Christmas tree project, Susan had some suggestions on how to improve the result.  The first one was to use a thread that was a prettier green.  Another was to use larger, tatted-in beads for the ornaments, instead of sewing on smaller beads and sequins afterwards.  This gave me an opportunity to try a new technique, so I started working out how to modify the pattern.

After a couple of test "branches", I decided the best place to put the ornaments was at the bottom of the ring. So, I would need to string the beads for each piece (five for the lowest "branch", four the next, and so on) and hold them with the shuttle, pull a bead into the working area each time I started a new ring, and snug up to it when I closed the ring.  For the final bead (the "angel" on top of the tree), I decided it would go on the picot that would be the peak of the tree, and I would have to glue it into place to keep it at the top of the loop.

Tatting Project #3 - Modified Christmas Tree
I think the result is much better - more integrated and Christmasy.  The pattern still suffers (from my perspective as the tatter) from having way too many starts and stops, making a lot of ends that must be worked in.  I think the next modification to try is to work the body of the tree as one piece (plus one for the trunk).

This piece belongs in my dear wife Susan's collection, and will probably find its way into our ornaments the next time we decorate for Christmas.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion - Clue 3 Nearly There, but Still Not Done

I am SO ready for the final, easier Grand Illusion clues.  Clue three is not hard, but there are still lots and lots of units.  I have all the half unit strips completed, and nearly half of those are in their final state.  Now I just have to pin the rest of the half unit strips together, sew them, and iron them.  (Maybe the ironing can wait.  Ironing is my least favorite step, and it is not like I am going to be using these units right away anyway.)

Most of the joins came together OK, but there are plenty that are pretty wonky.  A few of my many whites appear to have been narrower than the rest, and unfortunately they have no stretch in them at all.  These few strips have been causing me some alignment issues, but I have decided not to fret about them.  This quilt pattern is so busy that my little oopsies should be well hidden.  I will try to do better next time!  

I do love these colors.  The grass greens are a special favorite of mine.  We drove back from Shreveport on Sunday, and everything is so GREEN!  Highly unusual.  East Texas has gotten plenty of rain lately and it looks like Ireland... or this quilt.

I hope everyone enjoyed all the quilt show photos.  We're going to try to get permission to publish some more of them, but I have no idea if we will be successful.  In the meantime..

Happy quilting.
Susan in (surprisingly green) Texas

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dallas Quilt Celebration 2015 - Finale

I remember watching post after post as Annelies van den Bergh made this quilt.  Honestly, its charm eluded me until I saw it in person.  Even these pictures do not do it justice, but Catherine Mathieu's "Sunbonnets at Play" by Reiko Kato is a really darling quilt.

It is not a very large quilt at all, but certainly a great deal went into its creation.  I love the mixture of Overall Sams with among the "Sues" - and they are all having such a good time together!

I believe this quilt started out as a mystery quilt.  I wonder if Ms. Matheiu followed the clues as they came out, or just bought the book later? From her artist's statement, it sounds as if she perhaps followed along with the mystery.  What fun!

Ms. Matheiu hand-quilted her version of the quilt.  I love that she has used multiple quilting patterns within each block instead of just doing an overall quilting motif.  I really like the little guy with the purple balloon that is wandering off into the sashing.  The setting for this quilt feels very modern, despite the ultra-traditional subject matter.

I am very glad that I got to appreciate seeing Sunbonnets at Play in person.  I congratulate Ms. Mathieu on her beautiful heirloom.

This sweet "Mini Baltimore Album" won third prize in the "Small Traditional - Open" division for Peggy Sympson .  It was hand-quilted by Ms. Sympson and is based on miniature Baltimore album designs by Jenifer Buechel.

 Ms. Sympson's workmanship is exquisite.  Just look at the sewing perfection on that heart.  I love it.

The teeny tiny little ship and the little wreaths are just gorgeous little jewels.  Each motif is more spectacular than the one that came before.

The embroidery in the border is really beautiful as well.  Now that had to be a major time-saver over appliqueing the border. Congratulations, Ms. Sympson on the latest heirloom in your collection.

Sharry Evans was a blue ribbon winner in the "Two Person Wall Quilt - Master" division for her wonderful rendition of "Good Fortune" quilted by Jackie Brown (who also quilted Linda Neal's Viewer's Choice winner "One Cake, Two Cake, Red Cake, Blue Cake". )

Ms. Evans gave design credit to Craft World - Wonderful Applique Quilts, but I had no luck in finding a link to them.  I was able to identify that "noshi" means ribbons in Japanese, and they are considered a symbol of good fortune.  I found many instances of quilted noshi in blogland, and I believe they are a relatively common Japanese design element.

I absolutely adore the quilting on this quilt.  Ms. Brown really outdid herself yet again.  I love how the quilting extends the ribbon design, then gets really carried away with fantastic feathering.  It is simply awesome.

The quilting is both very inventive and perfectly appropriate.  It really complements the rock-like background fabric, which itself contrasts very well with the bright noshi fabrics.  Both Ms. Evans and Ms. Brown made terrific design choice and richly deserve the blue ribbon they won.

Congratulations to both Ms. Evans and Ms. Brown for their wonderful achievement.  I look forward to seeing more of their collaborations in the future.

Well, that's it for the show.  I have posted all the quilts I can without getting permission from the quilters.  Dallas has relaxed its photography restrictions a good bit.  Perhaps I was not the only one to complain during the strict years.  

I determined which quilts to post about as follows:  I got permission when I could.  If permission was not readily attainable, I restricted myself to quilts with listed design credits, and also provided links to the designers whenever possible.  In all cases the designers had more and better images of the quilts on the web than the ones I was posting, so I was not giving anything away.  I definitely hope people will click on the links and buy their patterns! I did post two quilts that did not have design credits listed.  In the first case, I had seen images of the frog being eaten by the bird while strangling the bird in greeting cards - that image is in the popular domain.  In the second case, well, I believe Mr. T probably licenses his own image, and would not appreciate a quilter selling patterns with him on it, no matter how cute!  

In all cases, I have attempted to properly attribute every picture of every quilt.  If anyone identifies any attribution errors, please let me know and I will fix them promptly.

In the meantime, happy quilting!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dallas Quilt Celebration 2015 - Classic and Artistic Quilts

You are probably thinking, Oh another whole cloth quilt.  Nice.  If you are familiar with the work of Kumiko Frydl of Houston you would know that this one was entered in the "Small Traditional Quilt" division and was only approximately 18 inches square.  Ms. Frydl won second place with "Mandala", you can see the top of the red ribbon to get an idea of the size.

Mandala, by Kumiko Frydl of Houston, TX
Ms. Frydl is well known for her tiny, zillion pointed Mariner's Compass quilts that have dominated the small quilt division in Dallas for several years.  I think her micro stippling is almost as impressive.  Unless this was done on an embroidery machine (I do not know) Ms. Frydl shows an almost super-human ability to not cross her stipples.  I looked and look and could not find a crossing.

Mandala, by Kumiko Frydl of Houston, TX
Look for yourself.  Can you find one?  Impressive.

Mandala, by Kumiko Frydl of Houston, TX
Not only is Ms. Frydl's workmanship exquisite, the overall quilt is very lovely and appealing.  It is just a darling little quilt!

Mandala, by Kumiko Frydl of Houston, TX
Can you believe this was the first quilt Sun Mee Seen of McKinney has ever entered in a quilt show?  It sure does not look like her first rodeo!  Ms. Seen won the "Open Division - First Quilt" with her "Santa Cruz Sampler" from "The Quilted Cross" by J. Michell Watts.
Santa Cruz Sampler, by Sun Mee Seen of McKinney, TX
Her applique is amazing, and the extra work it must have been to applique all the sashing just blows my mind.

Santa Cruz Sampler, by Sun Mee Seen of McKinney, TX
And then, Ms Seen did all the hand-quilting herself too!

Santa Cruz Sampler, by Sun Mee Seen of McKinney, TX
I really like her choice of  differently spaced parallel lines that form a white on white almost plaid effect.  I have never seen a quilt hang so perfectly straight either - now that is a sign of good workmanship (and one that can be SO elusive.)

Santa Cruz Sampler, by Sun Mee Seen of McKinney, TX
Congratulations on your big win, Ms. Seen.  I believe you have made many people happy with your quilt!

Santa Cruz Sampler, by Sun Mee Seen of McKinney, TX
It is hard to believe that Janice Bentley's "Baltimore Bouquets" (quilted by Richard Larson) only took third place in the "Open - Seniors" division, but this was a very tough division, since it also included "Audobon Christmas".

Baltimore Bouquets, by Janice Bentley of Dallas, TX
Ms. Bentley's interpretation of Mimi Dietrich's work is stunning.

Baltimore Bouquets, by Janice Bentley of Dallas, TX
The detail on this quilt is endless and her color choices are spot-on.

Baltimore Bouquets, by Janice Bentley of Dallas, TX
I think Mr. Larson's machine quilting is very impressive and really adds to the beauty and interest of the quilt.

Baltimore Bouquets, by Janice Bentley of Dallas, TX
Congratulations again on your wonderful new heirloom.  It is simply gorgeous!

Baltimore Bouquets, by Janice Bentley of Dallas, TX
And finally, here is Suzanne Cook's spectacular "Phebe"; quilted by  Deb Wendt, designed by the well-known Di Ford.

Phebe, by Suzanne Cook of Garland, TX
It was such a treat to see "Phebe" for the first time in person.  It is even more beautiful than it looked in blogland.  I particularly love the center square - so fine.

Phebe, by Suzanne Cook of Garland, TX
And then there are the endless details that make this quilt so special.
Phebe, by Suzanne Cook of Garland, TX
Ms. Cook's applique and piecing skills certainly got a workout - a challenge which she met, then exceeded.  So impressive.  Hard to believe that this did not win any award.

Phebe, by Suzanne Cook of Garland, TX
Congratulations on your wonderful achievement, Ms. Cook, and thank you for the privilege of viewing your precious Prebe.

Phebe, by Suzanne Cook of Garland, TX

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dallas Quilt Celebration 2015 - Funny Quilts

We really enjoyed "Never Give Up" by Judy Ullman of Irving, Texas, which won a "Judge's Choice" award in the "Open" division.  Personally that frog reminds me of Winston Churchill and the detail on him is fantastic.

Never Give Up, by Judy Ullman of Irving, TX
Ms. Ullman's raw edge applique was superb.  I just love the thread-painting on the pink feathers.  Very nice.
Never Give Up, by Judy Ullman of Irving, TX

Ms. Ullman had the shortest artist's statement I have ever seen, but her quilt gets her point across perfectly.

Never Give Up, by Judy Ullman of Irving, TX
Everyone who saw "Mr. T White Gloves at the Quilt Show" by Judy Kreihn laughed; it is SO clever.  The idea of Mr. T as the quilt police just tickled everyone's fancy. 

Mr T White Gloves at the Quilt Show, by Judy Kreihn of Garland, TX

The juxtaposition of Mr. T against the delicate pinwheel background is perfect.  This quilt may not have won a prize, but it was certainly a crowd-pleaser.

Mr T White Gloves at the Quilt Show, by Judy Kreihn of Garland, TX
Everyone had to go in for a closer look at Mr T's incredible "chatelaine".  Love love love the scissors and the sewing machine!
Mr T White Gloves at the Quilt Show, by Judy Kreihn of Garland, TX
There was much to admire on this quilt.  The appliqued camo is incredible, and, of course Mr. T would have QLTR on his belt buckle.  Check out those "rings"; what a clever idea to use gold buttons.

Mr T White Gloves at the Quilt Show, by Judy Kreihn of Garland, TX
Ms. Kriehn captured his implacable expression and distinctive Mohawk perfectly.

Mr T White Gloves at the Quilt Show, by Judy Kreihn of Garland, TX

I always loved the "A-Team" and their crazy heroics.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Mr T White Gloves at the Quilt Show, by Judy Kreihn of Garland, TX

I am very pleased to announce that the people have spoken and Linda Neal won Viewer's Choice with her superlative "One Cake, Two Cake, Red Cake, Blue Cake".  Congratulations, Ms. Neal, on your well-deserved win.