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Showing posts from February, 2018

Gee's Bend Quilts #7 and 8

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Here are the last two of the Gee's Bend quilts that I patterned. The first is the Medallion Variation by Louisiana P. Bendolph. Here is her original quilt as seen on the page with her bio. Note that her quilt is surrounded with a LOT of white fabric! Louisiana P. Bendolph and her Medallion Variation And here's my version (minus the white borders). I have made this quilt 3 times! The first is owned by Windham Fabrics. Medallion Variation : 52" x 76" The second I sewed and gave to my oldest daughter's best friend. I hung it on my kitchen wall with that "Happy Birthday" note on it. It took her about 20 minutes to realize that it was meant for her. She was totally blown away! Can you see how beautifully Connie Gallant quilted it? Meg's Medallion Variation The third one is still hanging in my closet waiting to be quilted. I guess you could say I like this quilt. Could it be the red? The 8th quilt is the Housetop 9 Block by Annie E. Pe

Gee's Bend Quilts Four, Five and Six

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Today I introduce you to Mary Bennett and her Housetop Four Block quilt. This is an improvisational approach to a log cabin. Four log cabin blocks. Very irregular. Very creative. Very scrappy. Housetop 4 Block by Mary Bennett: 77" x 82" My version with a 25% scale reduction: Housetop 4 Block : 57" x 65" And a little information about Mary L. Bennett: The next quilt is something many of us make from our kids' old denims. Take a look! Work Clothes Denim : 46" x 60". Loretta Bennett And my pattern, as close as I could get to Loretta's. I included those 4 pockets - yes, I did! Work Clothes Denim by Debby Kratovil And let's see Loretta Pettway Bennett and a little of her bio. She is pretty young (ok, younger than me), born in 1960. She has a lot of quilting left in her hands. And lots of great ideas for future quilts in her mind. Loretta Pettway Bennett's bio Now for Blocks and Strips . I love this

More Quilts for Black History Month

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My favorite of all the Gee's Bend quilts is Lazy Gal . Not sure why Qunnie Pettway called it that, but it's beautiful! Qunnie Petway's Lazy Gal: 70" x 81" And here is how I patterned this improvisational quilt: My rendition of Lazy Gal : 52" x 62" Here is the pattern sheet that shows a picture of Ms. Pettway and a bit of her bio. Remember, these ladies were quilting for UTILITY and not for show or to enter quilt shows. They are from a very poor town in Alabama which was named "Gee's Bend". Do a Google search and you can read the rich history. Qunnie Pettway Another favorite of mine is Strips and Strings . This was the MOST DIFFICULT for me to pattern. Can you see why? Strips and Strings by Mary Bendolph: 74" x 49" I literally pulled my hair out on this one. What do you think? Strips and Strings by Debby Kratovil: 50" x 75" Here is the bio sheet from the pattern about Mary Bendolph.

Quilters for Black History Month

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I partnered with Windham Fabrics in 2008 to create patterns to go with their fabrics for the Gee's Bend quilts. They had been in negotiations for over a year with the Gee's Bend Collective of quilters to offer patterns for the most famous of the quilts made from their quilters. This is the bag the kits would eventually be packaged in. My design, btw. Quilt Kits for the Gee's Bend Quilts Together, they selected 7 quilts. Then Windham and I selected a color palette of about 2 dozen colors that would be used for the quilts. These would become a group of batik/tie dyed type of fabrics that would mimic the scrap fabrics used in the original quilts. It took us several months to do this. To say that I didn't know what I was doing is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Final selection of Pantone Color Chips We were feverishly sending emails back and forth 10 years ago (2008) discussing the quilts, the ones that might be most welcomed by the quilting community, the ones that could REAL

Baltimore Album My Way

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I love appliqué. Oh, not to do it by hand, of course. I gave that up 20 years ago. Anything I do is by machine. But what I want to show you is the cheater's approach to Baltimore Album. I came across a set of these panels about 10+ years ago. Not sure if they are by Mimi Dietrich, Mary Koval or who. I decided to cut out the panels and surround with Dogtooth units. What are dogtooth units? They are 60 degree triangles that look like, well, dog teeth. Very, very sharp dog teeth! I have 4 blocks to show you. Abandoned these about 8 years ago. Now I'm going to go look for that box! This first one is surrounded with deep red dogtooth triangles and squares. Beautiful basket of blooms (a printed panel)  My next block is surrounded by blue patches. Blue basket of blooms Now for some fruit . . . Basket of fruit surrounded with green patches And let's not forget a bird, a diary and a wreath of flowers and leaves. Bird with diary and a wreath of flowers

President's Day Quilts

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When I was a child in school (1960s and 70s), we celebrated President's Day - two of them. First, for our first president, George Washington. And then for our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Now, we just combine them into one generic day and it's February 19th this year. Let me show you some of my patriotic quilts, beginning with the most recent. This was made using Windham Fabrics and their Storybook Americana collection. These are reproduction fabrics based on REAL prints from the 1930s or so. Take a look at this one! George is being scolded for chopping down that famous cherry tree! George Washington chopping down that cherry tree! And the quilt I designed for Keepsake Quilting catalog using these fabrics. The Lone Star has NO y-seams and is a 19" block. So easy to cut and sew with any acrylic ruler with those extra 45 degree lines on it (they all do, btw). (You can buy the pattern from me for $3 less than the catalog price.) Storybook Americana Lone S

The Anniversary Sampler Quilt

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Love is in the air! Happy Valentine's Day. Here is my recently finished Cupid's Arrows. More about my paper pieced Palm blocks another time! Cupid's Arrows But, what interests me today on Valentine's Day is the new book by quilting legend Donna Lynn Thomas: The Anniversary Sampler . It is a true love story of how she met and fell in love with her husband of 40 years. It is a delightful compilation of 40 blocks, all with meaning for their marriage. The Anniversary Sampler What I enjoyed, besides the sweet stories of following this man all over the world (he was a military man) and her adventures teaching quilting in Europe, are the beautiful blocks that EACH tell a story! There is: Clay's Choice Clay's Choice is so beautifully quilted! Just like the next one, Paddle Star. Paddle Star  Posey Basket is one I've made myself many times. It's sweet and the pink and reds are just like a Valentine! Posey Basket  Yankee Puzzle is mad

My Diamonds Have the Blues

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I have a LOT of diamonds. Oh, not the shiny, rock, EXPENSIVE kind. I just have chips on my wedding band! I cut about 200 diamonds from some blue and green Kaffe Fassett fabric prints last year. Did I have a plan in mind? Not really! (Can you believe that?) A bundle of 6" strips that inspired me Here are some of the diamonds: Just some of the nearly 200 diamonds I cut I also used my basic 6" x 12" acrylic ruler. Really? Yes, really! Have you ever wondered about those 30, 45, 60 and 90 degree diagonal lines on those? They have a great role to play in quilting. You really don't need all those extra, superfluous templates that are out there. RHOMBUS? Whoa! What's with that bad word from math class? You can cut diamonds with your regular ruler. And that's how I cut these. (And saved myself about $15 for another useless template, I'm just saying . . .) Now, where was I going? First approach was to combine these diamonds with some 60 degree triang