Thursday, July 29, 2010
Another peek into Kate's wip cupboard.
Seven Sisters is a long standing favourite pattern. My reading suggests the pattern may represent the first seven Confederate states or the seven stars on the Confederate flag. Alternatively, Barbara Brackman says in Civil War Women, the pattern may represent stars in the night sky, an image of old Greek mythology which told of the seven daughters of Atlas. Barbara goes on to say the pattern pre-dates the Civil War with many examples seen in quilts from 1840s and 1850s and was originally called "Seven Stars."
My Indigo Sisters was completed up to this point in January 2010 using 74 antique indigo and blue stars (estimated age 1900) purchased from an antique quilt dealer years ago.
The antique stars had been originally pieced by machine using tiny tiny stitches (all the better not to come undone...ever!). They were really wonky, of various sizes, with centres that didn't meet (a pet hate of mine), so each star was taken apart and resewn accurately by hand after re-marking with a newly drafted template. The stars were then set with a variety of antique and reproduction "garibaldi" style reds (that is reds with black patterning, so named after the red and black uniforms of the 19th century Italian revolutionary Guiseppe Garibaldi). They were then pieced into their hexagonal family groups with a red sister in the centre.
The setting triangles (a repro print) form a secondary star pattern. I can't decide if I should leave the top as is or if it needs a border... the antique sisters I've seen tend not to have fancy borders.
Some examples I found on the web tonight:-
An unusual old Seven Sisters set in a circle with fantastic fan quilting:
Gorgeous and scrappy circa 1890:
Another oldie pieced into hexagonal units:
Monday, July 19, 2010
A quick progress report - Benjamin's little quilt top is completed.
It certainly turned out bright...(hope it doesn't give him nightmares).
A wait now, until Friday, when I can purchase some batting and get started on the quilting. I'm thinking perle cotton. The simple quilting on the yellow vintage quilt in Kathy's recent post caught my eye.
Friday, July 16, 2010
My neighbours and great friends were recently blessed with a new baby boy and brother to my best little mate Will. (Will visits often but I think he prefers my cat Harley to me!) When Will turned one, he received a quilt from me, so with the completion of one project (my string stars), I felt it's a good time to start a little quilt for Benjamin.
On a recent trip to Country Pickin's at Dural, a simple pattern was found, last weekend at Material Obsession the fabrics were chosen (many thanks to the ever wonderful Sarah) and a pleasant afternoon was spent cutting 5" squares and marking 4" circles for applique.
This rather evil looking tool is used to mark around the plastic circle template. It creases the sewing line and makes needleturning very easy.
The applique is happening quickly - such gentle curves are very easy. Maybe Benjamin will get his quilt before he turns one!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Now that comfort zone is all gone! Our fabulous tutor Marg Samson has dragged me (kicking and screaming almost) into the world of bright, mad, whimsical and funny. I am sewing hexagons...something I had avoided my entire quilting life.
I have gone from predominantly hand piecing to applique, and I have entered the realm of Kaffe Fasset, Amy Butler and Nani Iro.
My stash has gone from drab to sparkling!
The workshops continue monthly, of course I'm behind with my homework, but the quilt will be large (is there any other type in my house?)... each block is 22" square and there will be 4 hexagon star blocks, 5 applique bird blocks, then borders of hexxies and applique - what else?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Although it's very early in the Australian ski season we went to Perisher Valley, thinking even if there was no snow, it would be a chance to relax. Surprisingly, there was plenty of (man-made) snow and not many crowds so we skiied every day.
We were even treated to a light snowfall one morning - this is the view from our window. Snow gums have the most beautiful stripey bark.
The rest of our days were under big blue skies - glorious! but cold -minus 4C (thats cold for temperate dwellers like us Sydneysiders!)
Prior to leaving the 1910 string star was finished, bound and bathed. She looks more beautiful now she's clean. The centre star was purchased from a US antique dealer years ago. The entire star was pieced over foundations of newspapers from the mid-west all dated 1910. I'm sure some of the newsprint rubbed into the fabric over the course of 100 years. It was pretty wonky, so each piece needed to be resized, repaired and then reassembled....the joys of working with old pieces!
I made the satellite stars using scraps of antique fabric with only a few reproductions, the shirting and grey squiggle backgrounds are also old pieces and the majority of the black border was an old apron carefully unpicked and reused.
This quilt is for my husband, he prefers the scrappy quilts, and asked for the binding to be red - it was going to be black but red is a good choice, and because the quilt is so scappy, the binding is too with 4 different red prints.
And finally, although there was complaints about the batting in a prior post, the quilt is so warm, a very welcome comfort over the past few nights to this sick quilter!