Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Men That Quilt

I absolutely love the Nebraska quilt project book.  It is well done and has won several awards.  One of the best state quilt books out there, and one that I use to judge other state project books.  In the back of the book they include famous Nebraska Quiltmakers.  One of those is Ernest B. Haight of David City, NE.  It is often said by his wife, that one day while quilting a quilt made by her grandmother, Mr. Haight said something about the exactness of her piecing.  She told him that if he thought he could do better, he should, otherwise keep still.  Well he took her upon on that challenge.  Not only did he piece intricate quilts, he developed a system of machine quilting, that even Harriet Hargrave mentions in one of her books. 

In March of 2011 there was a presentation about Mr. Haight and his quiltmaking, which can be seen by clicking here.   If you would like even more information, you can click here for a quick biography by Shelly Burge.  Below are pictures of two of his quilts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have a Happy Chanukah from my house to yours!

Monday, December 19, 2011

String Quilts

Wondering how to make your own string blocks.  My friend and fellow string quilt lover Mary Johnson has a great tutorial on her website which you can get to by clicking here.   She also has other fabulous string quilt patterns on her website Mary Quilts.  And because her instructions are so much better than mine, here is some eye candy to look at.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Last of the String Quilts

I was only going to do two posts about string quilts, but when I saw this quilt, I thought it needed its own post.  Look at how the maker used color and value to achieve and interesting design on the surface of the top.  Just look at what we can do with a bit of strings, and a foundation to sew those strings on.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

String Quilts Part 2

Here are some more lovely's for your enjoyment.  Think of all the choices of design one would have with a simple box of strings.  And if you don't want your strings, send them to me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

String Quilts Part 1

I love string quilts.  I love making string quilts.  It all comes back to using what you have to make something to keep your family warm.  I also love The Quilt Index almost as much as I love string quilts.  So for the next couple blog posts I am going to show you some variance in string quilts.  I remember reading somewhere about a new quilter who was asked for her strings, and she gave them away...her lesson learned was that even humble strings can be beautiful if given a chance to shine, which she learned when she saw the quilt the other person made with her strings.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How I started quilting...

I have been quilting since I was a kid.  One of my fondest memories was sitting at the dining room table cutting out a blue Dresden Plate quilt with my grandmother.  I still can clearly see that day in my mind, and it was in the winter, so I remember looking out on the empty field which was the view from her dining room window, and like always, I remember the window being open. Yes open, because they heated with a wood burning stove, there was never a happy medium. 

So its easy to say, that I was quilting before the rotary cutter was something that most quilters had.  We cut templates out of cardboard, and traced every single piece, and cut them out with scissors.  I was still quilting much like this when I graduated high school.  I remember the first time I got a rotary cutter, and the plain green mat with no lines.  We used it to cut sashing strips and binding.  That's about it.  At the time I didn't know much about quilting, but I did know that I liked old fashioned style scrappy quilts. 

For graduation, I received a book by Grace McCance Snyder from North Platte, Nebraska.  It was a autobiography of sorts about Nebraska's most famous quilter.  Because of that gift, from a high school English teacher, I immersed my self in quilt history.  Now because of this, I have done countless hours of research, and I also teach quilting.  Something I do enjoy a lot.  Below is a quilt from Grace, one day I hope I am able to make at least one Masterpiece Quilt.  In the mean time, enjoy Grace's quilt.  Maybe it will inspire you to make your own  masterpiece someday like it has me. 

Flower Basket Petit Point Quilt. She copied a design on a China Plate.

Mrs. McGill's Cherries

Grape Quilt...Click on pictures to make them larger.  Obviously she made more than one Masterpiece.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Everyone knows that I love to read.  One of my all time favorite authors, and one from Nebraska is Bess Streeter Aldrich.  She was born in Iowa, but moved to Nebraska as a new wife.  After her husbands early death, and needed a way to support her family she turned to writing.  She mainly wrote fiction, and some of that fiction was based on her own parents and grandparents experiences.  They often had a tinge of romance, but there was also death and how people dealt with it.

I do own all her books, most of them are paperback reprints from the University of Nebraska Press. However, this  year for my birthday, a friend gave me a first edition with a dust jacket of A Lantern in Her Hand.  Which was also the One Book One Nebraska a couple years ago.  I was so excited to have gotten it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What are you reading?

I have discovered a new to cozy mystery series.  I tend to like cozy mysteries because I don't want to know how the person died in morbid detail.  These are more focused on who did it with amateur sleuths.  In this new series that I found, they are set in the Cotswold region of the UK.  One of my other favorite series are set in this location as well.  Those are the Aunt Dimity Series by Nancy Atherton.

Today, I am talking about Agatha Raisin, a cross between Miss Marple, Auntie Mame, and Lucille Ball.  To me, Agatha, is mostly Auntie Mame, with a touch of the other too.  Perfect.  There is at least 15 books in the series, and the nice thing is, they don't need to be read in order.  The author of these books is MC Beaton.  She also penned the Hamish MacBeth series as well.  Those I am not to fond of, but they are well written.

If you are looking for some holiday reading, try the Agatha Raisin Christmas books.  They are wickedly funny in some spots, and sometimes, having a bright display of Christmas lights could get you killed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch

While I was looking at the other strip quilts from the previous post, I spotted this quilt, also from the Louisiana Quilt Project.  It reminded me of the Disappearing Nine Patch quilts that people are making today.  However, this is another one from the 1940 to 1950 era.  I love its graphic quality.  Though it is different in pattern of the newer pattern, this one would be just as easy to make.  I think I might just make one of these soon.  Maybe.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The View Outside My Window

Jelly Roll Race Quilts

These are not my favorite quilts, but I can understand why they are being made.  Great for immediate cover.  Though the pattern in and of itself has been done many times before.  I found a couple of examples from the Louisiana Quilt project from the 1940's.  Seems to have been popular about 70 years ago as well for quick cover.

I am never amazed at something new, because with a little research, it almost always shows up as something that has been done before.  I must say, I prefer these past strip style quilts because they were made with not a limited fabric done by one manufacturer but with what they had on hand.  The type of quilting that I really like!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nine Patch

So after the star quilt, I finished piecing this quilt top, and got it loaded and I started quilting it.  First time using wool batting and I love it, it needles so easily, as easy as polyester and much better than cotton.