Monday, June 18, 2018

MOKA Quilt Study Group June 2018

We're almost half the way through 2018 now, and I've been working on finishing a book's worth of new designs. So far I've finished four of the quilt designs and one punchneedle. And I'm working on many more. I wish I could share now, but it will have to wait.

Just recently, I decided to treat myself to a weekend of antique quilt study, after learning of the event from Sandra Starley, who I follow on Instagram. Sandra was also one of the presenters, and I have long enjoyed the photos she has posted of some of the quilts in her collection. The chance to see some of the quilts in person was something I didn't want to miss. 

The quilt study weekend was organized by the MOKA quilt study group - MOKA is the acronym for Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. The group meets twice yearly, and this particular meeting was held in Overland Park, Kansas.

Just a day prior to the event, my mother's neighbor learned of my interest in antique quilts, and shared with me one of her prized family heirlooms, a crazy quilt made by one of her grandmothers, dated 1886. Her grandmother was born in 1866, thus having made the quilt when she was 20 years old. The quilt was in remarkable condition.





The first event of the MOKA quilt study weekend, was a tour of the Johnson County Museum, in Overland Park, Kansas, with a special showing of some of the quilts in their collection. The quilts acquired by the museum are required to have some association to Johnson County.

The quilt below has beautiful embroidery (forgive me, I didn't bring my note taking materials, so don't remember the date of the quilts):





I've always loved red and green applique quilts, and this quilt was no exception. 


The quilt was beautifully finished with a tiny green piped binding:



One of my favorite quilt blocks was represented in this pieced quilt:


And lastly, the graphic quilt below, was found in a church in Johnson County. Today, it would be considered "Modern".



The following day was filled with lectures, and the group had a stellar line-up of speakers. Fridays' lectures were given by Sandra Starley - "Signature Quilts from the 1830's - 1850's, Lori Triplett - "The Case of the 200 Year Old Chintz Bird", and Anita Loscalzo - "Whence Garlands, Swags, Bow-knots and Neoclassical Design Motifs Found in American Quilts.

This time I DID jot down a few notes. From Sandra's lecture, I learned that sometimes people would hire a paid scrivener to "sign" their names to a signature block. No wonder some of the signatures you see on those quilt are so perfect - I just thought everyone had wonderful handwriting!

This first photo is a broderie perse applique quilt, formerly a part of the Shelburne Museum's collection:

Sandra Starley during her lecture: Signature Quilts from the 1830's - 1850's
Many of the quilts Sandra presented were from Pennsylvania, and Sandra noted that the Quakers used, as an example "9th month", instead of the word September, as they viewed the word September as pagan.

1843-45 Pennsylvania


More from Sandra's Friday lecture:



1858 New York City
Lori Triplett presented her lecture in the afternoon, and showed us some beautiful quilts from her collection. She has a book coming out soon, where the quilts will be pictured, so we'll have to keep our eyes out for that!

Have you ever wondered about the possible source of the ever popular swag border in quilts from yesterday and today? Pictured below is a detail of my own swag border from my quilt, "1776", from my book Betsy's Scrapbag


Anita Loscalzo, in the final program of the day, gave us some insights on where the source of the swag, and other motifs found on quilts, may have originated. Her research found the popularity of swags, bow-knots, urns and more, on architecture and the decorative arts during the Neoclassical period. 

Saturday's program began with Ann Wasserman's lecture "Quilt Repair Tales", her journey into restoring quilts. I enjoyed learning about her many methods in restoring vintage quilts.

Last on Saturday was Sandra Starley, and her lecture "Birds & Blooms - Imagery in Chintz Prints and Applique, 1830's - 1850's. Just a few pics of some of the fabulous quilts Sandra so generously allowed us to photograph:








What a great weekend, and if you're anywhere near the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas area, I would highly recommend you check the MOKA quilt study group out. Anyone can join, and I was thoroughly impressed with their organization!

Until next time!

Martha

Monday, March 5, 2018

Arizona Quilters Guild 2018 Quilt Show Ruby Extravaganza

The Arizona Quilters Guild 2018 Quilt Show, Quilt Arizona! will be held in just a few weeks, on March 22, 23 & 24th. This year's theme is Ruby Extravaganza, celebrating the 40th anniversary of AQG.
I will be one of the featured speakers at the show, and I'm thrilled to share some of my many quilts - those I designed for exhibition, and more that were designed for my books and patterns


Just for fun, I created this video of some of my ribbons, many of which, as you may notice, were awarded by the judges at the Arizona Quilters Guild. I will be bringing most of the quilts for which I was so fortunate to win these awards, to share with you.



Please join me on March 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm at the Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St., Mesa, Arizona.

Until next time,

Martha

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Making Circles and Berries

I'm working on a new quilt design, and today I began the "making circles" phase of the appliqué preparation for the quilt.


I'm making two different sizes of cream circles, some which will be berries, others circles. The blue will be an eye for a bird. Using a stencil makes quick work of the marking. The running stitch around each circle takes some time, but I don't mind. I can turn on a good movie, and relax. Tonight I have in mind watching more episodes of Season 4 of Turn, which was just added to Netflix. I was so excited to hear George Washington speak the name Colonel Sheldon in the first episode - the very colonel my great great great great grandfather Paul McKinstry served under in the Revolutionary War (if you have my book, Betsy's Scrapbag, you've read all about it!)!

If you'd like to know more about how I make these circles, I have a short how-to video on the Henry Glass You Tube channel - the link is on the side bar, or click Here. In addition to the video, I included a handy dandy chart in my book, Be Merry, with all of the sizes for everything needed! 

The first time I used this method, was to make berries for my quilt, Summer Rentals:

Detail - Summer Rentals
For that quilt, I made 300. Since then, as I mention in the video, I've made dozens more (I haven't counted). Here are a few more on my quilt, "Sweet Bouquet", from Vintage Christmas:

Detail - Sweet Bouquet      
For my new quilt, I have 134 of one size to make, and dozen of another size. I'll be taking a trip soon, so I'll have a little airplane time, and hotel time to make a few. At least, that's the plan!

Until next time!

Martha

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Prairie Pop Art

The inspiration for Prairie Pop Art, a new mini quilt pattern in the Little Quilts from the Prairie collection, is an 1855 quilt shown in one of the first quilt magazines I bought years ago. You can see that quilt in the magazine in my blog post here.


Prairie Pop Art, 24" x 29", is sewn using all of the small scale companion prints in my A Prairie Journal for Henry Glass & Co. fabric line.


Because of it's small size, this was a fun quilt for me to machine quilt. I loved quilting the orange peel design in the center of each square, and it's so easy to mark. It seems to be a design I go to again and again for quilting the center of squares of all sizes.  

When machine quilting, my preference is to use a thread to match the fabric in the quilt. So for the squares, I did need to change threads quite often (I always try to match the thread in the bobbin to my backing fabric). After the quilt was pin basted, I marked the orange peel pattern on the squares using a chalk wheel, which is fast and easy to remove. You could certainly mark the pattern before basting, with a chalk pencil or water erasable marking pen. 

I mark the orange peel pattern for quilting using a circle stencil, which can be found at hobby stores in the drafting department or office supply stores. The stencil below has circles from 1 1/4" to 3 1/2" in diameter. You'll also need the marking tool of your choice.


No math needed to determine which circle size is right for your quilt block. Just lay the stencil over your quilt block, move it around, and find the one the fits best! For this block, I will use the 2 3/4" circle stencil. Each circle has hash marks for each quarter section of the circle.


Align the hash marks on opposite sides of the circle with the bottom edge of the square to be quilted.




Use your marking tool (I'm using a chalk wheel, pictured), to mark a semi circle (the top half of the circle).


Rotate the stencil to align with another side of the square, and mark another semi circle.


Rotate the stencil two more times to mark the remaining two sides of the square.


And, voilà! You now have a marked orange peel pattern to quilt!


After quilting, I remove the chalk marks with a toothbrush I keep handy for just that purpose.

Prairie Pop Art is now on the website as a PDF pattern download. You can find the pattern HERE.




Until next time!

Martha

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fox and Geese

Back again to show you another quilt from Little Quilts from the Prairie collection. Fox and Geese is one of the larger quilts in the collection, although still only 35 3/4" x 44 1/2". Here at our house, wall space is limited (too many big windows), so I have to find creative ways to display all of the quilts I love to make. Fox and Geese just happens to be the perfect size to hang over this cabinet door!



Fox and Geese uses seven of the prints from A Prairie Journal, with the bird and berries print on the border.



As with the other quilt patterns in the collection, Fox and Geese is a PDF pattern to download. You can order the pattern HERE!

Until next time!

Martha

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake is one of the six new patterns in the Little Quilts from the Prairie collection. More blue and beige - yay!


Almost ten years ago when it came time to decide upon a name for my design business, I thought about my great-great grandmother Mahala, and my great grandmother Laura, who both traveled west on covered wagons to settle in Kansas on the prairie. And so "Wagons West Designs" came to mind!

I am so fortunate to own my great-great grandmother Mahala's rolling pin, pictured above with Blueberry Crumb Cake, which I am sure made many a pie!

Blueberry Crumb Cake, just like the Blissfully Blue quilt, uses the blue and beige fabrics from A Prairie Journal.



Blueberry Crumb Cake is an e pattern you can purchase and download HERE.

Of course, I had to make the real thing - blueberry crumb cake, to utilize those berries in the photo!





Blueberries and walnuts are healthy for you, right? haha!

Until next time,
Martha

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tumbleweed


You won't need any special rulers to make my new pattern, Tumbleweed, from the Little Quilts from the Prairie collection. I give you a quick cutting method for cutting the patches, and you might want to make an even bigger quilt after you start cutting!

Eight of the A Prairie Journal fabrics were used in Tumbleweed. Almost a red, white, and blue color scheme, but beige instead of white. It still works for patriotic decor!




You can find the Tumbleweed quilt pattern HERE.

Tumbleweed is so quick to make, I'm thinking of changing up the color scheme to orange and black for a quick addition to my Halloween decor.

Until next time!

Martha