Sharing fabric cuttings with my worldwide friends

Thursday, October 30, 2014

TOM 10 Britain's Star for Charlotte Henson

For the October block I had a dilemma - how to include the bird fabric. In the end I have not used it for this month's block and I am pondering how to make that seem like a good idea.

 I was still going with my other, self imposed "rules" and using the splash of the lime green and the solid grey fabric and,additionally, trying to use different fabrics in each block. That stripe is rather bold so I had been trying to wait for a block to incorporate it in a way that was not too strong. I'm hoping it is balanced by the strong solid grey.

If you are also reading along on the Barbara Brackman page for this project, you will know that the story this week is about Charlotte Henson and her husband, Josiah Henson who escaped slavery and found refuge in Canada. Josiah became an author and visited Britain where he caught the interest of Queen Victoria which gave me the inspiration for my "fun photo" for this month.
Although it was widely thought that Josiah was the real-life model for the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" you can see it was not so by reading the history that Ms Brackman has provided for us.

With only two blocks to go I have started work on the setting blocks for my quilt. Over the weekend I was at a retreat with my quilting guild and I put up my sample setting block only to hear "no, that fabric is too dark". Darn it, they agreed with me although they had not been on the four store odyssey with me trying to find a good fabric.

At the beginning of the project I had bought just one yard of that solid grey not knowing how I was going to use it. Realizing I should have bought more I went back to the store a few short weeks later only to find they no longer had it in stock. I prefer to buy my fabrics in person in a quilt shop so I kept hoping I would find either the right solid or a tone on tone that would work well with it. The fabric I had purchased, hoping it could look good, was not the one after all.  Last night I had to admit defeat and resort to online shopping. While I wait I can get busy cutting the other fabrics planned for the setting blocks.

Also to do is wonder how I can get around the dilemma I set up for myself by not using the bird fabric in this block. Some kind member from the flickr site suggested that if I don't include the bird fabric in the next two blocks it will make this one blend in and not look like a rule breaker.

Something to think about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Remembering Kerry

October is a sad month for me; both my parents and my older sister all passed away, in different years, in this month.  October 29 is the first anniversary of when we lost my sister Kerry.

At the recent Studio Tour I displayed GW Quilt and I am going to share that with you now.

This quilt was made by Kerry and I to give to our parents on their Golden Wedding Anniversary on May 3, 1997.

The quilt was made as a joint venture and begun at a time when I lived in New Jersey and Kerry was in Cambridge, New Zealand.  I purchased the multi colored print you see in the second to last border and together we chose fabrics to go with it. The decision was made to create a medallion style quilt with a Carpenters Wheel block at the center - in part a homage to our maternal grandfather who was a carpenter. We also decided on the outer pieced border which turned out to be one of the first pieces made for the quilt because we wanted to be sure we had enough fabric for it. Of course this also meant that we could not make too many changes to the design because the border, cut and pieced by me, had to fit the quilt.

As I recall, I made the center block and then mailed it to Kerry who made the blocks for the next round and sent it back to me to make the next round. About that time I discovered my family and I were relocating to live in Australia so that made it a little easier to be in contact about the quilt.

For the round with the big 12" blocks we each made eight blocks. Next, Kerry stitched up the flying geese and then added the other borders. Finally, our friend Donna Ward quilted GW Quilt, a name bestowed upon it as we were creating it. That name was not intended to be the real name but somehow over the months the quilt grew with that identity and once it was finished we did not have the inclination to bestow a new name on our quilt of love.

The finished quilt measures about 90" square.  Each of three daughters, 3 sons-in-law and six grandchildren created their own label with a personal message which were stitched onto  the reverse side along with four more blocks.

Our parents slept under it, covered by our love, for only a few short months until we lost Mum in October 1997. And now it has come to live with me.

We three sisters  (l to r, Cathy, Dorry, Kerry) had a great time at the Queenstown National Quilt Symposium in April 2011. Although Cathy is not a quilter Kerry and I were delighted that she was able to come with us to Queenstown.

Kerry and I had shared a love of quilting, mostly from one side of the world to the other, from the time I introduced her to a new hobby I had found in early 1981. Although GW Quilt was the only quilt we made as a pair we did sew together in a round robin group beginning in January 1999 until 2013. Some of those quilts I have shown on earlier posts on this blog.

I miss my beloved big sister so very much. On this day Cathy and I are each remembering her in our own way from one side of the globe to the other.

In Memoriam
Kerry Lynne Payne (nee Coughlan)
March 3 1951 - October 29 2013

Monday, October 20, 2014

Studio Tour 2014

It has been a whirlwind four days for me as a participant in the Great Falls Studios annual Studio Tour. The idea is to welcome visitors in to the places where we create our art, give them the opportunity to chat directly with the artists and maybe achieve some sales. 

Not all of us have a home studio that is suitable for visitors to come to so I was delighted to once more set up in the living room of the home of my water-color artist friend Linda Jones. This year we were joined by silversmith Richard Masaniello; the combination of art techniques was a good variety and made spending time at our studio stop worthwhile.
 My timing for this post is not terrific because the tour is over now. But we were just so busy that I kept forgetting to take a few photographs. Fortunately the weather was kind enough not to rain and the sunny skies combined with the lots of opportunity for leaf peeping made for a gorgeous Fall day to be out and about exploring the back roads and stopping off at the open art studios. The wind was fierce though and by day three, when the temperature had dropped, we had to move the greeter and welcome materials that had been on the table with the wedding ring quilt inside the front door. But my "Purple Passion" quilt let people know they were at the right place.
 Inside the front door my quilt "The Luscious Lilies" complimented the colors in many of Linda's artworks hanging on the right stair wall while my much smaller "There's One in Every Crowd" did the same for other pieces on the left. Down a short flight of stairs was my area.
 The theme for my display this year was history and I was showcasing both completed and current pieces that draw their inspiration from history. The big piece in the center is a commission item I made earlier this year I titled "Work Clothes" - it is made from fabrics cut from the suits, sport coats, shirts, ties, suspenders and pants belonging to a retired friend. I'm now working on pillows that go with the lapquilt and you can see three of them just to the left of Work Clothes. Visitors loved to hear the story of those pieces.

In the back left I had pinned up my two current block of the month projects; Threads of Memory and Where Poppies Grow. Folded up and laying underneath "Strawberries and Cream" (the red and white one) is "St Patrick's Day", the Remarkable Round Robin quilt I am finishing that belonged to my sister. I am thinking about her constantly right now as it is coming up on the first anniversary of her passing away.

The low coffee table held my binder with information and my copy of "Inspired by the Beatles - An Art Quilt Challenge" open to "my" page (I was one of the 150 fiber artists who made a piece based on the title of a Beatles song - the complete collection debuts at the imminent Houston Quilt Show). Each day I gave away a small thanks-for-visiting bag containing a cookie made from an old family recipe, to go with the history theme, and I had them displayed in one of the cake tins that I remember my Mum always had full of a wide variety of delicious cakes/cookies/slices. On Friday visitors received an Anzac Biscuit which also fit nicely with my World War I project on the wall. Saturday's treat was Hokey Pokey Biscuits and Sunday it was Yo-Yoes.
Moving around the room I had five of my challenge pieces from the June Bride and There is a Season collections displayed on the screens with more quilts draped over the sofa.

Each day when I got home I was really tired from being on my feet all day and talking so much. Saturday it was 4.30pm before I was able to grab a few minutes and eat my lunch. Each evening my own kitchen became the scene of the production of the cookies for the next day; my son did most of the baking and I quickly packaged them up invariably forgetting to even taste one myself. So I was delighted to come home on Sunday to find he had made another batch of Yo-Yoes just for us to enjoy.

If you are reading this blog for the first time because I met you on Studio Tour I hope you had a great visit. Thanks to everyone who took the time to listen to - or read here - all my stories about making memories with fabric.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TOM 9 Lancaster Star for Deborah Simmons Coates

As promised, a fast post to catch up with my TOM blocks.

For September we had another block requiring that 4" center cut. I tried to make it a little more interesting.

I am all set up for a three day weekend Studio Tour with Great Falls Studios. My TOM blocks are pinned up on a temporary design wall behind my sewing table.

Day One of the Tour is tomorrow so I hope to have some photos to post of that event.

And just maybe, if you are in the area, you might stop in and see me!

TOM 8 Jackonsville Star for Emily Logan

I am fearfully behind in posting my photos for the Threads of Memory project. The blocks are getting made in a timely manner but getting them from the camera to the blog is not as timely.

Don't forget to tip your head somewhat because I am planning on setting my blocks on point.

Playing by my own rules for this project gets more challenging each month. I "have" to use the solid grey as background, the lime green for a shot of color and a bird fabric to represent the flight of the slaves. So that left only the one new fabric to put into this block to keep with the last rule of not re-using fabrics.

Sorry, no fun photo for this or next months block or I will never get caught up!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Where Poppies Grow in September

The September block in the "Remembering Almo" project required a little thought, followed by a little rule breaking for me.  As you know I have been making my blocks using the army uniform colors of my Grandpop who saw service at Gallipoli.  But this block is named Red Cross and really did, to my mind, need to feature red. Looking through my fabric collection under the red heading I was able to find a red that had somewhat of a brown base to it so it will hopefully blend in with my other blocks.

Servicemen in the trenches were often victim to illness because of their poor living conditions as well as the expected war wounds. Thus hospitalizations and organizations such as the Red Cross were of major importance.

For Grandpop the month of September had several important dates. September 1, 1914 was when he signed up for war service at Oamaru. Prior to that time he had been working as a labourer on his grandfather James McAuley's farm at Georgetown (near to Oamaru).

On September 4, 1915 Grandpop was evacuated from Gallipoli to Malta with a diagnosis of enteric fever (typhoid). There was a very long hospitalization and convalescence after which he was finally transferred to Sling camp for a short training period where, after two weeks, he was appointed Temporary Sergeant on September 25, 1916. The next day he left Sling for service on the Western Front in France.

As you can understand, including the Red Cross block in the project is particularly appropriate.

The photograph above was taken during the time Grandpop was with the No. 6 Officer Cadet Battalion in Oxford, England. His active service in the front lines had ended on June 18, 1918 and he was posted to Oxford on July 5.