Friday, 17 June 2011

Gee's Bend Quilting

Today I have been at the Quilt Group that I belong to. It has been a great opportunity
to sit and quilt and chatter. I took along my Gee's Bend quilt and started the quilting having decided what I was going to do last night.

I decided to go ahead with chunky quilting stitches in embroidery thread. and just went 
roughly down the middle if each piece. I chose Cosmo Threads from Japan as I 
really like working with these. They come on a spool and are two strands, 
which makes them so much easier to keep tidy. And they have a subtle sheen 
on them even though they are 100% cotton. And the colours are lovely greyed tonings.

Hopefully I will finish the quilting tonight and put the binding on tomorrow ready to take to 
our Art Group Meeting on Monday.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Amish Roman Stripes

This week I have had my Amish Groups in and we were talking about Roman Stripes quilts. 
This is one the that I made way back in the late 1980s - my first Amish phase! So I took it in for Show and Tell.

This is a small quilt - 25" by 29" which of course is not the size that the Amish would have made - they would have been making full size bed quilts. Otherwise it pretty much follows the Amish traditions for this quilt design - black triangles set with equal width stripes, narrow border followed by wide border.

Please post some comments to let me know that you are there and watching - there is nothing like a comment - even a "Hi Robyn" - to keep a blogger posting!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Gee's Bend Quilt Top Finished

Today I had our 1800s Revisited Group in at the shop so I was able to take my completed Gee's Bend Quilt top along for show and Tell.

I had finished it by adding in the filler pieces to get all the blocks to go together and then added on the borders. As you can see I couldn't be quite as as wonky as Lola Pettway - it just doesn't seem to be in my make up! But I am happy with my interpretation of her quilt. You can see a photo of her quilt in my last post.

Now I have to decided how to quilt it - I am thinking of chunky hand quilting with embroidery thread and maybe following around each frame in the middle with a matching thread colour - I think I will just eyeball these quilting lines rather than measuring and marking them! I will have to do one block to see if that works - so watch this space.!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Gee's Bend Quilt

Over the last week I have been making 'Housetops' blocks for a Gee's Bend Inspired Quilt.

Gee's Bend is an isolated community in the bend of the Alabama River in America. The community is predominantly Afro-American having descended from a slave community set up on a cotton plantation in the 1800s. This community has been one of America's poorest.

The people and their quilts came to widespread public knowledge in 2002 when 
their quilts were exhibited in The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. 
The quilts then went to the Whitney Museum in New York City.  
They were hailed as "some of the most miraculous works of art American has produced".

The Housetop block was one of their most popular designs.  
I am using a quilt by Lola Pettway in my book "Gee's Bend - The Architecture of the Quilt" 
as my inspiration.

Lola's quilt was made with corduroy in the 1970s. During the 1960s and 70s Gee's Bend was the location of the Freedom Quilting Bee - a co-operative organised to bring jobs and income into the community  by making and selling quilts. Sears also awarded the group a contract to make pillow shams from corduroy. The left over fabric of course made its way into quilts like Lola's. 

As you can tell I am changing the colours. I managed to get hold of some reproduction
Gee's Bend fabrics so I am using those. They look like old hand dyed fabrics which 
I think really suits the Gee's Bend style.

These are my blocks on my design wall - now I need to fill in the white spaces to make the blocks all fit together and then border it.

The next decision to make will be how to quilt it - I am thinking of using two strands 
of embroidery thread and quilting with larger than normal stitches.

As you can see I have way to many quilting interests - mostly related to groups that I run at the shop - Japanese, 1800s Reproduction, Amish, Pin Cushion Club and then of the new Modern Quilt Guild. And I have a project on the go for most of them!!!!!!! But the good thing is I do finish them all - the groups keep on track with deadlines!

The good thing about all these projects on the go is that there is always plenty of variety to choose from  - hand quilting a Japanese project or my Amish Bear's Paw, applique on my Japanese Block project, stitchery or whatever on the latest pin cushion and machine piecing the Gee's Bend quilt. And planning the next Modern Quilt!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

New Pin Cushion

Tonight was Pin Cushion Club and this is the project that I designed for them.

They had the choice of three colours - light, medium or dark woven taupe fabrics.
I had made mine in the light version and they all chose either dark or medium. 
And they all looked so good.

We had fun experimenting with a variety of stitches to go up the seam
lines and one even added some daisies in the middle of her pieces.

They all looked so cool. I love taking this class as everyone goes home after a 
couple of hours with a pin cushion almost done. 

And one member always makes two so comes back with them for show and tell the next month. 

They are going to have a good collection of Pin Cushions scattered around their house 
 or sewing room or a lovely set of gifts to give away to sewing friends this Christmas.

I have kitsets for all the Pin Cushions in the series available and also offer them in a
Block of the Month format, so you can do them too.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Next Treasure Wheel Block

I have finally got back into my applique blocks from Susan Briscoe's "125 Japanese Quilt Blocks" book. I now have six applique blocks and one sashiko block made.

 I think I am going to have to re-plan what layout they are going to go into.
I thought originally that I would make three panels mixing applique, pieced and sashiko blocks. But I am not that ken on the sashiko block that I stitched so I am now thinking just one panel and just applique and pieced blocks.

These are all the blocks lined up so you can see them in one post. They are actually all on the same grey background fabric - it is amazing how different it can look in some photos.