Thursday, January 24, 2019

Coming Soon: Appearance on The Quilt Show


Last summer, Linda and I traveled to Colorado, where I was part of the taping of two segments for The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. For the first appearance, I am delighted to be in the same episode as Barbara Black. Here is the trailer-- episode 2405.


The show will air Sunday February 24th 2019, and will be available to view for free March 3-10. Stay tuned to The Quilt Show website and YouTube channel for more details!


Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims bring the friendliest interactive online community for quilters worldwide! Join today to learn, share, create, connect and watch Alex and Ricky in brand new episodes of The Quilt Show.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Inspired Free Motion Quilting Giveaway Winner!


Thank you to all participants in the Inspired Free Motion Quilting Blog Tour. It is wonderful to see how creative people are using the designs from elegant, old quilts in their work.


Co-author Mandy Leins and I hope the book will be useful and inspirational for many generations, just like the quilts featured inside.


I am excited to announce the winner of an eBook copy of "Inspired Free Motion Quilting: 90 Antique Designs. Congratulations to Terry Lee Knott! Terry makes some of the most beautiful quilts. I love her work, and look forward to seeing how the book influences her work in the future.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Inspired Free Motion Quilting blog tour!

c. 1800 pieced quilt from Rhode Island with gorgeous quilting designs
When C&T Publishing first approached me with the idea to write a book about free-motion quilting, I wasn't sure how to react. The idea came out of left field. I'm much more of a collector than quiltmaker, and do not always see my collection as a quiltmaker would, but it gave me the opportunity to look at the collection with fresh eyes.

Mandy Leins, co-author of "Inspired Free-Motion Quilting"
I could choose any free-motion quilting expert as co-author, and Mandy Leins was the first person who came to mind. Mandy and I share a love for antique and vintage quilts. She is an outstanding quilter, and we chat about old quilts on Facebook instant messenger, sharing links for eBay and Etsy listings while dreaming about buying all the old quilts we love.


Luckily, Mandy was interested in the idea and available to tackle a book project. "Inspired Free-Motion Quilting: 90 Antique Designs Reinterpreted for Today's Quilter" was born.


The book includes inspiration quilts from the 18th and 19th centuries-- elegant, very old quilts with designs worth seeing; and free-motion line drawings with instructions on how to use the drawings for free-motion quilting. It's all about looking at old and seeing something new, and Mandy did a superb job with it.


We are happy to announce a blog tour, with eBook giveaways and a Quilter's Planner set as grand prize. On each stop of the blog tour, bloggers will share their thoughts and ideas about the book-- and we are looking forward to hearing what they have to say. Here is the list of blog tour stops:


Don't miss your chance to win! Keep reading along and follow the links to the blog posts! To win today's eBook prize from this blog, Wonkyworld, simply leave one comment in the comments section (below), and a random drawing at the end of the day will determine the winner. When commenting, please make sure to leave a way to contact you, and/or check back tomorrow to find out who won. Thanks for reading along. Enjoy the blog tour and enjoy the book!

Friday, January 4, 2019

how quilts taught me to love history

inscribed Spanish American War quilt, donated to the International
Quilt Study Center & Museum, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
I was the worst history student in high school. Just like all the other high school academic subjects, it was boring and didn't seem relevant. Fortunately, I had an interest in photography and got through U.S. History by writing a term paper about Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. After that, I didn't need to worry about history anymore...or so I thought.


More than 25 years later, I discovered a very interesting quilt on eBay. It was inscribed with many names, and in the center medallions of each block were the names of places, such as Spain. A quick google search led me to the realization that the center medallion inscriptions were not just names of places, they were the names of ships from the Spanish American War.

USS Concord, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
I always knew quilts were history objects, but the artistic and design elements were much more my focus. When I discovered the places inscribed in the center medallions were ships, it unlocked history for me. The quilt taught me how to love researching history.


The inscribed Spanish American War quilt is now part of the collection at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. I donated it to the museum when they were planning an exhibition called "Covering the War" in 2015. I didn't realize it at the time, but Spanish American War quilts are quite rare. Why? As I learned from the quilt, it was a short, very one-sided war.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (9)


The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 


This magnificent, late 19th century pieced quilt from Virginia was part of my first book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" -- but where else have we seen it before?

It came from an eBay seller in Virginia in 2004, so if you've got an eagle eye, perhaps you saw it when it was listed. At first, it didn't sell, so I made an offer. "How could anyone pass up such a great quilt?" I wondered.


Quilters Newsletter article (2013)
Modern Patchwork article (2017)
The quilt appeared in more than one magazine article. It was in a Quilters Newsletter feature story in 2013, and last year was part of an article about collecting old quilts in Modern Patchwork. It was also part of a 2012 exhibition-- "American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007" at the WhatCom Museum in Bellingham, Washington, and was on the postcard.


The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (8)


Cross Currents Study #3, 1995, by Andrea Balosky
The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 

A few years ago I discovered the work of Andrea Balosky. She was very active during the 1990s in the Sisters, Oregon area, and was part of a small quilting group called the Pine Needlers in nearby Camp Sherman. 



Andrea was a rising star in the quilt world. She published a book, "Transitions, Unlocking the Creative Quilter Within" in 1996. This quilt, "Cross Currents Study #3" was on the cover. The quilt and two others from the book are part of my collection.

"Jerry's Garden" 1995, by Andrea Balosky
Cross Currents Study #2, 1994, by Andrea Balosky
Today Andrea lives far away in the Himalayas and rarely makes quilts, but her work continues to be influential. It is well worth discovering, and rediscovering!

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (7)

Bible Story, 1979, by Lucy Mingo of Gee's Bend, Alabama
The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 



When you do a Google search for images of a Gee's Bend quilt, one of the first images to come up is a predominately red, white and blue quilt with yellow and green made by Lucy Mingo. The quilt is part of my collection.



I blogged about it here at Wonkyworld, and as part of the Guest Blogger Series for "Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics" in 2012. Click here to read more about it.


Lucy Mingo is among the most impressive quiltmakers from Gee's Bend, also known as Boykin, Alabama. Her story appears in The Freedom Quilting Bee: Folk Art and the Civil Rights Movement by Nancy Callahan.


Lucy's quilt also appears as part of The Quilts of Gee's Bend entry on Wikipedia. I shared several photos of quilts using the Wikimedia Commons. If you surf through the Wikipedia quilting pages, you may see some of the others.

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.