Saturday, December 3, 2016

tropical vibe

Log Cabin with Hawaiian fabrics, c. 1975, California
This Log Cabin quilt came from an Etsy seller in San Luis Obispo, California. It has a wonderful, tropical vibe.


The quilt includes a scrappy variety of fabrics, and many are Hawaiian prints. Dimensions are 90" x 101" and it is tied. It has batting, and multiple shades of olive green in the background reinforce the scrappiness.


This quilt is a good example of why it could be useful to recognize a sub-catagory of Hawaiian scrap quilts-- those found outside Hawaii. The fabrics make it Hawaiian, even though it was found elsewhere.



In most cases, the examples in my collection were found in Hawaii, but there is value in looking at quilts discovered elsewhere, especially when considering the distinctions between the quilts made in the tropics and those with a tropical vibe. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crib Quilts from Honolulu

crib quilt, mixed fabrics, unknown maker, Honolulu, Hawaii, c. 1975, 32" x 41"
Yesterday, two 1970s crib quilts from Honolulu arrived on my doorstep. These little gems are both around the same size, and appear to be made at the same time from the same stash. One is reversible.

reversible crib quilt (front and back), mixed fabrics,
unknown maker, Honolulu, Hawaii, c. 1975, 32" x 44"
reversible crib quilt (front), mixed fabrics,
unknown maker, Honolulu, Hawaii, c. 1975, 32" x 44"
reversible crib quilt (back), mixed fabrics,
unknown maker, Honolulu, Hawaii, c. 1975, 32" x 44"
Both quilts include improvisational log cabin blocks. Interestingly, the first time I'd seen improvisational log cabin blocks were in the work of Andrea Balosky of Camp Sherman, Oregon. She called them "Log Jammin'" blocks and included them in her classes back in the day. Andrea was born in Hawaii. I must remember to pick her brains about Hawaiian scrap quilts and the "Log Jammin'" blocks.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

crib quilt from Pahoa


This vibrant crib quilt came from Pahoa, Hawaii. It is 41" x 49" and is made of muumuu fabrics with simple, improvisational blocks and hot colors.




I located a few other Hawaiian scrap quilts recently. As soon as they arrive, you'll see them here.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Giant Dahlia


 "The Giant Dahlia" is one of several large medallion quilt patterns designed by Hubert ver Mehren of Des Moines, Iowa. A flawless example of this quilt just arrived, and I'm smitten.


The Iowa Button and Pleating Company, based in Des Moines, Iowa, was ver Mehren's primary business. By the mid-1920s, he sold embroidery designs on stamped textiles under the name Home Art Studios. Working with his wife, Mary Jacobs, ver Mehren eventually sold patchwork patterns, creating full-size, medallion quilt patterns and kits. 


An unknown maker made this quilt in the 1930s. It represents one of ver Mehren's most famous designs. Often imitated, The Giant Dahlia quilt has very specific, immediately recognizable characteristics such as the phenomenal art deco edge finish, completed with facing that initially looks like a knife-edge or pillow-edge finish. The beautifully mapped-out quilting is also very specific. Dimensions are 78" x 78". 

custom Vans

custom lace-up Vans with the image of a velvet quilt from my collection
Four years ago, I was completely smitten with Zazzle's custom Keds. I designed a lot of them, and was ready to start selling them when Zazzle abruptly discontinued them. I only managed to order one pair at that point, and they had the blue denim design from my Wonkyworld wallpaper.

Zazzle Keds from 2012 with my Wonkyworld wallpaper design
There was a message on the Zazzle web site indicating they would soon offer custom sneakers again and keep us posted with e-mail updates. That was 2012. I never heard from Zazzle again.

an 1830s quilt top gives these slip-on Vans a lux look
beachy Vans slip-ons for a vacation in Hawaii?
quilty Vans lace-ups, perfect for puddle jumping around Portland
So you can imagine how pleased I was to discover a similar service from Vans. You can customize two different styles, one with laces and the other a classic slip-on. Of course, I had to play around with the customizer, and came up with a bunch of ideas using quilts from my collection. Lots of possibilities. Which style should I get first?
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bicentennial Raffle Quilt, Barrington, Rhode Island

Bicentennial Raffle Quilt, 1976, Barrington, RI, 80" x 95"

I've had my eye on Bicentennial Quilts lately, and here's an interesting one. It is a 1976 raffle quilt made by members of the West Barrington Community Church in Barrington, Rhode Island. An 11-year-old girl from Riverside, Rhode Island won it in the raffle at a church bazaar and picnic, and she slept under the quilt until the 1980s when she went off to college. The quilt had been packed away ever since then.







The red and white polka dot fabric squares in the centers of the stars include appliquéd states. Some are threadbare, but you can still make them out. The quilt is 80" x 95" and all cotton. It has some neat fabrics, and great embroidery detail across the center sash. Especially wonderful that it came with some provenance. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Books Make Great Gifts!


The Holiday season is just getting started, and we're already wracking our brains to find the perfect gifts for friends and family. Here's the perfect gift-- one or both of my books!


The first book is "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" (Quiltmania/France, 2015). It is a coffee table book, charting the history of the New York Beauty motif with 70 fully illustrated examples from 1850 to the present.


New York Beauty is among the most complex American quilt patterns, and it has an intriguing history. This book, written in both English and French, is special gift for a variety of readers and is currently on sale. Visit the Quiltmania US site to learn more about it. Click here.

There is also a limited edition New York Beauty bag available
My second book is called "Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration" (C&T / Stash Books, 2016). It is a project book for quiltmakers of all experience levels, with 12 patterns inspired by quilts made between 1840 and 1970.


The quilts are surprisingly modern, and modernism is the book's focus. It is a quality I recognized in quilts from day one. Old quilts offer a wealth of information, ideas and inspiration for today.

1870s "Crossroads" quilt found in Texas
Indiana Puzzle, c. 1935, Sarah Nixon, Verona, NJ
This book is reasonably priced and widely available at bookstores, online, and through the C&T website. Click here.
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