Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I found this quilt yesterday on Etsy, and wow, what a stunner!! It was called "Kaleidoscope" by the seller, but was found in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, #425.7 "woven pattern"- kind of a boring name for such an exciting quilt. The pattern is based on a hexagon patch, and each patch is surrounded by interlocking, trapezoidal strips.

The detail view shows how it was done. It also reveals a plethora of polyester double knit fabrics and multicolored yarn ties. Every time I find something like this, it's hard to believe anyone would part with it, and it was reasonably priced. Can't wait for it to arrive!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Springtime in the Rockies (reprise)

I finally got the opportunity to photograph this quilt. The edge finish made it a bit of a challenge, but it was fun. The quilt is called "Springtime in the Rockies" and I blogged about it here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

More Polyester Patchwork

This 1970s polyester double knit one-patch quilt came from an eBay seller in Citrus Heights, California. It is 62" x 82" and is tied with green yarn. It looks like there was a plan to start with rows of two alternating colors at top and bottom, then all hell broke loose. The rows aren't perfectly straight, and corners don't always meet. As a result, there's a lot of movement in the quilt.

From a distance, the image could be a tiny section of a pixelated photo that was enlarged beyond recognition, but it's really just patchwork. I love the mix of strong colors with soft colors and solids with prints and plaids. It goes to show how quiltmakers are fabric lovers, even with seemingly unlovable fabrics.

Another Polyester Crib Quilt

Here's another polyester crib quilt. It came from an eBay seller in Quincy, Illinois, and it is even more wonderful than the auction pictures suggested. I think there's something very modern looking about it, even though the fabrics are dated and the quilt is very much connected to the time it was made.

It is 35" x 47 & 1/2", backed with flannel that is brought to the front for the binding, and is tied with puffy white synthetic, a material similar to the loops I used with potholder looms back in the 1970s.

I now have about a dozen of these polyester crib quilts, and they share a lot of common attributes. Most have all polyester double knit fabrics in the top, and a soft material such as flannel on the back. The patchwork tends toward simplicity, construction is basic, and most are tied. Generally speaking, these quilts are available at bargain prices right now, but I wonder how long that will last. Although more of these quilts may have survived than those of other periods, crib quilts tend to be highly collectible. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Polyester Patchwork Crib Quilt

Some new polyester patchwork quilts arrived during the last couple weeks- several crib quilts and a couple larger ones, all incredible bargains. This crib quilt is one of my favorites. It's a very simple one-patch, there's just something about those colors and how they work together. And I love the quirky fabrics mixed in with the solids, especially the floral print.

I found the quilt on Etsy, and it came from Ohio. It is c. 1970, 37" x 38" and tied, with a 3/4" binding brought from back to front. The backing fabric looks like bed sheet material. It sags a bit when hanging, but I think the colors are so neat, it doesn't really matter. I could see this quilt being an inspiration for a modern quilt. The combination of colors is just as fresh looking today as it was 40 years ago.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1970s Scrappy Snake Trails

It's here, and I love it. This scrappy Snake Trails quilt was made in the 1970s and includes a wonderful variety of 70s cotton calicoes and other print fabrics. Most of the time, these Snake Trail quilts are made with fan blocks. Only a few of these blocks could pass for fans. They're really just strip pieced quarter circles.

And look- there's rick rack!! What a hoot! I need to take a closer look to see what the rick rack may be hiding. Something tells me there's an ugly looking seam under it. Brilliant solution to add trim for a nice finish. There are some great calicoes I hadn't seen before, some quite colorful. The quilt is 66" x 86" and is hand quilted. What a great find!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Wild Thing" going to Ireland!!

Several weeks ago I got an e-mail from a person named Aisling Walsh, Events Coordinator of the International Quilting Festival of Ireland. It was an invitation to show my vintage 1970s quilt, "Wild Thing" in the "Feeling Groovy" exhibit of this year's festival in Galway, Ireland. Yesterday was the deadline for registration, and I made it just in time. "Wild Thing" is going to Ireland!!

I found this quilt a few years ago, under a table in the Palmer Wirfs Antiques Expo at the Portland Expo Center. At first, the quilt baffled me. It was far younger than anything I'd collected and wasn't an "antique" - but it was very vibrant, full of joy, and I just had to have it. As it turned out, this quilt launched me into collecting the quilts of this period.

So, "Wild Thing" gets to go on a fantastic voyage to Ireland. How cool is that??

The International Quilting Festival of Ireland will take place in Galway, Ireland, June 7-9, 2013. For more information about the event, click here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

an old quirkie

This unusual crib quilt was made in the eastern United States around 1820, and it was the topic of much discussion in the Facebook group for Quilts-Vintage & Antique last night and today. I don't know much about it, but all the blocks are done with variants on the same basic design. It's like a gothic, paper-cut snowflake with arrows pointing outward from each corner.

Susan Atwell posted pictures showing how the applique could have been cut.

This quilt was a gift from my parents, and was one of the first quilts in my collection. I like to pull it out every once in a while, and every time, the reaction is the same. Nobody has ever seen anything like it, and we would all love to know more about it. The quilt is 32" x 45", and the brown fabrics were possibly walnut-dyed. There is glazing evident on the edges of the quilt, especially in the border and binding.

An unusual quilt, for sure, and one that continues to stump historians since there's no history and not much frame of reference. It was fun to see the paper snowflakes and consider how it could have been made. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

my cat likes arugula

That's right, Lulu likes arugula! She's always stalking about the kitchen when I'm cooking, and I often let her sniff the ingredients to see if she's interested. She doesn't like garlic, and I'm glad because it isn't good for her. She doesn't like citrus, or basil. But she loves arugula!

Earlier in the week, I was making a salad with arugula, basil, heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella. When an arugula leaf fell to the floor, Lulu ran over and gobbled it up. I couldn't believe it. I'd never seen a cat eat arugula before. Tonight, there was a lot of leftover arugula, so I made pesto with arugula, lemon and basil.

A r u g u l a  P e s t o

4 cups arugula
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 or more fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup shredded parmesan 
zest of one lemon
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

Puree ingredients together in a food processor, drizzling in the olive oil through the chute of the food processor until the mixture becomes a paste. Toss with hot pasta. Serves 2-4.

When I was getting out the ingredients, Lulu was there, waiting. I thought, "does that cat want arugula?" Sure enough, she did! She chirped with her high, operatic voice, and jumped up when I dangled a leaf in front of her. As soon as she got it, she devoured it.

Lulu didn't have any of the pesto because I ruined it with all the other ingredients, especially that stinky lemon. She makes a lemon face and runs away every time I let her sniff fresh lemon. Such sophisticated taste she has!

More Pictures from the NW Quilters Show