Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Quilt Blogs Are Bustin' Out all Over
Our friend and long-term contributor of mystery quilts to Planet Patchwork, Merry May, has a blog at http://www.quiltathon.com at which she posts her musings on quilts, teaching quilting, and more formal lessons, such as a couple she's done on photo transfers in quilting.
Over at Quilts Galore, Mel (or Mellicious, as she's known on flickr) does breezy short takes and tells funny stories on herself, including one on her quilting technique, which she calls "the ADD approach to quilting."
She has also published an amazing collection of photos of quilts from the Houston Quilt Show.
Check out both of these new blogs, and let us know about any others you come across by writing us at planetpatchwork at gmail dot com.
Book Review: Quilted Planet by Celia Eddy
British quilter and researcher Celia Eddy has put the quilt world at your fingertips, documenting quilting traditions from around the world with 230 stunning photographs. You expect to see exquisite quilts from England and France and the U.S. and Japan, but Eddy also shows you examples from India, Central America, Africa and New Zealand. Historical quilts and contemporary ones are both included, and you see intriguing glimpses of cross-pollination across eras and cultures.
What will keep this book on your sewing table instead of your coffee table is the depth and detail of Eddy's approach. Under Indian quilts, for example, she shows examples of regional traditions and techniques. Kanthas are needlework quilts once made by layering old saris. The style almost died out but is now being revived. Throughout the book, Eddy has a feature called "Method and Style," where she zooms in on a specific technique or style of quilt, including kanthas, and shows how they are made.
Though originally published in England, Quilted Planet is easily found in this country, where it was published by Clarkson Potter (Eddy says the only thing different in the American version is the cover.)
Eddy is a member of the American Quilt Study Group and in 1998, she founded the British Quilt Study Group. She runs an invaluable online quilting magazine called QuiltStory (www.quilt.co.uk).
Get it at a discount from Amazon!
See more great books at the Planet Patchwork bookstore!
Last call for entries! You could win up to $500 by designing a quilt in EQ!
Planet Patchwork, along with our sister site The Quilt Channel, and with support from The Electric Quilt Company, announces a virtual quilt design contest for users of Electric Quilt software. So many of you have bought Electric Quilt from us over the years, and told us how much you love it, that we want to provide an opportunity for you strut your stuff, and feature your work for other EQ users to see and be inspired by. And we're offering some great prizes, too!
Learn all about the Planet Patchwork EQ Design contest here.
Three Quilters Celebrate the Four Seasons
American Quilters' Society, 2004. 143 pages, list price $22.95.
Journey through the calendar year with three top quilt designers and teachers. These special friends have designed a quilt pattern for every month and combined their diverse styles to create unique and exciting new designs. They also share fabric selection ideas, how-to sections on Stack-n-Whack and Appli-bond, and techniques and tips to use all year round. Joan Shay's designs feature her easy and popular three-dimensional Appli-bond method for creating flowers, birds, and fish. Bethany Reynolds presents several fun, new Stack-n-Whack designs -- a method that has taken the quilt world by storm. Karen Combs adds her special insight with quilts of illusion that delight the senses. From enchanting applique to dazzling patchwork, the great variety of projects offered will bring quilting excitement throughout the year.
The Midwest Book Review says: 'In 3 Quilters Celebrate The 4 Seasons: By the Calendar Girls, Karen Combs, Bethany Reynolds, Joan Shay (three famous quilting professionals) collaborate to provide their specialties showcasing over a dozen quilt projects emphasizing diverse patterns and styles and approaches, providing a diversity of original styles. The color photos are wonderful embellishments.'
Get it at a discount at Amazon!
See more great quilt books at the Planet Patchwork Bookstore!
New issue of newsletter up at Quilt University
In this issue:
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
And Sew it Goes: The most famous quilt I never made
Monday, November 28, 2005
AIDS Quilt Settlement Unravels
Ousted founder, organization head to court again over 2003 termination
By ANDREW KEEGAN | Nov 21, 6:15 PM
Cleve Jones, who co-founded the AIDS Memorial Quilt in San Francisco two decades ago, and the Atlanta-based Names Project Foundation, which maintains the quilt, have sparred publicly since 2003.
Read the full article about the AIDS Quilt settlement in the Washington Blade.
This is reality?
To me, the whole thing smacked of the annoying misperception that quilters are quaint, unglamorous, certainly not urban-dwelling and probably poor. Finally, knitting is hip, but the mainstream media have no clue that quilting is a high-tech boom that cuts across all income levels. (Really, we ARE cool, right? We don't ALWAYS go out in public with our clothing covered in thread bits.)
But ever since my last guild meeting in Pennington, NJ, I've decided that the last laugh will be ours after all. The Wife Swap show was a major topic of conversation, and the collective response was: No Thanks.
"What? They actually think we would let some clueless woman operate our sewing machines and paw through our stash?" said one woman who makes her living quilting. Nobody seemed bothered about the idea of having a stranger handle their husbands and kids, however...
Finished mystery quilts pop up on blogs, too
First set of "Opposites Attract" quilt photos online now
See the "Opposites Attract" quilts now!
Send your photos to planetpatchwork at gmail dot com.
"Opposites" attracts quilters for a one-day mystery quilt
We have already started to receive pictures of finished quilt tops from participants, which we will post in a gallery soon for everyone to enjoy. If you'd like your "Opposites Attract" top to be featured in the gallery, just send a picture of it to planetpatchwork at gmail dot com.
"Opposites Attract" will be hosted at Planet Patchwork for the remainder of the day, after which it will disappear! If you'd like to share this mystery quilt with your guild, please contact Merry at email@example.com for licensing information. You can also select from a large choice of Merry Mayhem's Mystery Quilts at Planet Patchwork or her clever and time-saving Gridded Geese, the fastest way to make Flying Geese blocks!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
One-Day Mystery Quilt Today at Planet Patchwork!
A few times a year Planet Patchwork hosts a One-Day Mystery Quilt, during which quilters around the world tune into the web site periodically throughout the day for a set of instructions in sequence. Without knowledge of what the quilt will look like, these quilters watch their chosen fabrics transform into a work of art beneath their very hands.
Today we're holding our traditional post-Thanksgiving Mystery Quilt at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Merry Mayhem supplies us with the Mystery Quilt this year, entitled "Case #122: Opposites Attract."
You can get all the advance supply and cutting instructions you'll need on the first page of the mystery quilt instructions.
On the appointed day at 11 a.m. Eastern, a link will appear at the bottom of the cutting instructions page to the next step of "Opposites Attract." These instructions are left standing for 24 hours and then they disappear, never to return.
We will also be giving away some great prizes throughout the day for our Mystery Quilt participants! To register for the prizes visit this web page.
We hope you'll join us for a Sunday of discovery at the Planet Patchwork One-Day Mystery Quilt!
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Dear Gift Guru . . .
Read the Gift Guru's answer here.
(You can make sure you get what you want by sending your gift givers an E-Elf wish list message.)
Friday, November 25, 2005
By Barbara Brackman
C&T Publishing, 2004
128 pages, suggested retail $29.95
Barbara Brackman’s reputation as America’s quilt historian is unparalleled. She has compiled the most comprehensive quilt block catalogue ever assembled, and has done many historically based quilt books for major publishers. In this volume she turns her attention to fabric, for a fascinating tour of fabric patterns and tastes from the American revolution to the Victorian era. The fabrics are displayed, aptly, in dozens of historical and reproduction quilts, and the book is studded with sidebars and photos featuring the quilters and mill girls who played such a big part in the history of American textiles. In addition to the fabrics and quilts, the book contains eight reproduction quilt projects, with instructions and templates. The book is absorbing in and of itself, and also an invaluable reference to help date antique quilts.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Harmonies & Hurricanes (book review)
Monday, November 21, 2005
A warm welcome for Meg!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
A New Voice
A Laurel Burch Christmas
A Laurel Burch Christmas: Color the Season Beautiful with 25 Quilts and Crafts
By Laurel Burch, C&T Publishing, 2004, 80 full-color pages, List Price $24.95
Laurel Burch, former Haight-Ashbury jewelry maker and now internationally known for her whimsical designs featuring flying cats and dogs and other beasts in incandescent jewel tones, has written a book of Christmas projects that are sure to brighten your house and satisfy your creative urges.
Using a wide variety of materials, from fabric paint to fusible applique, Laurel presents instructions for several small wall hangings, an advent calendar, a felt wreath, tree ornaments out of both glass and fabric, a stocking full of stuffed critters, a mantel runner, tree skirt, table runner and a "Dear Santa" tote bag. It's quite a tour de force.
All of the designs are in Laurel's unmistakable (if occasionally cloying) style, and run an amazingly wide range of moods, from peaceful to exuberant. My favorites include the mantel runner (with winged cats) and a 24" X 30" wall-hanging called "Matisse and Tiger" ( a dog and cat) who pose together in a luxurious holiday bow.
Many of these projects are simple and colorful, and would make great Christmas projects to do with kids, especially the "Surprise a Day Tree Calendar." Complete instructions, tips, and templates are included.
Available at a discount from Amazon.
See other great books in the Planet Patchwork bookstore!
Friday, November 18, 2005
Making a difference, stitch by stitch
But Dan Balbuena and Holly Bartlett aren't your typical teenagers. The two paired up a few weeks ago to start a quilting circle through the young adult program at the Groton Public Library.
"We both had sewing skills, and figured we could put them to good use," Balbuena said. "At first we had wanted to donate the finished quilts to the ABC program (At-risk Baby Crib quilts) but changed our minds after Hurricane Katrina plowed over the South."
Read the full article about Balbuena and Bartlett here.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The best new links from the Quilt Channel directory
- Quilters Buzz (mentioned in a previous blog entry)
- Canada Goose Designs - offering a free Christmas table topper pattern during November
- blue danube quilt - in particular the "quiltology"
- Love in Stitches - offering some free instructions
- Easy Quilt Kits - most of the site is a hard sell for the kits, but there are some good tips and articles to be found as well
Pre-Civil War era quilt bought online by Oxford historian
Dorothy DeBisschop, the town's historian, found the antebellum Civil War Friendship Quilt and won the auction for the rare artifact of the town's rural past with a bid of one thousand dollars.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Quilts, Inc. names Judy Murrah as Vice-President of Education
"Judy has been with Quilts, Inc. almost since the inception of the company," Bresenhan said. "She first worked as an unpaid volunteer who could always be depended upon to show up when we needed her and do a super job at anything she was asked to do. Once we discovered those talents, we never turned loose of her!"
Quilts, Inc. produces trade and consumer shows in the U.S. and Europe for the quilting and soft crafts industry, including the annual International Quilt Festival in the company's hometown of Houston. Festival is the world's largest annual quilt show, sale, and quiltmaking academy, with close to 55,000 attendees.
"When I took the managing position in the Education Department in 1982, the teaching staff, classroom space, schedule of events, and number of attendees [at Festival] was less than 25% of what it is now," Murrah continued.
"The growth has been invigorating and enriching for me. I have found lots of joy andinspiration in working with the education staff, the teachers, and Karey and Nancy. I am honored they have put so much trust and confidence in me. This feels like a life-long achievement award. And it makes me want to make the education segment of our shows even better and more efficient!"
Visit the Quilts, Inc. web site.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The Christmas Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
Simon & Schuster, 2005. 240 pages, list price $18.95.
When Christmas Eve comes to Elm Creek Manor, the tenor of the holiday is far from certain. Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, the Master Quilter, has her own reasons for preferring a quiet, even subdued, Christmas. Her young friend Sarah McClure, however, takes the opposite view and decides to deck the halls brightly. As she explores the trunks packed with Bergstrom family decorations that haven't been touched in more than fifty years, Sarah discovers a curious Christmas quilt. Begun in seasonal fabrics and patterns, the quilt remains unfinished.
Sylvia reveals that the handiwork spans several generations and a quartet of Bergstrom quilters -- her great aunt, her mother, her sister, and herself. As she examines the array of quilt blocks each family member contributed but never completed, memories of Christmases past emerge.
At Elm Creek Manor, Christmas began as a celebration of simple virtues -- joy and hope buoyed by the spirit of giving. As each successive generation of Bergstroms lived through its unique trials -- the antebellum era, the Great Depression, World War II -- tradition offered sustenance even during the most difficult times. For Sylvia, who is coping with the modern problem of family dispersed, estranged, or even forgotten, reconciliation with her personal history may prove as elusive as piecing the Christmas Quilt.
Elm Creek Manor is full of secrets, from a Christmas tree with unusual properties to the sublime Bergstrom strudel recipe. Sylvia's tales at first seem to inform her family legacy but ultimately illuminate far more, from the importance of women's art to its place in commemorating our shared experience, at Christmastime and in every season.
Get it a discount from Amazon!
See other great books in the Planet Patchwork Bookstore!
Bella Online Quilts of the States series - Ohio Star
Monday, November 14, 2005
The Great American Quilt Revival
There are lots of retro photos coupled with touching discussions of how the quilting experience was an essential part of people's lives. The watershed Whitney exhibit, the Gee's Bend Quilts, the impact of the Paducah and Houston shows are all part of the included footage, which concludes by featuring the Quilting Hall of Fame, its contemporary inductees, and the dedication of its new headquarters in Marion, Indiana. All of this has been artfully blended into a riveting narrative that chronicles the journey not only of American pioneers but of the women who led the way for those who followed to become artists and businesspeople, and to give "permission" for women to find their own creative space and expression. It is, in its way, the ultimate "chick flick," and makes for a very pleasant evening immersed in the recent history of quilting.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
New Quilt Gallery from Houston Show
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Quilting news roundup
(free registration required for some articles, or see bugmenot.com)
- Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibit opens at Auburn museum (New York)
- Bobby Orr unveils Chevrolet Safe & Fun Promise Quilt (Ontario)
- Library's quilt exhibit tells its own stories (New York)
- A golden quilt: Tapestry chronicles 50 years of marriage (Massachusetts)
- Man Makes Quilt to Help Find a Cure for Cancer (Vermont)
- AIDS quilt panels to be displayed in Johnstown (Pennsylvania)
- 'No Two' exhibit finds jazz in quilts; Improvisation spawns uniqueness (Maine)
Get all the buzz
A passion for quilting is what motivates Gina Halladay of Orange County, California, as she writes several times a week in her new quilting blog at http://www.quiltersbuzz.com. In a lively and down-to-earth style, Gina chronicles her quilting adventures as she goes to shows, attends classes, and helps purchase fabric for the Cozy Cottage Quilt Shop, in Brea, where she works. Her entries so far tell us about a class she took with Billie Lauder, "stalking" Robyn Pandolph, and meeting and talking to Freddy Moran about how red is a neutral color.
Visiting Gina's blog regularly will bring you sharp personal insights about quilting along with a recharge of your quilting energies. Give it a try!
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The Alliance for American Quilts moves to Asheville, NC
Read the full press release here.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
E-Elf is here to make sure you get what you want this holiday!
Try out the E-Elf now!
Electric Quilt and RJR Team Up!
The quilts are varied and striking, such as this "Teahouse Garden" design based on the Drunkard's Path block and using the Teahouse Garden fabric line from RJR. It's also shown in two other colorways -- blue and green, and the EQ project file contains scans of all the fabrics. For those without EQ, you can download swatches from the RJR site as well. Templates for block construction are also provided.
You can find links to all the project files at the Electric Quilt site.
Friday, November 04, 2005
A Free Christmas Quilt from Debbie Mumm
Finished size is 38-1/2" X 53-1/2", and the entire top can be made with 23 fat quarters. This would be a nice one to make out of flannels to warm yourself on those cold winter days.
You will find it by clicking on the link above.
Check out her beautiful fall table runner pattern as well!