Thursday, October 30, 2014

Drunkard's Path Quilt Along - Week 4

There's something to whoop about today—I got the plaid drunkard's path quilt top sewn together this past week!

It went together really well.  I did any necessary trimming to size/squaring up, block by block, as I sewed each row. 

Turns out I needn't have worried about pressing all the quarter circles one direction (toward the circle).  It worked just fine to sew over that seam, and there was no shifting, thanks to strategic pinning and then using my trusty seam ripper, flat side down, to compress the bulkier seams as they went under the presser foot.  No broken needles either, ha!

The full shot was taken with me standing on a chair and holding the camera up almost touching the ceiling.  What we do for our quilts, huh?

It will finish at 72 x 90 inches.  I love it!

It still needs a few things:
  • Backing - Have to see what I've got in the stash.
  • Quilting - Going to send this one out.
  • Binding - Thinking of using more shirt scraps for the binding.
  • Name - Considering "Plaid Portholes" or "Portholes in Plaid," but I reserve the right to change my mind, and your ideas are welcome.
And a label, I almost forgot!  I have been really bad about labeling quilts lately.  I need to label probably a dozen finished quilts.  That sounds like a winter project, doesn't it?  Good thing there's this blog to remind me of the details for each one.

As I have mentioned before, I used the pattern "Dad's Plaids" by Elsie Campbell for this quilt.  It appears in her book String Quilts.  You can also see a video of Elsie Campbell showing how to make this quilt on, HERE.  A subscription is required; I bought the monthly subscription for $2.99, well worth it just to be able to watch this video, but it also gives you access to hundreds more.

And as a final bit of random, how about a photo of the full moon earlier this month.  It was so bright and clear to the naked eye, but my camera couldn't quite capture that image. Ah well, I think it's kind of cool anyway, through the creepy tree and all.  Happy Halloween!

Linking to:

Cross the Drunkard’s Path Quilt Along

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wisconsin Quilt Museum - Part 2

This is a continuation of our day trip to the Wisconsin Quilt Museum a few weeks ago, to see the "Trends and Traditions" exhibit, which has now closed.  If you missed part one, which featured the double wedding ring quilts of Victoria Findlay Wolfe, you'll find it back a couple of posts HERE.

The second part of the exhibit featured traditional quilts made during the first half of the twentieth century, although some of them seemed to have quite a "modern" vibe to them, I thought.

"Muscatel Grape Quilt" designed by Mary McElwain, appliqued by Genevieve Peters Wainwright, begun in 1937 and completed in 1989, quilted by the Ladies Aid Society of the Community Church, Fontana, Wisconsin
The featured quilter in the traditional quilts display was Mary McElwain of Walworth, Wisconsin, who designed and sold quilts, quilt patterns and kits.  She started out in 1912, in a corner of her husband's jewelry store, and then expanded from there.

I'm going to include some of the signs that told her story throughout this post.  Click on the photos to make them larger and more readable, as necessary.

"Gypsy Tears" quilt, a/k/a Drunkard's Path
Close-up of hand quilting, quilted 11-13 stitches per inch.
The pattern for the "Gypsy Tears" quilt was printed on a batting wrapper, like the one shown below, which indicated "Pattern furnished courtesy of the Mary McElwain quilt shop."
This next one was one of my favorites of the whole "Traditions" exhibit.  I just loved everything about it, the colors, the pattern, the quilting—oh my!

It's called "Pine and Wreath" or "Trees and Garlands," made in the second quarter of the twentieth century.

"Pine and Wreath" or "Trees and Garlands"
Norm enjoyed seeing the quilts, believe it or not.  Maybe he didn't enjoy having his picture taken as much, though.

"Daisy Chain" made circa 1935
This one, called "Daisy Chain," was made about 1935, and was one of Mary McElwain's favorite designs, as noted in the blurb below. 

Close-up of "Daisy Chain" applique and quilting
"The Laurel" made circa 1937-1938
The fine handwork of these quilts just blew me away!
Close-up of "Oak Leaf and Acorn" quilting and applique
"Oak Leaf and Acorn" made circa 1936
"Modern Rose Quilt" or "Peachy Posey" made around 1936

Double Irish Chain Quilt
It was fun to read one person's account of being a quilt turner in Mary McElwain's shop:

How interesting to see this 1941 invoice for a quilt from Mary's shop.  An entire quilt for $31.36!  I like the line that says "Color...gorgeous."  At least I think that's what it says, what do you think?

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with too many photos.  It was just so interesting to see all of these quilts (and more), still so compelling and colorful and beautiful after all these years. 

Close-up of "Horn of Plenty" quilt
I'm so glad for places like the Wisconsin Quilt Museum and the opportunity to appreciate the quilts of the past, as well as modern day quilting.  It was a great visit!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Drunkard's Path Quilt Along - Week 3

This week I've gotten all the Drunkard's Path blocks sewn, as well as the 9.5-inch blocks cut from strip strata that make up the outer borders.
Cross the Drunkard’s Path Quilt Along
The whole thing is on the design wall now, ready to be sewn together.

I should say most of it is on the wall; some of it had to go onto the floor, etc.  I wanted to see the whole thing laid out, as best I could.

That's my little portable design board leaning up against the wall.  It has come in handy to transport pieces from one room to the next, keeping them in the right order for sewing.  It'd be easy for me to get turned around with these directional pieces otherwise.

I hope to have a finished quilt top by next week!

P.S. - As usual, I am excited by the scraps I have left over.

Maybe something like this will go on the back as the basis for the label?

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Day at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum

On a bright and breezy autumn day in early October, Norm and I took a little road trip to the Wisconsin Quilt Museum.  I wanted to catch the "Trends and Traditions" exhibit before it was due to close the following week.  

It included a number of beautiful quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, and I didn't want to miss the chance to get up close and personal with her colorful and inspirational work.

Right off the bat, as we came through the main door of the quilt museum, these bright star quilts were there to greet us.

Summer of Stars by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
They were breathtaking!

True North by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Close-up of quilting (by Shannon Baker) on True North by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Quilters Play Manhattan by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
In the main part of the quilt museum were the remainder of the quilts for "Trends and Traditions."  These included awe-inspiring double wedding ring variation quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, as well as traditional quilts by Mary McElwain, an important Walworth, Wisconsin quilt designer and quilt store owner from the early part of the twentieth century.  I'll cover those quilts in a separate post.  I loved that exhibit as well, and did equal ooh-ing and aah-ing over both the "trends" and "traditions" genres.

Double-Edged Love by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Close-up of quilting (by Lisa Sipes) on Double-Edged Love
There were so many unique iterations of these quilts!

A Summer's Day by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
I loved this one (below) named Farm Girl.  The quilting on it, by Karen McTavish, was exquisite.

Farm Girl by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Close-ups of quilting (by Karen McTavish) on Farm Girl by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Iris By Night by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
A smaller quilt based on the same pattern, the name of which I forgot to note:

By Victoria Findlay Wolfe
A quilting closeup of another striking DWR quilt:

By Victoria Findlay Wolfe
The polyester quilt (below) pays homage to her grandmother Elda Wolfe's influence.  There were several of Elda's quilts on display as well, which illustrated the connection Victoria has to her quilting roots.

Retro Poly Mod by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Who knew there could be so many interesting variations on a theme!

Leona by Victoria Findlay Wolfe
I really enjoyed this exhibit.  You can appreciate a quilt on a blog or in a book, but to see the colors and details in person is a wonderful experience. 

By Victoria Findlay Wolfe
As I mentioned, the traditional quilts on display were every bit as captivating! Stay tuned for those in part two of A Day at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum.