February 20, 2020

Pinwheel Quilt - The Family Story and Photos

 
I did a major restoration job on this heirloom quilt.  For before and after photos, close-ups of the fabrics I used, etc. read, Pinwheel Quilt - The Fabrics and The Repair.

The quilt owner supplied the history and this great family photo.

Here's the who's who:
"The old couple on the left are my great grandparents Col. Mark and his wife Nancy Wayne Mark. Several of their children are in the photo. My grandmother, Millie Mark Fitzgerald is standing directly to the right of two of her brothers. My mother is the little girl on her brother’s shoulders. They had moved to a farm near Portland from Jamestown, North Dakota after my grandparents separated. I think the photo must have been taken over 100 years ago.  These three women each had a hand in the quilt. "

Read on!  The family zig-zagged across this country.  It's quite a tale.

Pinwheel Quilt - The Fabrics and The Repair

This quilt measures a whopping 93" x 109" !  The blocks are about 11 1/4".  I think many of the fabrics date to the 1860s and 1870s. 
 before restoration

after restoration

The good news is that this quilt is a beloved family heirloom.  For amazing family story and photos of the four generations of women whose lives are intertwined with this quilt, read Pinwheel Quilt - The Family Story and Photos.

The sad news is that it is a victim of the caustic nature of early black and brown dye processes.  Many of the early dyes added metals like iron to the dyes as mordants, the substances that help the actual dyes adhere to the fibers.  These metals have destroyed the fibers over the years.

February 12, 2020

Announcing Our *Quilt Restoration Workshop*

My restoration buddy Martha Spark and I have been planning our brand new Quilt Restoration Workshop for the past year.  And now - here we are - venue, schedule, a pretty flyer, and registration forms, ready to go!   All the details and registration forms are on my website.


Date:
July 23 - 25, 2020
Three full days of lectures, quilt study, practice sewing, and much more.

Venue:
Ye Old Schoolhouse Quilt Shop in Cedarburg, WI.
A lovely shop specializing in reproduction fabrics, situated in a destination town of antique and art shops and home of the Wisconsin Quilt Museum.
Lodging in nearby Grafton, WI.

Instructors:
Well, those of you who read this blog know that I've been restoring and conserving quilts for my customers for many years now, nearly 40 in fact, and wrote a book a few years ago (see sidebar).  Martha shares the same longevity in her background, with the addition of several jobs and training with museum textile collections.

We are eager to get more folks interested in and learning about the art and craft of saving our collective quilt history.  There are lots and lots of wonderful quilts out there with wonderful stories, and the more we can save, the better off the world will be.  As we all know, quilts are just that special!



January 27, 2020

Two Quilts that Connect 1635, 1897, and 1998

Well, folks, the 1890s quilt I researched for several years and then exhibited last winter is, as they say, the gift that keeps on giving.  (Check the highlighted links for background on the quilt and it's story.)


Last spring, a woman brought me a rail fence quilt to repair.  It had been made for her by her grandmother.  A few days later, as I was looking over the quilt as part of making an estimate on the repairs, I discovered that the grandmother had signed and dated (1998) the quilt.  Lo and behold, her last name was a name of someone on my research quilt.


Can you guess where this is going?!

Grab your favorite beverage (mine would be a cuppa tea) and put your feet up - it's story time!

January 20, 2020

The Solar System Quilt

 

I am happy to announce that my daughter, aka my darlin' daughter, just finished making a gorgeous quilt.  She's always been an artist and a crafter and now a great DIYer, but as far as fiber goes, she's been much more smitten with crochet and clothing than with quilting.

But quilting made its big debut because a new baby needs a great quilt.  The new baby in question is her boyfriend's brand new nephew.  The boyfriend loves astronomy, and the two of them planned a solar system quilt to introduce the new little one to his new home.

January 10, 2020

A Tale of Two Quilts

 

Just about three years ago, I posted about a quilt I repaired.  The great-granddaughter who brought me the quilt for repair wrote the story of the quilt and its maker, and sent photos, all of which are included in my post.  The pattern is Pointed Tile, and both the great-grandma and the great-grandpa were quite handy with all sorts of needlework and crafts. 

Christina Waldman found that post and wrote to me about a Pointed Tile top made by her grandmother that she was quilting up.

Well, she's finished the quilting and written a most lovely story on her blog.  She perfectly captures the love and memories that make family quilts so special.  She's included tons of details, the kinds of things small children notice, which I find especially touching.

It's fun to see these expressions of the personalities of two different women and to read about their lives:

The story of the quilt I repaired.   

The story of the top that Christina quilted. (These photos are hers.)

And here's Christina's grandmother.

I totally recommend reading both posts.  They'll warm your heart, and make you glad that you're a quilt-lover.





January 6, 2020

My Happy Holiday Sewing


We had just a few holiday plans, no travel, no guests, and so I decided that sewing on all sorts of back-burner projects of my own was The Thing To Do.  It was so fun!  Here are the results.

The farm.
Another (could it be the last?) quilt in my Something From Nothing series.  This one's been in the planning stage for nearly two years, taking tiny steps towards construction.  It entered full-out construction mode during a fiber retreat in October.  And now it's done!  (It's made with plastic produce bags.)

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