September 16, 2019

Dog Meets Quilt. Visible Mending to the Rescue!

I highlighted my first foray into the fun of visible mending just a few months ago.

Visible mending is all the rage these days in the reduce, reuse, and recycle community.  It's a way to mend clothes by adding stitching that adds to the fun of wearing them while keeping them out of the landfill for as long as possible.  It also helps the clothing tell the story of its long life and expresses the appreciation of the person or people who have worn it.

Here's visible mending of a quilt.  A repair student of mine had her dog chew a hole in her own bed quilt while I was guiding her through repairing and re-backing a Victorian crazy quilt for a friend.  She sent the story and step-by-step photos so I could see, and agreed to let me share them with you here.  Thanks, Pam!

September 3, 2019

Polka Dots!

I made a small polka dot themed quilt as part of the copyright study at Just Wanna Quilt.   The basic question is to find the line between what's unique enough to be copyrightable and what is considered too common (eg., basic polka dots).  (By the way, any and all are welcome to join the project and make all sorts of things.  Visit the facebook page to sign up.  It's a great group, lots of interesting and fun discussions on all sorts of quilt-y topics.)

That may sound all highfalutin (which I discovered is actually in the dictionary and I spelled it right!), but actually I'm just using it as a reason to play with my stash.  You know, always so fun!

So, the background is white satin from a wedding dress that was too badly damaged to be re-saleable, but good in places for fabric and trim salvage.  And the polka dots are reverse appliqué, with machine zig-zag and invisible thread.

July 29, 2019

Remember Me


There used to be an antique quilt gallery here called the Wild Goose Chase, and I used to work there.  That's where I got my start in repairing quilts.  (Photo from 1980-something.)

My mom, though not a quilter, found and bought an intriguing quilt there every time she visited.  This is my favorite of the ones she bought.  I think she was drawn to this one because she did lots of embroidery, and because she loved good novels.  This one has a such sweetness to it and surely held some meaningful stories.

July 16, 2019

Quilts by Aunt Betty

I've recently had a lovely woman visit me with her collection of family quilts.  These two were made by her Aunt Betty.  The owner says she only met Aunt Betty a couple of times, but remembers her as a very happy women.  We both think that Betty's quilts display her spirit quite clearly!

This one is a basic LeMoyne Star block.  What I love about it is the happy mix of colors, and the way Aunt Betty played with color placement and combinations in a most enjoyable way.

July 10, 2019

A Special Guest in Chicago

I'm happy to say that I got to spend an afternoon (almost two weeks ago now) in Chicago with Elizabeth Townsend-Gard, her grad student Madison, and her daughter and friend.  Elizabeth is the creator of the Just Wanna Quilt podcast and community.  She's a gem! 

She is a law professor at Tulane University.  She's blended her love of quilting with her skills in copyright law and business entrepreneurship by creating programs that use the quilt world as a case study for her students.  The podcast is a series of interviews with quilters from all the myriad aspects of the quilting world.  It's simply the best thing to listen while quilting, and the info she is gathering is super useful!  Brilliant, and a boon to everyone involved!  It was so great to meet Elizabeth in person and talk face-to-face, the old fashioned way!

Chicago contributed super wonderful weather (a rarity here in this year of very wet and very cool weather with little blips of super hot and humid every now and then).  We talked quilts and quilt biz over lunch, and continued talking during a visit to the mosaics at the Chicago Cultural Center and a wander through the Art Institute, especially the Thorne Miniature Rooms - two of my favorite Michigan Avenue places since my childhood.  Beauty and quilt inspiration everywhere!

July 6, 2019

Beautiful Stormy Skies

We've had a super wet and cool spring and early summer here in Chicagoland.  Super duper wet and cool until just the last week or so.  Lots of rain and sometimes fog.  My ferns have been outright joyous!  Interesting mushrooms have sprouted.  

Sometimes, the rains have come as heavy but short bursts, moving on eastward, out over Lake Michigan.  The cloud formations have been gorgeous. 

When this happens in late afternoon and early evening, the sun peeks through the clearing skies to the west and lights up the view to the east in a most wonderful way.  The greenery shines against the slate blue storm clouds.  Such a great color combo!  It grabs my attention every single time!  Thanks, Mother Earth, I never would have thought to put those two colors together.

And a short while later, storm clouds are long gone, and it's a clear blue and white sky again.

Then, a few days ago, we saw the same situation looking towards the west.  We were driving home to Chicago after spending a couple of days in Ohio.  The storm clouds were spectacular to begin with.  Having them lit from behind by the setting sun was simply amazing.

Lovely clouds at the leading edge of the storm system.

Driving towards grey rainclouds on the horizon.

And here's the rain, dead ahead.

The rain slows down, and we're approaching, and then under, clear skies.

Approaching the next line of storm clouds.

And it's raining dead ahead of us again.

Just before the rain started, we pulled over for a rest stop and some food.  By the time we were done eating, the rain had stopped again.  We were treated to a colorful, near solstice sunset to the far northwest, under clearing skies.  A magnificent trip home, indeed!  My camera and I were very busy!

June 26, 2019

In the Press

Thanks to Barbara Burnham for writing a kind and thorough review of my book on her blog, "Baltimore Garden Quilts".  There's not much pleasanter than a great and unexpected review!

Barbara shares stories and photos of some really beautiful quilts to illustrate the questions that can arise about how to care for them.  And she ends with this lovely sentiment:
I will highly recommend Ann’s book to everyone with a quilt! Give our quilts the special care they deserve, and help preserve them for the years (and generations) to come.

Lots more information about the book - ordering information, other reviews, FAQs, etc. - can be found on my website

Barbara has written a book, too.  Baltimore Garden Quilt, provides patterns, instructions, and lessons to recreate an amazing 1848 Baltimore album style appliqué quilt.  Any of you who are looking for a PhD in appliqué, here's your chance!

Barbara also told me about the Baltimore Appliqué Society.  This is a group inspired by the beauty of these antique appliqué gems.  They focus both on keeping the appliqué traditions alive and in supporting museum collections and antique quilt preservation in general - two noble goals.