June 18, 2018

Quilts at the Art Institute of Chicago



The exhibit this past winter-spring in the textile galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago was spectacular.  So spectacular that I went twice!  Going once was just not enough time to soak up the beauty and history of the pieces from their great collection.  I craved another chance to breathe the rarefied air of these wonderful quilts!

And here they are, in no particular order, so all of you who don't live near Chicago get to enjoy them, too.  (I missed a couple of them, due to "too much" chatting, but this is most of them.)

June 6, 2018

Treat Time!

I decided, since I now have two vintage Bernina 830's, and since this model seems to be a perennial favorite, that I'd best step up my machine knowledge and caretaking.

So I "splurged", which is way too big a word for this, and bought 3 packs of real Bernina bobbins.  Using generics is not good for the precision working of the machine, and though the difference between bobbins is tiny, it is truly visible.

So while I was at it, I replaced my seam ripper which has been broken for probably about 4 years now.  You can see from this discussion so far that I am a total penny pincher.  I admit it.

And now, here comes the actual splurge - though again it's way too big a word.  I bought a variety pack of little tweezers.  They might come in handy for slipping patches under tears during quilt repair.  They might come in handy threading needles in tight places.  And besides, don't they look like fun!

Beaded 1940s Hat

Here's another vintage clothing repair tale.

I've talked several times before about my button collection, what fun it is, and how one can never have enough buttons.  There is always, always the chance of having just the perfect replacement for a missing button!

It's exactly the same story for beads!  I also buy these at estate sales. 

May 23, 2018

Evanston Made 2018

The Evanston Art Center is once again hosting an exhibit as part of the Evanston Made arts month in June.

I'm just finishing up my entry:

May 21, 2018

Spools and Sawtooth

One of the nicest things about repairing quilts is that some really marvelous quilts cross my path.  I get to see and work on such a wide range of quilts.  Here's one I really enjoyed.

I love the combination of the spool blocks and the alternate sawtooth edged blocks.  The blocks play visual games. The two blocks form a cool secondary octagonal pattern that kind of comes and goes.  I find it hard for my eyes to focus on the blocks themselves, and instead there's a rhythm and movement across the quilt. 

May 16, 2018

Antique Quilt Study in Kansas City

It's a happening thing!  In less than one month, June 7-9, I'll be in Kansas City, participating in the MOKA Quilt Study Group Conference!  The presentation topics for the weekend focus on 19th century fabrics and design motifs and 19th century signature quilts. 

My lecture is taking shape:

The title of the lecture is Quilt Repair Tales.  I'll be talking about interesting quilts that have passed through my studio for care.  I'll be sharing both the family tales that quilts can embody, and tales of repair processes and techniques.

May 8, 2018

Vintage Clothing Tidbits

So, I thought I'd follow up the previous post, about a lovely 1920s beaded purse, with some more vintage clothing repair highlights.

The first tidbit is a photo of "how we do it".  I don't know if we've ever had a photo together like this before.  This is Julia, proprietress of Basya Berkman Vintage Fashion, and me sitting at my living room worktable.  I am gradually taking over the whole house with my repair work, supplies, and storage.  The living room has a wall-size window, which gives lovely light for handwork, so the table is nearly always up.  Julia had brought over a pile of  "broken" clothes, and here we are, going over each piece and I'm taking notes on what each one will need.  From the way we are dressed, you can tell what kind of winter we had this year in the Chicago area!