August 30, 2013

Favorite Quotes #2 - Why Make Art?

"Oh, it's outrageous to consider creating art, isn't it? But life is short. And intense. And we need art to inspire and amuse us."
by Lisa Halpern, in "insight: the cornish magazine", 2010.  Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle

This is a brand new favorite quote, not one of my old stand-bys, found last night while musing over college promo materials before chucking them in the recycle bin.

August 25, 2013

Snowflake Quilt part 2 - Repair and Dedication

The previous post told the story of Grace Powell and the quilt she made in the late 1930s.  Here is my part of this quilt's history:  a large patch and an embroidered dedication.

At some point, someone tried to iron the poor quilt!  No one remembers when or how this happened.  This is certainly not a good idea, but became even more troublesome when the iron left a pretty large scorch mark.  The burned fabric on the front flaked away, and on the back the weakened fabric ripped.  The batting in the area fell out.

August 21, 2013

Snowflake Quilt - part 1 The Story

This lovely quilt was made by Grace C. Powell in 1938-9 and given to her granddaughter Elaine on her 16th birthday. The current owner is Grace's great-granddaughter and Elaine's niece.  She has her great-grandmother's very detailed diaries, which are full of references to working on this quilt.

August 15, 2013

Spider Web Quilt

This quilt really grew on me as I worked on it.  This kind of patchwork scrap quilt is what lots of people think of when they hear the term "American quilt."

The pattern is Spider Web, a close variant of several that appear in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  I estimate is was made in the 1950s, from a pretty deep scrap bag with quite a few fabrics dating back to earlier decades.  It's got lots and lots of strong colors, i.e. not many pastels, a good sign that it was made after the 1930s and 40s love affair with pastels and before the neons of the late 60s and 70s.  There are very few solids, and quite a lot of ginghams, plaids, and stripes.

August 8, 2013

Rose Wreath Quilt

This sweet Rose Wreath quilt is 33 years old.  Some of the appliqués had come loose, a couple of leaves were very ragged, there was a slit in the white background at one edge, and the binding was totally shot, hanging in long dangles.

It is a lovely heirloom for the owner.  The blocks were made and signed by her mother, mother-in-law, other women in the family, and close friends.  Several of these people have passed away, so the quilt is now also a memorial to them.  

One thing that made this a particularly fun project for me is that it was made in my general neighborhood.  The owner is the daughter-in-law of a quilter, and several of the blocks are signed by people I knew.  Also, being made in 1980, it dates to the era when I learned to quilt.  This is the kind of quilt that got me hooked on quilting!

August 5, 2013

Not Your Basic Little Black Dress

Oh, I really like this dress!  Not for myself, mind you.  I just don't get dressed up happily.  But I love the styling and unique details.

This is another piece that I repaired for Basya Berkman Vintage Fashions.  The repairs were unremarkable, just closing a few open seams.  But look at how fun the dress is!

From the front, just basic sheath styling.  But what's that in the back?