May 27, 2014

Crazy Quilt Saga - Repairs

This crazy quilt provides a good example of the different techniques that I use to help maintain aging silks.  It also had a special problem - a silk ruffle on the edge, some of which was in really bad shape.

I used three different techniques, depending on the type of damage in each patch:

May 25, 2014

Prize-winning Quilts of 1947

While poking around on the "interwebs", I found a fun vintage photo.  It made me smile, and I hope you'll enjoy it, too.

It is captioned:
"Two women examine the award winning quilts on display at the 1947 Illinois State Fair."

The four prizewinning quilts are:
Double Wedding Ring, Cathedral Windows, Grandmother's Flower Garden, Irish Chain

These are not at all unexpected as favorite 1947 quilts.  Wouldn't it be fun to be able to see them in  color?!  The photo also provides a fun little glimpse of ladies' dresses, hats, and bags of the time.

The photo is in the extensive collection of the Illinois Digital Archives.

May 22, 2014

Crazy Quilt Saga - History

This quilt is a family heirloom, made by the great-grandmother of the current owner.  My thanks to the family for sharing their ancestor's story, and thereby the story of this quilt.

The quilt was made by Angela MacGregor Coutts Lewis.  Angela lived from November 20, 1871, to April 29, 1947.

May 16, 2014

Crazy Quilt Embroidery and Family History

Here are some lovely embroidery details from a crazy quilt c. 1890-1900.  Family history has it that this quilt was made by a group of "church ladies", possibly a church sewing circle.  There are certainly some areas of stitching that are done with much more finesse than others, which supports the oral history.  The quilt belonged to the current owner's ancestor, Mabel Connelly, who was a farm wife in central Indiana.  The quilt has had a hard life, very mistreated for many decades.  So there is little left of many of the fabrics. The embroidery still has lots of life left in it though, and the artistry of the makers still shines out.

Lovely embellished initials, probably representing Mabel's husband.

Another set of initials, the person not known to the quilt's current owner.

May 12, 2014

James and the Giant Peach On Stage

Here are photos from Thin Ice Ensemble Theater's production of James and the Giant Peach.  Costume sketches and a discussion of the design goals are in a previous post.  More photos and costume portraits are on my website.

Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge

 The insects: Earthworm, Ladybug, Grasshopper, Glowworm, Spider, Silkworm, Centipede

May 5, 2014

Attic Windows

This quilt came to me for a wash.  The wash brightened it up, but did not remove the staining.  (The stains are more obvious in real life than in the photo.)  It is one of a pair of twin-sized quilts.  Sadly, the second quilt is pretty severely stained.

The pattern is called Attic Windows.  It's a great way to use scrap fabrics and one's imagination.  The scraps become little glimpses of the world outside the tiny windows.  Consistent shading of the window frames will create the illusion of depth.

It is one of those wonderful quilts that is dated.  The date is embroidered on one of the back corners - June 22, 1959.  So these windows also give us a glimpse into the fabrics available in the late 1950s.  This is particularly fun for me, because this is the world of fabric, as it were, into which I was born.