Fabulous Floral Quilts – Old and New

Detail of Laura Fraga's Little Brown Bird quilt - incomprable!
Detail of Laura Fraga’s Little Brown Bird quilt – incomparable!

If you haven’t gotten down to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley in Danville to see the Quintessential Quilts – a Floral Fantasy show, you still have ten days to hustle down there.  I’ve worked with the museum volunteers to create a really beautiful collection of quilts which showcase flowers. We were able to gather quilts with flower appliques, flower fabrics, painted flowers, embroidered, embellished and everything in between!

We have fresh flowers delivered twice a week, compliments of our local floral businesses, gardening groups and stores. The rooms smell lovely and it’s a delightful little exhibit.

"Adam" in the Man Cave at the San Ramon Valley museum
“Adam” in the Man Cave at the San Ramon Valley museum

We’ve also been able to include some very interesting men’s quilts in the “man cave.” We wanted to be sure everyone know men quilt, too. Even if they don’t do loads of floral quilts!

My teacher Margaret Linderman and I will be doing a free demonstration and our raw-edge floral work on Saturday, September 28 from 11:00 to 12:00.  Come early to get parking. The farmer’s market is going on at the same time and it’s a bit of a busy corner of the world!

The 1850 Whig Rose quilt and vintage friends
The 1850 Whig Rose quilt and vintage friends
Jennifer Rounds' Zen Roses next to vintage quilts
Jennifer Rounds’ Zen Roses next to vintage quilts
Wonderful wall hangings and wearable art
Wonderful wall hangings and wearable art
Wonderful vintage doll and Sunbonnet Sue corner
Wonderful vintage doll and Sunbonnet Sue corner

Be sure to come by Saturday, September 21, to see the lovely Sandra Newman demonstrate hand sewing hexagons. She’s created some packets for everyone to try them out and then you can see her beautiful work, too! Also from 11:00 to 12:00.

New York Beauty detail, photo from Pati Freid
New York Beauty detail, photo from Pati Freid

This week I was delighted to read a blog post about the New York Beauty quilts and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textile’s current exhibition.

Take a minute to go over to the wonderful blog, See How We Sew, and read Pati Fried’s interesting views on these quintessential American quilts! http://seehowwesew.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/new-york-beauty-quilts-finding-inspiration-in-our-past/

Detail of Pickle Dish-Ish, by Alethea Ballard; 2013
Detail of Pickle Dish-Ish, by Alethea Ballard; 2013

I’ve always loved the New York Beauty quilt design and perhaps need to make one soon in my new quilted applique quilt series!

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Must Have… fabrics for January 2013

Amy Butler Alchemy fabric
Amy Butler Alchemy fabric

It all starts with fabric.

And it all ends with fabric.

And it’s all fabric in between!

Now, I’ve been to four different fabric stores in the past week and NOWHERE did I see this fabric!

Since I got some fabric store time in this year, I felt it was time to “behave”, so I finally tackled my (285) unread emails, and I am glad I DID!

I came across this post from a great website called True Up (for the fabric obsessed). If you’re not a fan yet, you can subscribe and she’ll send you wonderful emails all about fabric.

Kim wrote about the new Amy Butler Alchemy fabrics and they actually stopped my tiny, cold heart.

As you know I can’t get enough of large-scale prints, so I’m really hoping that in person these prints are LARGE!

Over at Amy’s website you can view the whole she-bang and what a great line it is!

Even though I haven’t seen it on the shelves yet, but i did spy some online at Fabricworm and other places, so I’m going to stomp my tiny cold feet until I get some!!!

Amy Butler sketchbook roses laminated
Amy Butler sketchbook roses laminated

Look at this color! and it comes in laminated fabric – great for bags!

Amy Butler sketchbook roses cream organic
Amy Butler sketchbook roses cream organic

And it comes in organic!

Amy Butler victoriana:port
Amy Butler victoriana:port

And there are some great other designs in the line!

I wish I could just do all fabric all day long!!! Cut, sew, touch, buy, design, cuddle!

Yee Ha and Hopalong Quiltedy!

Strap on Your Spurs, little darlin’s I’m doing a Quiltalong!

Amy Ellis' blogger's Bar QuiltAlong block
Amy Ellis’ blogger’s Bar QuiltAlong block

Here’s Amy Ellis block for October 1 – Very Nice.

That means you read the posts and make some brand spankin’ new blocks for a creative project!

The lovely Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios has invited me to join in on his Blogger’s Bar Hop Quilt Along… Won’t you join us in the fun?

Here is what Scott has to say about this little shin dig…

“This year, some bloggers and a bunch of new friends have returned for this autumn’s Blue Nickel Quiltalong.  This year we are focusing on using rectangles in our blocks and after much cleverness searching we came up with this title:  the blogger’s Bar Hop Quiltalong.

Now lest we offend some of you along the way with our reference to a Bar Hop, let us all remember that Bars come in all varieties.  Tavern/Pub bars, yes, but also: Candy Bars, Snack Bars, Breakfast Bars, Sand Bars, Tea Bars (okay, that would be a Tea House, I know…..) Ice Cream Bars, Behind Bars, etc.   So pick YOUR favorite Bar and Hop along with us!

The fabric we are featuring has been generously supplied by Clothworks from their European TaupeVIII collection by Kinkame.  Soft, subtle, and maybe just a little more “traditional” in tone.  We have fourteen bloggers with styles ranging from very modern to the somewhat more traditional side of the quilting street. We believe the “wall” that sometimes comes up between quilters on those lines should be torn down, so that is part of why the collection has been chosen. If you choose to make your blocks out totally modern or totally traditional, they will work just fine.  We love to see the variety of blocks that emerge from these quiltalongs!

Each designer was given four fat quarters from the collection and told they could add one solid and one print of their choice OR two solids and that was it. The other requirement was that they had to use at least one rectangle (bar) in the block  somewhere.  The blocks will all finish to a useful 12” x 12” size.  Feel free to post your blocks here as you hop along with us!

Here’s the line up!

October 1 Amy Ellis

October 2 Lynn Harris   

October 3   Heather Jones    

October 4   Jackie Kunkel    

October 5 Ashley Jones

October 6  Emily Cier 

October 7 Scott Hansen

October 8 Jan Peoples

October 9 April Rosenthal

October 10 Amy Lobsiger

October 11  Cara Quilts

October 12   Konda Luckau

October 13  Alethea Ballard – That’s me!

October 14 Charlie Scott

Hope to see you on the Hop!”

Well, there you have it! I like what Scott said about the softer color palette: “We believe the “wall” that sometimes comes up between quilters on those lines should be torn down.” I’m up for that – are you?

Stay tuned for updates and Join Me in the QuiltAlong!

Make Bombs Not War

Yarn Bomb from blog.craftzine.com
Yarn Bomb from blog.craftzine.com

Yarn bombs that is.

It’s only 23 days to International Yarn Bombing Day – do you have your arsenal ready?

What is a yarn bomb, you ask?

It’s where a regular person (or kinda regular person) prettifies the neighborhood by adding a bit of yarn here and there!

Yarn Bomber in action - she looks a wee bit sinister?
Yarn Bomber in action – Does she look even a wee bit sinister?

It’s a form of urban art (AKA graffiti). It’s also referred to as guerilla knitting.

Is this the most fun you’ve ever heard of?

Alethea and the knitted sign post
Alethea and the knitted sign post

Yarn bombing has been slowly creeping into my life. My first experience with it was on 4th street in Berkeley last summer.  I saw this pole adorned with knitting – I loved it and had a photo taken of me and the pole. Together.

I have yet to see a whole covered tree, but people are doing it – look!

Knit!
Knit!
Crochet!
Crochet!

knobbly knitting
knobbly knitting

I was going to just whip out a post telling y’all about the yarn bombing thing, and then I began to research and junk. Before you know it I had detectived a bunch of information about yarn bombing. (And this post is taking forever to write!)

1. Yarn Bombing has been around for more than 7 years – so I’m late to the party (again)

2. Lots of people knew about it before me (see #1)

3. Lots of people have blogged about it (see below)

4. It’s international (that makes it cool)

5. It’s illegal (that makes it cooler)

6. There is an international yarn bomb day and people cover things with yarn by knitting or crocheting something to fit over it. (Put it on your calendar – June 11th)

7. I want to do this! (see below again)

8. Don’t tell the Yarn Police (please)

Look!

Snake
Snake
Rail
Rail
roses
roses
sheep (Ireland)
sheep (Ireland)
party hats
party hats
bus, of course
bus, of course

So then the universe or someone invented Pintrest, and it was good.

So, there I discovered a whole world of things to look at including some yarn bombing photos. So then I had to make a Yarn Bomb board. Of course I did. Go see it!

So, while I’m a little late to the yarn party, other’s have been having a blast. Here are some blogs and articles about it:

Bay area legend: http://streetcolor.wordpress.com/

Canadian Crafty chick:  http://craftzillaconquerstheworld.blogspot.com/2012/03/yarn-bombing.html

Author of the book – eponymous and definitive: http://yarnbombing.com/

Oakland Museum brings yarn bombing to the museum and asks the question, “What’s the distinction between street art and fine art? How is art different from craft? Who decides? “: http://museumca.org/theoaklandstandard/yarn-bombing-omca

There’s even a facebook page (groan): https://www.facebook.com/yarnbombing

meter
meter
plant pockets from Heather Champ
plant pockets from Heather Champ

My favorites are the parking meter covers and Heather Champ’s plant pockets – Click! here for a nice plant pocket knitting tutorial and her lovely photos – you must see them! I’m going to bomb my own yard with those little babies!

the humble beginnings of my yarn bomb
the humble beginnings of my yarn bomb

For the big day, I’m starting small. This little gem is going to cover the stop sign post for my street (I think).

And last but not least, go to this blog and read Christina Lowry’s wonderful blog post about knitting, 10 Things I Have Learnt About knitting. It will warm your tiny (guerilla knitting) heart.

OK – really last and, yes, least. Pintrest has this whole invitation thingy going. Don’t be fooled – you don’t have to have a facebook or twitter to join. Just persevere with the signup until they ask for your email address.  You do have to have an invitation to join (sneaky buggers), but send me an email and I’ll invite the first ten of you who ask me. My email is maverickquilts (at) gmail (dot) com.