Friday, January 10, 2014

Gallery 65

I have a small completed project to share but I think I'll hold that for my next post and tell you about some exciting news (for me anyway). I've been asked along with nine other quilters to exhibit at Gallery 65 in McLean, Virginia next Thursday evening.  I'm to share three reproduction quilts "for non-quilters to see that traditional quilts are not only still popular to make but show where we came from as quilters and have the same design elements found in modern ones." We are to say something "about each in terms of what they represent to your specific genre". My genre being traditional/reproduction quilts. I've been thinking about what I want to say and would appreciate any observations you have about these quilts and in my quilts in general. I'm not the best public speaker and even in the best circumstances I can forget to say the obvious. I only have to talk for 5 minutes so it's not like I have to say a whole bunch.

I based this triangle quilt on a 1898 quilt in the Smithsonian collection (below). I used calicoes from the 1970's-1990's along with current day plaids, stripes and dots. I named it Concord, Cranston and Peter Pan.

I started making these hexagon flowers in the late 1990's. It was my take along project for a long time. After many years I wanted to start doing something with them but didn't know how to stitch them together into a grandmother's flower garden quilt. This was before the current hexie rage. It didn't occur to me that all I needed to do was a little bending of the hexagons so I decided to applique them onto a background. I was inspired by a 1930's quilt in a Mary Mashuta book (Cotton Candy Quilts, I think) that had big yo yo's appliqued to background squares and sashed.

These star blocks sat in a drawer for a good dozen years because I thought they were too puckered to do anything with them. I've relaxed my standards a bit and found that some things do quilt out. The double sashing idea came from a Quilterie blog post. I think that first quilt in the post is late 19th century. What do you think? Many but not all of the fabrics in this quilt are 19th century repros. At the time I made these stars I didn't really know the difference. The quilt was made for a challenge - we had to use at least 250 half-square triangles. I think there are something like 347 one-inch hst's in this quilt.

In writing this it occurs to me that all these quilts have elements that had to wait - the fabric in the triangle quilt, the hexagon flowers in the 30's repro quilt and the stars in the challenge quilt. Not necessarily something I would bring up at the exhibit, just an observation - probably more a function of where I am in my quilting life.

Thanks for your concern about my carpal tunnel. Which is actually, according to a doctor, tendonitis. I was doing better but once I started spending more time on the computer and doing some hand stitching it started bothering me again. I start physical therapy at the end of the month.

More good news for me - my daughter returns to the U.S. on February 1. Unfortunately, she lands in Los Angeles and my sister will get to see her first. I can wait though - she's been traveling since September of 2012 - so a little longer won't hurt me. She and her French boyfriend who she met in New Zealand have traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam and are now in Japan. It has yet to be determined how they will make their way across the U.S. so I don't know when exactly she will arrive home.

Hope you all have had a good start to the new year. I've enjoyed seeing so many new and old projects presented on blogs the past couple of weeks. Happy Stitching!


  1. so good to see you back on the web Maureen~! and congratulations on being invited to participate in the exhibit~!! i love the quilts that you have chosen and know that you will do fabulously with the presentation. i'm not a good public speaker either but it does help to talk about something (quilts/quilting) that one is enthusiastic about. i can't help with the dating of the quilt on Quilterie . . . i love how you can show examples of where your influences (for your own work) came from. it's also great to see that although you were inspired by the older quilts you were able to bring your own sense of style to your reproductions.
    you mention that each of these quilts had elements that had to wait. i think that we can all relate to that as quilters and i'll bet that the quilters of the past could relate to it as well. i imagine that many quilters in our history didn't always have a lot of fabrics from which to choose or the means to purchase much at any one time so waiting for just the right one to come along (to set those blocks together for example) might have been part of their quilting story as well.

    i'm glad to hear that you start therapy for your tendonitis and that it has been diagnosed by a dr. hopefully the therapy will make enough of a difference for you that you'll be able to resume your normal activities without pain.

    you must be so excited to see your daughter again~! i can remember that feeling quite well. you will certainly have lots to catch up on.


  2. A great big congratulations, Maureen! What a special treat for you and I know that you will do fabulously!!! Your love for quilting and the special touch that you put in all your quilts will shine through when you talk about them!! I love each one! Wish I could be there to share the moment with you!!!


  3. Very exciting! Those are great quilts to showcase. Always nice when traditional quilts get respect too.:)

  4. I did quite a bit of hand sewing last night and this morning my hand is tingling like crazy so I know how you feel. It really does interfere with play. You have chosen some great quilts to showcase and I love the colourful borders on the last quilt. Well done Maureen. Good luck with the intrepid travellers. Not long to wait now.

  5. Good luck with the presentation! You will do fine. The name of my LQS is the Olde World Quilt Shoppe and we specialize in reproduction fabrics and quilts, so the interest is alive and well. Even a young woman came in the other day wanting to make a "Civil War" quilt. Hope your hands get better and enjoy the arrival of your daughter, when she gets there!

  6. Congrats Maureen! I enjoyed reading about each of the quilts you have chosen to exhibit. What you said in this post about each of them is what everyone needs to hear!
    I'm sorry to hear about your tendonitis, but the good news is that it's easier to treat than carpal tunnel, so that's the better in all of this!
    There's nothing like anticipating the arrival of family... enjoy your times together!

  7. That is an honor you deserve, and I agree that what you have shared with us is what you should share at the exhibit. If you know anything about the history of the blocks used, that would be of interest, too, I think. : )
    Good news that your daughter will soon be back on home soil!

  8. Congratulations on your selection to exhibit your quilts. Just speak from your heart.
    I will often put things aside because I don't know how to finish them. Somewhere along the way I will find the right idea and hopefully finish.

  9. Congrats on the invitation to speak on your beautiful quilts. I wish I could come!
    Good news about your daughter, I know you'll be happy to reunite soon!

  10. What a fun post! Surely these quilts will inspire others, or at least allow them to appreciate the art of quilting.
    I can imagine how excited you must be to see your daughter!! Have you met the boyfriend?

  11. Fantastic opportunity Maureen!! I think non-quilters are interested in how many pieces, machine or hand stitched, what cought your eye in the original...probably more basics? You will be great, people will love it. How fun to have your DD returning. They can always stop in here on their way east ;-) Mind your wrist and resist the urge to over do.

  12. Congratulations on the exhibit! How exciting for you! I loved what you had to say. I agree with all the other commenters - sometimes a quilt just has to wait for the right thing - fabric, inspiration, or sometimes your abilities to catch up with your desire! You'll do a great job - just be yourself and let your enthusiasm show.

    Good luck with the tendonitis. Glad you finally have a diagnosis.

    I'm sure you can hardly wait to see your daughter! I understand - my son and DIL spent 3 years in Germany (US Air Force). I missed them so much! Have fun catching up!

  13. I love your quilts. I'm still working on a Grandmother's Flower Garden that I started too many years ago. Oh well one day I will finish it. I hope you have your reunion with your daughter soon. Hugs