Snap Happy…

….or Snap Crazy? I made seven more of these cute little snap bags this week. Six of them are thank yous from my small group members to the small group that hosted us for our Picture Piecing workshop two weekends ago. We made coordinating tissue cozies, and filled these with goodies to thank them for the day of fun they gave us!
This fabric came from the stash of one of our group members, it has little bumble bees, spools of thread, and the words “Quilting Bees” all over it, from South Sea Imports, it’s a release from a few years ago…cute, huh?!I made a seventh one as a birthday gift for a certain little glamour girl I know. Adding a shoulder strap to it, it makes the perfect little purse size for a six year old.
I have a huge stash of LakeHouse brights, and this was a great project to use a few of them on…
And finally, I thought I would show you the free fabric I received this week. That’s right, free fabric! I won a $25.00 gift voucher from Bunte Fabrics, through True Up, for participating in the Favorite Fabrics of 2009 carnival. Yvonne at Bunte carries European imported fabrics, these are from Germany, one yard of each poplin design (57″ WIDE!), and are now in my sewing studio:That pink cherry print may even make it into a Valentine themed project this weekend at retreat… Yvonne’s service was amazingly fast, I ordered on Thursday afternoon and had these in my mailbox on Monday! Go visit her shop

And one last pic, I thought you might like to see my sewing companion. Her favorite spot to rest/sleep/hide/groom herself is between the two quilts that hang on this quilt rack in my sewing room. She probably spends 18-20 hours a day in that spot. The other night I walked in to get something, and she was peeking out the side. I had to snap a picture. It’s almost as if I caught her in the middle of something…. hmmmmm…. The log cabin quilt she is sitting under is one I bought at an auction about 5-6 years ago in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I don’t know anything about the maker or provenance, but it’s a lovely, soft, treasure. The one behind it is a pink and white drunkard’s path, also an auction purchase.

Vintage View #7: Dresden Plate

This quilt must have been beyond beautiful when it was first completed… It’s been used, loved, washed, and faded to shreds. If only this quilt could talk, oh, the tales it could tell.
It’s part of a collection I was “gifted” (because I heard they were going to be thrown in the dumpster–gasp!!) after the Spring 2009 floods in my hometown, where my Mom still resides. Mom saved them from their destind fate, and passed them along to me. I have since re-gifted some of them to two members of my quilt guild who craft items from old, worn quilts. I’d like to think this quilt has made it into a beautiful Christmas stocking to be treasured for another lifetime.It’s a Dresden plate pattern, with a three petal flower at the center of each plate. The flowers are all sold fabrics, the background is solid white, and the petals of the Dresden plates are all flower prints, many of them feedsack fabrics.You can click on the photos to enlarge them if you want to see any details. This is one I think I’d enjoy recreating some day…here’s a little history for you:

Exerpted from

The Dresden Plate quilt pattern was one of the most popular quilts made during the 1920s and 30s. It was first published in the 20s but not always under the name Dresden Plate. Grandmother’s Sunburst, Friendship Ring, Aster, Dahlia and Sunflower are all names……for this pattern.

Dresden Plate with Ice Cream Cone border The 1930s version is usually easy to date because of the typical floral prints of the period. Some were made with prettily patterned feedsacks while a few were done with solid prints.

This quilt is made of blocks with fabric appliqu├ęd in a series of radiating “petals” with flat sides. Usually they radiate from a central circle which is more representative of a flower than a plate thus the flower names seen for this pattern.

The earliest example of a quilt made using this pattern is dated Aug. 23, 1785, and was a gift to Anna Tuels, from her mother (whose name is unknown). Her Dresden plate was at the center of a wool medallion quilt.

Vintage View #6: Aggie’s Bow Tie

Those of you who have read my blog for a while might remember the Vintage View posts I was doing last Spring of various vintage quilts, mostly in my collection. But it’s been a while, I don’t think I’ve posted one since April.

This one is special , it belongs to my Mom, and was made by her Aunt Aggie, probably in the mid-to-late 1940s. Aggie was my Grandpa’s older sister. She had a lame foot, I believe from childhood polio. She never married or had a family of her own. Her last decade or so of life, she lived in my grandparents farmhouse with them. I was still a child when she passed away, but I remember her as a constant fixture at our family gatherings, cooking with Grandma in the kitchen, always in a handmade calico or feedsack apron that matched her handmade house dress to a tee. She made the best bread and her Christmas cookies were superb!

Together, Aggie and my Grandma B. left behind six quilts that were divided up between Grandma’s six children. They made many more that were either loved to pieces or donated to missions. Both ladies were avid seamstresses and quilters. I think I got the gene from them.

My Mom is fairly certain that this one was made by Aggie’s hand. All hand pieced, with set-in seams, and lovingly hand quilted. There is even traces of some fussy-cutting here and there, not that common in the frugal rural Midwest at that time.

I love the striped Bow Ties, this one is my absolute favroite! I’d like some of that fabric to work with today…

The quilt is approximately twin size, with a beautiful pink backing and seeting blocks to match.

Click on that photo to enlarge and see her fabulous quilting!

This is a true family treasure, along with the other five quilts that live with my Mom’s siblings. Do you have any of these treasures in your family? Quilts or otherwise?

Another round of Fall Quilt Shows

Inside the Church of the Land, 10/04/09

You might recall, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, that last October was the first Des Moines American Quilter’s Society show (the first of at least SIX, I’m pleased to say!) and along with it were several area quilt shows. I blogged about them here, and here, here, and here…it was a Des Moines Virtual Festival of Quilts. This last weekend was the first of the 2009 round of shows…

My sweetie and I went to Living History Farms to see their annual quilt show, which is held in the Church of the Land. The Church was built in 1980 on the spot where Pope John Paul II said Mass on October 4, 1979. We were there on the 30th anniversary of that historic visit.

See that quilted banner behind the Pope’s altar in this photo?
It was there on Sunday, in all it’s glory. My mother went to see the Pope that day, along with 300,000+ other people, I went with my Dad and my four siblings to visit my grandparents that day. To see the Four Seasons quilt in person was very powerful for me, raised a Catholic in the Midwest we knew how historic and important that cold October day was to our State, and to our Church. I actually got choked up when I first walked up in front of the quilt…

The design is recreated in stained glass inside the Church…


verrrry Tiny hand quilted stitches…

The quilt show is hung inside the church, and each year shows different quilts from the permanent museum collection of Living History Farms. I’m always amazed at the tedious craftsmanship these vintage pieces show…

And the fact that they know something about the makers of many of them, because they were donated by families to the museum. I’d like to think one day, my best work, will be hung for people to enjoy long after I am gone.

They had a small collection of Hmong quilts on display, something new to me, they are very detailed story quilts about events of every day life. This one showed scenes of tasks as mundane as feeding the hens and planting seeds, all the way up to playing football (soccer) at the end of the quilt…

This was my fave…a sunflower star quilt, I’ve always loved this block and would like to make one for myself one day…

Seriously. Stunning.

The colors in this quilt from the 1870s were amazingly planned and pieced to make a lovely composition. The stars are all hand pieced, the setting squares are all solid (set-in, not pieced) also by hand, and the borders were added by machine. It was however, hand quilted.

Loved the homespuns and plaids in this quilt…it even had an early example of a novelty print, a riding crop and gloves in white on an indigo background.

And this pink and brown quilt also made me want to go home and create one of my own…

I didn’t, since there is just a project or two ahead of that one… ;->