Sunday, October 31, 2010

piecework and lace trims

Piecework has become one of my favorite publications; so many articles on vintage needlework.The article that attracted my attention this month was on crocheted edgings for linens. There are, of course, lots of machine made laces to use and antique pieces if you're lucky enough to find them.
I especially like the trims used on pillowcases, they look so fresh and delicate.
I do collect the vintage ones, but they always seem to be too short a length to use for anything.
By chance I just happen to be working on a simple fan pattern, maybe to use on pillowcases or sachets. There is something nice about plain white trim.
A few years ago I found this instruction booklet at a second hand store and fell in love with the very colorful 40's style edgings. Embroidered pillowcases, curtains, sachets, and table linens galore. The above white trim is made with crochet cotton:
and these bright ones are made with perle cotton #8. These trims are a little 'meatier' and the perle cotton comes in so many more colors. The sunny yellow one in the middle is my favorite. The advantage to making your own is that not only can you choose the color but can make it whatever length you need.
I ordered a pound of lavender last week and when it arrives I will make some sachets,perhaps embroidering them and edging them with homemade lace. The morning glory embroidery below is on a yet to be finished lingerie bag and I plan to adapt it as well as the orange flower one to pillowcases- trim them in handmade lace-
and while I'm at it maybe I should finish the bags!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quilt show

Today was a cold and blustery day, a good time to check out the quilt exhibit at our local Minnetonka Art Center. This show included quilts from 1830 to contemporary ones. The theme was Star Power- quilts with the always popular star motifs. This antique one is from 1850:
This blue and white one is a contemporary one, I love the asymmetry of the design.
This one has won awards at numerous quilt shows and is inspired by Paula Nadelstern's kaleidescope quilts.
The piecing is amazing- the photos don't do it justice.
This one is from 1945 and you can tell it uses lots of leftover fabrics, some from the 30's.
Many of these have come back as retro fabric patterns.
This one, also contemporary, is one of my favorites, especially the soft, subdued parts.
I love how the colors flow together.

The bolder, brighter areas are beautiful,too.
This is another stunning, award winning quilt. There is alot going on in this quilt.
The birds and feather appliques just jump out at you,
and I love the saw tooth look to the stars.
This antique one was started by a mother and finished by her daughter, a wonderful example of crazy quilting.
Being someone who does so much embroidery this one was really intriguing.
It dates from the late 1800's- early 1900.
This one is described as a strippy quilt made from long strips of polished chintz alternated with pieced star strips and was probably made in England.
This is a modern example of a Baltimore Album quilt- beautifully done.
The next two are examples of antique star patterns:
It is surprising how vivid the colors are in these older quilts.
Imagine piecing this one!
It was interesting to note that the contemporary quilts are almost all machine quilted and usually by someone other than the person who pieced the top. Of course, the antique ones were hand quilted, probably by the woman who had pieced it or maybe at a quilting bee.
Naturally one can make so many more quilts when you send it out to be machine quilted, but I've always enjoyed the feel and look of a hand quilted one. I know the process is slow and that I will never make many quilts,but the ones I do will be special.
This final one is a small, contemporary one, another award winner and so much fun. The black and white checkerboard border is a favorite design of mine- I think it complements almost anything. I hope you enjoyed the show!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It's time to start thinking about the holidays, which is difficult with this beautiful weather. The first shop I need to restock is the Textile center's gift shop. The holiday show begins on Nov. 1st
and I'm working on ornaments first. I will need to make some for Swan Song and Lanesboro within the next few weeks. Thankfully they work up quickly, at least compared to pincushions.
I love using nontraditional colors, I think they show up nicely against the greenery.
I left some items at Swan Song when we were there a week ago- embroidered towels and crocheted potholders for gift sets,
and a couple of embroidered pouch bags. These are so much fun to make, but really time consuming.
All I need to stock for that gallery is ornaments. Lanesboro needs everything-
including more pincushions. Busy month!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

fresh art fall tour

This last weekend was the fall Fresh Art Tour along the river in Wisconsin. The weather was pretty good, especially on Friday- sunny and warm. We started in the village of Maiden Rock where two galleries were participating- Secret Heart and Swan Song. The latter carries some of our work so we set up a table outside for a few hours on Friday. Of course my most favorite thing to do was sit on the porch of the Smiling Pelican Bakery, drink coffee, eat the most delicious quiche and banana cream pie, and soak up the sun.This bakery is always our first stop when we come down and it has been closed all of this year for remodeling.
The porch has been extended outwards and wrapped around the side to increase seating. Usually it is so crowded by 9:00 the line extends out the door and you're lucky to get a table. The food is so good I have never seen anyone leave the line out of frustration. Well worth the wait! We drove up into the bluffs- colors just changing beautifully so we should have a couple more drives to enjoy peak color- and bought goat cheese at a family farm on the tour. The woman there also weaves rugs.
A stop in Stockholm netted me homemade fudge at the candy store and a visit to the antique store where I bought this 'cat' basket for only $3.00! I loved the green color and the cute little wooden carved cat.
I'm putting it in my kitchen for now, but it would be ideal for holding yarn so it may end up elsewhere.
The Abode Gallery is another must when in Stockholm. This visit I purchased some repurposed ornaments made from recycled steel.
They are made by a young woman,Tammy Roy, and as you can see they are fashioned from bits and pieces of steel and wire bent into leaf shapes.
I hung them with another of my purchases- a handmade punctured tin star ornament from another shop in Pepin.This shop carried hand forged iron cooking utensils and tinwork along with handwoven baskets and redware pottery. It was like a step back to the 18th-19th century. I thought the dark patina of the steel leaves contrasted with the shiny tin star was so pretty.
I also purchased some bird and leaf shaped tin cookie cutters. Decorating these cookies should be fun!
I also picked up some sarongs at a shop in Stockholm. I really like using them for table runners.
The colors are so beautiful and I have never paid more then $15.00 for one.
All in all it was a wonderful tour!