Logged: 10.5 hours

I had wanted to work on my Mary Wigham over the weekend. But I remembered I have my “Spanning three centuries” quilt languishing somewhere in my stash. I certainly didn’t mean for it to wait three centuries to be completed. So, I hunkered down and worked on it for a few hours. Here is what I have after a total of 10 1/2 hours:

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I am actually showing you the back because it looks prettier than the front at the moment. The front has fabric marking allover that it is hard to see what’s being quilted:

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Feather quilting is ABSOLUTELY addictive! I didn’t want to quit after I got started! There’s just something about these feathers!

Have a great day everyone. I hope you have a fantastic day.

p.s. You may click here to read about why I had named this quilt “Spanning Three Centuries.”

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Logged: 6 hours

Good day, everyone!  A quickie to show you the progress on my “Spanning Three Centuries” quilt.  So far, 6 hours have gone into the quilting:

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I wish you all a wonderful weekend!  See you next week!

Joining the QUILT FESTIVAL Fun

Amy of Park City Girl is hosting her first annual Quilt Festival, and thought I couldn’t miss out on the fun! “Select your favorite quilt, make sure you have a good picture of it and go post about it! It doesn’t matter what size, style, or era it is from – there’s no judging here :) In your post tell your quilt’s story.”

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It’s hard for me to have to pick a favorite quilt because all the projects I have worked on end up being special to me in their own way. The most meaningful quilt I have made, however, is my interpretation of Mrs. Susan Nokes McCord “Harrison’s Rose Urn” (circa 1860) for a wholecloth. This is Mrs. McCord’s quilt:

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This is my wholecloth interpretation:

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Both works are in honor of our 9th President, President William Henry Harrison, also the grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison:

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I added an “H” to the urn as a monogram, and a grouse silhouette to commemorate the President’s favorite past time, grouse-hunting. The President named his house “Grouseland” — that’s how serious about grouse hunting! :)

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You can see the background stippling compared to the size of a penny:

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The quilt top is a cotton/silk blend, quilted with silk thread over a wool batt. Finished size is about 13 inches square:

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It won first place in the 2008 Grouseland Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge. It is now part of a permanent collection displayed in the Grouseland Mansion. If you are a subscriber to “The Quilter” magazine, you might have also seen it in their March 2009 issue:

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Thank you for stopping by. If this is your first visit, I would like you to stay a bit longer and look at my other favorite quilts. Please leave a comment – that way I can visit you back! Have a lovely day!

Back to feather quilting

I am still waiting for fabrics to come in for my upcoming magazine quilts. That means, I have some time to work on my “Spanning Three Centuries” wholecloth quilt. One of these days, I will get it done…

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Truth be known, this is a practice quilt. I want to eventually re-do the entire quilt in some kind of silky fabric.

Alrightie, my friends, back to my sewing machine. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you next week!

2008 Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge Winners

Since I was not able to personally attend the award ceremony for the 2008 Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge at Vincennes, Indiana, I was pleased to see that Grouseland Foundation finally has the pictures of the other winning blocks!  I would love to have seen these blocks in person, but for now, the pictures would suffice…

grouseland-winners[My block is very similar to the 2nd place applique block that I had adapted it for a wholecloth interpretation.  You can see close-up pictures of my block here]

I have since made Jane Stamper’s acquaintance — she won first place in the applique and second place in the pieced categories.   The amazing thing about her work is that she does EVERYTHING by hand!!!  I am a machine gal when it comes to quilting, so anyone who pieces and quilts by hand is simply impressive to me!

Happy Stitching, everyone!

Dish-aholic Part 5: Sucker for Blue Transferware

Hello Everyone – I hope you have had a splendid week.  Over at my end, I am up to my eyeballs in deadlines!  I was going to do a post on more fall tableware, but I just ran out of time.  Instead, I am going to show you just what a sucker I am for Blue Transferware — especially those made by Spode.

This is my “festive” transferware platter – the pattern is officially called “Festival”.  I used to only put it out for the holidays, but I like it so much that I have leave it out all year round.  I just love that majestic look of that turkey, don’t you? :)

This is a Seder or Passover platter that bears the background pattern of antique Jewish filigree.  I am not Jewish, but I have always loved the story of deliverance in the book of Exodus – the things foreshadowed in the event are simply amazing!

This is a smaller platter that shows the “Girl At Well” pattern.  I have always loved this pattern even though this is the only piece I have.   The wholesome beauty of the girl drawing water from the well reminds me of the beauty of serving others:

Soon, it will be the season for this:

***

Meanwhile, these came in the mail today – my blue ribbon from the Grouseland Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge, a certificate, and a hand-written note from the organizers.  While designing the quilt block, I learned that there are more quilts named after President William Harrison than any other Presidents even though he was only in office for 32 days:

Thank you for coming to my show-and-tell.  I wish you an enjoyable weekend!

I WON!!!!

I received the following comment on my Harrison Urn Quilt Block from Jane in Indiana on Friday —

“I had just come home from the Grouseland Quilt Show because I had won a place in the challenge. And wouldn’t you know, it was your block who beat me!! Congratulations on your first place winning in piecework!! I had placed second in piecework, also!! I was, also, blown away at you work. Beautiful!!! I had consequently found your blog a few days ago and saw your block there. I had to go today to see who beat me, and when I saw that it was yours, I wasn’t really that surprised. Your work is wonderful!”

I was excited and surprised and feeling a bit unsure about the news at the time, because I hadn’t heard anything official from the organizers…

Jane assured me that I had indeed won in emails we exchanged later, but still no official word from the organizers…

Then, this afternoon after we returned from church, a message on the answering machine confirmed my FIRST PLACE win in the Pieced Category at the Grouseland Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge held in Vincennes, Indiana on October 10th and 11th, 2009. Later in a phone conversation with Judy Morton representing the organizers, I was told that my quilt block will be displayed in Grouseland, with the possibility of being part of a traveling exhibit as well. I was also told that the winning entries will be featured in “The Quilter” magazine. What an honor this is in my short quilting journey!

Right when I was about to publish this post, I received an email from Jane. She went back the following day and took pictures of my block with the blue ribbon (bottom left corner). Jane had won second place in the “Pieced” Category, and first place in the “Applique” Category (top left corner, and bottom middle are Jane’s blocks – stunning!). Thanks bunches, Jane!

As I let the news soak in, I am thankful for many that have encouraged me beyond measure in my quilting journey:

1. My Lord and King – without Him, I am nothing. Indeed, “I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” (Psalm 16:2)

2. My husband – he was the person who had first planted the bug of “you ought to try sewing” in my ear ever since we were newly married eons ago (well, not that looong!). I was an engineering student at the time and later proceeded to work in the field of Chemical Engineering for about seven years, and had NEVER had any interest to sew in my whole life. Nonetheless, he is always supportive in all my learning opportunities. He certainly was and still is in all my heirloomy pursuits — always with constructive ideas!

3. Barbara – my quilting teacher, mentor, close friend who is also a fellow Jane Austen fan. If it weren’t for her teaching me in my first quilt (which is an applique and pieced quilt, can you believe the naiveté for someone who has never sewn?), I wouldn’t have learned the love of quilting. I tell her that every quilt that gets any recognition is a tribute to her.

4. Annelle – my heirloom sewing teacher who is never discouraging in any way. Sharing our love for heirloom together has been an incredible journey.

5. Dan and Rhonda of Rogers Sewing Center – they have been invaluable to me as friends. They have helped and encouraged me tremendously ever since the day I purchase my machine from them. Through the Sewing Center, I have also made many sweet friends with whom I have forged great friendships. There’s just something when I can talk sewing with another person.

6. My sister – very very different from me, but she is never too busy to stop and oooh-and-aaah about anything I make!

7. I am certainly thankful to the bloggy friends I have made through this blog. Thank you for your ever encouraging words about my work. Your comments often brighten my day while I take my breaks from working at my sewing machine. I always make a point to respond to every comment either by email or visiting you on your blog if you have one.

A “grouse-y” sort of Wholecloth!

The Grouseland Foundation issued a Block Challenge (the 2008 Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge) in honor of the 9th President of the United States, President William Henry Harrison. All entries will become the property of Grouseland for use in exhibits and to commemorate the Battle of Tippecanoe in 2011:

Grouseland (the President’s home) was named after the grouse President Harrison enjoyed hunting:

Inspired by the historic quilt “Harrison Rose Urn” by Mrs. Susan Nokes McCord (circa 1860),

I came up with my own version that is adapted for wholecloth, simply named “Harrison Urn”. It was quilted with silk thread over cotton/silk quilt top and wool batt:

The urn bears an “H” for President Harrison:

The silhouette of a grouse is quilted to remember his hobby and Grouseland:

This is an interesting shot from when the quilt was still wet from having the fabric markings removed:

Showing the scale of my background stippling against a penny that is between 1/16″ – 1/8″ apart:

I have always been keen on historically-related events. So, I thought by entering the block, I did my little part in learning and remembering the rich history of this nation.

“Where they make the sausage” and News!

Hello Everyone,  I hope that you have had a great weekend.   I also hope that your Monday is going to be a GREAT one! :)

I did get to squeeze in a few stitches on my “Spanning three centuries” wholecloth quilt.  I am logging the time and see how long it takes me to finish this quilt.  So far I have logged about 5 hours.  I am always surprised how fast time passes by whenever I do feather quilting.  Here is the first “where they make the sausage” picture – nothing fancy.  As you can see, the markings are still there, threads aren’t buried into the quilt batt, no background quilting to fill in the negative space…

All this is brought to you and made possible by the Bernina Stitch Regulator:

Other news — stay tuned for some new patterns coming out in a couple of months using new fabric collections.  I am showing you sneak peek of two patterns:

Feathers from Paper to Fabric

During my “off-season” where I don’t have any pressing deadlines, I have been dabbling in a wholecloth that seeks to reproduce a bed-sized Calamanco quilt that was made in 1800 in America by an unknown quilter, at a smaller scale.

[Calamanco (also spelled calimanco) is a sturdy glazed fabric which was popular in Britain and America during the 18th and 19th Centuries, and which gave its name to quilts made from it. The name comes from a Spanish term for worsted (long fiber wool).  The glaze (or sheen) was produced by rubbing the cloth with a stone, or by applying egg white or wax to the surface.]                                   ~from www.historyofquilts.com

Armed with only a picture of the quilt, I set out to draw the design onto a nice weight vellum sheet.  Then I came across a picture in another book with a beautiful feather border,  also by an unknown quilter in 1930.  So, I added that border to surround the Calamanco design.  Lastly, I added my own designed feather border to cap off the overall design.  Thus it is a wholecloth quilt with designs spanning three centuries.

I finally got the whole quilt top pinned — you can see the sea of pins in these snippets!

Vellum was used so that I can easily transfer the design onto the fabric using a lightbox which my mentor Barbara has graciously loaned me.  It took me 15 hours to just do the transfer!!!

I am hoping I would be able to squeeze in a few stitches on this baby before the weekend is upon us.   Of course, I will update you with the progress with pictures as I work on this quilt inch by inch!  I hope to also show you the original pictures later from the books if my camera is able to capture them nicely.

I am thankful to those who have preserved these quilts.  I only wish we had better documentations of these blessed ladies who had produced such masterpieces for us to appreciate and enjoy.  Your mind goes, “The moral story is…. ?” Oh, you mean, what is the moral story of all this?  I guess, as my quilt teacher Barbara always insists — ALWAYS ATTACH A QUILT LABEL TO A COMPLETED QUILT!

A bit o’ “Behind the Scenes”

After days of playing around, I finally hunkered down and worked on another deadline. This is for a quilted pillow project that will appear in Bernina’s November issue of “Through the Needle” (as always, only a partial shot of the final project before it’s officially published):


You can see that the quilt sandwich is still in the hoop from having the motif machine embroidered. That’s basically how I have gone about making these for the machine embroidery aspect of the projects. Click on the pictures if you are interested to read the posts written about them:

A tip for doing monogram using machine embroidery – always use the same thread for both the top and bobbin threads – the result is flawless that way!

Have a fabulous day, everyone!

Instant Gratification

For me, feather quilting is one of the most appealing aspects in quilting. Traditionally, quilters have used the double-stuffed “tranpunto” method to achieve a more dimensional look for their feathers so that their feathers would “pop” out. The trapunto technique is of course an old-world technique originated from Italy in the 1300’s.

Now, we quilters can have instant gratification achieving the trapunto effect — WOOL BATT!

1. Easily maneuvered to fit under the small “neck” of a home machine — the lightness definitely is a plus!

2. Realizes the trapunto effect instantaneously as I quilt — no more double-stuffing for me. See how the feathers just pop?

(The above pictures are from “My Wholecloth Sampler”, published in “The Quilter” Magazine in March 2008. The feather designs are original, and the pattern sheets are in the March Issue available for sale from “The Quilter“).

3. Drapes wonderfully well, and the dense quilting does not make the quilt feel like a piece of cardboard. It makes a beautifully and densely quilted quilt feel soft and snuggly.

4. It quilts like a DREAM! I absolutely love it!!

I highly recommend the wool batt made by Heirloom Hobbs (especially the Tuscany Wool). It might surprise quilters that Hobbs Manufacturing of Texas actually makes things other that batting. Checkout their website to see what other interesting things they make. I find their range of products fascinating from an engineering perspective!

If you are looking for something new to incorporate in your quilts this summer, may I recommend WOOL?

Meanwhile, HAPPY MONDAY, everyone!