Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August projects

I just finished the second block in Susan Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” quilt. It is needleturn applique with embroidered details. All the rigging is embroidered with 50-weight applique thread. 
I am calling this piece “Mish-Mash” because it is a small piece full of leftover bits – Tyvek, Mylar, Angelina, metal mesh, cheesecloth, charms, and then a bunch of machine and hand stitching. I created it for a short segment I’ll be taping for “Quilting Arts TV.”

And this is “Totality,” made to commemorate the total lunar eclipse that I witnessed in August. (Charlotte, NC, was not in the path of totality, but we got to enjoy some of the eclipse here.) The moon and the rays of the sun peeking out behind it are made with Angelina, and this piece also contains other unusual fibers and materials.

Friday, August 4, 2017

“Friends of Baltimore” – Eagle block

I’ve just started Susan Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore” pattern. Here’s my first block! I’ve always wanted to do a Baltimore Album quilt, and I’m finding that intricate handwork is a great stress reliever. I was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do this kind of work, so I figured I better start now if I want to complete a quilt like this in my lifetime. 

Baltimore Album quilts are a style that originated in Baltimore, Maryland, around 1840. Each block is intricate and different, and most feature flowers; buildings, ships and bouquets. Many of these quilts were signed, using ink, and embellished with embroidery. These were not common bed quilts. They were highly prized family heirlooms, and were carefully preserved, so a fair number of examples survive today.   

In Susan Garman’s design, the eagle holds an American flag (I embroidered my stars in the circular Colonial formation), and an olive branch and arrows, symbolizing America’s desire for peace but readiness for war. In his beak, he holds a spray of wild red roses, the national flower. He also holds in his talons a “Liberty Pole” topped with a red “Liberty Cap.” I was not familiar with the Liberty Pole until a few years ago, when researching my genealogy. I discovered that I am a descendant of Robert Philson (my fourth great grandfather), who was arrested after protesting taxes on whiskey during the Whiskey Rebellion. Here’s information about him from Wikipedia:

Robert Philson (c. 1759 – July 25, 1831) was an Irish-American soldier and politician.
Philson was born in County DonegalUlsterIreland, and immigrated to Pennsylvania with his uncle John Fletcher. They kept a store in BerlinBedford County, Pennsylvania.
In 1794, Philson was arrested for his involvement in the Whiskey Rebellion. He was sent to Philadelphia for trial, but he and his co-defendant, Herman Husband, were acquitted.[1]
Philson served as associate judge of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, for twenty years, and also served as a one-term congressman during the 16th United States Congress.
Philson was commissioned a brigadier general of the Second Brigade, Tenth Division, Pennsylvania militia on May 9, 1800. During the War of 1812, he served as a brigadier general of the Second Brigade, Twelfth Division, Pennsylvania Volunteers.

The Liberty Pole was used as a symbol of freedom during the American Revolutionary war, and was later used as a protest against federal taxes on whiskey during the Whiskey Rebellion. It was erected in towns across the thirteen colonies, and often topped with a Liberty Cap, which dates to the 4th century BC! It was used as a symbol during the French and American Revolutions, and starting in the 1790s, was used on U.S. coins, which featured Columbia/Liberty wearing the cap. It is usually portrayed as a red knit hat. (The pussyhat is an echo of this symbol!)

A note: Susan Garman died in January 2017; this was such a loss for the quilting community. Many of her patterns are available here: https://www.comequilt.com 

“Friends of Baltimore” is available here:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Behind the scenes of QATV Series 2000

Here’s a look at the talent at the shoot (in Cleveland in March) for Quilting Arts Series 2000. It’s aired on about 400 U.S. Public Television stations, but if it’s not shown in your area, you can also purchase it now on DVD and digital download

Pepper Cory

Sherry Kleinman

Lisa Walton

Jenny Lyon


Cathie Hoover

Martha Wolfe

Enid Gelten Weichselbaum

 Laurie Russman

Malka Dubrawsky

Timna Tarr

Sarah Ann Smith

Behind the scenes

Vivika Hansen DeNegre, Quilting Arts magazine editor, and me with a cake to celebrate the show’s tenth anniversary. It was started by Pokey Bolton, founder of Quilting Arts magazine, and producer Kathie Stull of KS Productions. 
Early morning view from my car, coming into the studio. I’m the first one into makeup at 7:30 a.m.

One of the cameras on set.

Kristine Lundblad, associate editor of Quilting Arts, helps carry Cathie Hoover’s jacket to the set.
Bernina sponsors the show, and provides us with all the state-of-the-art machines we have on set. 
Jeanne Delpit of Bernina USA gets a machine ready on set. (She’s from Florida, and yes, she’s so cold that she’s wearing a scarf and fingerless gloves!)
Lisa Walton headed into dinner, in a blizzard. She’s from Australia, and doesn’t see much snow, so she had to get this photo to prove the conditions in Cleveland to her friends back home.

Crew hanging one of Lisa Walton’s quilts.

Timna Tarr gets wired for her microphone. 

Sarah Ann Smith gets her paint ready.

 I made the rosettes to decorate the set and celebrate the tenth anniversary.