Monday, March 31, 2014

"Queen and her Court" III; the first "Queen" digitized!

My third "Queen and Her Court"!!!   I'll admit to the poor photography of this expertly appliquéd and pieced quilt.  But I had to post whatever pictures did turn out because it was another exquisite quilt that enabled the application of digital design (computer-guided quilting).

Although the background, appliqué and SID (stitching-in-the-ditch) areas were done freehand because of the precise detailing required, all the borders and blocks were digitized.  

Even some background sections were digitized.  See the four-square tan blocks, below.  You can also see a better section of computerized quilting done in the pink border.

Clients sometimes leave the quilting design up to me, such as in this quilt.  My inspiration comes from the fabric.  It whispers to me - sometimes even shouts - what I need to quilt on it. The fabric in this quilt shouted Victorian curls, scrolls and leaves.  So that's what I quilted.
For (better) photographs of a wedding "Queen and Her Court" I pieced, appliquéd and quilted for our daughter and son-in-law, click on my "Quilt Gallery" on this blog. (If you're reading this via email, click on to get to my blog and then click on my "Quilt Gallery").  The quilt is featured at the top of the Gallery.  The designs were chalked in by hand using a small lap-sized light box, then quilted using my hand-guided Gammill (pre-computerized retrofit) - the 'old' way!!!! Was the digitized way shown in this post easier? Hmmm.  Not at first.  A learning curve is always difficult.  The design is done mostly on a computer screen, and the computer quilts the results.  The results will only be correct if you've created it with the computer correctly! That's the hard part.  But now that I have computerized quilting somewhat 'under my belt', I have to say it is easier...on the body.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Vintage Series VII: The "Depression Era" Butterfly

With trees and flowering bushes springing forth buds, one can't help but keep a watchful eye for the first butterfly.  Perhaps we're a bit anxious.  Spring in the Rockies always brings heavy, wet snow.  So for now we'll be content to talk about butterflies in fabric form; specifically the 'Depression Era' Butterfly quilt.  According to Barbara Brackman in her essay entitled, Frugal and Fashionable: Quiltmaking During the Great Depression, "all quilt collectors are familiar with what are often called Depression Quilts. The quilts are recognizable because of their color scheme, a scrappy collage of pastel prints and plains, pulled together with plain white cotton as the neutral shade. 
A collection of stereotypes clings to Depression Quilts and their makers. As the name implies, the quilts are believed to be a product of the Great Depression that lasted from 1930 to 1940. Quilts were popular during hard times because quiltmaking was a cheap hobby that made use of small scraps left over from other sewing. Makers often incorporated feedsack fabrics, which appear today to be the ultimate in recycling and frugality. The quilts were made to keep families warm during times when blankets were a luxury.  Although there is some truth to each of these frugal stereotypes, the current research being conducted across America by quilt projects indicates that our view of Depression Quilts is far too narrow. Even the name is wrong, as there is much evidence that the fashion for making scrappy, pastel quilts dates to about the mid-1920s and the style persisted until about the 1950s.

By the time the Depression had arrived, quiltmaking was well established as a hobby for rural and urban women of all classes. The scrap look to these quilts can be explained by a fashion for a variegated look that is also found in the dishware of the times [i.e. Fiesta ware].  In quilts the scrappy look was as much a trend as frugality. In fact, a large number of small pieces is an indication of the quiltmaker’s access to abundant fabric. One could purchase the scrap look. Many magazines advertised packets of small scraps and factory cut-aways. Sears, Roebuck and Company sold a box of cotton prints with patterns like the Double Wedding Ring and Grandmother’s Flower Garden that made the most of the small pieces. Many scrap-look designs like the Trip Around the World, the Butterfly and the Fan were sold as kits with ready-cut pieces. Most people see printed feedsack fabrics in the Depression era quilts as more evidence of poverty, but the recycled print feedsacks were more prevalent during the wartime fabric restrictions of the 1940s."

 The quilt in this post began as vintage butterfly blocks, which I machine-pieced together with feedsack and vintage cotton sashings and borders, and then quilted freestyle using my long arm.  It's so pleasurable to finish a project started by someone so long ago.
Until next time!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Luck 'O the Irish!

 Be the first to
read this post and receive a 17% discount on quilting services!*
Why 17%?
It's St. Patty's Day!
*Edge-to-edge quilting services only on one quilt top, any size.
Response must come before the end of March, 2014 and 
quilt top must also be delivered before the end of March.
Ponderosa Patchworks reserves the right 
to determine completion date.
Only one customer to receive this discount - the first who responds.
See my "Contact Me" tab on this blog to contact me...FIRST!

The kit displayed in this post is available for purchase!  Click on my Products tab on this blog for more information.  
"A Best Friend is like a four leaf clover;
Hard to find, lucky to have".
Irish Proverb