Friday, February 27, 2015

A Regency Bodice Revision

I have a navy-blue linen Regency jumper in the works; initially drafted a simple bodice (I should have known better), which turned out frumpy - No, it's just bad...

Immediately removed the bodice from the skirt and began anew - much better! (Note: this is the bodice lining; the bodice itself will be gathered to the skirt and not pleated):

Now that the bodice and lining are joined together in holy stitchery, I can finish the remainder of the jumper - whew! 

Happy Friday and have a safe, warm, and wonderful weekend! Blessings and happy sewing!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 Women's Studies Quilt Show: Quilter Tracy Craven

As a military wife, mother, and professional in the finance industry, Tracy Craven began quilting as a form of stress therapy; now, it's her joy and passion. For this year's quilt show, she donated ten quilts to be auctioned off for the Women's Studies Scholarship Fund and showed several more. The range and style of her work is truly remarkable - she is an expert in her craft.

Saw Tooth Cats:

Wall hanging; created from fabrics scraps taken from Tracy's first Dear Jane quilt. 


This quilt was pieced together in her and her husband's hotel room while waiting for permanent housing outside of the base in Stuttgart, Germany. 


Appliquéd; created while she and her family were stationed in Stuttgart, Germany.

Common Bride:

The inspiration for this quilt developed when a fellow quilter slipped Tracy a few advanced copies of designer Edyta Sitar's quilting patterns; the quilt took nine months to piece and 17-yards of fabric. 

Pineapple Askew:

In 2005, Tracy said that the Creative Quilters Guild presented its members with an ugly multicolored fabric which needed to be incorporated into the blocks (yellow) and in single loop chains (red and blue) - the idea was to transform something unattractive into something beautiful. Uninspired by the project and tucking the partially finished quilt away for several years, she finally finished it in 2012.

Just Takes 2:

Combination pieced and appliquéd blocks; Inspired from the American Folk Art Museum's Infinite Variety: Three Hundred Years of Red & White Quilts exhibit in New York City.

Dear Jane:

Inspired by Jane Stickle's original Civil War quilt (created from 5602 individual pieces), Tracy's quilt is constructed from 169 pieces and appliquéd blocks, 52 boarder triangles, and four corner kites. Often used as a "learning quilt", the ambitious needle artist who can complete all 225 unique blocks comprising of Dear Jane is said to be able to finish any other quilt style with ease.

It has been my pleasure to share with you the diversity, skill, and artistic accomplishments of my fellow Ohio needlewomen. I'm already looking forward to next year, which promises an even bigger show and more wonderful talent! 

Blessings and happy sewing!

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Women's Studies Quilt Show: Themed & Historical Quilts

Gee's Bend Quilt: 

These traditional African American quilts are known for their geometric simplicity (although sometimes very intricately pieced), irregular patterns, and color brilliance. They originated from the workmanship of the slave women on Joseph Gee's large cotton plantation in Boykin, Alabama at the turn of the 19th century. These were created from clothing scraps and used as coverlets and quilts in the slave quarters.

I Spy with My Little Eye...

One of the funnest, most colorful, and playful quilt styles is the I Spy. Made from bright novelty fabrics, the blocks are meant to depict objects which the recipient can "spy".

Quilter Julianne Weinzimmer

Quilter Lisa Ricky


Donna Shrout McDade is an award winning quilter and tatter - the intricate and ornamental design of her quilts is remarkable. Note that the tatting motifs on the Hat Box Quilt and the Crazy Calender Quilt took two and three years to complete, this aside from the piecing and construction of each quilt!

Hat Box Quilt

Crazy Calender Quilt

Vintage Quilts:

Aside from the beautiful Gee's Bend quilt shown above, several vintage examples from the 1930s were on display. The ABC Kit Quilt was created by quilter Lois McFarland's grandmother, Lois J. Bishop, in 1930; Sunburst was created by quilter Lisa Rickey's grandmother, Ida M. Duncan-Grady, in 1934. Both quilts are hand pieced and hand quilted.

ABC Kit Quilt, 1930 (Lois J. Bishop)

Sunburst, 1934 (Ida M. Duncan-Grady)

Dedication & Memorial Quilts:

Daisies for Suzie was created by quilter Wendi Kirsch from the grief she felt from losing her mother, who loved daisies and the color blue...

Dana Patterson submitted two intricately embroidered coverlets in honor of her mother-in-law, Henrietta, Ryan Patterson, the creator of these remarkable pieces; motifs include the US state flags, birds, flowers, state mottoes, and Bible verses:

Quilts of Valor is an organization of volunteer expert crafters who dedicate their time and talent in creating honor quilts for our service men and women (both active and veteran). They have a presence in most every US state and if you would like to request a Quilt of Valor for someone you know, you may visit their website here...

Stay tuned and join me for the next post when I feature the remarkable talent of quilter Tracy Craven. Blessings and happy sewing!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015 Women's Studies Quilt Show: Quilt Stories

~Set up, laying the quilts out by size and motif~
The Wright State University Women's Studies 2nd Annual Quilt Show was held on January 30-31 in the Apollo Room. Linda Morgan, coordinator of the event, staff, and volunteers were delightfully surprised by the community's positive response (in the form of submissions, donations, and turnout) and how much this year's show had grown in size from last year's - already, plans are in the works to expand the 2016 show! It's all so exciting! 

~Stewart Heritage Farms~
While the WSU Women's Quilt Show primarily features the talents of Ohioan novice to expert quilters, women's needlecraft is overall celebrated in the exhibit. Knitting and crocheting demonstrations were conducted by Cindy Vanzant; an introduction to tatting was taught by expert tatters, Ann Segrest and Mary Anna Robinson; and Brenda Hanes, from Stewart Heritage Farm, gave the presentation "Alpaca from Farm to Fashion". Coverlets, clothing, accessories, as well as quilts, were displayed illustrating the diverse talents of local female artisans.

Women today, as they have historically, employ their needle trades to engage in commerce, demonstrate technical and aesthetic skill, convey family and community history, decorate their environments, and express themselves where their voices aren't permitted or fall short. The primary objectives of the WSU Women's Quilt Show is to provide a venue to showcase women's needle art (to bring it to light) and to provide scholarships (through donations and quilt auctions) for Women's Studies students. Why Women's Studies? For an impassioned and educated rant on the matter of women's history, I encourage you to read a former post titled "Moonlighting and Soapboxing". 

~Granny Stars (quilter Jerri Stacy)~
I had the privilege and pleasure to meet and talk with many of the quilters and crafters who participated in the show - how do I choose whom to highlight or feature here, the choice is a dreadful one to make (I wish to include them all)! There's Jerri Stacy's incredible star quilts constructed from reproduction vintage and Civil War fabrics, Lois McFarland's cool cat quilts, and the dozens of quilts from the Thimbles of Joy quilting group. In order to adequately showcase a few of the artists and quilt themes, this is the first of three posts which will be published over the next week. I am excited to share their work with you, their range of skill and artistic beauty. They inspire me creatively and encourage me to press my skill set. Now, for a bit of needlecraft and quilt candy...

~Goddess Journey (Linda Lee Sattem)~

~Jazz Cats (Lois McFarland)~

~Jersey Shore Girl (Jeanne Sharrah)~

~Be Thankful (Patsy Greene)~

~Babies in Hats (Wendi Kirsch)~

~My costumes on display~

~A wonderful day for cake!~

More to come! Blessings and happy sewing!