Monday, September 8, 2014

Celebrating the U.S. Centennial Quilt is Finished

Now three months later, the Centennial Quilt is finished.  I entered it in the Vereins Quilt Show held Labor Day weekend 2014.  I did not have time to do all that needed to be done but I also didn't want to withdraw the quilt.    The judge said the binding rippled and that more quilting would help the puffiness.  No Kidding!   Since I had put the binding in 12 hours during the night, I felt that was a pretty good critique.  This past week, I took the binding off, quilted the horizontal and vertical lines that I had not had time to do, trimmed the binding, reapplied the binding, and then blocked the quilt on the design wall.  It is now drying.  Again, the quilter of 1876 was amazing.    This quilt turned out to be a Labor of Love.    I am now more pleased with the result and hope the blocking will make the quilt lay flat.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Centennial Quilt - 2014

So twelve days later, the Centennial Quilt has been pieced.  The original quilt was 64 x 80 1/2 inches.  The new quilt is 70 5/8 x 84 1/2 inches.  The original plain block was 5" finished and the new plain block is 5.5 inches  The sashing in the old quilt was 2.5 inches in width and the new sashing is 3 inches.  The difference in size was caused by the reproduced fabric stripes being a little bit larger.

I found that Terry Clothier Thompson designed the reproduction fabric in 2008.  You can find out more about this fabric on Barbara Brackman's blog  I have emailed Terry Clothier Thompson to see why she decided to reproduce this fabric (whether she just had a scrap or she had seen a quilt with the fabric) but have not heard from her as yet.

Luckily I purchased 4 yards which was just enough fabric for the sashing and border.  After joining the blocks and short sashing together, I sewed the longest diagonal sashings first to make sure I was going to have enough fabric.

I am pleased with the quilt because the measurements of the quilt are very close to being the same for the top, bottom, and sides  Considering everything was on the diagonal, it was a good challenge.

So the next step is to baste the quilt.  I am going to use a plain off-white fabric for the back.  As mentioned previously, the old quilt was machine-quilted so I am going to try to do the same thing but with an electric sewing machine rather than a treadle machine.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Trip to Varner-Hogg Plantation

Yesterday was a wonderful, spectacular day.   Nothing is better than going with friends to see quilts collected by Ima Hogg and kept at the Varner-Hogg Plantation.   

So why would four of us take off to make this long trip.  In the fall of 2006, I was a docent for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum's exhibit "Miss Ima's Quilts".  I spent a lot of time with all of the quilts answering questions.  One of these quilts called the US Centennial quilt was a simple quilt with a distinctive centennial red, white, and blue stripe.  

In 2008 while surfing the many online quilt shops, I saw this exact fabric reproduced and for sale.  Of course, I bought the fabric!

 From that point, my dream has been to reproduce this quilt. It looks so simple.  To reproduce the quilt, I needed overall measurements, block sizes, how the quilt was constructed, which way the stripes went, and what kind of quilting was used.  
Varner-Hogg Plantation

Over time, communicating with Kate Adams, she determined the quilt was at Varner-Hogg Plantation and we began trying to find the time to drive from Austin to West Columbia. Kate and I mentioned our trip to our friends, Liz and Kathy, and a road trip was born.

The US Centennial Quilt c 1876 consists of 66 muslin blocks set on point with 23 half blocks and 2 quarter blocks.  The white blocks are framed by blue stars, stars with the word Centennial, more blue stars and interspersed with 1776 or 1876.    The quilt setting is not symmetrical.
Early machine quilting 
One diagonal direction the sashing is blue, red, blue.
The other diagonal direction the sashing is red, blue, red.

Quilting from the back

Straight line quilting continues through the corners.

Note the mismatched border stripe and the additional triangle
 added to finish out the corner. 

One border is blue stars, red centennial stripe,
Other border is red centennial strip, blue stars.
Another closeup.
Zigzag quilting in the border. Rounded corners on binding

One last view.
Of course, we didn't only see this one quilt.  The Varner-Hogg Plantation has 33 of Miss Ima Hogg's quilts.  

The first quilt on display was in a case in the visitor center  It is called Wagon Wheel, Blazing Star or Mariner's Compass.  
c 1885-1900

Glazed wool quilt

Cherry Basket quilt.  c. 1900-1940
This was belonged to Tom Hogg and his name is inscribed in the corner.  Quilting pattern is elbow quilting.

Oak Leaf and Reel.   The red fabric is very frayed.

Some of the quilts are on display in the plantation house itself.  In the case on the top is the Prairie Flower Quilt (c. 1860) in red, pink, green and yellow. The quilt on the bottom is called Honey Bee (c 1840-1850).

Baby Quilt.  Click on the Image to Enlarge.  Note the Prussian Blue squares with little pieces of seaweed.  c. 1850-1900

The last quilt that we looked at was a log cabin. c 1860  The quilt was interesting because of the method of construction which appeared to be similar to a modern version of quilting called a reversible quilt.  More time is required to study this quilt to determine exactly how it was sewn together.  The back fabrics are bright and in exceedingly good condition.  

Dress seen at the entrance using similar print to compare to the back of the log cabin quilt.

Block detail

A special "Thank You" to Angela, the curator at the Varner-Hogg Plantation  She took her valuable time to prepare for our visit, show and discuss the quilts with us, and drive us around the plantation in the golf cart which was great fun.  

What a great day.  We all had so much fun discussing the quilts, stopping at Weikel's on the way there and the way back (sure wish I could figure out the recipe for those House Special cookies), and enjoyed the beautiful Texas weather and countryside.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grey Fox

As many of you know our neighbors feed the foxes each night.  We save them our meat and protein scraps to help out.    Yesterday, Jack went to check out the Front Forty and found that the momma fox had pups. Her eyes never left Jack but the pups were busy jumping all over her to get her attention.  Life is good here.
Fox Family

Love You Mom

Proud Mama
Quit watchin' him! Come on, let's play.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Time Flies

The amazing thing is that time flies and as we get older it seems like I am a Scalosian in the original Star Trek episode "Wink of an Eye".  I will do my best to be a better blogger.

 I talked about the Sandhills returning last October.  They are here now but it almost time for them to start heading north.  Jack got some good pictures of them feeding on North Grape Creek road.  We will miss their wonderful call.

You can see they are as tall as the Angus cattle.

The turkeys have been dropping by our house on a regular basis since March 1.  They always start flocking together about this time.

Beautiful Tail Feathers

One group of males decided to stop by the water fountain.

Aren't their tail feathers amazing?

The toms are strutting and showing off and the hens are only interested in eating.  Jack counted about 38 hens and 12 toms of differing ages.

While watching all the wildlife, I have been cutting scraps using the Bonnie Hunter method.    Someone left all these plastic jars so I am working on filling them.  It is true that I can expand in one week's time to all tables in the quilt haus.

And have revived a UFO to give as a baby gift. I hate to think when I started this quilt.  Ok, it was 2004.

I have been sewing off onto some of the 3 inch squares and making "Carmen" blocks.  I just couldn't stand it so I put together color families.  There is one scrappy block of novelties on the right.   Clinger has been happy to help me while keeping an eye out for birds.  

So let's see if I am able to blog tomorrow!   Today it is warm and sunny tomorrow it is supposed to be gray and cold.