June 25, 2019: Bobbie Korengold’s beautiful hand made quilts; “Time of Plenty” comes out of hiding!

Greetings!   As promised, here are my pictures of Bobbie Korengold’s quilts.  She had them laid out over her couch in front of her living room window, one on top of the other, so it was like an old fashioned “bed turning” without them being on a bed.  The lighting tended to dull some of the colors, but the outstanding workmanship is very visible.  All of her quilts are complex hand appliqué with hand quilting and embroidery.  These are in order from first to most recently completed.  I had only previously seen the last 3 in person.

The first quilt was the kind of Baltimore Appliqué that most quilters would tackle only after a lot of previous appliqué experience!  Her hand quilting stitches were not tiny, but were even!   See my last post for the whole quilt with Bobbie in the pic and don’t forget to click on pics to see the details!!:

Second quilt – she tackled an on point setting!

Third – dark background!  And her hand quilting stitches have gotten much smaller!  Beautiful use of marbled fabrics.

Fourth – gorgeous alphabet quilt; love her sashing and borders on this one as well as the trapunto in the quilting:

Fifth – Bobbie’s wonderful interpretation of the “Bird of Paradise” or “Lost Boy” quilt top.  Bobbie drafted her own patterns from a picture of the original quilt top so it isn’t exactly the same as the “Civil War Bride” pattern that many have used to copy this.

Sixth – a very complex Baltimore Album style quilt – you can definitely see how she increased the appliqué challenges (and met them!!) with this one!

Seventh – Bobbie’s “Mary Brown” quilt – beautiful use of trapunto here!

Eighth – I just love the red background on this!  I’m pretty sure Bobbie won some significant ribbons at national level shows for this one:

Ninth – Zeruha’s Legacy.  Bobbie drafted this pattern straight from a rug she saw – I believe it was at a Folk Art Museum.   It turns out that the “Caswell Quilt” pattern that a number of appliqué -ers have made is similar.  This was a multi- award winner and I am sorry to say that somehow I missed getting a picture of the whole thing.  I love the unusual rusty red background and her overall color choices:

Tenth – one of my two top favorites of Bobbie’s quilts – “Ben’s Midnight Garden.”  I absolutely love EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS QUILT!!!!!

Here are 2 pictures I took of it at the Vermont Quilt Festival – 3 years ago I think!

Eleventh quilt – My other favorite -” Threads of Friendship” which was BOS at Vermont 2 years ago.  This is a stunningly gorgeous quilt!!!!:

Here are 2 pictures from the VQF which show it off a lot better than the one picture I took at Bobbie’s house:

And finally the 12th quilt – her BOS winner from last year’s VQF.  I love the green background and the oriental/Asian aesthetic.  The quilting designs are wonderful as are the color choices for the flowers:

Better pictures from VQF, esp. for the colors:

WOW!!!!  Thank you Bobbie for inviting me into your home and showing me your magnificent hand made quilts!!!  I look forward to seeing your silk quilt – perhaps at Vermont next year?!

I was finally able to take my string quilt off the design wall and make room for
“Time of Plenty” which has been hiding in the closet for several weeks (has it been months??)  I’m happy to get back to it.  All I need to do is sew the lower left corner pieces together and the center will be done.  This weekend I worked on designing a border.  I ironed and cut the border pieces 10 inches wide.  I played with some ideas and came up with what you see below (all are simply pieces of fabric cut and stuck or pinned to the design wall – no sewing at that point):

Now I am making triangles for the “dogtooth” inner and outer edges of the borders and have one side of one border almost all sewn on;

Next post I’ll show how I’m making these triangles.

I am closing this post with pictures from our front door into our front yard this past Friday – can you believe it!!!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

 

June 21,2019: Washington DC visit; Bobbie Korengold – “sneak preview” silk quilt!

Greetings!  We had a lovely visit with Al’s sister and our 2 nephews and their families.  In fact the family gatherings were so much fun that I didn’t even take time to get my camera out for pictures!  Al’s sister took us to Hillwood, which is the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, now a museum.  It’s a beautiful home with lovely gardens, especially the Japanese Garden:

Al and Maryann:

M. Post was a noted collector of all things Russian, esp. Faberge Eggs and porcelain:

The living room:

The dining room and her fabulous black and white dinnerware (she had dozens of dinnerware sets!):

I loved the “baby blocks” pattern on this piece of furniture!!

There were several themed gardens but the Japanese was the best:

We were able to visit the National Gallery which is an absolutely fantastic museum – I could have gone there every day but clearly on just one visit was able to see only a very small percentage of the treasures there.  We chose to concentrate on just the early Dutch masters, especially the landscapes, some of the impressionists, and the American Hudson River Valley painters.  I have an affinity for the Dutch winter scenes (click on pics to enlarge!):

And pastoral scenes – the world before there were too many people and much of the natural landscape was intact:

That same feeling about the landscape goes for the Hudson River painters:

Bierstadt:

Thomas Cole- here is just the first (and best, I think) of the 4 paintings from his “Voyage of Life” series:

Autumn on the Hudson River by Jasper Cropsey was one of my favorites:

Asher Durand”s dramatic seascape:

And I enjoy some of the “primitive” style paintings, too:

Manet, Monet, and Cezanne!!:

There was too much to show it all here, all of it wonderful!!!!

A highlight of our trip was getting together with Bobbie Korengold and her husband!  Bobbie is an amazing quilter  and her quilts are breathtaking.  After initially meeting through my blog, we managed to actually meet twice at the Vermont Quilt Festival- where Bobbie has won 3 Best of Shows!  When I knew we were going to DC, where Bobbie lives, I contacted her and she graciously invited Al and I to have breakfast with her and her husband and she agreed to show me her quilts, many of which I hadn’t seen in person before.  Wow!

Here is Bobbie standing beside her stack of 12 hand appliquéd, hand quilted, and hand embroidered quilts:

Since I have already posted so many pictures today, I am going to wait until my next post to show pictures of Bobbie’s older quilts, but today I an giving you a sneak preview of a silk quit she is working on – it is beautiful!!!!  She is currently in the “outline quilting” phase.  Enjoy her outstanding workmanship.  I apologize that the pictures are not brighter but this was the best we could do with the lighting and space available:

This looks like it’s going to be another award winner!  I’m inspired to think about making another quilt featuring silk……not sure when that will happen!

Since arriving home, I have managed to sew together all the pieces of the string quilt:

I started with 168 small blocks and sewed them all together in groups of 4 to make 42 blocks (6 across, 7 down).  I continued sewing pieces together in “chunks” rather than rows until had a “9 patch”, i.e. 9 large blocks to sew together at the end.  This method avoids having to deal with unwieldy long rows and sewing those rows together.  I find “chunks” and shorter seams are easier to handle.  The name of the quilt is Oriental Meditation #7 – Lorayne’s Legacy.  It’s the 7th of my series of quilts using this style of asian themed fabrics and it’s called Lorayne’s Legacy because of the wonderful gift of the hand painted fabrics from Lorayne Dodge who is currently in her 90’s.

I’ve been thinking about what to do for a border for some time.  I think it needs something, i.e.I don’t think I like the “no border” option.  I don’t think it needs anything elaborate.  I’m currently liking the option of a relatively narrow border with “light” on the inside and “dark” on the outside.  This is a mockup:

Let me know if you have an opinion!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

 

 

 

June 17, 2019: Short Brooklyn visit; DAR Quilt Exhibit

Greetings!  Al and I got back yesterday from our quick 6 day getaway to visit relatives.  In Brooklyn, NY  we got to see our son Michael and his partner Jordan.  The first day it rained so we didn’t do much other than settle in and catch up with each other but the second day was beautiful so we spent it outside at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – a beautiful spot!!!  Here are the 2 main men in my life!:

I really enjoy visiting botanical gardens and I was again in awe of the incredible diversity and beauty of plant life on our planet!  Here are some of my favorite pictures ( a tiny sample of what we saw!!!):

We treated ourselves – with Michael and  Jordan, of course – to dinner at La Modern, the fabulous restaurant connected to MOMA in Manhattan (sorry for the blurry picture):

A short but sweet visit!  Then on to Washington DC and the first thing I did – before we even went to my sister in law’s place – was go to the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Museum quilt exhibit.

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the exhibit (click on pics to enjoy the details, esp. the hand quilting!!):

An early Baltimore Album:

Another great Baltimore Album:

A gorgeous whole cloth whitework quilt:

I loved this EPP medallion style quilt!

There were 2 lovely crazy quilts:

I loved this appliqué quilt!

I have a lot of chores to catch up on today so I will save sharing the rest of the trip for the next post; hope to get that out very soon.  By the way, I took my hexagon stars project to work on and got very little done :):)

Meanwhile, I can ‘t resist closing with a fun Usula picture!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

 

June 8, 2019: Winter Solstice finished! Sting quilt and Hospital Sketches Block#5 progress

Greetings!  I had a wonderful time doing my trunk show for the Quilters By the Sea guild in Rhode Island, just outside of Newport.  The guild members were incredibly welcoming!  I’d never been to Newport before so it was fun to explore a bit the next day.  We got up early and walked some of the famous “Cliff Walk.”  It was somewhat overcast, but warm and the sun peeked out periodically:

Gorgeous walk!  The building is the famous “Breakers” – we did not go in for a tour, but we had expected more in the way of gardens and color outside.  We then drove on along the coast to Mystic, Connecticut and then home from there.  A lovely little getaway!

At the trunk show, I showed Winter Solstice for the first time!  I enjoy showing my 3 “palm leaf” quilts all together to show how using the same block can create such different quilts when changing the colors and layouts.  Here are some shots of Winter Solstice:

The inspiration was the stack of fat quarters of indigo fabrics I bought in Houston in November 2017 and I wanted to further explore setting and color options for the traditional palm leaf block, which I seem very drawn to. I liked pairing the indigo with very light cooler tones and shades of blue.  Sue Foster custom quilted it simply with in-the-ditch quilting, lines in centers of the “leaves”, and circles at the tips of the embroidered lines.  I think it enhances the overall design without overwhelming it.  Winter Solstice is part of 2 series!! – It’s #5 in the Spirit of Japan series and it looks like, without planning to, I have a series of palm leaf quilts going with WS being #3.  I’m open to making more if the inspiration strikes!

Meanwhile, I finished all the blocks for the string quilt and have started to sew them together.  Here are some of the final blocks:

Here is the design wall with all the blocks up (click to enlarge):

I am sewing the blocks together initially in groups of 4 which will give me 6 blocks across and 7 down.  I will likely continue to sew them together in larger groups.  I don’t especially like sewing long rows together and this method avoids that:

I have almost completed Block #5 of the Hospital Sketches sew along.  The colors in these pictures are pretty accurate – I’m getting better, I think, at adjusting settings in my phone’s camera for getting this gold background correct:

I hosted my quilt group this past Tuesday evening and look at this beautiful quilt that my friend Rosemary is making – fantastic!!  She took the Linda Hahn “New York Beauty” workshop and this quilt is in Linda’s second NYB book.  I love all the shades of green she used and I love waterlilies!  Rosemary is in her mid 80’s and my role model for how to be as I get older!!!!!

I leave the day after tomorrow for New York and Washington DC so won’t post again till after that.  I am doing 2 quilt related things in DC – I’ll keep them a surprise and post about them (hopefully with some good pictures) when I return.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

June 2, 2019: Making progress!; Pictures from a museum visit

Greetings!  Happy June – my favorite month of the year.  During my working years I almost always had the month of June off, so, naturally, it was a favorite time.  Even though I loved my work, it was intense and I found the summer to be relaxing and restorative.  Now that I’m not working, I still love the green trees and plants and colorful blooms after the drab winter and the ability to sit outside and stitch.  So what am I up to?

  •  I did a trunk show this past Tuesday for the Nimble Thimblers guild of Wakefield, MA.  They were wonderfully welcoming and I really enjoyed sharing my quilting journey with them.  This coming Thursday I’m in Portsmouth Rhode Island for another trunk show for the Quilters By The Sea.  This will be an overnight trip.
  • Star Trek now has a sleeve and a label, was examined closely – a couple small repairs were made –  and is now ready to be sent off to Vermont tomorrow!  I will next see it hanging in the show on June 29th!
  • I am very close to another finish!  I am putting the binding on Winter Solstice.  Here’s a sneak preview – will share the full quilt in the next post:

  • I have made 28 more blocks for the string quilt – just 16 more to go and then I’ll start sewing the blocks together.  Once the blocks are all together I’ll make a determination on whether to add a border.  Here are the new blocks randomly arranged in groups of 4 – this is not the final arrangement – just a convenient way to photograph them!  Click on pics to enlarge and enjoy the fabric selections and combinations.  I really enjoy the challenge of choosing fabrics for all my projects.

*  I have spent a little time sewing some of the rows of the hexagon star project together:

I have to admit that I am losing some of my initial enthusiasm for this project.  I am going to put this up on the design wall soon, add the extra stars I have, and see what size it is.  I’m thinking that instead of a whole quilt made up of these stars, I may turn what I have into the center of a medallion style quilt.  This would give me a chance to add other interesting elements to the overall design.  Stay tuned!!…..

A week ago I was invited to go to the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH to see a spectacular exhibit of beaded art work by native artists from South Africa.  If you live anywhere in the area, I highly recommend seeing this before it closes later this month.  Here are pictures with some background info, pictures of some of the artists, and pictures of some of this amazing work.  Definitely click on these pictures to really enjoy the stunning beadwork!:

Loved the depictions of trees in this:

Cattle are hugely important to this society.  I wanted to take this one home with me because I grew up on a dairy farm!!

This large collaborative work was just stunning!!!!

Details:

And there was so much more!!!  Just a fabulous exhibit.

May was a whirlwind and June promises to be the same!  We have a little trip planned to visit our son in Brooklyn  and then go on to visit my sister in law and our nephew and family in  Washington  DC.  I hope to sneak in visits to a couple of museums (with pictures to share!)

I know I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy Canadian artist  Judy Martin’s blog “Judy’s Journal” at judys-journal.blogspot.com.   She and fellow artist Penny Berens are planning a show of their work together for 2021.  I love what she said recently about their work because it really resonates with me in terms of all the hand work I do:

“Penny and I communicate our powerful love for the earth through the use of natural dyes and repetitive hand stitch/caress…….There’s an emotional relationship to work made with cloth and thread.  All that touching.  It goes deep.”

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

 

May 25, 2019: Project updates; finishing Star Trek

Greetings!   All Star Trek needs now is a label!  The “finishing” was a challenge.  I put the binding on – completed both the machine part and hand sewing down the binding – then attached some  crude “tabs” along the top in order to hang the quilt and see if it was flat enough.  The center (not the borders) had some ripples in it!  I looked at it and thought about it for 24 hours and decided it was not OK.  The ripples were too prominent.  The quilt needed to be blocked.  I don’t block my quilts and have been able to get away with it because of my usually pretty precise workmanship.

Most advice about blocking has one wetting a quilt, either putting the whole thing in a tub or spraying it all over with water, and then flattening it on the floor and drying it.  I didn’t want to chance that with a silk quilt, especially when I did not prewash anything.  What I did instead – after taking the binding off  – is iron the backside (cotton) of the quilt through a moist cloth.  Then I laid it flat for about 24 hours.  This actually worked quite well!!!  The quilt is still not completely flat, but a lot better and I am now OK with it!  By the way, when I put the binding back on I needed 4 more inches – amazing!  Then I embroidered a line of red just inside the binding – click on and enlarge above pictures.  Next time I show Star Trek it will be hanging at Vermont.  There are definitely imperfections so I don’t expect any major prizes, but, “the joy is in the journey.”  I’m very happy with how it came out!

The Star Trek label will say the following:  “Star Trek”:  An expression of my wonder at the beauty and vastness of the universe and the eons of time it has existed.”  All silk top – some pieces from trips to Japan and Thailand;  all silk quilting threads; silk batting; mixture of silk and cotton embroidery threads; cotton backing.

Meanwhile, I decided the colors in Block 4 of Hospital Sketches were too bright, i.e. garish!!  Also I felt it needed fewer “solids” and more prints.   I replaced all the center petals and now I like it much better and it’s done!

All 4 together:

Looking forward to the next block!

I studied the string quilt and decided it needed to be bigger.  The blocks finish at 5.5 inches so 10X12 blocks would be 55 inches wide by 66 long.  I want this to be big enough for a twin bed so am going to go with 12 X14 blocks and I still might add some sort of border after that.  This means I need to make 48 more blocks!!  I have cut out 24 blocks and made 4.  Lots of work still ahead. Nothing seems to go fast for me!

A new used book store opened up in my town several months ago.  I love used book stores so was very excited when I learned about this and finally made a trip to see it a few weeks ago.  There was a small section on quilt books so, being a bibliophile, I had to buy some to support them!!!!  Here’s what I bought:

A book on Amish quilts which features full page pictures and excellent commentary on why these quilts are art:

I believe this was the first Quilt National book – 1991 – but not from the first Quilt National show:

It is fun to see what some of the big names in Art Quilting were making back then:

The third book I bought featured some very interesting quilts with quite a bit of commentary about them:

And then I broke down and bought another Quiltmania book while at the MQX show – just can’t resist these!!!

Here’s one of my favorites from the book – the original first and the new version (pattern in the book):

And another favorite from the book:

Exciting news!  I have picked up Winter Solstice from the long arm quilter – very happy with what she did!  Here’s a sneak preview before I bind it and show it whole:

Gotta show another Ursula picture!  She is getting bigger (of course!) and starting to be able to pick things up with her hands.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

May 19, 2019: Enjoying life’s pleasures….

Greetings!  Since my last post, I’ve enjoyed so many things!  This blog is mostly about quilting, but there are times I am so grateful for many of life’s other pleasures that I want to share them, especially for readers who are friends and family rather than quilters.

The pleasures of a long marriage:      Al and I celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary.  We met almost a year before we married so we’ve been together 43 years.  I’m so lucky to be married to this thoughtful, caring, and fun man!!  We had dinner out at an excellent restaurant in Portsmouth (NH):

Here we are on our wedding day, May 14, 1977!!!

The pleasure of seeing my daughter get her masters degree in nursing, making her eligible to take the exam this summer to become a nurse practitioner:    I’m so proud of her!  She took courses one by one while raising 2 children, mostly as a single parent and working as an RN and then had another baby as she tried to finish up this last semester and she met every challenge.

Here we are sitting at her graduation.  Ursula behaved herself for the most part!!!

The pleasure of seeing my grandson (8th grade) inducted into the Junior Honor Society at the Beverly, MA middle school.:  This honor is not just for academic success but also for leadership and citizenship skills.  So proud of the person he is!!!  We had to dash over right after my daughter’s graduation to catch this!

Can’t leave out Sveta!  She is a good person too and shows every sign of being the academic star her brother is:

The pleasure of seeing and meeting Elizabeth Warren up close and personal.   Good friends of ours hosted a small event (70 people) for her and she was IMPRESSIVE!!!  I share her values and she is knowledgable and personable.

I haven’t made a final decision on who I am going to support – it’s too early! – but she is up near the top at this point!

The pleasures of early morning walks on gorgeous spring days, enjoying the spring foliage and colors after a long drab winter:  Notice the wild turkey in the last picture – a whole flock of them live not far away, but I could only get one in this picture!

The pleasure of my crabapple tree blooming and seeing other plants in the garden come up:

The pleasure of opening up my screened porch and deck for the season – still need to go on a plant buying spree for the deck!

And, finally, the pleasure of stitching, of course!!  I’ve been working on Block 4 of the Hospital Sketches quilt along.  It’s almost done, but I still have 24 “currants/berries” to stitch down:

I have also been working on the binding and embroidery embellishment along the edge of StarTrek – it’s been a bit of an adventure and I will give a detailed account in the next post!!

Hope you are all enjoying spring!  Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi