April 26, 2914: “The Real Deal”


I periodically look at a facebook page for antique and vintage quilts because I enjoy looking at and am inspired by antique quilts.  A 19th century quilt was shown and someone called it “the real deal.”  That phrase got me to thinking:  I want my quilts to be looked upon in the future as “the real deal.”  I believe that phrase in this context means a quilt with excellent design and workmanship.  I strive for those qualities.  I know I don’t always attain them but I try my best!  I continue to hand quilt because I enjoy it, but I do believe that future generations can’t help but value and marvel at the work and time that goes into this and that we hand quilters will be appreciated and not forgotten!

Here’s what’s in the hoop right now:

42614 In the hoop

And a closeup of the stitching (can’t make my camera make this look more purple, which it is, instead of blue!):

42614 SScloseup

And here is the border just waiting for me to get to it!

42614 SS border

For Spirit of Japan #3, I decided to make the top and bottom borders the same and sewed them on (click on the picture for an enlargement which will allow you to see the borders better):

42614 SOJ full


I am pretty sure I am eventually going to send this out to be basted on a long-arm and I definitely plan to hand quilt it.   Many of the fabrics are a bit thicker than the usual cottons used in quilts, but I made a small practice quilt “sandwich” of these fabrics to try it out and it quilted well; I was relieved!  The stitches won’t be quite as small as I can achieve on thinner cotton but that’s OK.  I don’t plan to start on this anytime soon because I don’t want to be distracted from quilting Spring Sonata!

I completed several more of the 2 inch blocks for the doll quilt.  These are very quick and easy to do when I’m not in the mood to hand quilt:

42614 DQupdate

And I did make some progress on the new applique.  Here is the background for one block cut out:

42614 BirdAppbackground

Love that fabric!  The date on the selvage is 1999 – I’ve had it for 15 years!  Here is an idea of the layout;  I increased the size of the star in the center so it looks more balanced and I will have to decrease the number of berries:

42614 BirdAppdetail

And a closeup of the center which I will reverse applique and then put another circle in the center of the black area:

42614 BirdAppcenter

And here is close up of the leaf; I am also going to reverse applique the center so the center of the leaf is red:

42614 BirdAppleaf

At my quilt guild meeting last week, various vendors were selling their wares.  One vendor was Faye Labanaris who is well known for her applique and 3-dimensional work and has published several books.  A class with her 18 years ago is what started my love affair with applique!  I am lucky to be in her guild!   She talked me into buying some Superior brand silk thread for applique.  I was wary because I haven’t really liked YLI Tire silk thread, but decided to give it a try:

42614 Silk thread

I have to say that this silk thread is MUCH BETTER!  It doesn’t tangle and feel as “out of control” as the  YLI silk thread and is a pleasure to work with.  The applique stitches are practically invisible.  I’m so glad I decided to try it and I’m sure I’ll be buying more colors in the future.

For friends and family who read my blog, Ingrid and the grandkids came for Easter and then  the kids came back in the middle of the week for a couple of overnights  because it was their school vacation and we wanted to give Ingrid a break.  Since I still had to work, Al was with them a lot more than I was but it was fun!!

Here is our good friend and musician, Craig Werth, and Dmitri playing their violas together:

42614 Violas#1

Here’s another:

42614 Violas#2

And here are some pictures of them outside on Easter (click for enlargements):

42614 Dmitri baseball 42614 Sveta#2preferred 42614 Sveta running

If you are looking for other quilt blogs to enjoy, check out quiltsoflove.blogspot.com/  This is the blog of Margaret Solomon Gunn who makes beautiful quilts and is deservedly winning ribbons everywhere these days, most recently at the AQS show in Paducah.  You will enjoy seeing her work and reading what she has to say about quilting and the quilt world these days.  Recently she had a great post on what is a “modern” quilt prompted by the disqualification of a quilt she entered in that category at a big show.  I thought she made an excellent case that her quilt should have been accepted.  I am looking forward to seeing how the “modern” quilt movement plays out over the next several years and whether quilters who start making quilts in a modern style will eventually be drawn to more traditional styles.  We’ll see…

Life is good.  Thanks for visiting!



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