Category Archives: Metropolitan Patchwork Society

A Perfect Match

In my post the other day about this quilt top (by an unknown maker) that I bought recently at my guild’s annual auction, I lamented that I would never be able to match the solid lavender sashing fabric that was missing from the sides of the quilt top. I was wrong but you’ll never guess the reason why.

The same day that I posted the photo of the quilt top and explained how I acquired it, I heard from the quiltmaker herself — and it turned out to be Vivienne Moore, who also happens to be a good friend of mine! Vivienne follows my blog and immediately recognized the quilt top. It turns out that she is also good friends with two of my Metropolitan Patchwork Society guildmates who organized the auction. Viv was cleaning out her sewing room earlier this year so she donated a few bags of fabric and tops for the auction. She lives 50 miles away so I would never have predicted she would be the maker.

But wait, there’s more. Vivienne was pretty sure she had a piece of that lavender sashing fabric in her stash. And she did! Yesterday’s mail brought a remnant of the fabric large enough to cut sashing strips for the sides. A perfect match, of course. I’ll have to work around a few fade lines to piece the sashing strips but that’s easily done.

Vivienne told me she made the quilt top over 20 years ago. She remembers that the lavender fabric was from a line of solids produced about 30 years ago by one of the manufacturers of 1930s reproduction fabrics.  The solids were pink, green, yellow, blue and lavender, and were supposed to be authentic to the time period.

Viv isn’t sure why she didn’t finish the quilt but thinks it may be that her interest in pastels and ’30s reproduction fabrics had waned by the time she neared the end of piecing it. In addition, she was doing all of her quilting by hand at that point and probably didn’t want to invest the time to finish the quilt in that manner.

“I still can’t quite believe that this quilt ended up in your hands,” she told me, “but I’m so happy it did!”

There’s yet another coincidence. The photo I posted the other day was taken in my living room and in the background you can see a small quilt draped over the chair:

That too was made by Vivienne Moore! It’s a miniature Feathered Star measuring 33″ square. Vivienne gave it to me as a gift in 2011. At the time we were both in the same small quilt group, the Quisters (short for Quilt Sisters). It was our group’s custom to give each other birthday gifts, usually something quilty or crafty that we had made. I had no idea I was taking a photo last week of two quilts made by the same person.

Here’s a close-up of the Feathered Star quilt, showcasing more of Vivienne’s exquisite work:

Each star block is only 6½” square. And those little green feathers? A mere one-half inch each.

As far as the auction quilt goes, the search is on to find a suitable ‘30s reproduction print for an outer border so I can finish the top and get it quilted. With a wide border added to the quilt, it will easily fit a double or queen-size bed.

It tickles me to know that when this quilt is complete, my friend’s name will be on the label along with mine.

 

 

 

Posted in Metropolitan Patchwork Society, quilt labels, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), update, vintage quilts | 13 Comments

I Couldn’t Resist

My quilt guild held its annual auction last week, selling over 200 items. My goodness, I’ve never seen such an array of generously bundled fabrics along with books, patterns, sewing notions, vintage linens, and even a Singer Featherweight machine. And what did I come home with? This beautifully pieced quilt top:

We all know the last thing I need is another quilt top when I have so many of my own begging to be finished, but friends, I could not resist. The final bid was $20 — an absolute steal. Truth be told, I would have paid more but the top didn’t seem to be drawing a lot of interest. Was it because I was hovering in the background willing my guildmates to keep passing it by? I also lingered nearby (inconspicuously, I hope) as the auction drew to a close, making sure no one could squeeze in at the last minute to outbid me.

I have no idea how old this top is or who made it. Judging by the looks of it, the fabrics are 1930s reproductions rather than vintage pieces. What struck me as I unfolded it to get a better look was how beautifully it was pieced. The quiltmaker sewed consistent quarter-inch seams . . .

. . . and every single point on the front is perfect as a result:

 

That makes my little wannabe perfectionist heart go pitty-pat. It also argues for the top being more recent. My guess is that the quiltmaker used a rotary cutter and made very accurate cuts before piecing the top so accurately.

I hadn’t seen that block design before but it seemed to be a variation on the Shoofly block. I did a little research from the best source of all: Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Looking in the index under Shoofly, it didn’t take long to find the block, which has several names. It’s known as Richmond, Aunt Vina’s Favorite, Pin Wheel, Butterfly, and Lucy’s Four and Nine:

Brackman notes that the earliest publication she has seen for the pattern is Hearth & Home magazine about 1915 under the name Richmond.

The quiltmaker used a 5 x 6 setting, separating the blocks with 2″-wide sashing. The blocks finish at 10½” square, which seems a bit unusual to me. Right now the top measures 61″ wide by 77½” long. But here’s something a bit odd:  there’s a border strip of the lavender lattice fabric on the top and bottom of the quilt top but not on the sides. Look back at the first photo to see what I mean. Could the quilt have been abandoned because the maker didn’t have enough of the lavender fabric to complete the border?

I’ll never be able to find the exact shade of lavender to add side borders. What are my options? Well, I could add side borders with a reasonably close match to the original lavender but in my heart of hearts I know that’s not going to happen. I could remove the top and bottom borders and find a different fabric — perhaps a reproduction print containing many of the colors in the quilt top — to border the blocks. Or I could cut down the lavender fabric on the top and bottom borders and make borders for the sides with what is cut off. Then I could add a larger border of print fabric. Just an idea — but I’m leaning in that direction.

What would you do?

 

 

 

Posted in Metropolitan Patchwork Society, update, vintage quilts | 19 Comments

Saying Goodbye

My quilt guild, the Metropolitan Patchwork Society, recently published a blog post entitled “A Call for Comfort Quilts.” Friends of Hopewell House is looking for comfort quilts for residents of Hopewell House, a hospice facility reopening in southwest Portland this fall after a three-year hiatus. Prior to closing in 2019, Hopewell House spent 30 years helping thousands of individuals and their loved ones navigate with grace through one of the most profound times in their lives — death and dying.

According to Jill Citro, the Comfort Quilt Program coordinator, “The Quilt Program will offer patients a quilt of their choice, handmade by generous and creative community members who have donated their time, talents and materials. Each quilt will remain with the patient during their care. Upon the patient’s death, their quilt will be part of their ‘passage observance’ with their family, friends and caregivers, and the family will be invited to take the quilt home with them. As you can see, the quilt becomes an extremely meaningful, moving and cherished gift.”

It’s time to say goodbye to a few of the quilts I’ve made over the past 15 years or so. In a way, quilts are like books. If you’ve read a book and loved it, it’s like an old friend. It’s comforting to see it on a bookshelf; it might even be a book you’ll want to read again someday. I’ve become attached to every quilt I’ve made (even the ones that were made as gifts!) and I have enjoyed filling my home with them. They’ve been displayed in various and sundry places:  draped across chairs or on the back of couches, folded at the foot of beds, or displayed on quilt racks. Many a time a quilt has been pulled from its place on a chilly day to cover me or the Dear Husband while reading or watching TV.

Of the quilts I’m donating, three were made in classes I took from Billie Mahorney at the Pine Needle Quilt Shop in the mid-2000s. (Billie taught me so much about quiltmaking and is the one who first encouraged me to teach quilt classes.) A couple of the quilts are original designs and one is a recent quilt made from a free pattern. Now, freshly laundered and folded, these quilts are on their way to their new home. When Hopewell House opens its doors again, my hope is that these quilts will bring comfort and maybe even joy to hospice patients and their families.

 

 

 

Posted in family, Metropolitan Patchwork Society, update | 10 Comments

Cause for Celebration


Did you know that March is National Craft Month? Not only that, March 18 is National Quilting Day.

But wait — there’s more!

March 18 is also Worldwide Quilting Day — a day to celebrate the art and craft of quilting with like-minded friends around the globe:

I follow quite a few quilters in other countries through Instagram (are you on Instagram too? You can find me here) so I am delighted to know quilters around the world are celebrating the same day we are.

National Quilting Day is always celebrated on the third Saturday of March, coinciding this year with two quilt shows in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

The 23rd annual “Airing of the Quilts” is this Friday and Saturday, March 17-18, at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive in Milwaukie, Oregon. It’s a non-juried community quilt show exhibiting old and new quilts, traditional and non-traditional. Show hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm both days. For more information, visit www.MilwaukieCenterQuiltShow.org.

“Every Quilt Tells a Story” is the theme of the Metropolitan Patchwork Society’s one-day show Saturday, March 18, at the Beaverton Public Library, 12375 SW Fifth St., Beaverton, Oregon. Hours of the show are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. This show is also non-juried and features quilts made primarily by MPS members.

I’m a member and have submitted two quilts I completed last year: Stella by Starlight . . .


. . . and Ring Toss:

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll visit one or both of these quilt shows.

Quiltmakers are always being exhorted to support their local quilt shops. In the spirit of National Quilting Day and Worldwide Quilting Day, consider this a call to support your local quilt guilds as well.

See you at the show!

 

 

 

Posted in kaleido-spinner, kaleidoscope quilts, Metropolitan Patchwork Society, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, update | 1 Comment

“Go Big or Go Home”

That’s Pat Pauly’s motto. Pat is an award-winning art quilter and fiber artist from Rochester, New York. She’s known for making contemporary quilts with strong graphic compositions, many of them mixed media pieces on a large scale (hence the motto). She was in Portland this week to speak to the Metropolitan Patchwork Society (MPS) and lead a workshop on her “New Big Leaf” design, which employs freezer paper templates.

After seeing samples of Pat’s New Big Leaf and visiting her website, I signed up for her workshop. I’m interested in working more with freezer paper templates and wanted to learn about her methods and techniques. Her lecture for MPS, in which she zipped through 400 slides to illustrate her talk on “The New Face of Art Quilts,” was a wonderful precursor to her workshop the following day.

Here are two samples of Pat’s “New Big Leaf”:

Designed and made by Pat Pauly. 24″ square.
NewBigLeafFourPatchPauly15
Designed and made by Pat Pauly. 48″ square.

 

Pat brought to the workshop two other examples of her “New Big Leaf.” Here is the one-block version made with some of her own hand-dyed fabrics . . .

FiveNewBigLeaf
Designed and Made by Pat Pauly. 24″ square

. . . and a four-block version in commercial fabrics:

New Big Leaf
Designed and made by Pat Pauly. 48″ square.

 

Here’s Pat during the workshop talking about her quilt:

Pat Pauly with New Big Leaf
Pat Pauly with her New Big Leaf

 

After studying her samples in advance, I decided to make a single block using batiks from my stash. I brought a stack of batiks to the workshop and got to work. Here is my leaf in process:

new big leaf in progress

 

The orange batik I brought for the veins of the leaf turned out to look a bit faded. My friend and fellow MPS guildmate Vickie generously gave me some of her own brighter orange batik to jazz up my leaf. Thanks, Vickie!

At the workshop I auditioned several purples and greens to fill the areas around the leaf. When I got home I started to second guess my choices:

big leaf with initial choices

I’m going to replace those two lighter purple pieces with ones that are a bit darker. I want the outer pieces to blend more so that the leaf remains the focus of attention.

Yes, I’m liking this better:

big leaf in progress

I’m liking it even more with the little wedges of color in the outer pieces:

big leaf with darts

Slowly but surely, my “new big leaf” is coming together.

 

 

 

Posted in Metropolitan Patchwork Society, New Big Leaf, update | 5 Comments