Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friendship Stars

Today's free quilt pattern is Friendship Stars. It's a variation of a pattern my friends and I made using 1, 6" star per block. I drafted 4 blocks to bring it to 12". I love the way the triangles make the stars weave in and out.

Yesterday a roofing company dropped off shingles for our roof. Maybe in two weeks we'll have that job done. We've been lucky there's been no rain.

This morning I conducted a quilt tour for MSU's Evening College. I chose 10 quilts that represented a brief history of American quiltmaking. The class was full and I met many lovely people. There were 14 women and one man. The man had brought his wife for a surprise adventure. He knew she liked quilts and so he signed them both up for the tour! I think he's a keeper.

If you'd like to take the tour, just click on the quilt name to view the quilts.
The first quilt was a Wholecloth made c1780.
Next was a Broderie Perse c1820.
Quilt #3 brought us into the 1850s with a 4-Block Pot of Flowers applique.
Next we saw a Civil War era Railroad Crossing quilt.
Then a wonderful 1870s Ducks in the Pond made in Birmingham, Michigan.
For the 1880s we saw a Crazy Quilt made in Elsie, Michigan.
A Redwork based on Nursery Rhymes represented the 1890s.
A LeMoyne Star made on a farm in the Thumb was from the turn of the century.
A Memory Bouquet made in Detroit was from the 1930s.
Our last quilt was the Missouri Tree Rose made by Mary Schafer and her friend Betty Harriman in the 1970s.

If you'd like to see the quilts in person you can organize your own quilt tour. Go to our Behind the Scenes Tour page to get started.

Michigan State beat Indiana today. Go Green, Go White!

Till next time.....Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pretty Pastel Sampler

This is Susan Smith. She's standing in front of a quilt made from patterns from my book Block By Block. She is the president of the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild of Beamont, California. Susan gave this quilt to her daughter for a silent auction for the White Oak School in Baltimore, Maryland. The school is a special education school and this was auctioned at their Fall Family Fun Fair.

It was sent to me by Geri Yeakel of Redlands, CA, one of her fellow guild members. In March of 2006 this guild began using my patterns for a block of the month group. I hope they continue on using the free patterns on this blog. I'd love to see other quilts from these (or any other patterns!) Just email them to me and I'll put them up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spools and Bobbins

Wow, it's been a busy few weeks, but I finally got a new pattern written. It is called Spools and Bobbins and is an original pattern. Page three of the pattern shows my influences and explains how this pattern came to be. As always it is a free quilt pattern. Just click on the name Spools and Bobbins and you will be sent to a free PDF that you can either print or save to your own computer.

Last week when Hurricane Ike hit Houston, it also hit Lansing, Michigan. We had a roof leaf in our bathroom right before the storm. Three days of hard, heavy rain soaked our insulation and our bathroom ceiling caved in! My daughter was home and called to say the dog heard the crash and ran to her room for protection! So much for a brave guard dog.

I watch a lot of old movies. My favorite TV station is Turner Classic Movies. Last week I saw two movies with quilts in them. When Harry Met Sally is a great movie starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. In one scene Harry and Sally are watching Casablanca on TV, each in their own apartments, in bed, while talking on the phone (a send up of Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson and Doris Day). Sally is tucked under a Windblown Tulips quilt with yellow tulips. The other movie was My Bill starring Kay Francis from 1938. It's the story of a mother of four with money troubles and how her son Bill saves the family. Bill befriends a crabby old neighbor lady. In one scene the lady is lying under a log cabin quilt. It appears to be a silk one, where one half of each block is black. The strips are very narrow. In another scene the old woman is lying under a Dresden Plate quilt. I can't tell the colors since the movie was in black and white.

Last Thursday the guest speaker at our quilt guild was Patsy Thompson. She specializes in machine quilting and does excellent work. I admired her skill, but wasn't inspired to make quilts like hers. The more I quilt the more I realize how traditional I am. However, the more I watched, the more I realized how many good techniques she was describing and how much of it I could incorporate into my work. I especially want to learn to machine quilt feathers without marking them. I am now inspired to get out the muslin and scraps of batting and practice, practice, practice. Thanks Patsy!

The next pattern will by Friendship Stars.