Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Quip - Evolution and Lucy Quilts All Return Home

Good Day,

Our Evolution and the Lucys, I Really Love Lucy and Who Did Desi Adore? arrived home to Tampa...

Quite a trip - Providence, Rhode Island; New Hampshire; and Portland, Oregon. And quite a year's experience at MQX East and West.

Thank you Janet-Lee Santeusanio and Mary Schilke and everyone associated with MQX.

It was a great learning and quilt-world education.

Thank you all.

And now we have to make room for all these quilts in the house.


Jim and Andy.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Quip – Rán – A New and Original Quilt – In Progress

Good Day,

We would like to introduce our new and original quilt – Rán – in design.

The paper design for our original Bargello-type quilt Rán has been completed. The dimensions, not including borders and bindings, will be created by a matrix of 5,616 pieces. All fabrics have arrived; Robert Kaufman Kona 100% Cotton.

In Norse mythology, Rán is a sea goddess. Her husband was Ægir and they had nine daughters. The above image is of Ægir and Rán by an unknown artist.

From Section XXXIII of Skádskaparmál in translation by Arthur G. Brodeur (1916, 1923) -

Rán is the name of Ægir’s wife, and their daughters were nine, even as we have written before. At this feast all things were self-served, both food and ale, and all implements needful to the feast. Then the Æsir became aware that Rán had that net wherein she was wont to catch all men who go upon the sea.

This should prove an interesting quilt project. Without revealing too much, at this point, in our design I am trying to express Rán’s net and the sailors. Who knows?

You’ll have to stay tuned, for our progress.


Jim and Andy
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Monday, October 29, 2012

My Quip – EssbeeCon – The Piles of Fabric Converted To Blocks – In Progress

Good Day,

Hope everyone in the Northeast is following the safety rules and common sense in the imminent approach of Hurricane Sandy. And our thoughts for precaution and safety are with those on the opposite side of the continent in wake of the nine earthquakes near Prince Rupert in the past seven days… Andy and I definitely have to get all our pending quilts done before December 21st.

Andy is doing an amazing job of piecing and sewing the template block of our design for EssbeeCon. I am enthralled with his work and the progress that I can see as it moves from PC to paper to fabric reality. All fabric has been cut for the top and for the 100 blocks.

From my image you can see a pile of completed blocks and three piles of cut fabric. The 4th pile is currently being worked on, on the sewing table.

Once all 100 blocks are completed we will be using our original EssbeeCon design to complete the final top.

Stay tuned for our progress.


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Quip – EssbeeCon – A New and Original Quilt – In Progress

Good day,

Progress is underway on our new and original quilt – EssbeeCon. (Check out my first introduction on My Quip on October 12.)

All pieces have been cut from the 11 Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton solid fabrics.

Our original block is a segmented foundation pieced block. “Foundation piecing is the technique of sewing fabric to a foundation in order to achieve very precise results.” ( One can use either fabric or paper. We are using paper to create our foundation piecing. In this manner we can reproduce our block pattern and repeat exact copies. Each completed block is a 8 ½” square, including a ¼” seam allowance. For EssbeeCon we are creating 100 pieced blocks.

After trial and error, we have discovered that a technique to construct each individual pieced block is to create three major pieced parts, or segments, and then connect or piece the three segments together. Hence our construction of segmented piecing. We used a similar technique in the construction of the blocks for our recent and original quilt, I Really Love Lucy.

Above are some images of some completed blocks.

The complete design for our EssbeeCon has been designed and a draft has been accomplished. I used CorelDRAW X6 to create the block and our original design.

Stay tuned for our updates and progress.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Quip – We Are Working On Quilts – In Progress and Update

Good Day,

Just to give you a quick summary of the quilts and wall-hangings that Andy and I are currently working on. And yes, those of you who know me know that I have to have everything written down and scheduled to the nth degree. My grey matter sometimes seizes up… and so I have to have some sort of organized planning.

The house is definitely looking like a sweat shop, of sorts... but I am trying to keep organized. I'm trying.

The following is a list of the quilts and wall-hangings that Andy and I are currently working on.

Hexi-Abuelita – Half-hexagon construction of used clothes. Top completed.

Gran’s Reminiscences – A reconstruction wall-hanging from a couple of old quilts. Currently in design phase.

EssbeeCon – Template and construction designed. All fabrics chosen. Blocks are currently being pieced.

Test 40 – An exciting new angle we’ve come up designing a quilt. Just wait. The colors have been chosen and the top is completed. The quilting design has now been decided upon. Should prove very interesting.

Cosmo’s Moon – Drawing has been completed. Fabrics have been chosen. We’re really excited about this one.

Confetti Primary – Thread has been chosen. Fabric colors to be determined. Initial design has been laid out. Work to continue on creating templates.

The Amulet – Initial quilting has been removed. We decided that we needed to change the thread color. The quilt sandwich is prepared.

Astro-Physics – All initial piecing has been completed. Structural design and placement in development.

Blumish – All prep work has been completed based on original design. Working now on deconstruction phase of design.

Joseph’s Coat – Top completed. This is one amazing melding of colors and we are really pleased with our efforts.

Joseph’s Ladder Pants – The preliminary design has been completed. All blocks have been pieced and created. We are currently working on placement of sashing.

Mauk II – Blocks and top are currently in progress. Quilting design to be determined.

Rán – This Bargello construction should prove interesting. All fabric has been chosen. Currently developing quilting design.

Gunta Stölz – All fabrics have arrived. We are currently working on the intricate design in the hopes to be a testimony to the artist.

Batique OM I – Blocks in progress. Design to be determined.

Batique OM II – Blocks in progress. Design to be determined.

Civil War Re-enactment II – Fabric has been decided. Complementary design is currently under way.

Eagle – Mosaic design has been completed. Fabric obtained.

Orange Peel Indian Summer – Top completed. Quilting design to be determined.

Just Trees – Semblance of artwork has been discussed. Process continues.

1961 Bargello – Formula concocted to create design. Bargello grid is next step. Fabric and color choices are currently underway.

If you are interested of commissioning and working with Andy and I to create your memory quilt, please contact us. If you would like some more information of available quilts, regarding costs, shipping, and insurance, please check our Quilts SB Etsy shop.

Andy and I are moving at a steady pace with our quilt and fabric wall hanging work. Keep abreast of all updates. I have added a “Follow By Email” capability at the bottom right of each posting under The Grid. You can also become a Follower of Quilts SB. Click on the “Join this site” to follow Quilts SB. I’ve added another means to follow the images of our quilt creations via Pinterest.

Check out my new experimental format of my Blog, Quilts SB Test. Certainly would appreciate your feedback.

To see previously posted quilts, there is a visual Grid presentation at the bottom of the Quilts SB page. Move your cursor over any mini-picture found there and click to see an enlargement. Move your cursor to the "Q#" link to see the quilt's details. If the quilt’s title is highlighted in yellow or in red, it has found a home in a collection and is no longer available.

The above included image is a photograph from approximately 1910, titled "Men sewing in a large shop", from the Cornell University Library Collection, International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985).

If you have any questions and/or comments please feel free to get in touch with me via email.


Jim and Andy
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Monday, October 22, 2012

My Quip – MQX West 2012 – VisTA Rainbow Challenge 2012

Good Day,

It seems that almost every quilt guild and fabric artist group enjoys dogging some sort of “Challenge”. Honestly they are not my thing… In most cases, I like to challenge myself, which of course means that that includes Andy. I’m not against Challenges, just not for me. And that is until I chanced upon the Vista Rainbow Challenge 2012 displayed at MQX West this year in Portland.

Twenty-four quilts, 16” wide and 32” long were the display… and I was more than impressed. And of course I attempted to capture the 24 quilt presentation with my iPhone panoramic camera. This worked, sort of… but I had to take two panoramic shots just to fit the visual effect of Vista’s exhibition and staging.

According to Vista “The Visionary Textile Artists (VisTA) in Tri-Cities, Washington, is truly a unique group of talented women. Each year a challenge is presented to the group that is designed to stretch their textile artistic abilities. The 2012 challenge was based on the color wheel, as depicted in Joen Wolfrom’s “Color Companion” cards. These cards feature 24 pure colors, along with a selection of tints, shades and tones, as well as monochromatic, complementary, triadic, analogous, and split-complementary color schemes.

Participants chose a color…” with a few basic and essential guidelines, and “the only requirement was that the finished art quilt had to “read” the color card selected.

This was truly a wonderful and amazing use of color and the creativity of fabric.

Here are the individual art pieces, (in 19 images), as created by the 24 members of the VisTA Rainbow Challenge.

Thank you MQX for presenting such a unique and beautiful presentation.


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Quip - Awe Inspiring - The Legacy of Linen

Good Day,

This week at MQX West in Portland I learned something... about the reason I have ventured into the wonderful world of quilting. The reason I have entered into the universe of fabric, and thread, the fancy of color and shade, the past and the present.

Across the aisle, in the Oregon Convention Center, from Andy's and my special exhibit Evolution, was an extremely serene, modest and what-I-thought, lack-luster display of monochromatic off-white and sort-of light beige quiet display of various sized quilts and wall hangings, The Legacy of Linen. In my mind I just thought it was another one of those "whole-cloth-type displays" that really is not my preferred cup of tea.

And was I completely wrong... and blown out of the water when I finally ventured over to the exquisite and excellent display of work by Cindy Needham, her Legacy of Linen.

In Cindy's words "My quilts have stories to tell.." And indeed each of the masterful creations and restorations just blew me away. Cindy has painstakingly, and most lovingly with deft and expertise, beyond any of my quilting and needlepoint capabilities, melded the past and the present in her exquisite restoration and presentation of that which once came before.

Cindy explains that "Each of my quilts originated from an ordinary antique linen. Most were damaged in some way with a stain, a tear or a hole... I consider this part of the charm and history of the piece..

These linens have a "presence" about them... somebody before me spent countless hours creating the beautiful embroidery, cutwork and drawn-thread work. I believe the original maker passed her work work forward to me so I could create a beautiful quilt. I feel as if I am honoring her by doing so."

And Cindy has done exactly that. I, a teacher, a banker, and an artist by claim, was just enthralled by the workmanship that Cindy has so aptly brought her pieces of rescued linen to life, and how she has breathed a new life and rekindled a new soul into each of her works of glorious art. Cindy's Legacy of Linen is amazing.

It is hard to share the actual piece of the creation and recreation of Cindy's work and of the linen and lace of the expert but dainty handiwork of long past by capturing each with my iPhone camera. But the experience is a melding of the past and the present, and I present to you a number of images of Cindy Needham's The Legacy of Linen.

Thank you Cindy for opening my eyes and teaching me. Thank you Janet Lee and Mary for presenting Cindy's Legacy of Linen at MQX.


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My Quip - MQX West Winds Down - The Eagle Has Landed

Good Day,

Andy and I are all packed and Evolution and our Lucys are now on their way home to Tampa. I am thoroughly impressed at the strength of the organization and the committed work and due efficiency of all those concerned with the MQX leadership, staff, and volunteers. Next stop, New Hampshire, MQX East 2013.

Weather forecast for close to Portland, Oregon is possible snow, 6 to 10 inches, and cold rain and storms from Alaska. Andy and I are certainly glad that we're headed home to our warmth and sunshine. Thank you Portland.

One of the spectacular entries, a Large Pictorial Wallhanging Quilt, is the amazing art piece Standing Tall by Joanne Baeth, of Bonanza, Oregon.

As described by Joanne "The area where I live has a large population of wintering eagles. The sky and mountains were painted specifically for this quilt. The needles on the branches were thread painted using several colors of green to give dimension. The many feathers on the eagles were constructed individually, highlighted and shaded with inks, and attached by raw edge applique. To soften and blend the colors, this piece was quilted very heavily with a filler typle stitch that enhances the natural scene. The quilting is entirely hand-guided."

Here are a couple more of my images, but all-things-being-equal my photos cannot do true justice to the actual wallhanging.

I am not a quilt judge, but I see what I like. A beautiful work, Joanne.


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Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Quip - One Quilt Picture is Worth A Thousand Pieces of Fabric

Good Day,

An amazing new, sort-of, function with my iPhone is the capability of taking panoramic pictures... And I am using my iPhone 4s.

The Great Bargello Project, presented as a special exhibit at MQX West, in Portland, is the construction of eight quilts by four Ohio friends from a pile of 464 two-inch strips and strip sets at 174 inches long. Tremendous colors and and awe-inspiring. Amazing work - Anna Fricker, Susan Hill, Chris Landis, and Mary Miller.

And I wanted to capture the complete effect of the display of The Great Bargello Project. The panoramic picture function of the iPhone, I think does exactly that.

Here is The Great Bargello Project in eight images... and a secret onlooker.

I really like Bargello...


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