...big bold beautiful Kaffe Fassett quilts...

Have you ever loved a fabric so much that you hate to use it? 

Do you have big bold wonderful prints that you just can't bring yourself to cut up? 

If the answer is yes, well, my friends, you"re not alone.  I've been there and I've got a stash of fabric to prove it.  So this week I thought I'd show you a quilt my friend Bernadette made from some of her favorite Kaffe Fassett prints.  She used a 12" block to showcase these wonderful fabrics and then set them on point to add some visual interest.  And if that wasn't enough, Bernadette added yo-yos to the corner sashing!  Fun, fast and fabulous! 

Way to go Bernadette.  And many thanks for loaning us this beauty.  We just put it up on the back wall, so everybody can see it up close and in person.  Stop by the shop and check it out.

cu soon,

Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 11:08PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Modern Thinking...

Every quilt has a story to tell—and Mary Ann’s Modern Thinking is no exception.

Would you believe that this blazing beauty once started out as a pile of beige fabrics? Oh sure, there were some other colors thrown in there—like taupe, ivory and tan—but basically we’re talking a whole lot of BORING! Even Mary Ann would concede this point. But that’s just the point—she took Amy Walsh’s class because she wanted to learn how to work with color. Enter Amy. Now I’m not exactly sure what happened here because I was busy upfront cutting fabric, but by the time Amy was done “adding” in a few colors, Mary Ann had a dazzling new color palette for her quilt.

Here’s the thing with color—you’ve got to go for it—just jump in the deep end. And then step back. Put it up on the design wall, move some stuff around, maybe add an element to unify it, like Mary Ann did with the center bars, and make it happen.

Modern Thinking -- a Blue Underground Studio pattern

Pieced by Mary Ann Manley with a little help from her friends at Quiltology.

Perfect, isn’t it?

Posted on Friday, September 5, 2008 at 01:05AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Beiing Fans...

I’m back in the blogging saddle again! So sorry for the delay but I’ve been seriously distracted by the pageantry and competitive gusto of the summer Olympics. I knew that if I didn’t write this tonight—I’d get distracted again this week with the gyrations of the upcoming democratic convention. You gotta love television—it gives us a front row seat on history—and folks there’s lots of that being written in the next few weeks.

Did you see the fireworks over the bird’s nest? All I can say is—WOW!

Beijing —Beijing—how I love Beijing. It really is a fascinating place and I’m happy to see it again as it played out as a backdrop to some really amazing athletes. I visited Beijing back in 1995 and it inspired one of my all time favorite quilts. I’ve got to admit, the quilting fabrics leave much to be desired, but that’s okay. Sure they’ve got lots of absolutely beautiful silks—but the cottons are manufactured for the world market so they’re not available in country. But no worries—fabric of any kind is always inspiring—especially in a place so steeped in art, architectural ornamentation and cultural symbolism.

A trip through the Forbidden City—also known as the Imperial Palace—is as inspiring as it is unforgettable. (Note to self—add The Last Emperor to the Netflix queue!) This amazing palace is really a city within a city—like the Vatican—but almost twice the size. It’s located in the center of Beijing across from Tiananmen Square and covers 180 acres.

Okay, enough with the factoids—here’s the thing I remember—the significance of numbers in the Chinese culture. The number 9 is considered to be especially lucky. So there are 9,999 rooms in the Forbidden City! And if you walk up and down any of the many staircases in the palace—you guessed it—9 steps each!

I made the fan blocks for this quilt the summer after I visited China. But it was three years before I came up with the setting design, hanging the blocks up on the design wall, moving them around, taking them down, considering and reconsidering. Finally, the dragon’s tail setting came to be—and I knew that it was just perfect—but not just because it was a Chinese symbol in and of itself—but because of what it symbolized numerically. If you look closely, you’ll see that that this quilt is structured with 6 blocks across by six rows down. That’s 36 blocks. And 3 + 6 = 9! Now, how’s that for symbolic symmetry!  

Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 09:52PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Show-and-Tell...Renee's Gee's Bend quilt

You may be wondering, “What happened to the blog?” Well friends, the flu happened. Yes, I got nailed here for a couple of weeks. But alls well that ends well and I’m back!

I’ve been thinking lately about what a wonderful vantage point I have here—I get to see so many fun, interesting and amazing quilts and works-in-progress. I think it’s about time I starting sharing—don’t you?

ReneeGB1.jpgThis week’s show-and-tell comes from new quilter—soft spoken Renee Davis. Who knew she had this amazing project in the works? Never one to toot her own horn, Renee just happened to bring it to class with her last week and I nearly fell over—this one’s definitely TGTBT (too good to be true!) Out came the camera—the rest is for all of you to enjoy.

Renee recreated the cover quilt from “The Quilt’s of Gees Bend.” The quilt represents the essence of traditional patchwork in a modern interpretation—simple yet bold, created from salvaged fabrics with strong graphic design lines and vibrant color choices. In this case Renee used blue jeans and cords from her family’s closet, incorporating bits and pieces of her own clothing as well as those belonging to her husband and daughter. (“Hey Mom—have you seen my blue jeans?...ah, no honey, I can’t imagine where they went to…have you checked the laundry room!)

And for a little historical perspective, an introduction from the preface to the book…

GeesBend.jpgThe Quilts of Gee’s Bend presents the genius of a group of exceptional women who, for well over a century, have created distinctive works of art for their homes and families. Hailing from one small rural black community in Alabama with a population of about seven hundred, these women have produced hundreds of quilt masterpieces that we know about dating back to the mid-1920s to the present. The textile artists of Gee’s Bend are the inheritors of a tradition that undoubtedly goes back many generations, though earlier examples of their community’s quilts are lost.

The Gee’s Bends quilts also represent only a portion of the rich tradition of African American quiltmaking in the South, but they are in a league by themselves. Few other places can boast the density of Gee’s Bend’s artistic achievement, which is the result both of geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity. In few other places can we find surviving examples of work by three and sometimes four generations of woman in the same family, or trace the lineages of different community quilting groups. And in few places can we find so many quilts with so much flair, pieced in bold, improvised geometries from salvaged work clothes and dresses, cotton sacks and fabric samples. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend presents a particular place and its people, who have created a body of art as rich in its content and so remarkable in its execution that it now enhances dramatically the American cultural landscape.

GeesNotes.jpgIf you haven’t had a chance to see the traveling Gee’s Bend quilt exhibit, then you must visit the web site. Unfortunately the book is currently unavailable, but if drop by the shop, you’re welcome to browse through my personal copy. And if you want to inspire yourself on a daily basis—check out the new collection of 30 notecards depicting these marvelous quilts in all their colorful glory.

Until next time—happy sewing everybody!


Posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 08:55AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Way to go Barbara...




This is a shout out to Pauline--Barbara's mom in Boston--who's been reading my blog at 6:30 in the morning!  God love you!  Check out Barbara's blocks.  She started a Blue Underground Studios pattern in Amy Walsh's color class in September and has returned to the November studio group to work her magic on the design wall.  This stunning quilt is starting to take shape.  We'll keep you posted.



Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 11:24AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment | References51 References