Friday, July 31, 2009

A Pug Came to Visit

My sister-in-law Judy is the ultimate animal lover--3 dogs, a horse, a cat, and assorted small "wild" animals in her backyard. My daughter takes after her and has started volunteering at a local animal shelter. Recently, Judy was asked to "babysit" a pug puppy for a week and gave us the treat of a play date with our 2 puppies. Wilbur is the sweetest little dog--look at that face!

Ophelia (Lia), our maltipoo pup, was excited to meet a dog her own size:

Everybody played for hours.

But I'd think I'd better watch my Caitie or we'll end up with 3 dogs ourselves!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hollyhocks and Doll Quilts

Every summer I'm pleasantly surprised to see the hollyhocks bloom in my front garden again. I have a fear that one year they'll just say: "Enough beauty already, we're done." They look even better with a coordinating doll quilt, don't you think?.

Here's the word--doll quilts are not just for dolls anymore! They have a particular appeal to those of us who have fond memories of playing with dolls as young girls (or maybe boys, too!). Many of the patterns for doll quilts in my first book, American Doll Quilts, were inspired by antique doll quilts, although they aren't exactly replicas of real doll quilts. Doll quilts from long ago were played with until they fell apart and that's why they're so rare today--not many survived the wear and tear.

Sue from Indiana, who's in my SmallQuiltTalk group, brought some of her antique doll quilts to show us in the workshops I taught in Indiana last week. Don't you just love them to pieces?

I met another quilter from Marion, Indiana, who wanted to show me HER doll quilts:

This is the back of the hexagons doll quilt:

Here's another one:

It's fun to imagine what kinds of quilts children may have made and played with long ago and making little scrappy ones like these certainly brings the past alive, doesn't it?

This is one of the first doll quilts I made from simple nine-patch blocks. I was pretty much a beginner when I made it but I think my crooked seams really add to the overall antique doll quilt look, don't you think? Some of you reading this are probably fantastic quilters and you'd have to work really hard to get that naive, childlike look. It comes naturally to me, LOL.

Kathy's Excellent Quilting Adventure

Just got back from Marion, Indiana, where I taught some classes at the Quilters Hall of Fame Celebration. They were honoring the induction of Merikay Waldvogel as well as celebrating Marie Webster's 150th birthday and the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Quilters Hall of Fame. Marie Webster was the first "Quilting Celebrity" and an influential quilt designer of the early 1900s. She wrote the first book on quilting in 1915--the first history of quilts. She started a successful quilt pattern business after her designs were featured in the Ladies Home Journal in 1911 and is thought by many to be responsible for the 20th century quilting revival. Marie made her first quilt when she was fifty. Seeing some of her original floral appliqué designs up close was truly inspiring. Here are a few of my favorites:

The classes I taught were held in a classroom at the local middle school. There were quite a few other classes and workshops held throughout the 3-day event as well as lectures, auctions, Marie's quilts on exhibit at the Marion library and an exhibit of some of the quilts in Merikay Waldvogel's antique quilt collection. Eleanor Burns, Barbara Brackman and Nancy Odom were teaching as well. Wish I had been able to take some classes myself.

Wait, who's that in the back of the class I'm teaching???

Imagine my surprise when I walked in and found that ELEANOR BURNS signed up to take my class!! We had a lot of fun with her that day and she gave us a few tips as well. Wonder if she learned anything by making my scrappy little doll quilt??? LOL.

Here's one of my favorite quilts from Merikay Waldvogel's antique quilt collection:

Later that evening, there was a garden party dinner under a tent, amid beautiful gardens and a waterfall:

All in all, an excellent adventure and one I won't forget for a long time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Exciting News

Yesterday was pretty exciting--I heard that my proposal for a new book I've been working on recently was accepted by my publisher! I turned in the proposal to Martingale & Co. last month and I've been waiting to hear ever since, even though I know it takes them awhile to present it before the editorial committee and make a decision on whether or not it will sell (the bottom line).

It takes a long time to pull everything together and the book will probably not be out until early 2011. It took me weeks to write the proposal. After a lot of "pondering" I finally got an outline of the chapters and the projects I wanted to include. Then I used Electric Quilt to design 10 of the quilts to give them an idea of the projects I had in mind.

So now I have to fill in all the gaps and actually write the book and make 16 quilts. Yikes! It's always exciting but scary too. I'm always afraid that I won't like the quilts after I've made them, and what if nobody else does either?

I've been collecting wonderful fabrics for the last few months in anticipation of using them in some of the quilts. Along with a "few" of my scraps, LOL.

Now, time to get to work!