Thursday, September 28, 2017

BOM Block Two: Meadow Cranesbill

Thank you for your interest in our Flora and Fauna blocks! They are no longer free but will be part of a future quilt pattern.

We are excited to continue our free block of the month Sew-Along. If you are new to the blog, this free BOM will consist of 12 relatively simple blocks based on the German flora and fauna that I (Kara) see on my daily walks with our dogs. Last month's block was based on this butterfly that was gracious enough to allow me to take his picture.

I decided to do two different blocks to show a little variety in the materials that could be used; one with just fabric, and one with a combination of wool and fabric. You can read more about them here.

I do a lot of creative thinking on my walks about which block to create next, and lately, the weather has been perfect for a little pondering. The dogs even seem to enjoy it and have stopped pretending we are racing in the Idatarod. The leaves are starting to turn, the apple trees are loaded, and the asters are outdoing themselves in a vivid display of color.

The Autumn colors should be spectacular around here.

Flowers that are blue to bluish purple will always catch my eye, so this month we are highlighting the Meadow Cranesbill or Storchshnäbel in German. This lovely blueish, purple flower is a member of the geranium family and can still be seen in a few places around here, even though the cooler temperatures have arrived.

I'm guessing the name may have come from
the seed pods.
Notice the delicate lines on the petals.

At the beginning of this series,  I hadn't planned on making two blocks each month, but I like the idea of having one block in wool and one in cotton.  I wasn't as diligent this time about taking pictures throughout the making of these blocks, but they are pretty straightforward and simple. 

Cotton Block

All the threads and fabric used in this block.

When I was in France a couple of weeks ago, I searched for just the right color fabric for the flowers and found this rainbow gradated piece that was perfect for the cotton appliqué block; the faint lines in the fabric mimicked the lines in the petals. I appliquéd the petals on the larger flower individually but used one piece for the smaller flower.

Five individual petals

I used one piece of fabric for the smaller flower.

Stitches and Threads used (cotton block):

Green #5 pearl cotton by Painters Threads for the stem-stitched stems, straight-stitched calyx, and bud end. 
The Gentle Art Simply Wool in Parchment for French knots in flower center.
The Gentle Art Sampler Threads (3 strands) in Licorice for bullion knot anthers.
Edmar rayon thread in Lola (171) for straight-stitch pistils.

The pistils and anthers are place randomly around the center. 

The finished cotton appliqué block

Wool Block

For the wool block, I prepped the pieces using Soft-Fuse fusible, with the exception of the bud, which I stapled. As I was looking for threads to stitch down the flowers, I came across some #12 pearl from House of Embroidery, out of South Africa. If you would like to read more about these threads, Mary Corbet, over at Needle 'n Thread just blogged about these threads here. I have a large variety box and the purply-blue was perfect with this piece of wool. You can purchase the threads from Akonye Kena.

I love the variegation in this pearl thread. 

While the color wool I used for the wool version flower was great, it didn't have the lines in it like the fabric did. To create those lines, I used another of the House of Embroidery pearl cotton to make stem-stitched lines on the petals of the big flower.

I eyeballed the three lines for each petal. 

Stitches and Threads used (wool block):

Green #5 pearl cotton by Painters Threads for the stem-stitched stems,  straight-stitched calyx, and bud end. 
The Gentle Art Simply Wool in Parchment for French knots in flower center.
The Gentle Art Sampler Threads (3 strands) in Licorice for bullion knot anthers.
Edmar rayon thread in Lola (171) for straight stitch pistils.
House of Embroidery pearl (34A) for stem-stitched line on flower
House of Embroidery pearl (15A) for blanket-stitching around the flowers

Again, the pistils and anthers are place randomly around the center.
I was a little overzealous with the French knots in the center, but there were
no embroidery police around  to make me pull some of them out!

And the finished wool block

All the threads and wool used for this block

Have you started the first block yet? If so, we'd love to see your progress; and remember, for every block picture you share, you will receive an entry for our grand finale giveaway! Please join us for the fun and let us know if you have any questions.

Friday, September 22, 2017

And the Rest of the Show...

Three days was barely enough time to see everything at the European Patchwork Meeting quilt show, and one post was not enough to share all the pictures I took! Today you will get to see the most recent edition of the Quilts de Légende—an exhibit that I probably would have missed had I not chatted with a lovely lady from Wales. You will also get to see some of the unique textile art that was displayed from many different places around the world.

The Quilts de Légende exhibit was one of my favorites exhibits at Houston last year, and you can see those quilts and read more about them here. I had no idea that the new exhibit would be at this show, so I had a hard time containing my excitement when I found out. These exquisite quilts are all made completely by hand and must be inspired by an antique quilt.

India Mosaïca
Dominique Husson

Médaillon Et Sabliers
Colette Bourgain
Inspired by a Dutch medallion quilt

Ewa Guérin
Inspired by an old quilt top from Iowa

Aline Joulin
Inspired by an American quilt in the
Grand Rapids Public Museum, Michigan

Detail: Ogeechee

Vase de Fleurs et Roses Grimpantes
Michèle Beugnon
Inspired from a quilt from the POOS collection
owned by Kay Triplett

Detail: Vase de Fleurs et Roses Grimpantes
The choice of fabric and quilting
made this flower seem 3D
A line of quilting in red encircles the center

Maryvonne Marmion
Inspired from an old Ohio quilt dated 1891/1911

Detail: Vagues
Each triangle is only about 1"

Bleu de Prusse
Will Widnic
Inspired by an old English quilt circa 1830/1840

Be still my heart! I adore this blue!

Military Coverlet
Isabelle Muzeau
Inspired by a military quilt from the Nova Scotia Museum

Maude Devesly
Inspired by an 18th century Welsh quilt

Detail: Millefiori

Marie Henriette
Martine Crabe-Lanux
Inspired by an American quilt from the Shelburn Museum

The details of this quilt are charming!

Love the pups in this quilt.
This exhibit was one of my favorites, as the detail on each quilt was inspiring, magnificent, and mind-blowing. While this was spectacular, there was much more to see and enjoy. A favorite of many was the exhibit by Ian Berry, a British artist, who uses jeans to create stunning works of art. The detail he creates with varying shades of blue in denim is amazing.

A self-portrait of the artist

It was fun to see school groups enjoying this exhibit and others!

We had to travel through the towns, following the well-placed signs, to reach each exhibit. One of the local churches was dedicated to a display honoring the Amish roots of quilting along with some excellent examples of Amish quilts.

There was such a variety of textile art; something to appeal to everyones creative taste. Here is just a small sampling of the variety displayed in the various villages.

White Pine: Titan of the Shield
Janet Elliott

Detail: White Pine: Titan of the Shield

Monarch Migration
Barbara Lange

A stunning quilt all done in silk

Hana, Jo
Korean Bojagi Forum

La Petite Roumaine
à la manière de Matisse
Smaranda Bourgery

This was originally part of an actual garment.

Isabelle Cluzel

Detail: Zealandia

These next few pictures are from an exhibit by Lea Stansal of France titled "Embellishment Embroidery."

Love the embroidery on patchwork


The charm of French villages, all things textile, and a few French pastries for good measure—this quilt festival was phenomenal from beginning to end. Did I mention the vendors? Let's just say I parted with a few euro last weekend, but it was worth it. Sometimes I had to think hard about what language I should attempt to speak, but thankfully oohing and aahing over fabric and threads needs no spoken language.

The Dutch Heritage booth
The lovely ladies Petra Prins's booth

People from many different countries were represented here, all to be joined by a love of creating. The CEO of the event wrote an introduction for the festival program, and I'd like to leave you with a portion of what he wrote:

"Quilts and textile creations are evidence of human know-how over the ages. The emotion is present as well as the story woven in each of its threads. Indeed, one does not make a quilt without intention. It is created to express dissatisfaction or rapture, history or deep feeling. It is a way to express oneself through art without words. Finally, it is a medium to leave an imprint."

Claude Abel
CEO SPL Évènementiel en Val d'Argent