Thursday, July 25, 2019

Christmas in July and a Free Pattern!

Christmas in July is an advertising gimmick that we can be subjected to around this time of year, but for quilters, it's a good reminder to get going on all those Christmas projects! This July, I (Kara) am jumping on that early Christmas bandwagon and teaching a wool ornament at the USO. For 77 years, the United Service Organization has been helping the U.S. military and their families, so it is an honor to be able to help in a small way. We will be making a variation of the tree ornament that we posted this past December—Christmas Markets and a Free Pattern.

The USO version
The tree from last Christmas

We have a full class of ladies who are ready to get a jump on the holidays and learn some wool appliqué in the process. The tree will be the first in a series of ornaments that will be taught, and I thought it would be fun to share the next ornament with you!

The dirndl is quintessentially German and is worn mostly in Bavaria, although you will see ladies in dirndls at most Oktoberfest celebrations around the country. Given that we are here in Germany, it seemed like a good idea to design an ornament that people could create that would remind them of their time here.

Fusing helps keep these small pieces manageable, but staples would work as well. 
The pieces are fused onto a 3.25" background.

Stitching the sleeves down with one strand of matching floss. Matching sewing thread works as well.

All the pieces are stitched down with an appliqué stitch, with the exception of the blanket-stitched apron. 
The apron tie is chain stitched with Valdani pearl cotton.

All the accent stitching is finished! French knots and straight stitches for the bodice. straight stitches for the sleeves, lazy daisies and straight stitches for the bow, and a stem stitch for the apron trim.

The pinned ribbon hanger inserted between the front. 
The back square  is cut the same size as the front (3.25").

Blanket stitching secures the back and front.

The finished ornament hanging on a tree!

The first two ornaments in our USO series.

Now, a dirndl ornament may not appeal to everyone, but maybe you know someone who might appreciate a German-inspired gift. If you would like to make the ornament, just clink on the link below. I bet you can guess what the next ornament in the series will be!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Teri's Travels: The Quilters Hall of Fame

I (Teri) am on the road this month, traveling across the United States with my husband. We will be gone for a month, and thus far have followed the Lewis and Clark Trail (sort of), reaching the Pacific yesterday. Of course, like any avid quilter, a few quilt stops have been planned into our trip. The first was in Marion, Indiana. Yes, we were a couple of weeks too early for Celebration 2019, and the induction of Marianne Fons, Liz Porter, and Mary A. McElwain. But at least I got to explore the museum, housed in the historic Webster House, once the home of Marie Webster. And we had the place pretty much to ourselves!

We entered from the back, through the stunning gardens.

The current exhibit (through July 27) is "Two of Us," which features quilts by sisters, Pat Holly and Sue Nickels. This was in the front parlor, welcoming us.

 You can see that we arrived shortly after they opened, at ten.

Also in the front hallway. Their vibrant use of color is breathtaking!

 A wall filled with some impressive quilt talent!

Perhaps you know someone who would be worthy of a nomination.


The front room featured several pieces of work from members of the Hall of Fame.

Upstairs were more quilts by the "Two of Us." Here are a few for you to enjoy.

After  enjoying the "Two of Us" exhibit, I explored Marie Webster's studio.

 Some of Marie Webster's designs, in progress

Marie used this room as on office, a sewing room, and a showroom. From 1911 to 1942, she sold patterns for her designs from her home.

 A fascinating exhibit showing how Webster created her designs. 

One of the rooms upstairs is set up for visitors to create a block for Quilts of Valor quilts. There are two machines available for use. I was a little sad that my husband was itching to get on the road, as I would have loved to stitch on this old treadle machine.

The gift shop includes many items made by a local quilt guild, to benefit the museum. I bought a thread catcher for use in the car. Because sometimes a girl just has to stitch.


How fitting that a quilt museum would have such a lovely garden! I always associate quilts with flowers—the colors, designs, textures—they just go together in my mind. And this garden is quiltworthy. Like Marie Webster, we derive much of our inspiration from gardens.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to tour The Quilters Hall of Fame, and I hope it won't be my last time. If you ever have the chance to visit, you won't be sorry! And though I won't be there to share the celebration, a well-deserved congratulations to Fons and Porter!

Stay tuned for more of my quilty stops along my journey. Where did I travel next?