Monday, December 20, 2010

Winding New Ways Deja Vu

Just when I thought we were dealing with old news (in last Monday's blog), it turns out that the block Bobbi and I designed for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers, which was on the newsstands at the beginning of 2010, has taken on new life.  The Quiltmaker issue for January/February 2011 comes with a complimentary CD that contains 10 of the blocks from 2010's 100 Blocks.  Winding New Ways is one of the 10.  The block is pictured, instructions and a pattern given, and there is a little bit of information about our book, Tile Quilt Revival.  So, if you missed Winding New Ways in 2010's 100 Blocks, it is available again on newsstands.  

Also of interest in the current issue of Quiltmaker is a quilt created by Carolyn Beam from a fabric line called, A Morris Tapestry, which was designed by Barbara Brackman for Moda.  It's a really pretty blue-and-cream quilt, page 47.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winding New Ways

With snow on the ground and the end of the year fast approaching, I think I can be excused for taking a little mental stroll down memory lane.  Especially because this year with the publication of Tile Quilt Revival has been so eventful and memorable. I was thinking about a block that Bobbi and I designed for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers, which was on the newsstands at the beginning of 2010.  

The block is a simple modification of the traditional Winding Ways block.  We called it Winding New Ways--what else?  It makes up beautifully in a tile quilt.  Here is a small quilt that Bobbi made with the block:

Her choice of a polka dot for the background fabric is such a happy one.  It just adds to all the wonderful movement of curves.  

Happy strolling.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ukulele Fever

My sweetheart loves to play the ukulele and sing.

The picture of a happy man.  Our friend Brownie took it.  

This weekend we watched a documentary called, The Mighty Uke, about ukuleles and people who love to play them.  It is delightful and infectious, says the person who up 'til now has managed to be fairly immune to the ukulele bug.  

The closest I've come to catching the fever was to make a tile quilt of Carlos playing his uke and singing.  

Looks just like him, doesn't it?  It's titled Carlos and Some of His Favorite Things, which include, in addition to his ukulele, a gigantic trout he's dreaming of catching, a Vespa button on his collar, a photo of a long-gone dog, and on the table a photo of me with the current crop of mutts.  

I fused the tile pieces on a blue batik background, which extends a couple of inches beyond the tiles to form a border.  Then I secured the raw edges of the fused tile pieces with a machine blanket stitch.  By blanket stitching through all three layers, the top, batt, and back, I accomplished the quilting and raw-edge securing in one step.  Sweet.

Happy strumming.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seamstresses Unite!

Seams (I know, I know) that there is an activist thread (I know, I know) that runs through the stitching community.

From today's The Writer's Almanac (

It was on this day in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the front of a bus to a white passenger. She was unknown, a seamstress, the secretary of her local chapter of the NAACP. She was arrested and fined, but she appealed her case, and another relatively unknown person, a young pastor, Martin Luther King Jr., took up her cause. He founded the Montgomery Improvement Association and called for a boycott of the city-owned bus company. For 382 days, boycotters walked, biked, carpooled, or even rode horses to get to work. Across the country, black churches started campaigns to donate money or shoes to the boycotters, because they wore out their shoes by walking so much. Finally, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of buses was unconstitutional, a major victory for the Civil Rights movement.
Rosa Parks died in 2005, at age 92.  
And now there is a movie, Made in Dagenham, about the seamstresses who brought us equal pay for women.  They were mightily underpaid upholstery sewers at the English Ford plant in Dagenham whose walkout led to England's equal pay legislation, the wellspring for similar legislation in many countries.  
Keep on stitching...