Quilts at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn
August 19, 2014
Wow – thank you everyone for your interest in the, Part II of the Quilts at the Inn. On the previous blog I posted about the antique quilts and unfinished quilts I bought and finished over the years. This one is even more fun because it’s about, as I promised, the quilts I’ve made!
You may notice that a lot of them are decidedly Civil War period style. The patterns and fabrics are more muted but still interesting. I think I’ve leaned this way because 1) we live in Galena IL and 2) I love thinking about women as they sat around hand sewing with fabrics they had, usually from clothes they’ve worn out. They would have quilted with these shades of fabrics.
I have, however, pushed myself out of the box on a few occasions to use brighter colors. That was fun but not what my natural bent is. I’m working on that!
So, here we go. Hope you enjoy! Mostly I hope it inspires you to give quilting a try!
This quilt is from a book, as most are, that commemorates women throughout history that did “big things” that women just didn’t do back in the days. For example, one block represents a woman who owned real estate and rented out homes. I used striped fabric as the background and hand appliqued all the pieces on. These were all from my stash of civil war era fabrics. I used the needle turn process and it took over 1 1/2 years to finish. It was a great take-along project and I started keeping track of all the places I worked on this quilt but lost the paper I was writing on. One place was on a riverboat ride down the Mississippi River. Nice to sit out on the deck quilting away. Another place was Walnut Ridge, a log cabin bed and breakfast in Platteville. Worked on it twice there during our stays.
I entered this one into the local Fair. Almost won best of show but the judge did not like the fact that I “quilted” over the applique. This was a choice I made after much thought and I was proud of that decision. Oh well.
Here is another sample of the quilt above. I believe the house is the one representing a woman from years past who owned real estate.
This was my first “Lone Star” quilt. Piecing drives me crazy. This was done using a fusible background that makes all of your points perfect. What makes this special is that my husband saw this and wanted to hang it on his office wall right away! Awwww! Dave, you are just tooo cute for me and soooo very smart! I made this one in 2003
This Lone Star was made in 2012 using the same technique as above so I couldn’t mess it up. I added the eagles in the corners using a die cut from Accucut. What fun. There is a light colored background under this quilt. I chose to quilt with a dark thread on the top and bottom of the quilt – not so smart. You don’t notice it on the top but the back looks kind of terrible. Should have used a lighter bobbin thread. Oh well…live and learn as they say!
Several years ago I decided to perfect piecing. I have a “how to” book that was actually quite wonderful. Can’t find it now though. I especially like the middle motif. That is called “card trick”. Turns out I have not been using an accurate 1/4″ seam. You actually need a “scant” 1/4″ seam because when you open the seam it uses more fabric to make that turn. I had these squares laying around for about 8 years wondering what to do with them. Then my friend Susan decided to teach us one of the “quilt as you go” methods which was fascinating. Now my squares are a table runner and I just love it. Thank you Susan Hunter!
Then Susan decided to teach a group of us how to make a “Bargello” quilt. Bright colors here that I just love. It was a bit complicated but fun. The more seams I had the more “unstable” the piece was so it’s far from being in perect alignment but I don’t care. it’s beautiful!
I found this pattern around Valentines day in a quilt mazagine and as if I didn’t have enough projects, I decided to throw it together. Glad I did. I used all scrap fabric and I love it! Back to the muted colors we go! I guess I love the “homespun” look of these fabrics.
Halloween is not my favorite Holiday. In fact I just don’t like it. The very theme of it is dark and, well, I guess I don’t like dark. So, I found this pattern for bright and perky pumpkins. Helped me to enjoy the season a bit more! This was a kit. Everything was appliqued on by machine and I used some fancy stitches from my embroidery machine to decorate the background squares. My friend Rosie inspires me to do this. She does it on everything!
“Paper Dolls” quilt design. Last year my New Years resolution was to work only on projects I had waiting to be put together. I broke that promise just once for a small table runner. I had this quilt kit sitting around waiting to be made for about two years. I had purchased it at the Paducah quilt show, the first one I ever went to (thank you Susan) and I’m so glad for my resolution because it’s done and cute as can be. Again, civil war, homespun colors. Glad I bought it. This was pieced and pretty easy to do. It would be a good quilt and more precise if I had paper pieced it.
Here is my “Grandma’s Garden” quilt. All hand pieced hexagons from fabrics in my stash. Wow, this one took years. A great take-along project but wow what a lot of work! Don’t think I’ll be making another one so this is quite special. Have you ever done these hexagons? Jo Quilter in Bellvue IA has a quilt store and she is THE QUEEN of hexagon quilts. Check it out!
Table runners are fun because you can actually finish one in less than a year or two! This one was paper pieced. Again, my dear friend Susan taught a group of us how to do it. Love, love, love the precise points you get with this method. Give it a try!
I’m cheating now because this is actually a quilt my friend Rosie is making. She saw a picture of a Lone Star quilt that looked like an Indian with headdress on. She asked me to “figure out” how they did it. That was not easy and I still don’t have it right but they are turning out just great! I think she’s ready to quilt hers. I still have to finish piecing mine!
Paisley Cats! This was made in 1991? So it was probably my third or fourth quilt. It’s a lap top quilt and I adore the paisley fabrics and I used denim for the hearts. I was brave from the beginning of my quilting life as you can see I tried the interesting border on this one.
And last, but not lease, in fact this was my first ever quilt. I made this for our daughter, Becca. I had no idea what I was doing but just had to do it. It’s actually my own heart design. you can hardly see it but I added lace around the hearts. Again, being “brave as a bear” I used the prairie points around the outside edge. I quilted a heart in the blank squares. Not bad for a first time, do it yourself project! It’s been in protective custody for years because Becca is afraid of ruining it. I’ll have to give it to her now that she has a daughter!
Okay, so this is technically the “last” example. I just have to share it. I went on my first “shop and hop” about 7 years ago. I bought a book at one of the first stores that had his pattern in it. I used the rest of the stores to find all the various fabrics. That was smart. Always go on a shop and hop with a project in mind to buy for otherwise you buy a bunch of mismatched, “what did I buy this for” stuff! Believe me, I know! Also a good idea if you go to a large quilt show. Know what you want before you go! I used machine embroidery on this one with the Poppies. It’s an applique pattern so the possibilities are endless with it and I just love that!
What fun I have had over the years, what friends I have made and what places I’ve been all because of this lovely art! Want to come quilt with me? Just make your reservation at Bernadine’s Stillman Inn and let me know you’d like to quilt and we’ll sit down with a cup of tea and a UFO and get it done!