Forgotten Quilt; Halloween Postcards

25 10 2013

While looking through my old photo files for pictures of the Christmas stockings I had previously made, I came across a picture of a quilt that I had forgotten about.  The picture is one taken for the EBHQ historian at the Voices in Cloth 2008 quilt show.  I did not keep this quilt long enough for it to be professionally photographed.  It was donated to a women’s clinic in Africa, when EBHQ still had a means of getting these items there.

Triad II, 2008

Triad II, 2008

I also remember that this quilt was problematic in many ways.   It started in an EBHQ workshop on color in quilts taught by Christine E. Barnes.  She uses “mock blocks” to teach color and other artistic concepts to quilters.  (see her book Color: The Quilter’s Guide for all the details)  Below is the mock block I made in class, and I loved it.


Time to make a full quilt.  I changed the center square to a red-purple (magenta), creating a triad color scheme.

Finding the turquoise, yellow-orange, and magenta fabrics for the quilt was difficult, especially when I needed them in different values.  There was not much dark turquoise in the local fabric stores.

Then, finding an appropriate fabric for sashing between the blocks was even harder, since I had boxed myself into this specific color scheme.  I love the puzzle aspect of this art form, but this one was not so much fun.  The sashing fabric turned out to be in my own stash;  it was a fabric manufactured by the children’s clothing company Mousefeathers in Berkeley, and a wild print it was.

Anyway, after struggling with finding fabrics, putting them together, working out the math, and developing a quilting pattern, I was happy to see this one finished, ready for display at the quilt show,  and I loved it.  But NO ONE else did.  Too bright, unusual colors, whatever.  So off it went to keep someone continents away safely bundled.


Just for fun with the upcoming holiday—-some more postcards.  I loved making these from some old Alexander Henry fabrics I found heavily discounted after Halloween one year.  Some of these images were incomplete, but they still worked in this small format.  I even had to give the torn Frankie a few extra sutures on his neck;  seemed to do the trick.


Feed Sack Log Cabin

18 10 2013

Made from another of the vintage tops I had collected, this quilt is made almost entirely of feed sack fabrics.  The red centers of the blocks give a big punch to this quilt.

Unfortunately I have no record of when I got this top;  it may be another from Eli Leon.  Regardless, I know I waited a long time before I had it quilted, and when it was finished by Nina Farrell, I saw how wonderful it really was.

Also quite wonky, this quilt’s appeal for me is not in the precision of the sewing, but in the fabric.  I know I’m nuts, but I love these old prints.

Feed Sack Log Cabin, date unknown

Feed Sack Log Cabin, date unknown

Here is a detail of the machine quilting done by Nina Farrell, who got one of these lovely flowers in each red center.

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 1

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 1

For the back of the quilt, I used feed sacks and feed sack scraps from my collection.  I tried to use the wildest prints I could find, so they could be showcased on this big back.  Click on the photos to enlarge, and also see the detail below of some of the prints–crazy, crazy stuff.

Feed Sack Log Cabin, back

Feed Sack Log Cabin, back

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 2

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 2

All photography by Sibila Savage unless otherwise noted.

Vintage Indian Hatchet Quilt

11 10 2013

This vintage Indian Hatchet quilt was made from one of the very first quilt tops I ever purchased.  It was one that Eli Leon was willing to sell back in the late 1980’s, before I had discovered that there were antique quilt and quilt top sellers at many major quilt shows.  Click here to see Eli’s great quilt site.

Indian Hatchet, date unknown 72" x 83.5" Photography by Sibila Savage

Indian Hatchet, date unknown
72″ x 83.5″
Photography by Sibila Savage

I love this quilt for so many reasons:

—it is so humble.

—it has lotsa red, duh.

—the simple block, repeated four times within the larger blocks, gives direction to the quilt.

—it is made from many, many scraps, including solids.

—it is wonky.  Your eyes are not fooling you;  this quilt is leaning to the side, not quite a rectangle.

12C_IndianHatchet_2Indian Hatchet, detail

The above detail shows the hand quilting done by Quilting Plus, which I thought this quilt deserved.  I think this may have been the first top that I had sewn by these wonderful stitchers.

I have another hypothesis about this quilt, even though I am not an expert in quilt history.  I think this top-maker increased her scrap collection by purchasing fabric scraps by the pound from a clothing manufacturer, a common practice in the 30’s and 40’s.  The crosshatch fabric, seen above in dark blue and red, appears elsewhere in the quilt in the green colorway as well.  Also, the fabric in the lower right of the detail is misprinted, and would have been discarded by a garment maker.   These clues lead me to think that this is not the fabric stash of one quilter.

Regardless of these “imperfections”, I love this quilt like crazy.

All plaids

4 10 2013

Let’s start a waaaay long time ago, back to the days when I was just beginning to understand how to work with patterns and prints, using Roberta Horton’s book Calico and Beyond: The Use of Patterned Fabric in Quilts as a guide.  One of my first projects was the challenge of using only plaids.  I have found that setting limitations sometimes stimulates my creativity;  I want to solve the puzzle.  Here is an example of this quest.

Now, when I see this older piece, recently beautifully photographed, I see all the fabrics from which I made shirts for my husband and for myself—some are lovely pima cottons from Britex.   Some of you may remember when gingham was 100% cotton—the good old days.

And here are these fabrics, all fitting together in a quilt for a Raggedy Andy.

Raggedy Andy, 1989 29.5" x 29.5" Photography by Sibila Savage

Raggedy Andy, 1989
29.5″ x 29.5″
Photography by Sibila Savage

The details shows that this was made during the time when I was still hand quilting my pieces.


Now let’s jump forward 20 years to see how these plaids are still a fun part of what I do.

These two quilts, one finished and one still in progress, are made from the leftovers from an unfinished project I started in a Rebecca Rohrkaste workshop.  The original project just did not want to get finished, so I re-purposed the fabrics into two smaller works.  I still love the colors, and all the activity in the plaids.

All Plaids, 2009 42" x 44" Photography by Sibila Savage

All Plaids, 2009
42″ x 44″
Photography by Sibila Savage

A Flying Geese work-in-progress.  I love this one much more than the first, and I think it will be a wonderful quilt when finished.


Click here for Super Triangles with more plaids.