Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good morning from beautiful Kentucky! We made it in last night - it was great having a traveling companion - and aside from an interesting encounter with the TSA in Manchester - Oil of Olay, seriously? - we were good to go.  Beautiful accomodations, great soup - and we're off on the next lag of the adventure! It's so much fun traveling with others.

This morning, we're off to Hancock's, the Museum and tonight is the show preview...another great day on tap, and sunny weather to boot. Like Terry, pictures won't be up until next week because of connection issues, but we'll continue to post as I can. I'm using Terry's computer this morning to post - maybe I need to pick her up a thank you gift today. I'm sure I'll find something.

Off in search of inspiration and fabric for my Downton Abbey challenge...more as I can!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thoughts from the past...

It's been a busy week this past week - I can't believe I haven't posted yet.  Now that I've made it through most of Friday the 13th, I should give you an update on some of what's happening.  The newsletter will be out next week with more information about upcoming events - and a pretty major announcement. 

The week started off with a bang when a story I wrote a while ago - about my son's wedding quilt - was picked up by HGTV.com. Here's the link to the story.  I was very surprised to see that happen, but a few comments on it will help it a lot - so please share the love and add to the coments.

I've been asked for a recap about the Downton Challenge - we're already seeing some amazing things happen with it, so I am very excited to see where it al will lead. 

Downton provides a wealth of ideas for you to use as the jumping off point. Your quilt  can be based on the storyline, a character or characters,  history  or an element within the story ...it's your choice.  The only rule is that you have to be able to relate it to the storyline, and it should be no more than 24" on a side. 

The only rule is that you have to be able to relate it to the storyline, and it should be no more than 24" on a side.  The Challenge will close on September 30*.  At that time, we'll be awarding prizes based on a raffle system - send us a picture of your quilt, tell us the story,  and you'll be entered to win a prize.   

I originally conceived of this as a fund- raiser for Public Television, who brings Masterpiece to us here in the US, I contacted the NHPTV stations, and the timing of this coincides with their online winter auction - which leads (conveniently) into the publicity run - up to Season 3.   Funds generated from the donation to NHPTV would be channeled to local programming.  I am also in discussions with WGBH in Boston, and will keep you posted. If you elect to participate to the fundraiser,  the quilt will have to be physically mailed to me no later than October 7th.

You do not have to donate your piece to the fundraiser to participate - it could remain a fun keepsake for you to work on - and relive the fun while we all wait for Season 3.

The current home of the Downton Challenge is an event on Facebook under the name "What Happens at the Abbey".  The date shows up as ending June 30, but that's a limitation of facebook.  Alas, not all quilters belong to Facebook.

On May 15th, there'll be a new home on the web for this - and many more quilt challenges.  Watch for the press release coming soon.  If you have any questions, please email me at Linda@thepatchworkpearl.com.

Have a great weekend  -  I'm going quilting on Saturday and Red Sox on Sunday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Going back to my quilting roots

Happy Spring everyone, and Happy April Fools Day.  Like many of you, I was fooled early this morning, and I did what every self respecting mother would do under the circumstances - I one-upped the original prankster.  It had me getting emailed messages from relatives far and near, but Life is good.

I recently had the chance to give my presentation on Challenge quilts to the New England Quilt Museum, and it was fun taking the material out and dusting it off.  The presentation talks about the thought process quilters go through in making a challenge quilts, a subject which has fascinated me since I began quilting.

Many of you might recognise this quilt as being my signature quilt - it's on my website, my business cards, my postcards.  This quilt is actually the second quilt I ever made, and the first one that I ever made for a challenge.  Here's a bit of a closeup.

It's from 1994, and I never did give it a name on the label. The strand of pearls on it is strictly for the photograph. The prompt on this challenge was to make a  star, and you were given one of the celestial prints to work with - that's the fabric in the inner border. 

I looked through patterns and magazines looking for inspiration, and finally settled on this - it's called by several names - either Lone Star, Starburst, Star of Bethlehem are some of the names I've since found when I was doing the research for this.  Why I decided to make a star with 200 pieces is beyond me; I think there was something about the graphic design that spoke to me. I machine (strip pieced) pieced the segments and then set in the Y seams to put it into the framework. I  remember hand quilting (?? was I nuts?) this piece all throughout my 5 year old's karate classes that spring.  It's still one of my favorite pieces.

It's also, come to find out, one of the most abandoned patterns found by quilt collectors - and it makes sense if you think about the technology (cardboard templates) used to make many of the originals. It's a good thing that I didn't know that back then.

Since this is the cornerstone of my Challenge presentation, it should have a name. All my other 'kids' have one.  Any suggestions? Post up your suggestions, and we'll see if we have a winner.  Also, let me know how your old quilts have fared...

More about quilt challenges coming soon!