Category Archives: Lecture

TREASURES from Lost Acres


not so crazy – Crazy Quilt – made of ties and vest/jacket linings

A couple weekends ago I went with my Mom, my Grandmother, my Aunt and my Aunt’s Aunt to the Quilt Happening at Lost Acres (3 generations yeah!). Ginny, the owner of Lost Acres, gave a wonderful talk on the different aspects of quilt donations throughout history.  She covered everything from the donations of quilts to support the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War to charities supported by quilters today.  How great to recognize the generous hearts of quilters and see how quilts had been used as fund raisers and direct donations over the last approximately 160 years.

Her group, Ladies of the Comfort, compromised of many helpers, in 2016 distributed: 24 baby quilts and 98 bed size quilts to: fire victims in Tennessee and Canada, and My Sister’s Place and Salvation Army Transition House (both are in Hartford, CT). Her goal for the group this year is increase donations to 250 quilts.

6″ squares ready to be kitted into bags

My Mom and Aunt and I went home with a large container of pre-cut 6-1/2” squares to package up for members of the Enfield Quilt guild to assemble into tops over the summer. The 6″ squares will be assemble in 10 columns  x 15 rows (125 lights & 125 darks in each bag).  We were excited to work on the project as we drove home but the actual making of the quilt top square kits took a bit longer than we anticipated.  We’re all good though, great conversation about quilting and charities while making kits that will be donated to directly to those in need (no sitting in trailers for distribution for these quilts!! – Ginny’s number 1 rule).

orphan – red star quilt top – in need of LOTS of LOVE

Ginny also sells fabric, orphan blocks, quilt tops and other quilted items at the event. Here are a few of the treasures I brought home with me.  The red star top is in sad shape, hanging piece is part of a missing row.   I’m going to trim the sashing so each block is framed in red then add a red & white print to replace the sashing and use the left over original red sashing to cut corner stones (sometimes my plans change as the project progresses – we’ll see).  We think this other cutie is made from ties and vest linings, kind of a not so crazy Crazy Quilt.  It’s on the fragile side so quilting it up will help the quilt survive (see 1st picture).

Hope to see you at the Danbury show this weekend, I’ll be in the SewCraft booth with my fabric and other goodies!!

Painted Blocks Galore!! – thanks Jennifer

Enfield Quilter painting blocks
Enfield Quilter painting blocks

Jennifer O’Brien of SewCraft provided a great presentation on fabric paints last night at Enfield Quilters!  She explained the qualities of the paints and provided a small trunk show demonstrating a few of the ways to use the paints.  She quickly progressed to the fun stuff – hands on, brushes flying, PAINTING!

Enfield Quilters painting
Enfield Quilters painting

With a table piled with Jennifer’s stencils for members to choose from – she dished out the paint (literally on a dishes at each table), loaded her own brush with paint, explained and demonstrated smooshing the paint, then everyone one was on their way to creating beautiful hand painted blocks.  We all got a first-hand experience to see how great the 404 spray on the back of the stencils worked in keeping the paint from running beyond the stencil edges, and how it also worked great for checking your progress in one area of the stencil and sticking the stencil back down without the it slipping to a different location.

Jennifer teaching us to paint on fabric
Jennifer teaching us to paint on fabric

Members provided a lot of positive feedback for the night.  Many people took home their painted blocks and some already had plans how they were going to use them.  The blocks that people didn’t take home will be incorporated into our donation quilts and with any luck be part of our binding bee in January 2016.

Thanks to Jennifer for coming and providing such an entertaining night!!

Oh, and although some of us went home with funny colored hands, no paint wars broke out, and no clothes were harmed in the painting of these blocks –  so all in all – a very successful night!! 🙂

Crazy Quilt Lecture at Enfield Quilters

Crazy quilts were the first quilts to really interest me when I started quilting, they were my initial interpretation of outside the box quilting. Consider –

  • they weren’t pastels (which were the only colors my Mother was using),
  • they were abstract in their piecing (no Ohio Stars or Flying Geese there)
  • and talk about embellishment – anything goes: embroidery, buttons, and beads – oh my!!
  • NO RULES! – absolutely my idea of fun quilting, even now.
Blackstone Valley Needle Arts Studio,
Blackstone Valley Needle Arts Studio,

I was very excited when Madonna Terlizzi of Blackstone Valley Needle Arts Studio agreed to provide a lecture on Crazy Quilts. She brought beautiful samples, both antique and new, that were envied by all.  She provided interesting historical facts such as how metals in silks can cause the shattering  we now see in some of the fabrics and why both the manufacturer and the end customer may have wanted the metal in their fabric.  She also covered embroidery symbolism like spider webs representing good luck.  And best of all, she let everyone come up for a closer look with all there questions at the end.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.

I learned how to make crazy quilt block patterns from the first issue of Quilter’s Art magazine a long time ago (which was called Crazy Quilt magazine at the time). Just like everyone else (I assume), I started out with a lot of ambition and grand ideas for finishing my crazy quilt.  My favorite crazy quilt block, completely embroidered mind you, has since hidden itself amongs my UFOs of late but, based on Madonna’s inspiration, I’m motivated for a UFO treasure hut to find that block and begin my crazy quilt quest again LOL, OK somehow I picture my crazy quilt hiding amongst my UFO’s repeatedly before I, hopefully, finish my crazy quilt in my lifetime.

Thanks again Madonna for making the trip and lecturing on such an inspirational topic!!

THANK YOU – Heritage Quilters!!!

Pete Pondering

About a week ago, Heritage Quilters were nice enough to invite me to present my lecture, Never Truly Traditional. This lecture highlights my personal art quilting journey and includes suggestions for different ways to step outside the box, from slightly stepping over the line to stepping out on another planet.

What a pleasure to speak with such an interested and friendly group. I’d say they were a captured audience since I was blocking the door, but they were terrific, laughing at my jokes and asking great questions during and after the program. I love questions, it gives me a sense of connection, that not only are people listening but that something clicked for them, and hopefully what I’m saying has inspired them to try a new technique.

This is one of the quilts from the lecture, it’s my dog Pete printed on a dryer sheet. I made it during the October snow storm so it has lots of hand work (we were out of power for 13 days) embellished with both hand-made and commercial beads and some basic embroidery stitches. This is just one way I’ve recycled laundry products into my art quilts – LOL. J

I also got a sneak peek at the beautiful raffle quilt for Annual Gathering coming up in October, can’t wait for the event!

Thanks again Heritage Quilters!!