Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MORE ... Making It Her "OWN" ...

MORE  ...
"Slight" Variations

My last post was
 about women who found various ways to
make traditional quilts "their own..."

Again, in this post, I am not talking about
outrageously personal and unique quilts, like the one below ~
a REALLY rare 20th century pictorial "Pine Burr" quilt

(click on photo for more on this quilt)

We will get to more of those "Super Mavericks" in later blogs ~ Promise!

In this post let's look at the more subtle ways some quilt makers
personalized their quilts, distinguishing otherwise conventional designs
 into more memorable ones.
Slight variations or unexpected choices in
  • Color 
  • Scale (extra large or extra small) 
  • Sets or borders 
  • Quilting
  •  Placement
can make a big impact on the final look.

Check out the following quilts with unusual sets or borders:
"Flower Basket" 
Circa 1880, Michigan

(click on photos for more on this quilt)
"Peppers" applique with vining Grapes borders
 Circa 1870

(click on images for more on this quilt)
"Oak Leaf and Reel"
Circa 1880
Geese in Flight borders and "Distelfink" intersections

We'll keep exploring this way of looking at
cool variations of traditional quilt designs....  Stay Tuned!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Making It Her "OWN" ...

"Slight" Variations

I have been thinking about women who made traditional quilts "their own"
~ and how the various ways they did that...

I am not talking about completely unique
or outrageously "maverick" quilts here, like this one:

No, I am thinking about the more subtle ways 
in which a woman distinguished her otherwise traditional quilt.

It might be a small detail like adding a second handle to a traditional Flower Basket.

Or the addition of an unexpected element to a traditional pattern
as in this simple Double Irish Chain
with the unexpected circle and half-circles borders

We'll add more examples of these charming "slight variations" soon.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The "CIRCUS" ... and Other Crazy Quilts

Say "Antique CRAZY QUILT" to most folks,
and they envision the very "fancy" type made at the end of 19th Century.
You know the ones...

~ Victorian Kaleidoscopes ~
made with lush and sparkling silks, velvets, taffetas, and brocades.

Colorful, shattered, abstract compositions of elegant cloth and ribbon,
embellished, surrounded, and sometimes almost smothered
by fancy hand embroidery and other wonderfully inventive surface decorations.

But not all Crazy Quilts were of this so-called "High Style."

Crazy quilts do not have to have surface embellishment, or any particular colors,
or be finished with any special edgings.

Crazy quilts do not have not be made of silks and velvets;
many women made theirs out of wools or cottons.

Here is one of our favorite examples of a COTTON Crazy Quilt;
it was made around 1890.

We have had it in our personal collection since the 1970s.
Now it is for sale...

We call this our "CIRCUS CRAZY" ~ for obvious reasons:
Five prominent center blocks have images related to the Big Top!

Circuses traveled the country in the last part of the 19th century,
and captured the attention of the American people,
so of course we see them represented in quilts.

The free-wheeling, playful woman who created this wonder organized her quilt
with a strong, colorful center in each of her 49 blocks.

The center of each block is a large piece of "cretonne," a heavy cotton
fabric commonly used for upholstery or drapes, and printed with scenes and figures.

Not all of the images in the centers are Circus-related, but those do dominate.

All of the "pictures" have wonderful stories to tell.

Have fun reading !

To see more photos of the "Circus Crazy Quilt," click here,
or you can go to: TQC Quilts for Sale to see all the quilts we have for sale.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Jean Ray Laury

I am RE-PUBLISHING this post from December of 2009 
in honor of 

Jean Ray Laury 
one of my favorite people in the world.

Jean died last Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

We are all the better for Jean having been here.

I HEART Jean Ray Laury...

Jean and I have known each other for a long, long time. Way further back than the top photo here, taken about 15 years ago, on one of my visits to Jean and Frank's home.
     Circa 1994  
outside of Jean Ray's home in Clovis, CA
My sweatshirt (in Hebrew) translates to "Mendocino" (my home town)

At the annual meeting of AQSG Oct. 2009, San Jose, CA.
Jean was the Keynote Speaker
(What a wonderful treat to get in a little visit...)

The late, legendary textile dealer, Cora Ginsburg, once said this to some folks who were complaining about how they looked in a photograph,
"Enjoy it, my Dears. Fifteen years from now, you will look back at this shot think you looked FABULOUS!"

Tempus, she definitely fugits...

To learn more about Jean Ray, and her work, please visit:

Jean's obituary: