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April 18, 2019
Tea for Two from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Ahh a cup of tea! Tea has been an important part of many cultures throughout history. Maybe it's a bracing cuppa in England, or solemn Japanese tea ceremony, or even a special time with friends in one's home. Regardless of where you are, drinking hot tea can look different depending on where you are in the world, but when drinking hot tea, a teapot of some sort is common amongst all cultures. Keeping that tea warm is important as well which brings us to today's post!

When Teri and I (Kara) were in Birmingham, England, this past ...

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April 15, 2019
Another Dog vs Quilt Repair from From My Carolina Home

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our furry friends can make a mess of a treasured quilt.  This one had been in a closet, but the dog found the door open one day, and began a chewing spree resulting in a lot of damage.  Add to that the wear and tear of a quilt over 60 years old, and it was next to ruin.  But, the quilt was precious, made by a grandmother in the 1950s.  The granddaughter was very upset to find it in this shape, and contacted me to see if it could be saved.  As I haven’t ...

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April 14, 2019
Vintage Quilts (love), the Current To-Do List, A Bit Of Humour from caledonia quilter

Several years ago I went on a road trip to the Shelburne Museum for their 100 Best Quilts exhibit.  So many of the quilts were tagged with the comment "maker unknown" that I was walking around with a kleenex mopping up my tears.  Yes, I'm a total crybaby.  I'm pretty sure I embarassed my friend Sue. The exhibit was fabulous if you're into vintage quilts.  Keep an eye out, they may do it again.  They DO have a quilt exhibit on from May through October.
Anyhow...I have a new customer who is loaded with vintage quilts ...

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April 4, 2019
{Vintage Show and Tell} The Famous Artists Painting Course from Michelle's Romantic Tangle

Remember those advertisements on matchbooks or in the backs of old comic books promising that if you could draw Tippy the Turtle you could win a scholarship and become a famous artist?

I always wondered about those, so when I found this set of four huge canvas covered binders for three dollars, they were definitely coming home with me.

It turns out that Tippy was advertising for Art Instruction Schools and my set is from the Famous Artists Painting Course.

Close enough!

Someone spent a lot of money on these and enrolled in January of 1969, then only completed the ...

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April 2, 2019
Big Blue Boro from The Ardent Thread

This piece is one of my favorites. Of course every piece in my textile collection is a favorite or it wouldn’t be there, but this piece is significant in how much of a story it tells in layers of cloth and thread.

It’s big. And it’s heavy. Here’s a shot of it in all its glory.

I don’t like to hang it like this due to its weight. It will either pull things down with it, tear itself apart, or both. I’ve hung it for display once. Never again. Here it is casually draped ...

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March 21, 2019
A "Twisted" Exhibit! from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

As Teri mentioned last week, we had a great time down in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Academy of Appliqué. Not only did we teach, but we were able to take a little time beforehand to go to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia. It's a great show with various exhibits and some stunning quilts. 

One exhibit that caught our attention was the Twisted exhibit, by Mary Kerr. We love anything vintage and these quilts were vintage with a twist, thus the name. All the quilts in the exhibit were created by combining pieces of vintage textiles with modern ...

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February 14, 2019
A Sampler of Lace, Linens, and Love from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

If you have been reading the blog for a while now, you will know Teri and I have a great love for all things vintage—especially linens, clothing, or lace. Teri recently shared her story about a special dress in A Vintage Pinafore, Tea, and Friends, and I shared the story of my apron collection in Apron Strings. We even wrote a post together about our quest for vintage treasures in a Hershey, Pennsylvania, antique mall in Vintage Treasures Newly Acquired. We love seeing the handiwork of those who have stitched before us! 

Long ago, hand work was a required ...

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January 31, 2019
Update – Honey Bee Variation Quilt – 1948 from Lotus Cove Quilting


You might remember this quilt, that I posted in 2014. It was made in 1948 by my great grandmother, Rose Brown Tague. The traditional honey bee block, in pink and purple, alternates with snowball blocks with green corners. The original post can be accessed under “Family Antiques” in the right-hand column.

I recently found an old photo, taken of my grandmother, Mary Josephine Hamrick Tague, holding nine-day-old me, her first grandchild. Covering her chair is this new quilt, positively dating it to 1948. That’s my father’s writing; he probably took the photo.

1948 sep 10 grandma tague holding jaye bower fish

It would be great if there ...

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January 26, 2019
Art Nouveau Pie Crust from Michelle's Romantic Tangle

One of the members of our local stitching group has been posting her amazing antique finds on Instagram. Her Habitat for Humanity is so much better than ours! (And, because we drive to the meetups from opposite directions, it's way beyond my reasonable day trip range.)

One of her finds,an antique frame with an intriguing rattle under the backing paper, got me thinking about this print and its frame and wondering if maybe it had a fancy name. Google did not answer my questions but, according to Lori, it's an Art Nouveau Pie Crust frame. 

Winter Scene in Art Nouveau Pie Crust Frame

My original ...

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January 22, 2019
Make-A-List Monday - It's A Good Week For Quilting! from Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Hi, all!

January is just zipping by, isn't it?  It's hard to believe it's almost over!  But it's been good start to the year so far, and there's lots more fun to come!  The Rockin' Rectangles quilt-along starts this coming Sunday, and Hands2Help is just around the corner.  But for now let's just see how last week went...

1.  Deconstruct garments for a memory quilt.
Done!  They are now a pile of flat pieces just waiting to be pressed and cut up into quilt pieces!

2.  Take "before" photos of a vintage quilt to ...

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January 4, 2019
old quilt rescue from Making A Lather

I finished the binding on this old quilt. It's a rescue. I found it at a flea market for 12.50. The top had been hand sewn and the fabrics were vintage. Someone had taken it, and longarmed it. And, when I rescued it, it only needed trimmed and a binding. It had big fluffy batting. There was enough of the back to use as the binding. I trimmed it, and folded it, and hand sewed it to the front. I love the simplicity of the quilt, and the fabrics are really great.

I don't think I would ...

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December 30, 2018
Zip Up the Pyramids! Combine Triangles to Make a Purse from Gefilte Quilt

Last week, I showed off a triangular bipyramid ornament, made from a wildly freemotion-quilted, felt-backed scrap. Here's another triangular bipyramid - but it's more of a wristlet/purse than an ornament. The 6 triangles were joined into 3 diamonds; there's a zipper on top; a bangle bracelet; and it was constructed using the stiff interfacing and English Paper Piecing techniques described in too-loving detail in my new polyhedron book

This specific project is not in the book, so below, I'll show how I made it. First, I cut the skirt off this vintage baby (or doll?) dress ...

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November 18, 2018
Vintage Double Wedding Ring & Gettin' There... from caledonia quilter

Sigh.  The Universe was teasing me by putting this on my work calendar as soon as I came home from Tobermory, where I'd been working on my own D.W.R.
There was a fascinating story that came with this quilt.  The gal who brought it related that when she was a child the quilt was made by a woman who was invited to live with her family in the mid '40s because she had nowhere else to go.  She stayed with them until she passed away in 1955. When my customer got the quilt top out of the ...

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November 15, 2018
Return to Ohio! from Gray Barn Designs

Dear Sandy,

I am just so sneaky!  When you left Ohio in August after our whirlwind week of sewing, I secretly kept a vintage block leftover from your “Christmas in Ohio” table runner.

For anyone reading this,  you can download Sandy’s amazing table runner pattern by clicking on this link:  Christmas in Ohio Nov 2018

So, what was I suppose to do with one leftover vintage Ohio Star block?  Well, I made a cute little mini quilt for you!  It was suppose to be a surprise but I just couldn’t help myself and have to share it with ...

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November 12, 2018
An Afterlife for Vintage Embroidery Mysteries from Gefilte Quilt

If you're a quilter, I bet we have a happy problem in common: People bring us fabric. On the one hand, I love it. On the other, I already have too much - if I stuff their offering into my stash, it may never come out!

This problem gets even better when people bring me interesting vintage textiles. So here's one solution: Enjoy processing it immediately, then give it right back, in a form they can use.

That's what a happened a couple of months ago when my friend Marian went to a store closing sale, where she ...

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November 10, 2018
{Estate Sale Tempatations} Cornhuskers from Michelle's Romantic Tangle

You know how sometimes you find a thing and it needs to come live with you even though you don't know why? This box is one of those things.

I found it at an estate sale that had advertised itself as a lifetime collection of craft supplies.  Or something like that. It's been a while and I don't remember the exact phrasing, but the ad definitely over-promised. They didn't have much and it was one of those sales where almost nothing is priced.

But I had to ask about this box...and you can tell by ...

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October 12, 2018
Whimsy Nostalgia: Little Clementine Fabric Collection from Art Gallery Fabrics-The Creative Blog

Is there a certain children's book that you absolutely loved as a kid?!

When I was a little girl, my mother or grandmother would lay in bed next to me with a book, and would read to me before I fell asleep, each night. As they read to me, I would let my imagination come to life, pretending that I was making friends with animals or mystical creatures in the story, and going on adventures to far off lands! Depending on the character in the book, my grandmother would change the tone of her voice as she read aloud ...

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October 5, 2018
Our Latest AGF Fusions: Rainforest + Trinkets from Art Gallery Fabrics-The Creative Blog

Hi Makers, 

With the holidays right around the corner, I know all of us are prepping or have already begun sewing gifts for our family, friends, colleagues and teachers. I think that as a maker, we're always trying to create gifts that are so personalized to the person we're giving it to, so if you haven't started sewing your gifts yet, don't worry! We just released TWO NEW FUSIONS that cater to two different themes that can turn into so many great gifts! 


If you're new to AGF, our "Fusion Collections" are bite-size collections featuring ...

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September 25, 2018
layers, a pocket in progress [Flickr] from Karen Ann Ruane

contemporary embroidery posted a photo:

layers, a pocket in progress

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September 9, 2018
Sashiko and Double Gauze – the Ripple Effect from The Ardent Thread

Sashiko doesn’t have to involve a lot of fancy stitches. Sometimes you can achieve delightful visual and tactile effects with a simple straight stitch. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using double gauze cotton fabrics.

What is double gauze? It’s exactly what the name implies: two layers of cotton gauze fabric, lightly tacked together. Popular in Japan for making light, breathable clothes for humid summers, soft clothes and blankets for newborn babies, and lightweight scarves for winter, double gauze suits all seasons and ages.

Before double gauze, layers of plain homespun cotton were used ...

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  • vintage
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