Monday, September 24, 2018

My Latest Obsession

I have been a great admirer and lover of antique quilts and quilt history for a very long time. I enjoy researching quilt history and have been a "member" of the Missourt-Oklahoma-Kansas-Arkansas (MOKA) group for years (dating back to the Yahoo Group days), but only this year actually started participating in meetings. I was so excited and inspired by the June meeting that I couldn't wait to attend the meeting this weekend in Harrisonville, MO, even though it meant a second long road trip in less than one week.

Fresh off the heels of Baltimore on the Prairie, with my anticipation building for the MOKA meeting, I suddenly got a wild hair to take up quilt collecting.  Maybe it was the pictures of Lisa Bongean's antique collection in the journal my friend Pat gave me at BOTP that pushed me over the edge?  Of course, when I start something I have to jump in with both feet....the UPS guy will be bringing three new acquisitions sometime today. In addition to shopping online, I decided I needed to visit the local antique mall. I don't think I had ever been there before.  It was dangerous....I found several quilts that really wanted to come home with me.

There was this fan with lots of blanket stitching:

And I really loved something about this one, although contrast was not the maker's strongest skill. There was so much work put into the piecing and you can barely see the blocks!

I circled back to look at this strip-pieced star three times.

But then finally decided that this gorgeous blue and white bowtie quilt needed to be the first addition to my collection.  I'm not sure of the age - the fabrics look very similar to antique reproduction fabrics I have in my stash. I need to do some studying on dating and value before I do much more shopping. I have no idea if I paid a fair price for any of my purchases.   

So then it was off to Harrisonville for MOKA.  All three of the speakers (Kelly Cline, Robyn Gragg and Barbara Brackman) were outstanding! I was particularly inspired by Kelly - she is an amazing long-arm quilter who perfected her custom quilting skills on vintage tops she purchased very inexpensively on eBay and in antique shops. Her thinking was that it was far less intimidating to work on a $10 top than one you had spent loads of time and money on. What a brilliant idea! She now does masterpiece-level quilting on vintage linens and is far beyond where I will ever be, but I am totally hooked on the idea. I have two tops that are ready for custom quilting but I have been afraid to start them. I spent Friday evening in the hotel room surfing eBay for cheap tops.  I was lucky enough to win one in the silent auction (more on my other auction successes later). Here's my $14 top that will be my first custom quilting project:

There were loads of beautiful quilts shared in the show and tell sessions. This one particularly grabbed my attention.  What a beautiful log cabin!  The black fabrics include a lot of silks which have deteriorated, but it was still stunning!

Back at home and in the sewing room yesterday I decided that I am really tired of looking at my tumblers sitting in the floor next to my sewing table.  I spent the afternoon watching baseball and sewing rows.  I managed to finish two rows I had started previously and to make two more. I ran out of time and didn't get all of the new rows added onto the second section, but I made it to 20 rows.

That's 20 of 47, so not quite half way there. By the way, I have a remarkable ability to randomly place the same fabrics adjacent to each other in rows.  There are some rows where it has happened three or four times, and some places where I managed to do it three or four rows in succession. I am thinking I should try to sew one row a day until this quilt is finished. Let's see I can put up with the monotony for 27 days....