While there were many beautiful holiday-inspired quilts to view, there were also many more traditional fabrics as well. The judged quilt show consisted of more than 100 last year’s Best of Show was also on display.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day in Texas – just perfect to venture out to a quilt show!
Like many of the shows I have attended here in Texas, the Creative Quilters Guild of Ellis County certainly did not disappoint. From raffles, to vendors, to door prizes and of course gorgeous quilts – this group did a fantastic job.
Right from the start we felt at home as the ladies at the front table announced that “men get in free – if you like we have a man’s lounge just down the way!”
We were greeted by happy, smiling faces.
You sure can’t argue with that, can you?
This was the 12th annual quilt show and while there were many new contributions, what made this very special to me was the antique and “loved” quilts on display. If you have been following my latest project, I have gotten into restoring older works.
The show was packed full of quilts but also offered
Door Prizes (yes I won one!)
Drawing for gorgeous 2015 donation quilt
Ellis County Quilt Show Silent Auction
While Terry inspects this beautiful quilt, Alex puts in her name in hopes of winning.
The best way to share my experience at the fun event is simply invite you to view the pictures I took.
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When visiting a quilt show, there are some rules (check each show for their specific rules):
Do not touch quilts (Quilt Angels are there with gloves on to assist you)
No Food or Drinks
No Photographs except in approved areas.
Normally, photos are allowed on the show floor; however, individual vendor booths appreciate it if you buy their kits and patterns instead.
I was recently blessed with the opportunity to help a family preserve some precious memories. These quilts were machine pieced and hand quilted by the great-grandmother. The plan is to restore them so that they can be gently used by her great-granddaughter in her new and first house.
Green Boats Before Restoration.
The front of the Sunbonnet Sue quilt prior to any restoration
This post is going to focus on the overall assessment of the quilts as well as the binding.
Luckily, most of the fabric on these two beauties is in pretty good shape. The pictures above show how beautiful these two are. Upon closer examination the areas that need to be addressed are the binding, some holes and rips and some of the applique on the Sunbonnet Sue’s.
There are also stains that may or may not come out with gentle hand-washing, but they are not excessive and can be lived (loved) with.
The binding on both were in very rough shape and all but falling apart. Both were bound using the “fold over” technique and hand stitched to the front. All corners were squared so had a lot of excess fabric. As you can see from the photos below, not only was the binding ragged, the batting has gone through many washings and was literally falling out of the pink quilt.
Condition of the binding on the green sailboat quilt.
Years of washing and use has made the batting separate and flake.
Ultimately the goal is to make these quilts whole again without taking away from the loving care that went into making them. It is for this reason that I decided not to worry about squaring the quilt (especially the pink one). Doing so would have meant cutting it down which would have altered the look of the top.
It is easy to see that there was no way to square this quilt without making the top look wonky – so I didn’t. It is beautiful the way it as made.
Here are images of both the quilts showing similar before and after pictures. I am very pleased about how this project is progressing. I fixed the binding first for a couple reasons:
There were no holes that were evident in areas that intersected the binding.
By cleaning up the binding, I was able to arrest the flaking and loss of batting.
The next step is to fix the numerous rips, tears, holes and issues with the Sunbonnet Sue dresses that have come up. Now that the quilts are bound and no longer run the risk of further damage, I can tackle each section individually. I plan on implementing hand-sewing techniques to fix all of them which will take time but will keep the hand made feel of the original work.
Probably the most difficult choice through this process is the fabric. Because original fabric is not available, it takes time to look through all that is available to find the best match. I say best because there is no way to find a fabric that will 100% match up with the colors and patterns used at the time these were new. Add into this the fact that colors have faded over time due to use and the environment, it is impossible to hide the repairs.
It will take a variety of fabrics to fix the different areas of these quilts.
With this being said, I am not even going to try! Instead, the goal is to choose repair fabrics that will blend well and lend to the feel of the original idea. As you can see so far, the green and pink chosen for the binding is not an exact match, but are close enough to make the quilt whole without changing its look.
I can’t wait to get working on the individual applique pieces and that large hole through the pink quilt. I am thinking a heart on front and back in the same pink as the binding may work perfectly for this. A hear can easily represent the love that was put into this quilt all those years ago.
Gotch Enterprises and The Hungry Leprechaun at Antique Alley 2015
This past six months has been an absolute whirl-wind! After the holidays were put behind us, it was time to get ready for Antique Alley. This was a great success and we met some wonderful folks.
Pretty much at the same time and for 2 months after, we started going to the Scarborough Renaissance Faire. While I have sewn garments in the past, I never really thought about creating custom costumes for such an event. This is something I can never say again! I began by creating a fun wizard cloak for my husband and then jumping in with both feet to make entire outfits. I can see a LOT of this type of sewing in the future!
Green dragon scale wizard cloak with gold brocade lining
Selesti and Sir Rowan
In addition to garment sewing, I am kept VERY busy with quilting projects as well. Because client work comes first, the turnaround for long arm quilting services continues to run on time.
I handed in this cutie to Sandy’s Quilt Shop in Joshua Texas. Not only did I win my pick of 25 fat quarters, I also received an additional prize of 3 yards of fabric. I chose a beautiful off-white neutral for my 3 yards and then a selection of vibrant batiks in rainbow hues. I think I may make a fun double hour glass quilt.
So, what’s coming up next? I have been commissioned to do a few new projects. First of all, there are two beautiful hand-quilted quilts that have been loved a bit too much. Because the owner wants to use them (carefully), we are going to replace the binding and fix the areas that have holes. In addition, there will be an appliqued quilt made from a child’s leotards. This will indeed be a challenge.
As you can probably guess, I got side tracked from my normal sewing, cooking, horse riding and sight-seeing activities… I just haven’t been posting. Why do you ask?
The reason is that I have been working with the Carnegie Players in Cleburne Texas on a theatrical project. One thing I always wanted to do was be in a musical – I have absolutely no acting experience.
I cannot even begin to tell you how exciting it is to be part of this amazing adventure.The people are so nice and while a lot of work, the process is also great fun.
Becki Esch (aka Rhetta Cupp) is my on stage sister – I am Prudie Cupp. Us girls own a diner which is situated right next door to Jim and L.M.’s service station and what fun we have! This show is so full of fun music, songs and jokes that everyone who comes to see us enjoys themselves. We even have had folks dancing in the aisles!
This past Sunday I had the amazing opportunity to sing to my very own husband! Yep, our Director – Kate Hicks – chose him from the audience to be the “Best Man”. Of course, he has always been the best man to me, but I will cherish forever the opportunity to sing to the love of my life on stage.
Kate picks someone new every show – you could be the next “Best Man”.
All the folks that are in or work with this show have really worked hard to make this so much fun. We have a full crew of live musicians – many of which sing, dance and have a part to play in our story as well. Dick Helmcamp is the Musical Director as well as “Hank” at the station.
There are still two full weekends left to come see us – and you should! Shows are Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Click here for more information: Pump Boys & Dinettes
Plan on spending some time laughing, singing and dancing in the aisles!