Friday, March 23, 2012

Last week, at the American Quilter's Society Quilt Show in Lancaster PA, all the quilts were fabulous!  I admit I supported the vendors generously.  But I have to share this story.

In between the crowds, I was taking a photo of one of the wall quilts, an undersea landscape quilt of dimensional corals, seahorses, fish, seashells and dimensional seaweed, quilted in watery waves and splashes and bubbles and sparkles. 

Camouflage At Sea - by Flora Joy
 There are fish hiding behind the corals!

A lady reached out from the crowd and pointed toward the quilt. I hoped she knew we are not supposed to touch the quilts! She was pointing to a big button on the quilt. Then she reached out for the button, grabbed it and started yanking on the button! I just about had a heart attack! She must have enjoyed the look on my face as she grinned and explained "It's my quilt!" She was Flora Joy, the quiltmaker!

The buttons on the quilt are magnetic. Each of the 3 corals has a magnetic button, and allows the coral to be opened like a book to reveal the camouflaged fish! Of course, we are still not supposed to touch the quilts. But Flora enjoyed opening the buttons for me to take pictures, and gave me permission to share them.

Flora Joy sharing the secrets in her quilt.

Who is lurking behind that black rock?
Of course! It's a ROCK fish.

What a special treat, meeting the quiltmaker in person!

Next post, I hope to share some of the beautiful Amish quilts from the Esprit collection that we saw at the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum in Lancaster.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lancaster City's Central Market

Looking down from the 17th floor of the Lancaster Marriott, here is Penn Square. The Visitors Center is on the left, and Central Market is right behind it.
The tall building is a bank (I think).
The mounted police are headed over there for lunch. Hope they have some oats for the horses!

Whenever you are in Lancaster, visit Central Market (open Tuesday & Friday 6AM-4PM, Saturday 6AM-2PM). It is a feast for the eyes and the appetite. These photos were taken at Central Market in 2010 during the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show. The vendors and products may change, but these photos speak for themselves! For that week, many of the vendors displayed their quilts for us too!

Hope to see you at Lancaster Central Market!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

AQS Lancaster Quilt Show

Looking forward to a trip to the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show next week.  Hope to see you there!
The reproduction quilt, M.E.C. Remembered will be exhibited on Author's Row.

M.E.C. Remembered at AQS Lancaster 2010
Another quilt of mine, Pride of Baltimore II, will be in the competition. Look closely, and you might recognize some things from the M.E.C. quilt and the book Baltimore Garden Quilt. One of the blocks appears in a 12-inch reduced size, and the same double swag border with an expanded corner, joined this time with Maryland's State Flower, the black-eyed susan. (This is the quilt that appeared in American Quilter September 2011 issue for the article Hand Applique with Coffee Filters.)  Does this give you some ideas how to use these patterns in your applique quilts?

In years past, we have enjoyed Lancaster City and the surrounding area. Keep a lookout along your drive for covered bridges – this one is in Poole Forge.
Be sure to visit Central Market, right across the street from the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center (Check their hours.) A grand feast for the eyes and the appetite (more pics later to entice you).

The Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum is a MUST SEE, especially this year. Please support this museum and “Save Lancaster’s Quilts!” Proceeds from this special full-collection exhibit will benefit “SAVE LANCASTER’S QUILTS:  Preservation for Today & Tomorrow,” a campaign for the care of the museum’s quilt collection and an endowment with the Lancaster County Community Foundation that will assist in providing a home for the artifacts in Lancaster County. (Does that give you a hint that they might not be there for us to see next year?!)

The Lancaster County Convention Center, where the AQS show is held, adjoins the Marriott Hotel. It was all built around the old Watt & Shand building, and retains part of this historic building right inside the convention center.

As you know, there will lots of fabulous quilts to enjoy! And lots of vendors on three floors. Here is a panorama from 2010 of the just the main vendor hall. There are two more floors filled with vendors!

Be sure to visit the AQS booth to buy your books and 2012 T-shirt. Stop by the QuiltLife booth and say hi to Jan Magee.

 So much to see and do! Look for me too!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Antique Baltimore Garden Quilt

This is the quilt that inspired the book "Baltimore Garden Quilt." The quilting on this antique quilt is incredible. Here are some closeup photos of the antique quilt so you can see the quilting and the cross stitch signature. Most of the floral motifs are NOT actually quilted like you would draw a flower on paper. It is the closely quilted lines that form the quilted flowers and vines.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Inspired by a Baltimore Garden Quilt

Thanks Kathie, for the glowing review of Baltimore Garden Quilt !
I have enjoyed your blog for a long time, obviously - since we are both -

Cover of  Baltimore Garden Quilt
And here is where this book began, in a parking lot. Oh my! Well, I guess that's better than buying an old raggedy quilt from under a sleeping dog, or pulling it from a trash bin.... Fortunately for me, a quilt in such sad condition (and unrespected) was affordable, and this old dog of a quilt followed me home.

Here is a better photo of the antique quilt. Hopefully she will never touch asphalt again, safe with me.

Beyond repair, these beautiful applique designs, and the floral quilting between them, inspired me to make a reproduction quilt. As I traced the patterns and stitched the new quilt, I kept a journal which became the book Baltimore Garden Quilt, and I am thrilled that it is now published by American Quilter's Society.

Within a wreath (bottom center) was stitched in tiny cross-stitch "M.E.C. 1848" so I named the reproduction quilt "M.E.C. Remembered." After her tour of quilt shows across the U.S., the reproduction quilt will be exhibited on "Author's Row" at the American Quilter's Society Quilt Shows in Lancaster, PA - March 14-17, 2012, and Paducah KY - April 25-28, 2012. Hope to see you there!

For more info on the book, and the AQS shows, here is the link:

"M.E.C. Remembered" at 2010 AQS Show in Lancaster, PA