Hand Quilting Supplies is Now Open!

Hand Quilting Supplies started as part of a natural progression that began in October, 2011. It was inspired by an exciting response to a request for hand quilters to share their work on this very blog!  The article asked hand quilters to create a link to a hand quilted item on their own blog. The response grew, and hand quilters from all around the world requested a blog where they could share more than just one quilt. They wanted a forum to discuss, compare, and enjoy hand quilting with others who also had a passion for the process. The blog Celebrate Hand Quilting began with a group of talented hand quilters from around the world who were willing to take turns and write articles about their own quilting experiences. Following the blog’s success, a Facebook group was started. 

As of June 21, 2014, the Facebook group now consists of over 7,200 hand quilters! If you would like to be a writer for the Celebrate Hand Quilting blog, or would like to join the Facebook group, please email Caron.

Throughout many discussions, quilters shared their frustration with the lack of available resources for hand quilters. They not only wanted a shop where they could find supplies, but a person who knows about hand quilting… someone who is a hand quilter themselves, someone they can lean on when they have questions or need suggestions. As a result, HQS was born.

Hand Quilting Supplies, started in May 2014, is owned by Caron L. Mosey and is based in Flushing, Michigan, U.S.A.. The shop will gradually increase inventory that is specific to the hand quilter. Quality hand quilting thread, thimbles, needles, notions, and everything the hand quilter needs will be available. If something you need is not found on the site, or if you have a how-to question, please feel free to ASK CARON.


Win a $25 gift certificate to HandQuiltingSupplies.com!
1) Grab our logo and put it on your blog following the directions  below.  When you have it on your blog and it links to our site at http://www.handquiltingsupplies.com,
2) leave a comment below with a link to your blog where we can see it.  Be sure your have your email linked to your comment so I can find you!  Deadline for entry is July 4, 2014.  One lucky winner’s name will be pulled out of the hat on July 4th.

Directions: Right click on the logo at the top of this post. Save the logo to your computer (remember where you put it!) Using Blogger, go to Layout, Add a Gadget, and choose Image. Fill in the form: Title: Hand Quilting Supplies 

Link: http://www.handquiltingsupplies.com You can leave the Caption blank or put something there if you like. It isn’t necessary. Image: From your computer, find the image that you saved and click on that. Click save, and you’re done!


Happy Shopping, and as always, Celebrate Hand Quilting!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Charles Caleb Colton, an English writer who was born in 1780 and died in 1832, said,

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

 

As a young girl, I watched the high school teenager across the street as she walked to and from the school bus.  The way she walked, held her books in her arm, and swung her hips made me want to be just like her.  I can remember very clearly trying to emulate that walk as I went up the hill to my elementary bus stop.  I’m quite sure I wasn’t able to acquire the same grace and coolness, but oh, how I tried!

If you use Facebook, you know how common it is to see great paintings used and abused to create cute and funny images to share with your friends.  Perhaps you have copied an image from Google Images yourself and added clever sayings to it.  You would not be alone.  How many of us stop to consider the original artist when we do that? An artist’s talent doesn’t develop overnight.  It begins when he or she is born.  The nurturing given by the child’s parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and everyone in that child’s life has much to do with the creation of that little being.  The child grows and is exposed to the beauty around… teachers, religious leaders, nature, art exhibits, and everything in the world that the child comes into contact with all play a part in the development of that child. 

Perhaps, as the child grows, s/he longs to BE an artist.  S/he works hard to develop even more talent through classes, trial and error, practice and years of focused instruction.  Eventually, hopefully, s/he will create a work of art that is cherished and admired by millions.

Until one day, a novice comes along and steals it.  Not physically, but graphically, an individual with little to no talent takes that image, alters it or recreates it, and makes it their own.  A replica, sloppy at best, as nothing can come close to the perfection of the original. 

Does this horrify you?

Now imagine the artist is a fiber artist.  A quilter.  We’ll say, a HAND quilter, just so we can all imagine the quilter sitting and stitching for years on one single quilt.  Let’s re-imagine the scenario above.  The quilt artist’s quilt (that took years to physically create, and a lifetime to achieve) hangs in an exhibit.  Along comes a less-than-experienced quilter who falls in love with it, takes multiple photos from a distance and then up close, and scurries off to find matching or similar fabrics. This quilter then goes home, studies the photos carefully, and either attempts to draft her own pattern to create the quilt, OR…

contacts the quilt artist and asks how s/he made the original, and could s/he send the pattern so it can be replicated.

Let that sink in.

Is that right?  Of COURSE not!  Patterns that have been passed from one quilter to the next for generations – traditional quilt patterns – are expected to be replicated.  But not something that is an original.  That is not imitation.  That is stealing. Not stealing the original item itself, but stealing that which the artist/quilter has worked on for a very long time.  Stealing his or her ideas.  Colors.  Layout.  It’s just not right.  And yet, it goes on today more than you know. 

WindyNights1

JacksBeanstalk

 

Before you attend your next BIG quilt show, remind yourself of why you are going.  Hopefully, you are going to admire the work of other quilters for what it is… an accumulation of who they are as individuals from their birth to now.  Please don’t try and take a part of who they are home with you.  But be impressed, or not… and then DO go home, DO pick up your needle and thread, and use what YOU have become and create your own masterpiece.  You can do it!

Experience Freedom in Quiltmaking: One Quilter’s Musings

 

A few weeks ago the speaker at our quilt guild was a local shop owner.  Her presentation was excellent, and she showed many quilts.  Several quilts were accompanied by touching stories, which I always find charming.  It’s nice to know what prompts a quilter to sew, or to know what took place during the time a quilt was being made.

One of the things that was shocking to me was a response to several questions she asked.  For example, “Who made a quilt out of XXXXX pattern?”  Or “Who bought the XXXX line of fabrics or the XXXX Jelly Roll to make a quilt?”  For each time she asked a question like that, a lot of hands went up.  I don’t mean just a few.  I mean a LOT!

I have been to many quilt shows in our part of Michigan where it is obvious that a quilt group has worked on the same pattern.  Rows after rows of displayed quilts feature the same pattern in different colors.  Or even the SAME exact color settings!  I also see many quilts that use ONLY fabrics from one designer’s line in whatever quilt they have made. These tell me several things.  One, the guild probably brought in a workshop teacher where students had to make his or her pattern. Two, students are encouraged to use a particular line of fabrics.  Three, there is a serious lack of originality in this group of quilters. 

I will agree that when a designer creates a line of fabrics, they (usually) all coordinate nicely.  Putting only fabrics from one line into a quilt provides assurance that the colors and designs work great together no matter what pattern is used.  But the creative quilter who has a sense of freedom to explore may choose several fabrics from one line and ADD TO THEM from their stash of from their local quilt shop (LQS) collection, making the quilt truly unique. 

When a designer creates a pattern from his or her quilt which is for sale or to be used in a workshop, there is nothing wrong with making the quilt as the designer planned.  But there is such freedom and – I’ll say it – glee – when you can take parts of the pattern and add to or change it up to create a blend of your ideas and theirs.  The quilt in my last post was made this way.  The center portion of the quilt was designed by and included a workshop by Karen Kay Buckley.  I loved her pattern, but I used scraps from my own stash.  I used the applique design as the center of a somewhat medallion setting.  I like how the colors and setting work together, and as I sit and hand quilt this 60 x 60 inch quilt, I like it even more.

You can go back and visit my quilt “Purple Reign” in the post shown here. 

I encourage all quilters to allow themselves the freedom to make their own choices.  Please YOURSELF.  Allow yourself new opportunities to experiment with your quilts.  Try designing your OWN pattern or setting.  Be unique.  Be an inspiration to others.  You are more talented than you know!

Amish Center Diamond Quilt – Hand Quilted

 

Fleur de Caron II 2014

Fleur de Caron II    58 x 58 inches

It’s no secret that I love Amish quilts.  I have made several in my almost 40-year quilting career.  I love the simplicity of the design, and the solid colors which were mostly used in true Amish quilts.  I think what attracts me the most is that without the quilting design, the quilt doesn’t have zing.  It is just solid colors sewn together in what is often a boring pattern.  The hand quilting gives the quilt life.  It is the hand quilting that I most enjoy as a quilter, thus an Amish-style quilt provides me a canvas for my stitches.

The quilt above is based on an Amish “Center Diamond” pattern.  You can see more Center Diamond quilts here:

“Fleur de Caron II” features a traditional outer cable border, four yellow squares (hand dyed by the artist ) with  spiral circles, four large dark grey triangles in a vine designed by the quilter accompanied by a circular design (Linda Macho, “Quilting Patterns”). The lime green center contains “Fleur de Caron,” designed by the artist. The lighter purple in the quilt has also been hand dyed by the artist.  All fabrics are Kona cotton with the exception of the hand dyed fabrics mentioned above. 

See additional posts featuring “Fleur de Caron II” here:

Photos of “Fleur de Caron II” Under Construction:
image

“Fleur de Caron II” is FOR SALE.  If you are interested, please see http://blog.caronmosey.com/p/for-sale.html

 

As always, this quilt has passed inspection.

QuiltInspector

The Way We Were and Why I Hand Quilt

Do you remember Barbara Streisand singing the song “The Way We Were?”  Those four little words are stuck in my head today as I sit in my house (not at work) listening to the radio with no Internet service or cable television.  I live in mid-Michigan, where we just had a record amount of snow and sub-zero temperatures.  People are being told to stay inside and not drive, and all schools, government offices, senior citizen centers and many businesses are closed.

I am lucky (at least, at this moment).  I have power, and while I can’t get on the Internet, I do have a laptop with power which allows me to at least write this post (which will be uploaded when everything is back in working order.)  Many other people don’t even have power.  My radio is on, and my clothes are tumbling around the dryer, almost ready to be hung up. 

I snuggled in my leather chair this morning enjoying the quiet and hand quilting on my latest creation.  I thought about technology and why it is that I love hand quilting so much.  So many people wonder why anyone still quilts by hand when we have fancy, huge sewing machines designed to do just that.  Why do we applique or piece by hand when most of us own a sewing machine?  Are we insane?
We live in a busy world.  It isn’t what I experienced when I was four years old, that’s for sure.  In 1960, we did have a television, albeit a black and white television.  I had to get off the couch to change the channel.  TV shows went off at midnight with the National Anthem playing (if you lived in the United States). Milk was delivered.  Microwaves had not yet been invented, so warming up a meal meant in a pan on the stove, which took more than a minute.

In 1960 our minds weren’t cluttered up with technology.  If we wanted to listen to a song and were lucky enough to have a stereo or hi-fi, we put on a record but had to turn the record over to play the other side.  We couldn’t plug our iPhone headphones into our ears and sit for days on end before we ran out of songs.  We drove our cars down the road with very few radio stations to listen to, that is, if our car had a radio. We couldn’t talk on our phone in the car.  We didn’t have Facebook or the Internet to communicate with other quilters from all around the world. We MAYBE had a few friends in our community who quilted who we could spend our time with. 
If you were a quilter back in 1960, a lot of pattern creation was done by the trial and error method.  Patterns were made out of cardboard templates (the back of cereal boxes) that were drawn by hand over and over to make them perfect.  Quilters used a yardstick.  They didn’t have plastic templates.  They didn’t have long arm quilting machines on frames.  If you needed something quilted, you did it by hand.  And it was relaxing, and it gave you time to think.

For me, the best part of hand quilting is having the time to think.  To ponder.  To go slow.  To unplug.  Lately, I have tried turning the television off more while I quilt just for the silence.  I enjoy watching what my hands can do all on their own.  I have remembered more things from the past by allowing myself this quiet time.  I have found myself being more creative in my thinking, which I can only think will help me improve as a quilter and artist. 

In being a hand quilter, I have restricted the quantity of quilts that I produce (as compared to what a long arm or regular sewing machine quilter can do). That means I don’t have as many photos to share on the Internet with my quilting friends from around the world.  That means in my quilt guild’s Show and Tell time, I rarely have something to show.  But I ask myself, 

What is the rush? Perhaps it is time we slowed down and got back to 
“The Way We Were.”


Note:  No cameras were harmed in the publishing of this article.

Quilting From the Outside In

unmarked topNormally after you baste a quilt and begin quilting, you start from the center and work your way out.  The theory behind that is that if there are going to be any ripples in the quilt top, you can then “work them out” towards the edges as you go.

With this “Center Diamond” quilt, I did just the opposite.  You see, this was a sample quilt for a beginning hand quilting class that I taught last fall.  I threw something simple together for my students to practice on using an old-fashioned four-board quilting frame.  On the right is the quilt top after it was sewn. 

Below is the quilt on the frame with a few of the students working on it.

IMG_4242

I decided to finish the quilt up on my own, and because it had quilting around part of the outside border, I opted to just start on the outside and work my way in.

As long as a quilt will lay perfectly flat and is pinned or basted well, it really doesn’t matter where you begin. 

All of the borders are now finished, and I am now ready to start quilting on the center section, which is lime green (not the yellow that it looks here).

Here is my professional quilt holder showing you the quilt with everything quilted except the green center.

fleurdeCaron Amish-style

Quilting is done with black thread.  I think I will put a dark grey binding on this. 

What do you think?

Blog Reader Choices, Feedly, etc.

It’s coming… July 1st, 2013.  On that date, when you wake up, Google Reader will be gone. 

BloglovinYou may have noticed that on the right side of my blog there is a link you can click to follow my blog on bloglovin.  That is one option.  feedly

You could also choose to follow my blog (and others) on Feedly. That’s the green logo. Both work quite well to follow any blog you’d like. 

You can choose any other blog reader to follow any kind of blog you would like. 

Should you need the information, the rss feed for Michigan Quilts is: http://blog.caronmosey.com/?alt=rss .

So why did I choose to go with Feedly?  It was simple.  Feedly offers a lot of the same features that Google Reader did.  I have liked the ability to scroll through Google Reader and see each blog in it’s full format, scrolling through dozens of blog posts and remain on the same page.  Bloglovin’ requires me to click through and view each blog entry on its own page.  For me, that is a lot of pages to click on.  So my decision is made  Feedly it is!  However, please know that just because I read the blogs that I follow on Feedly doesn’t mean that if you use a different blog reader you can’t follow my blog somewhere else!  If you are confused and need help, please send me an email at

email

So, on to the world of quilting.  What have I been doing lately?  Taking a little break, actually.  I’ve been tired lately, and have been enjoying catching up on some reading.  My Kindle has had a good workout these last few weeks! 

photo 6.16.aI did manage to squeeze in some time to work on trapunto )photo at left) for a class sample for my hand quilting class.  I really enjoyed the process, which was new to me.  photo 6.16.c

I also put in more time on hand quilting my feathered stars quilt (photo on right).

This is a project in slow motion, as it is heavily quilted.

 

We have had quite a bit of rain in Michigan lately, but it has helped the garden tremendously!  photo.6.16d

 

The rhododendrons look beautiful close up, but I don’t like the yellow leaves that are taking over.  I think the soil is lacking something, but I’m not sure what.  If photo 6.16eyou are a fan of rhodies and have any ideas, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Hope all is well in your world!

Contrary to what you may have thought, I have NOT fallen off the planet!

 

If you are a devoted hand quilter, you know that the gentle rhythm and regular pucker between each quilting stitch comforts you and keeps you grounded.  If I go a day without taking a few stitches, I can feel the stress start to build up in myself.  It’s a good thing I have two projects going right now, because the last month has been a doozie!  But every single stitch has helped tremendously!

First my dad had surgery on his thumb to try and remove an infection that kept coming back. Then the doctor got the results of the tests back and determined that the infection was combined with bone cancer in his thumb.  Two weeks after that, he had another surgery, this time to remove part of the thumb down to the first knuckle.  Ouch!  I won’t share a photo with you.  Just know that it happened, and he is doing much better.  My brother lives across the country, so he provided moral support from afar.  When dad is in his area for half of the year, I do the same from here.  It works.

Then my mother-in-law ended up in the hospital for four days.  As my husband is an only child, we were kept quite busy making numerous trips to the hospital and visiting with his father as well.  Neither one is able to maneuver stairs very well, and they live in a two story home.  Yes, the bedrooms are upstairs, as is the main bathroom (with tub/shower).  The small bathroom downstairs has no bathing facility.  So the discussion has begun on moving them into a one-story home sooner rather than later.  Let’s just say that discussion did not go well, but we are not giving in.  HEAVY SIGH.  She is now home, but regular monitoring is needed on our end. 

So these two quilting projects have kept me grounded and help maintain my sanity:

FEATHERED STAR BEAUTY

5.16

If you are a regular follower of my blog, the entire quilt has been quilted from top to bottom, but I am now going in and adding another diagonal line between every one that you see here.  This photo is about two months old.  More has been completed, but you don’t get to see it yet!  (Sorry!)

FLEUR de CARON

5.16b

This is a new class sample for a hand quilting class I teach.  I am in the process of doing the grid work behind the design that I created.  I always do the main design first, and then mark the grid.  I find it gives a better finished look, at least for me!  The grid is half-inch squares.  When the little quilt has all been hand quilted, I will go in and add trapunto.  Thanks to my friend Tim Latimer for his trapunto encouragement!

5.16.c

5.16d

I hope you are enjoying the Spring 2013 Celebrate Hand Quilting Blog Hop! If you are here visiting, please be sure and leave a comment and tell me where you are from! 

30 Things: Number 30

 

30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

Oh my gosh, here it is:  the last one, Number 30!

  1. Son #1: Sean
  2. Son #2: Loren
  3. Book #1: America’s Pictorial Quilts
  4. Book #2: Contemporary Quilts From Traditional Designs
  5. Being a great elementary, middle school and university teacher
  6. Remaining a dedicated and talented hand quilter while surrounded by a movement that promotes machine quilting
  7. Being a caring individual who is accepting of people from all walks of life
  8. Someone who is not afraid to try new things
  9. Someone who stands up for her faith
  10. Someone who does her best and does the right thing… because it’s the RIGHT thing, even when nobody is looking.

There.  That’s 30 things in black and white on your screen.  It was a good exercise for me, and for many of you who faithfully responded to just about every post, I thank you!  I probably shared more than I would have without the 30 Things prompts, but that’s alright.  It was fun, made me think, and helped create a conversation between us. 

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Quilting update photos on my feathered star quilt:

Click on a photo to enlarge it.

1 2 

3 4

30 Things: Number 29

29. What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
I love to talk to people, and I love to listen and help others.  I think I sometimes come across differently than that, but my intentions are always good.  They come from the heart. 
How can a person REALLY know another person unless they live with them day in and day out?  You can’t.  Example:  Someone I went to high school with was always very quiet and never spoke to me much, even when we were adults with children of our own.  I thought she couldn’t stand me, and wanted nothing to do with me.  I found out years later through communicating in an online social forum that she was extremely shy and afraid to talk to people.  It had nothing to do with me at all!  She’s a beautiful person, and I am happy to now be friends with her after all this time. 
What we perceive about others may or may not be accurate.  We need to put judgments aside, and assume the best. 


judge

How do YOU think YOU come across to others?