Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Making Of A Museum Quilt

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is having their grand opening this weekend!  The Bristol VA/TN EGA that I belong to designed and stitched a quilt that now hangs in the museum!  I've shown you some of the bits of that quilt and I will recap here the process of creating this piece.

I volunteered to be on the planning committee when they wanted to know if anyone could design an alphabet that was similar to the letters in the Stoney Creek Pattern:  Stitching to the Music (we got permission to use this design in the quilt).
I designed the remainder of the letters needed while Marlene designed the backgrounds for the letters and turned the vertical "Music" design into a horizontal one.  Letters were handed out to EGA member volunteers to stitch . . . I stitched this "R".

 We had cross-stitchers and quilters on our committee and soon discovered that they think and see the "whole picture" differently.  Nita was the driving force of the vision for the quilt and presented a picture of a tree motif she thought would look good as the centerpiece of the quilt.  We picked a number of neutral fabrics to become the pieced background and decided on the placement of the stitched letters. We discussed how we needed roots on the tree to represent the "Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion".  This reunion is an annual music festival held in September, celebrating Bristol's musical heritage and featuring country, gospel, bluegrass, and roots music.

I took the tree idea and drew it half the size we needed on taped together pieces of paper.  We had it enlarged and passed this pattern on to Sue to applique the chosen fabrics on to the neutral background.

We then decided that we needed a "frame" of cross-stitched names of all the participants in the "1927 Bristol Sessions" .  (The Bristol sessions were considered the "Big Bang" of modern country music.  They were held in 1927 in Bristol, TN by Victor Talking Machine Company produced by Ralph Peer.)  I charted all the names of the participants of these sessions and strips of the pinkish linen were handed out to volunteers to backstitch.

The next idea Nita had was to add another boarder with the words and music to "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (often sung by the Carter Family).  We received permission to use this as well.  I adapted and charted an alphabet design I liked to the music that Marlene charted and we handed out sections of that to volunteers to stitch.  This  was one of the two sections that I stitched.
Now for the quilters to really get involved, we asked for volunteers to piece together squares representing popular quilt patterns from 1927 to the present researched and chosen by Joneen.  Fabrics were chosen to pick up the colors in the letter backgrounds and several "piecing parties" were scheduled.

It seemed the quilt was growing by leaps and bounds and we were getting a little overwhelmed by the sheer size of it!

We turned the quilt over to an amazing machine quilter . . . not a long arm machine, but a regular sewing machine!  Ann did a FABULOUS job stippling the background, a "bark" stitch on the tree, mirroring the musical staff, outlining the letters and individualizing each quilt block!  At the EGA "stitch-in" we all gathered-round, hand stitched the binding on and admired our work!

On July 14th the EGA was invited to the museum for the dedication of the quilt and a preview of the museum (very impressive museum). 

We had a nice reception!  Nita explained our designing process and we had a photo shoot in the grand stairwell of the museum . . . we were on the local news . . . what a thrill to see our efforts come together so beautifully!
AND . . . my name is in the museum!!!!!!!  There is a plaque at the top of the stairs explaining the process of creating this quilt and my name is included on the plaque . . . WOW am I impressed with myself (he, he)!

It was great fun creating this piece with so many talented women who worked so well together!  I hope you get a chance to visit this museum if you're in the area and learn about our musical heritage.

Have a wonderful stitching day!  ~*

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blackbird SAL

How many of you have stitched or are working on the Blackbird Designs SAL (it was a freebie on Alma's Blog May 4th)?  It started out quickly for me and then those darn eyelet stitches started giving me fits! (I see that Alma did those letters in Smyrna Cross instead . . . why didn't I think of that?)  I wound up ripping two different letters out.  They're not easy to frog!  How did they get so out of whack?  Are my eyes going . . . was I too tired . . . distracted?  Now . . . the border!  Thought that would be a breeze . . . have taken out the left side twice now and I still see a mistake . . . one more time!  If I ever get this completed I plan on making it a pillow.  I chose my colors based on this Blackbird Designs fabric "Harvest Home".  I see now that I should have also picked up the blue . . . too late.  Wish me luck!
In between ripping out stitches on this piece, I've finished stitching one piece for the St. Charles Market and have started another.  I hope to have 3 new designs for the mid-August Market . . . time is passing a little too quickly for me . . . better hurry!

The last (and my first) Market was in February in Nashville.  It's actually held in Franklin just outside of Nashville.  Franklin is a really cute town and we had dinner there one night during Market but, didn't get a chance to go into Nashville.  So, the hubs and I spent an extended July 4th weekend there.

Country music fan that I am, I really enjoyed it!  "Honky Tonk Highway" on Lower Broadway was blocked off for the 4th celebration complete with an outdoor stage . . . music, kids activities and a (late starting) fireworks show.  Seems every bar/restaurant in this several block area had a different live band playing and with the outdoor stage . . . sensory overload!

We stayed right in downtown and were walking distance to most things.  We visited the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, Country Music Walk of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, the Parthenon Replica (yes, they have a full scale replica that's an art museum with their interpretation of what the Athena Parthenos statue must have looked like . . . it's 42 feet high!) and the Grand Ole Opry (what a great show!).  There's an outlet mall across the street from the Opry . . . we did our fair share of walking and shopping!
 The skyline of Nashville.
 The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum.
 The Johnny Cash Museum . . . never a fan of Johnny Cash, but this was very interesting.
 Ate here one night . . . I had a coupon!
 Having seen the actual Parthenon in Greece, this was fun to see.
 This thing is HUGE!
 The show was very good . . . Mel Tillis, Danny Gokey, Connie Smith, 
Little Jimmy Dickens, Vince Gill to name a few who performed.

Back to work . . .  ~*

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Oh My Stars!

FINALLY have my new design finished, framed and even made a little pincushion to go with it.  It reminds me of so many quilts I love with that star pattern.  I call it "Oh My Stars".  Hope you like it!

Sorry it took so long to get this out there, but we've had a lot going on around here.  The hubs got a new job which happens to be in a different city . . . 2 1/2 hours away.  Too far to commute.  We don't want to move . . . love our house at the lake even if we don't have a boat.  Seemed silly to throw money away on rent so we went house hunting . . . looking for something without much maintenance.  We found a condo on a golf course . . . we don't play golf.  It happens to be walkable to his work, overlooks a pond and part of the golf course . . . very pretty setting.  I've been down several times helping him unpack and decorating . . just think, more wall space for my stitching!!!!   I'm kinda liking this living apart . . . girly food, girly tv shows, undisturbed stitching time.  He comes home most weekends . . . he misses me . . . it's almost like dating again!  I can't complain!!!

Several other designs on paper waiting to be stitched for the St. Charles Market in August.  Another Market . . . Oh My Stars!  I can't wait!!!!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Jonesborough Garden Gala

I love garden tours!  This is my 3rd year going to this one and all 3 years this house has been my favorite.  Jonathan and his partner Sherrell have added something new each year and it just gets better and better!  If you've been following my blog over the years, you've seen this garden grow.
 This wind chime has the most beautiful sound!
 I LOVE this variegated leaf "Silver Cloud Redbud" tree!  I WANT ONE!!!
 I think they've added some raised beds this year.
 They now have their own bee hive!
 Still love this weathered shed with all the cute stuff hanging on it.
 Green house envy!
 I don't think this is a working water pump . . . but, so cute!
 Counted 7 chickens in this designer chicken coop.
 Gotta put in a dry creek bed somewhere in my yard . . . LOVE!
 Cute "plate flowers"!
Their front porch is to die for!!!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this place!

The other 7 gardens on this tour were also very nice . . . but, I could live here . . . definitely my taste.

Also on the tour this year were "Storybook Princesses" at various locations.  I caught Cinderella at the Garden Tea asking "Have you seen my movies?" to a young fan.
Too cute!
Gotta get out in my garden today . . . so inspired!
I picked up my framing on Friday and will show it to you this week after I finish the pincushion that goes with it and the photography for the pattern.  Hope to have the pattern ready to send to Hoffman on Tuesday!

Almost forgot!  There were vendors at the Garden Gala and we found the most amazing potting tables!  My friend Kathie and I both bought the only two they had . . . don't you just love it?!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

God Bless America

Sorry, it's been over a month!  Lots been going on . . . finally slowing down a bit.

I'm still waiting on the framing of my new design "Oh My Stars".  I really loved the way it turned out and can't wait to show it to you . . . shouldn't be much longer.

While you're waiting . . . here's another freebie for you.
This was a quick stitch . . . I found the perfect buttons in my grandmother's button box to add to it!  I charted this without the room for the buttons so if you want to add buttons or charms you'll need to move the right side out as far as you may need to accommodate whatever you may choose . . . or stitch it as is and add nothing . . . your choice.  I just stitched some gold braid I found at a fabric shop around the outside seam.  This will great for your Americana collection, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and/or July 4th.  Hope you like it!
Don't think this came out too clear.  Let's try this one.

Let me work on this copy of the chart and see if I can't get a better copy.  I'll be back . . .


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Confusion, Correction, Completion and Coming Soon!

Confusion:  I thank those of you who emailed me with your confusion!  Old Town Sampler:  There has been some confusion about where the smyrna cross stitches are . . . and smyrna was misspelled.  There is actually only one.  It is the doorknob.  I have specifically stated where that stitch is on the more recent patterns.  Sorry about the confusion!

Correction:  Found this one myself on a recent print job.  Amazing Grace:  On the lower border there is an extra cross stitch between two of the smyrnas.  I actually stitched this mistake on the model.  Is it noticeable?  I don't really think so but, if it bothers you, there are several things you can do.  I have corrected this on the recent patterns that have gone out.  I eliminated the extra stitch and moved the central design over one stitch.  If you've already started the design you could always bring the tail of the 'g' in one stitch.  OR you can just stitch it as it's printed and pretend to be Amish . . . they always include one mistake in their work because no one is perfect except God . . . I love this!

Completion:  I had Blackbird Designs' "Where My Heart Blooms" framed . . . love it!
I've also been involved with a quilt our EGA has designed and is making for the (almost complete) Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, TN/VA.  We're on the home stretch and once it's completed and unveiled at the museum I'll show you what it looks like . . . it's turning out great!  In addition to one of the letters I stitched that you may remember I posted, I just finished this bit.  It is part of one of the boarders of the quilt.  It's the song:  "Will The Circle Be Unbroken".  This has been a wonderful collaboration of so many of our members!!!

Coming Soon:  I'm almost finished with a new design called "Oh My Stars".  It's been a fun stitch and I'm pleased with the way it's turning out . . . hope you like it!  I thank my EGA friend, Mindy, for mentioning the color Teal when I said I was adding a blue.  The blue I initially picked didn't look right . . . I'm liking the teal though!

 Spring is actually popping out all over here in Eastern Tennessee!  Forsythia is in bloom, flowering trees are out, daffodils everywhere!  I should get off the computer though as there is quite the thunder storm going on!!!

Stitch on my friends!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spring is coming . . . SPRING IS COMING!!!

We're getting close . . . hang on!

While you're waiting for Spring and dreaming of warmer weather, gardening and jelly beans . . . here's a little stitch piece to help foster those dreams:

Although the legend says to use DMC-white for the bunny tail (which you could), I used Wisper thread (W88).  It's a fuzzy mohair blend thread I happened to have on hand.  I just didn't want you to buy ($3.50-$4.00 for 20 yards) for such a small stitched area.  It is nice to have on hand though for beards or animals . . . your choice.

The sun is shining here today and the temps are slowly climbing . . . supposed to be 58 degrees today . . . sounds like Spring to me!!!
Hoppy Stitching!