Monday, April 16, 2012

So Old It's New Again

Gwen gave this lecture at our guild meeting on friday.

Gwen shared some of the many observations she has made by  studying old quilts and how she employs them in her own quilts.  Many of the innovative ways that quilters in the mid-1800s solved design problems or fabric shortages are great ideas for us to use in our quilting to add interest, movement and a little whimsy.

Gwen created this quilt using ideas from an old quilt.  I love the "make do" blocks and all the little bits of filler in this wonderful quilt.

Old quilts are an endless supply of creative ideas for us quilters today.

She shared with us these quilts using solids and various piecing techniques and styles.

Half Square Triangles

String piecing

Liberated Log Cabin construction

I really love the soft yet bold pallet of this quilt.  The black binding is the perfect frame.

Love the sticks on the outside borders here.

Black add spark and life to this soft quilt.

Rail fence piecing

Coins or strippy piecing

While these quilts look fresh and modern, they are created using age old piecing styles.  We can do this!

At lunch before the meeting, my wonderful Cupcake friends, Jill and Susan, gave me a special gift to celebrate my win at the recent Lancaster quilt show.  It's a lovely, one of a kind, potholder from a Lancaster quilt shop.

They looked through a hundred to find just the right one -

Gwen is coveting it!

Joke's on me!  Thanks girls you are the best!

Back soon with a report on the Liberated Basket workshop I took on Saturday.   We learned how to make baskets like this:

Happy Monday!


  1. These quilts are awesome! I love Gwen's style. Would loved to take a class from her one day. Looks like you had a ball! :o)

  2. Wonderful show! I love how she thinks and creates!

  3. Fun stuff! Looking forward to seeing your Basket quilt.

  4. Thanks so much for those pics. I was a "quilt holder" at the evening meeting, so I didn't get good pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos of the basket workshop. (I was hoping to use what I learned there as inspiration for our basket challenge. Oh, well.)
    I really love Gwen's style, and I am glad I was able to do the Wednesday workshop....I came home and ordered a whole bunch of solids!

  5. What a great post!! Almost like being there. Gwen is amazing - thanks for sharing.

  6. I - just - love - her - quilts! I have been pondering her book on 4-block quilts...wanting to do one. But her liberated style, solid fabric quilts are the ones that take my breath away. That one with the muted greens, reds, oranges and frame of black - simply stunning. She makes it look so easy, doesn't she. They are so simple, yet so elegant. Her artist eye really knows how to make a minimalist quilt really sparkle. Thanks for sharing!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  7. Looks like you all had a great time! Love seeing her quilts...thanks for posting the photos1

  8. Can I come and live at your place?

  9. thankyou for sharing Gwen!! Such an inspiration!

  10. Can you believe how many she gets hand quilted? She is so speedy with her work. Thanks for sharing the pics :)

  11. An inspiring post! Thank you for sharing Gwen's quilts.
    Looks like you had a great time. :)

  12. the random sampler is a tempting project. she makes it look so easy. i think one of the keys to getting a 'no fail' recipe is to keep the majority of the fabrics/blocks used/fill in pieces within a certain style.
    i notice that the other samples are done with all solids or a majority of solids. i like this look and it always brings to mind Amish quilts even though these don't necessarily look Amish in style. i'm in the process of building my solid stash up now and what's funny about that is that when i first started quilting (over 30 years ago) i inherited my mother's dressmaking scrapbag of fabrics and one of the things i wanted to do was eliminate the solids.

    thank you for sharing this fun teacher and her work with us.
    it will be fun to see your basket quilt beginnings.


  13. You guys are too funny! I LOVE the pictures of you and Gwen -- what treasures. I can't wait to hear about your basket class!

  14. I'm so jealous! You got to see a different group of quilts than I did at the Tuesday class. I'm happily stitching my folk art applique pot of flowers. Gwen was a fabulous teacher.

  15. You all are having way too much fun! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures of Gwen's quilts. Her style is really inspiring. Can't wait to see what you do with the baskets.

  16. What fun quilts - and the touches of black in many of them reminds me of the old decorating adage - "always include black somewhere in your room."

    Oh - what I do covet is that terrific "Dots" lunch box...where ever did she find it? My friends know me as a Dots candy freak.

  17. Fun! Fun! Fun! I look forward to seeing your baskets! That is the class I am taking in July from her.

  18. Gwen's quilts are great and I'm looking forward to seeing your basket quilt! I've seen it made in greens and reds but I think all color ways would be wonderful.

  19. It's such a treat to see Gwen's quilts!! Tell her to come to Australia, and you could come as her assistant! I can't wait to see your baskets.

  20. Great post! I really love all those solid colour quilts - quite spectacular.

  21. Gwen is such a neat lady! I LOVE that she is out there telling all of us quilters that is OK to be inventive and to make our own quilts. And thanks for the great photos of her quilts.

    I'm lucky enough to be taking a class from her next month. I can't wait! And I'm looking forward to seeing your photos of the basket workshop.

  22. Great quilts, I love them all.
    I made the liberated baskets a couple of years back and it is a really cool technique. I did mine in beach fabrics....beach pails, similar to what she did in her book.


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