Sunday, December 26, 2010

Don Beld's 1880s Eagle Miniature Quilt

1880s Eagle Quilt
Don Beld
Quilt Artist, Designer, and Author
Bernice Foster
Machine Embroidery

Don Beld choose the 1880s and created this beautiful work of art for my decade by decade project. Notice the Indigo and pink used in this piece, the 8-pointed star, and the way he finished the binding in a traditional straight edge "rounded corner" -- all popular in quilts from this time period. The hand-pieced, hand-quilted workmanship in this reproduction piece is wonderful.

Bernice Foster - Machine Embroidery Eagle

Many of you know Don and are familar with his work, but let's revisit Don's quilt biography:

A quilt artist and historian, Don Beld is the founder and guiding force behind the Home of the Brave Quilt Project which delivers replica Civil War soldiers quilts to the families of the Fallen Heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan which is an on-going project.

In 2010 Don was featured in one of the chapters in a book written by Joe Cunningham entitled Men and the Art of Quiltmaking. Mr. Beld and his co-author Pam Weeks have co-authored a book of their own entitled Quilts for Union Soldiers which will be available for purchase in late 2011.

Don is available for lectures and workshops by contacting donbeld@pacbell. An exhibit of his Civil War soldiers quilts will be featured at the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska in 2012 and 2014.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Christmas from Illinois and Summer Spread Defined

Besides quilting, I like to cook - hate to do dishes (even with a dishwasher), but I love to cook. So every year at Christmas in my regular and online Christmas cards, I send a Recipe Newsletter, instead of a Newsie Newsletter.

Before I share my recipe, here is an idea I'd like to share that is not exactly quilt related, but it is one that I have been doing for about the last ten years - maybe you'll like it to.

I started a file on my computer with our family recipes. I divided them up in sections in the file -- just like they do in the regular cookbook and then when anyone in our family or friend circle gets married (or graduates from HS - if there is an interest in cooking). I copy it off and put it in a three ring binder with those subject dividers (remember them from high school - English, Math, etc. etc. ) only I write in the different food groups.

I buy the three ring binders with the paper insert ability on the front and I make up a sheet which reflects the person(s) receiving the cookbook - insert that in the front. It is all recipes that are tried and true. This is an easy and very USEFUL gift for kids heading off to college, getting married, or starting their life away from home for the first time.

Now my online Christmas card to you....

Christmas 2010

Fresh Apple Cake Preheat oven: 350 Grease: 9 x 13 cake pan

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ cups canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3 medium Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored, and chopped (3 cups)

Spoon Stir batter only until it is moist (batter will be thick) – Do not use a mixer.

Spread batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Special Note: If you do decide to substitute another kind of apple make sure you use another type of baking apple.

Centennial Eagle Summer Spread 1870-1910

Parks Wildemuth Collection

Summer Spread Defined: A summer spread has the look of a quilt and/or a quilt top, but is not a quilt for a very simple reason - it is not quilted. Like the piece above it is usually a single layer with the edges finished (quilt top has unfinished edges - summer spread's are finished). Summer spreads are usually applique.

What did they use summer spreads for?

When I was a sophomore in HS we (my grandpa and I) visited my Aunt Frances in North Carolina on an airplane --it was my grandpa's first airplane ride and I was to help him get through the airport at O'Hare. On that trip we visited my aunt's mother on her farm - little did I know back then that there would be a farm in my future. It must have been foreshadowing of what was to come because I fell in love with this big two story farmhouse next to a creek filled with antiques. It was the kind of place an author would live in and that lady could cook to - you have not lived until you had a slice of one of her pies.

My cousin and I were wandering about the place and went upstairs because she wanted to show me her grandmother's quilts. In one bedroom there was a four postered bed stacked with quilts laid flat and all were covered with a "summer spread." Aunt's mom used one her of her summer spreads to protect her stash of quilts from the sun and dust.

BUT...I believe the more common use for them was as a bedspread during the summer.

Merry Christmas everyone and all the best with all your projects.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Terry Clothier Thompson’s “A New Nation”

“A New Nation”
Decade: 1770s
Terry Clothier Thompson 2010

I know you have seen her books, patterns, attended a class/lecture, or maybe attended/hosted one of her quilt history FabriCamps....her name is Terry Clothier Thompson and she is a designer, quilt artist, and historian from Kansas.

Terry agreed to participate in my eagle motif project and was the first one to tackle the 18th century – her decade was the 1770s. If you have seen or own her book Made in America 1776-1830: Quilts of the Daughters of Liberty you will know that this time period of American history is one of her favorites.

Her inspiration for this wallhanging was an image of the Daughter of Liberty. She added the design of a baby eagle to represent a brand new nation. Next, Terry appliqu├ęd her Daughter of Liberty and baby eagle on a reproduction (fabric) of what could have been a design of an early American textile printer after the Revolutionary War.
I love the detail the embroidery brings to the piece.

Terry calls her eagle motif wallhanging… “A New Nation.”

I call this beautiful piece…a work of art!

Visit Terry at her Web Site and go to her FabriCamp Heading and see if that is something that would work for your quilt history group, quilt guild, or your sit and sew group. It looks like fun!


Terry Clothier Thompson
425 Pasadena Drive
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone & Fax# (785) 865-2587
Web Site:

Debby Rake’s “Eagle in the New Century”

“Eagle in the New Century”
Decade: 1900s
Deborah S. Rake 2010

A designer, artist, and quilt historian with a Master of Arts in Textile History/Quilt Studies, she is known in some circles as Deborah S. Rake but those of us who live in the Midwest (and these days in Texas), know this nice lady by the name Debby.

I first met her at a meeting of the Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group in Kalona, Iowa back in early to mid 2000s. Back then she lived in small Iowa community and had a tie to the University of Nebraska quilt center and the study of Kit Quilts. These days Debby resides in Texas with her family and serves as the Secretary on the Executive Board of the Quilters’ Guild of Arlington, Inc. (Arlington, Texas).

Debby does not know this, but I contacted her about being part of this eagle motif project back in September because of a redwork square she did a few years back that I have NEVER forgotten She embroidered, in redwork, a copy of the State of Illinois county map, in what I would term as miniature. The Illinois quilt square was part of a fundraising project and what would, along with other redwork squares from other IIQSG members, become a part of a permanent redwork artifact at the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum in Kalona, Iowa.

I saw this piece first because she sent it to my home to take to the next meeting. I can’t embroider to save my soul, but Debby can and she did an amazing job on that square. I’ll be honest – I did what I was supposed to do and passed the piece on to the proper person at the next IIQSG meeting, but I don’t mind telling you I didn’t want to. That is one piece I fell in love with and I am happy to report it has a good home at the quilt museum in Kalona, if you ever want to see it.

I approached Debby and asked her would you consider being part of my eagle motif decade by decade project and she said “sure.” She picked the 1900s and what you see above is her interpretation called “Eagle in the New Century” and she did a fine thing she utilized the crazy quilt format and her amazing embroidery skills to create the piece of me.

And I love it!

Deborah Fell's "Coming Together or Falling Apart?"

"Coming Together or Falling Apart?"
Decade: 2010s
Deborah Fell - 2010
Deborah Fell is an Urbana, Illinois quilt artist who took on the challenge of the decade 2010s for my eagle motif decade by decade project. Not an easy task when you consider the decade of her choice is just beginning and there is nothing that has "already taken place" to draw on for inspiration.

That takes creativity and vision. Deborah has both of those qualities.

Here is Deborah's biography - taken directly from her web site

"Deborah Fell is a studio artist committed to the art quilt medium. She is a professional member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, the Surface Design Association and has had over twenty years of education at the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium in Columbus , Ohio . Deborah focuses on abstract, organic shapes using surface treatment such as dyeing and painting fabric. Deborah has obtained national recognition for her work. Her art has been exhibited in venues such as the United Nations Building in New York City; the Moscone in San Francisco; Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Works Gallery in Newark, New Jersey which is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate Museum; in Pakistan through the U.S. State Department Arts in Embassies Program; and the premier international exhibit Quilt National. One of Deborah’s art quilts appeared on the front cover for the American Journal of Nursing; another art quilt is a part of the former Ground Zero Headquarters— St. Paul Trinity Chapel—collection. Most recently, Deborah was asked to collaborate with ABC TV Host Ty Pennington to create the special art project for Extreme Home Makeover, Season 7, Montgomery House. In 2010, Deborah will have an art piece part of an Obama art exhibit; this exhibit opened in Tokyo in 2009. Deborah says, “Art allows us to move from one place to the next. I do art because I believe art makes a difference in our world; it is a gift we give ourselves and it is a celebration of our very souls.” Deborah continues to be a studio artist committed to the art quilt medium."

Stop by and visit her web site when you get a chance - she is an amazing artist (and teacher), who creates one-of-a kind pieces of art.

Special Note: Scroll back up to the full view picture of her wallhanging -- do you notice "the flag" look of the piece? I love those kinds of details.