Saturday, June 19, 2010

Team Dog or Team Cat

I promise to make this quilt related, but first I want to share a word about dogs. I love them – especially beagles and/or beagle mixes - actually I gravitate towards all breeds of dogs. Here’s the thing…a dog does not care if your hair is done, your nails look good, if your face is scarred, or if you are wheelchair bound….none of that matters to them, they would adore you if you had one eye in the middle of your forehead that rotated all the time as long as you feed them, water them, give them shelter, and a head pat – it is that simple. You do those things and you will earn their loyalty for life.

I used to work part-time at a Humane Society and I was willing to do just about anything they asked of me – cleaning cages, potty pick-up, fur washing, feeding, walking, etc. etc. just to be with the dogs. That job was a real eye opener – it is amazing what people do to animals – simply put some people should never be allowed to have them.

Nicky Red Dog (Red Beagle Mix) - The first day at our home. I was told she had gained enough weight and was given the okay by the vet to be adopted out. Before us -- someone had left Red Dog on chain, dead of winter – no food, no water, she was infested with cooties which caused hair loss – actually they had almost starved her to death.

Nicky Red Dog Today – In quilt maker terms she is a rectangle with legs. Like me she has gotten a little robust as she matured – cheese will do that to you. She has a repartee of tricks – sit, sing to me, talk to me, bang your dead, high five, circle, circle, circle, lay down, fetch, and I want some cheese. She loves to go on walks. She loves to go for rides to Dairy Queen. She loves to work on the farm with my husband (actually she has become his dog). She helped my husband and I when we became empty nesters. She is a joy and her previous owners did not deserve her.

Our very first family dog was a beagle mix named Miss Spud – she was a sweet corn addict, absolutely adored our son – she was his dog, and we had her for 14 years. She passed away the winter before our son left for college. Spud had “street smarts.” She was quite a dog and faced off two coyotes in our backyard – and a skunk or two. Ewww! She was a brave little dog and protected our son with her life– loyalty like that, you have to love.

I promised to make this quilt related. There is a wonderful art quilter/designer from Illinois named Sharon Malec who has created a variety of animal patterns. She has a web site If that url does not get you in just Google Sharon Malec the dog lady and you will be able to reach her site that way.

Here is the cover of the pattern I purchased and used for our son’s high school graduation sampler:

Sharon Malec Design

It seems to me that most quilt makers I know have a pet, whether they are Team Dog or Team Cat or both. Do you agree?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Liberty Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife Eagle Quilt

(Summer Spread)
Parks Wildemuth Collection

Why is my textile a Summer Spread and not a Quilt?

This pattern has been used in many a quilt, but the reason my textile is called a summer spread and not a quilt is because it is a single layer with no batting or backing. It is not quilted and the edges on this one are finished – similar to a modern day sheet.

Pattern Construction

This is a patriotic design. Three separate motifs are used in this quilt: #1 Eagle and Shield, #2 Bunting type border, #3 6-pointed Star. The blocks are 16 inch square, border is 14 inch wide.
It can be made into a quilt or a summer spread.

Pattern History

This is NOT a quilt kit.

The pattern Liberty appeared in Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife Magazine in 1941. It was also featured in several vintage Farm Journal catalogs of patterns. The pattern was not included in the catalog, you had to send away for it. The buyer would then receive an envelope containing stapled sheets with instructions and pattern pieces commercially printed on them. In order to retain the integrity of the original pattern, some quilt makers made homemade templates from cereal boxes or other sturdy items because they would retain their shape after multiple uses and keep their original pattern safe from harm.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group

The Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group is a regional quilt and textile history study group which meets at the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum in Kalona , Iowa and is open to everyone interested in studying quilts, quilt history, and textiles.

Meetings are the first Saturday in April and August of each year, the August meeting includes a silent auction. Items from the auction benefit IIQSG and a "speaker's fund" is being established with the proceeds from the auction.

"Attendees" come from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota., Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Colorado with an occasional guest from Kansas – the meeting is open to everyone though - quilters, historians, and budding historians. IIQSG calls this an "attendee" group as each one pays $25.00 for the day and that includes a luncheon, display of 2 museum gallery shows (Amish and "English"), sharing of quilts of all attending, and a study with a group leader. (For those of you not involved a lot with Amish quilts, you probably need to know anyone not Amish are called "English" by the Amish). The Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum is pleased to have two galleries to recognize our large Amish community in Kalona. The other 14 buildings – on site – at the Kalona Historical Village are open for attendees also.

Pre-registration is highly recommended to IIQSG Secretary Juanita Seward of Wellman, Iowa. More information may be obtained from Juanita at

Future Meeting Topics:

August 2010 Crazy Quilts

April 2011 Stars

If you are interested in more information about IIQSG, attending one of the their meetings, or would like to volunteer at meetings. Contact: Secretary, Juanita Seward of Wellman, Iowa. More information may be obtained from Juanita at

Important News -- IIQSG has a publication

Pieces of Time – Quilt and Textile History Magazine

Attention Quilt and Textile History Researchers and Writers

The Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group (IIQSG) publishes a quilt and textile history magazine entitled Pieces of Time. This magazine was begun to encourage beginning historians interested in writing of their research, as well as published historians and writers. Articles must be well researched and a bibliography attached. Writers interested in submitting articles for the publication should contact the editor Marilyn Woodin via e-mail at for article length and other rules for submission.

Pieces of Time has been published for 5 years and is now subscribed to from coast to coast and sold only at meetings, or by subscription. Subscription rate is $30.00 per year and subscriptions go to Susan Mardock – email Susan for postal address information