Friday, September 18, 2015

National Sewing Month

Did you know that September was National Sewing Month?

Back in 1982 then-President Ronald Reagan declared September "National Sewing Month" in recognition of the contribution that sewing has made to our country.  Since then, the Home Sewing Association which started things rolling has morphed into the Sewing and Craft Alliance, the American Sewing Guild, and many other organizations that promote the art of sewing in America and the world.

Of course everyone knows about DIY shows on TV, although there aren't as many as there have been, the reality shows where people design and sew clothing and home dec items, and of course the ubiquitous YouTube channels promoting everything from a to z with stops at beading, quilting, and hemming your children's jeans.

Personally I love YouTube videos.  Want to know how to cut bias binding?  Or sew the binding on by machine?  Maybe you don't know how to cut pieces for an Ohio Star... or how to shorten a skirt.  You can find a dozen or more how-to videos on anything you want to do.  People like Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Company and Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy fame have their own channels, along with about a zillion others.

The other day I wanted to find a video that might play the words and melody of a song that was running not very successfully through my head.  You know, how you remember the first three lines but the rest of it goes "da da da da da dum dum dum"...  So I googled the first line, and there were at least ten different versions of someone singing that song all the way through, some with the lyrics on the screen.

Ah, I can sleep at night again, knowing it's there when I need it.

So celebrate National Sewing Month -- there are 12 more days left.  Sew something fun.  Sew something for someone else.  Admire someone else's work.  Whatever works for you.

Sew on...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red and White Quilts and a New Book

A few years ago in New York, there was an exhibit of over 650 red and white quilts that are the lifelong collection of Joanna S. Rose.  It was held at the American Folk Art Museum, and evidently it was a sight to see!

I was not able to go, but many people and publications reviewed it, so there was (and still is) plenty of opportunity to see the quilts in all their glory.

from several reviews -- the bird's eye view.

The inspiration for the name of the exhibition was a line from Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra":  Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety...

I love red and white quilts, well red anything and lots of red and white things in general.  It would have been awesome to be able to view even a portion of the collection.  But recently I was browsing and discovered that a book on the collection is available.

I am so there...

I ordered the paperback version and it came last week.  It was on the kitchen table when I got home from family sewing night... and I stayed up for a couple of hours just turning over the pages, trying not to drool on the book.

It's organized by type of pattern, from the simple to the sublime.  The one on the cover is called Vortex Quilt, done somewhere in the US about 1890-1910 according to the museum's web site.

The book is large, a coffee table volume for sure.  That makes the photos big enough to enjoy, although they're not proportionally depicted.  You have to read the caption of each to find the size, because they're shown mostly 4 to a page.  But this is a book I will treasure.

You can click on the link above and get your own copy, or click on the button for the Exhibition there and drool over your computer.

Two color quilts are such classics.  There's something I love about them.  But red and while is definitely my favorite combination.

Check out the exhibit, and the book.

Sew on...