Monday, November 24, 2014

Seeing Red: The Ten Eyck Coat

This past week finally despite laziness and ongoing construction in my sewing room I starting work on the Ten Eyck Coat.

On a side note: The construction amounted to rearranging the upstairs duct-work somehow, creating an attic access and a new return vent, and blowing insulation into the attic. We also had to install a new thermostat for the upstairs since it stopped working. All this just after it turned cold. Insulation is messy! And it was all over my sewing room!  And now I know it costs $35 an hour to rent an insulation blower.

Inside of the cuffs. Why can't the underside of my buttonholes look as good as the outside?

The scarlet wool for this coat is such a blindingly bright red, with such shiny brass buttons, this really is a statement coat, and very striking. The pictures don't show how bright it really is; it would be impossible to ignore in a crowd. Ben Franklin probably invented sunglasses because he saw Andres Ten Eyck, wearing this coat.

I don't understand why the coat has these triangles on the sleeves. The only reasons I came up with is either it had to be pieced, or it's just a design element. Anyway, the coat had it so I added it to mine.

The cuffs have three buttons each. 

After closer inspection(ie, staring at the poor quality photos for a long, long time) it looks like the coat has a small collar under the lapel, so I added that too. The back of the coat has the two side pleats stitched closed with a decorative button each, while the center pleat is left split with the lining stitched down along the raw edge. It's a basic shape, but still with lots of those buttonholes, which I am taking with me on Thanksgiving vacation this week!

Monday, November 17, 2014


I've been having to deal with angry people lately. Angry customers, angry managers, angry dancers, angry Etsy customers: way too many angry people. My manager at John Adams, who is now to be called "The Woman of Critique" never, ever raises her voice, and she's very nice to customers- but she also never, ever encourages or compliments employees. It's not really enjoyable to work for someone who makes you feel stupid, and that's what she does to me. Employees can never work hard enough or good enough for the Woman of Critique. A good day at John Adams is a day I don't have to work with the Woman of Critique.

At Pigtails: I finished Cogsworth.

Now that Hallowmation Day is over, the children's section at Pigtails is closed and though I have way less hours, it's much more peaceful and uninterrupted. Several of my coworkers also left(one of them actually died, which was a shock) but that was mostly good too. I did finish and mail the breeches to the Worskhop Theatre of Nantucket, and then took a few days off from Etsy sewing.

All that to say, I've been working, it's been blah, and so I've not had much to post about.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Wholecloth Quilting by Hand

The Liberty Bedcover: vintage re-purposed fabrics

Since I've added another book to my list, I decided to update my post on wholecloth quilting resources. Here it is again: my advice for books on wholecloth quilting.

Quilting is a popular craft right now, but hand-quilting is rare. A lot of the women I meet who are quilters only do pieced quilting, and then take the quilt in to have in machine-stitched, or only do even easier tie quilting, and most fabric stores cater to that market by stocking more blanket fleece and quilting cottons than quality apparel fabric. Wholecloth quilting is time consuming, but there's great appeal in the hand-quilted look. The simplicity of wholecloth quilting is just as beautiful to me as a pieced quilt!

Good books about Wholecloth and Whitework Quilting

Quilts of Provence, by Katherine Berenson, published 2007. Gorgeous color photos of original antique quilts and quilted clothing. This book focuses on French wholecloth quilting of the 18th Century, with some patterns shown in the back. I love this book. It's worth buying.

America's Quilts and Coverlets, by Carleton L Safford and Robert Bishop, published 1987(a good year). I picked up an old copy of this book for $1.50 at a book sale, and it's really a neat book! Since it's about all kinds of coverlets, not just quilts, there's more variety featured than just wholecloth quilts, but still a good resource. It's an older book, so the photos aren't nearly as good quality as in "Quilts of Provence", but it does cover a wide variety of American quilting and related folk art. Very interesting and pertinent to wholecloth quilting.

Whitework Quilting, by Karen McTavish, published 2004. I don't own this book and the library doesn't have it, but in a world with fifty million books about pieced quilting, this one is about whitework, so it has to be good. It's currently out of print, so even used copies are a little expensive.

Quilting by Averil Colby, published 1971. Another book I picked up at a thrift store for $3. I like this book a lot because it is mostly about wholecloth quilts. The book has chapters on tools, filler, and patterns, then goes through the centuries in order, starting with a chapter on 16th century quilts and going through early 20th century quilts. Great pictures, though all black-and-white, and lots of pattern detail from old quilts. Averil Colby is an interesting figure in herself; read a bit more about Averil HERE.

The Essential Quilter, by Barbara Chainey, 1993. I read a recommendation for this book on some other quilting website. It's a really cheap buy on Amazon! This is a great book for those beginning to quilt by hand because the whole book focuses entirely on hand-quilting, and describes the basic techniques in detail. It's an older book, but still with good pictures and relevant information. Especially considering the price, it's worth buying.

Also check out this list of resources and events at the Nebraska State Quilting Guild website. 

Quilt on!

Famous Fairfield Weekend

Last week was amazingly stressful with work leading up to Pagan blood-fest day(Halloween totally needs to get squashed by Reformation day celebrations) and everyone wanting a hideous costume, and also because I had a difficult Etsy transaction that led to a Paypal case and a custom order bring returned. So that happened last week, and then I went on a welcome road-trip weekend vacation with Silent Man, Mr G, and the Glamorous French Librarian.
Silent Man posing in Pella, where we stopped for Church and lunch on the way home.

It's been four years since we attended the Famous Fairfield ECD Workshop, and it was just time to go again. Every year the mighty dance group in the small  town of Fairfeild hosts an ECD weekend with some of the best callers and the absolute best ECD band in the country. We danced Friday night, Saturday morning and afternoon, and then had a formal dance Saturday evening. It was a lot of dancing and not a whole lot of sleep, but fun.

Glamorous French Librarian, also in Pella, the only place I remembered to take pictures.

Like a lot of Iowa towns Fairfield has a town square with shops around it, and one of the shops on the Fairfeild square is a Ladies' Auxiliary Thrift store. We stopped there last time, and it's a cute store with good prices, so we stopped there again this weekend.

The Marchioness and the Glamorous French Librarian(GFL for short) in Pella a very nice looking town.

I bought three patterns(.20 each!), two zippers(.20 each!), and I paid three dollars for a book called "Quilting" by Averil Colby, published in 1971. I already love the book because it's mostly about the quilting I enjoy, wholecloth quilting in the old style. The book and chapters on tools, filler, and patterns, then goes through the centuries in order, starting with a chapter on 16th century quilts and going through 20th century quilts. Great pictures, though all black-and-white, and lots of pattern detail from old quilts.

Averil Colby was born in Yorkshire 1900. Averil is apparently a legend among quilters. She worked with old fabrics in traditional ways, and I find her life story interesting.  Read a bit about Averil HERE.