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Posts Tagged ‘McCalls Patterns’

Book Preview: Quilts From El's Attic

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Quilt as Desired Special Exhibit, where longarm quilters took original antique quilt tops and added a modern flair to them. And Eleanor Burns was on hand to introduce her new book, Quilts from El’s Attic.1090_LG Eleanor Burns is a You Tube quilting star,  creator of Quilt in a Day, and the perkiest 70 years young woman you will ever meet. During a $5.00 Lecture class, Eleanor shared that Quilts from El’s Attic features 10 antique quilt patterns made in to newer, modern quilt designs. Eleanor’s love of antique quilts is her passion and she set out to simplify those beautiful vintage patterns from the past. In addition to the patterns, Eleanor also includes vintage quilts from her own collection, offering fabric selection advice, lovely sample quilts, history, and yardage and cutting charts. The book went on sale in April. In her class, Eleanor discussed the history behind some of the famous antique designs along with her modern renditions. Did you know that in 1860, the Ladies Art Company was the first company to publish quilt patterns? There were no instructions, just pieces of cardboard with a little picture. The Crow’s Nest quilt (circa 1890) was an example of these early patterns. [caption id="attachment_3990" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Eleanor_Burns_class-29 Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] El’s version of the Crow’s Nest in her new book uses Civil War reproduction fabrics to create a more modern positive-negative space. Eleanor and her sister created the floral fabrics when Eleanor was recovering from her heart surgery last year. [caption id="attachment_3991" align="aligncenter" width="562"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Did you know that in 1930 the Kansas City Star published a new quilt pattern every week? Women would make that block the day the pattern came out and put the blocks into samplers [caption id="attachment_3986" align="aligncenter" width="576"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Here is Eleanor’s new version of a block sampler: [caption id="attachment_3993" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Did you know that red is Eleanor's favorite color? Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Red is Eleanor’s favorite color! Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Did you know that in 1941, a McCalls pattern sold for 35 cents? The traditional Dresden Plate pattern was quilted by hand. Eleanor took the original design and added an ice cream cone border. [caption id="attachment_3988" align="aligncenter" width="586"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Eleanor has made an ice cream cone template available on her website to make it simpler to create this modern table runner which is machine quilted. [caption id="attachment_3989" align="aligncenter" width="530"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Did you know that the Baptist fan was created for convenience? Church ladies would sit together to quilt. Because there was limited space, they added a curve to their design and used large stitches. [caption id="attachment_3994" align="aligncenter" width="549"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] As always, you can count on Eleanor Burns to give an entertaining look at quilting.  ]]>

Welcome to Carol’s Zoo

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

In the mid-1980’s, Carol Cruise got cancer.

When she was going through her chemotherapy treatments, she wanted something to do on her “good days” when she was feeling better. A friend gave her a kit to make a teddy bear. Unfortunately for Carol, the kit had a million pieces and she did not enjoy putting it together. Carol thought, “If you are going to make a stuffed animal, you should have fun while you are making it.” So she set out to reduce the pieces of the bear to make the project easier. She ended up with a stuffed bear pattern that had just 2 pieces!! [caption id="attachment_3963" align="aligncenter" width="611"]CarolsZoo-7 Photo by Brian Roberts Photgraphy[/caption] Later, Carol thought, “If I could make a bear with just 2 pieces, what other animals could I create?’ That’s how Carol’s Zoo began.animals-400-text Today, Carol’s Zoo has 20 simplified animal patterns with 8 new ones currently in the “incubator.” Carol is also looking to expand to baby quilts, utilizing a flat or applique version of her animals. [caption id="attachment_3960" align="aligncenter" width="603"]CarolsZoo-2 Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Carol started sewing when she was 5 years old, under the guidance of her mother, a Vogue couture seamstress. Carol’s mother believed that the inside of a garment should look as good as the outside and trained Carol in that philosophy. That training came in handy when Carol started working on simplifying her patterns. [caption id="attachment_3962" align="aligncenter" width="612"]CarolsZoo-13 Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Starting a business as a “zoo keeper” was not Carol’s original plan. She was actually one of the first 5 people to start the customer service department for Levi Strauss. For several years, she had her day job and shared her animals at local shows in the San Francisco Bay area on weekends. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that Carol plunged in to making Carol’s Zoo her full-time work. She sold 3 of her patterns to McCalls who still carries them in their pattern books. What is Carol’s creative process? “I stare out a window and mentally trace my designs, thinking about how I want a pattern piece to look like. Then I draw it out, tweak it, and redraw it until I get what I envision.”  Carol has “so many ideas” that she is working on: scarves, vests, tote bags, spirit dolls, and purses too. She keeps a notebook with her everywhere she goes just in case a new idea pops up. [caption id="attachment_3961" align="aligncenter" width="364"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Road 2016 was Carol’s first experience as a vendor for the show. What did she think about Road to California? She enjoyed all of the enthusiasm of the customers and appreciated the opportunity to showcase what she loves doing most: designing and sewing stuffed animals.]]>