Monday, July 29, 2013


We are celebrating this morning in the quilt cave!

FIRST, our little online store front is finally open to sell the musical instrument quilt blocks that make up the "BALTIMORE RHAPSODY" project!  You can find it by clicking on the "badge" to the right of the top of this post (

SECOND, I've been working on some NEW applique doodles in anticipation of our 20th wedding anniversary later this fall.  Last week we celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the "day we met" (does anyone out there celebrate those kinds of milestones, or are we just hopeless, goofy romantics??).  It prompted some little doodles...

After my creative journey through the Civil War Bride Quilt project, I've always wanted to explore a project that depicted our journey, a quilt that would tell our story.  

Lately, I've been studying and thinking about the "The Reconciliation Quilt."  Have you seen this old beauty?

Apparently it was just on display earlier this summer at the Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska.  The quilt was made in 1867 by Lucinda Ward Honstain of Brooklyn, New York. It was made right after the civil war and depicts 40 scenes of hope and compassion that depict the country trying to reunite and heal.

I love quilts that tell a story, and the folk art style of quilting has always appealed to me...a style where applique pictures can be a little less precise, and size and scale can be distorted, unreal, and a little whimsical.

With that in mind, while I was recently out of state, I started doodling.  I was trapped away from home and quilt cave, with few quilting comforts...just a little sketch book...

I started thinking about the life changing events of all our lives and things we value above all else.  At the time, these events have perhaps seemed small and unremarkable, but after the passage of some time they prove monumental.  Those are the kinds of things I want to capture and record in quilt blocks, if possible, and make my own story quilt...and maybe prompt you to do the same...

When I look at The Reconciliation Quilt," I find that I wish I knew what Lucinda was thinking as she drafted each block.  I wish I had a name, or a date, or some tiny clues.  That is why I am toying with whether to include tiny appliqued letters and numbers depicting names, dates, or places.  Will they add?  Will they detract?  

I think I will prep all the applique shapes and place them on the background first before adding letters and numbers.  I am aiming for 10-inch finished blocks, so I dare not make the numbers and letters much smaller...but I don't want things too cluttered.

THIRD, a give-away to celebrate the release of the patterns!  How about 3 winners, each getting to choose 4 music blocks?  Leave a comment revealing your most embarrassing musical moment EVER (musician, or not...if you have one) and I will choose 3 winners by random number generation at 6PM EST Wednesday evening, July 31.  

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

p.s. - Our little store site is very simple.  Right now we can only mail domestically.  Soon I will have the patterns available to be purchased by "electronic download" (the large format applique picture will be "quartered" so that it will print on four 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper, then can be taped together).  This will eliminate postage for those interested and able to print a pattern at home/work from email, and ESPECIALLY will avoid all the annoying customs requirements that seem to be different for every head is still spinning from THAT little discovery!  We are definitely learning to walk before running with this project.


  1. I love your idea to make a story quilt for your life!! I think the reconciliation quilt is fascinating and have wondered some of your same wonderings. I'd have loved to see it in person! Good luck with your blocks :0)

  2. I love your 'when we met' block! Beautiful idea for the quilt, too! I can't wait to see more!

    And my most embarrassing musical moment was in grade school. I played the violin, and I had just finished playing a little piece trying to win 1st chair spot for the week. Our teacher, Mr. Buck, said when I finished that it was 'worthy of 1st chair', and I got so excited that I jumped up, turned too fast, and swished my waist-length hair across my violin, getting it totally tangled in the chin piece. It somehow got wrapped up tight! And I was stuck! Poor Mr. Buck had to stop everything, and try and untangle me! It seemed to take forever! Funny now, but totally humiliating then! lol

  3. Most embarrassing musical moment?? Shoot, I can think of three and I'm not sure which is worse. I was recruited off the curb to play cymbals in the college marching band after not being in music for 8 years. Music for the national anthem was put in front of me, but since I was standing w/the drummers, I didn't hear the conductor say no percussion. By golly when he started conducting I came in on cue - apparently I was the only one who heard him say no percussion. Fortunately it was during practice. Later in the season the entire band was not performing as expected. So the conductor pulled out folder #s and expected that person to play the music solo. Just one problem -- the cymbals (now there were 3 of us off the curb) were never given any music - we essentially were hi-hat stands for the drummers. But as I started to type this I thought of one more recent incident, which might just be the more embarrassing than either of the first two. About 15 years ago my husband was a percussionist w/a large local church. They needed an extra percussionist to play maracas and claves. My husband recruited me. (This is about 15 yrs after the last time I played in public). I think I did OK, but they recorded the performance and played it on local access Christmas day. I was so focused on the music and trying not to mess up it appeared that when my mother saw the video she asked me why I was so mad. After I watched it, I couldn't believe my scowl.

  4. I'm so excited for you - and the launch of your patterns. It has been a delight to follow the progress on your quilt over the many months. Next it's time for it to travel, right? I would love to see it in person. Your new venture also sounds very fun! I look forward to tagging along.
    As for an embarrassing musical moment... I've played the piano for years when younger and always sang in choir too. My kids did years of piano and band too (saxophone & baritone) but no musical blunders come to mind. I have thought hard and KNOW there were likely many - perhaps these embarrassments are blocked from my memory. HA! Maybe I'll ask my kids to remind me of something. Their brains are sharper than mine these days :)

  5. Just to answer your little question, my husband and I celebrate all those little things, including such occasions as the day we each had been married half our lives (yeah, we're old) and the day we each had been parents half our lives.

  6. I love the idea of a story quilt and I am sure you have the perfect story to fill that beauty. Hmmm - embaressing music moment. Back in High School (when the dinasaurs roamed), my youngest sister and I were going to perform in a school talent contest. We went on stage when announced and started the quitar part and just hitting the first vocals when the curtain was pulled (dropped) down on us and we were ushered off stage. We thought we had been 'hooked' and went home wondering what we did wrong. Come to find out, someone had a heart attack in the audience and they were just shutting things down to care for the person, EMTs, etc.... When they re-introduced us to continue on ..... well, we weren't there.

  7. I follow your blog with a reader and always enjoy your posts, patterns and blocks.
    I sort of played the flute in high school. I finally got into the "Junior Band" with the seventh graders-but I was a sophomore. The music teacher was good, but I was not, so my musical education ended almost as soon as it started.
    I love your musical blocks; they would make a great gift quilt for a musical relative. Thanks very much.

  8. Singing along to a song and singing the wrong words LOL.

    Congratulations Teresa. Love your style. Please keep creating!!!!!!

  9. Congratulations on nearly twenty years of marriage, that is something to celebrate don't you think?
    Great new design, you are a fabulous artist.
    I am not a musician, but my husband is a trumpet player in several bands. The only embarrassing musical thing that happen to me was as a teenager playing my music loudly in my room & my newly acquired boyfriend walks in to hear me singing at the top of my voice! Trust me when I say I AM NO SINGER!!!

  10. I love your quilts and appreciate how you share your photos from your travels.
    I love hand appliqué and hand quilting. Although I could never handquilt as many as you do each year, I do at least one large quilt by hand.
    I would have so say that in the six grade moving up ceremony during the choral selection for the evening I had my most embarrassing moment ever. It was the first time we had ever performed with spotlights used and at the exact moment my section was to sing the spot light shone on us, I was. Blinded by the light and I lost my balance and fell, knocking two others over with me.

  11. I love your "doodles"! What about stitching some of the details with hand embroidery stitches and perle cotton thread when you are quilting?
    Embarrassing moment...I played piano for the church choir, and one Christmas, right before the cantata, my friend's little boy poked his finger in my eye and scratched the cornea, causing some sight issues
    while trying to play and watch the conductor...I won't go into the gory details! LOL
    Congrats on the marital milestone and the new pattern store!

  12. Yeah - how exciting your little store is open. That is wonderful and even more so that the world can share your beautiful designs.

    My music moment - grade 7 at school ( I was about 12) playing a very serious solo piece in the school talent concert. I started to play and realised my violin was seriously out of tune (I think I must have knocked a peg) so had to stop and tune.... Turn peg.... string breaks... school crowd laughs.... not quite the desired outcome. comedy routine was not on the plan.

  13. Congrats on your store! You always make me feel like such a slacker! I couldn't be less musical than I am, but as an adult, I'm a stickler for knowing the right words as I sing along. Not so much as a teen - I was happily belting out the words to a Who song with friends and I never noticed that we weren't singing the same words ... they knew the right ones.

    Now my husband, he has some interesting musical stories ... streaking with his trumpet ... the 70's ... what else can I say!!

  14. I only have one music story in my life...I wanted to learn to play the piano so bad, but money was tight (we didn't even have a piano for me to practice if I did take lessons) so my mom had a man from the local music store come and evaluate my music skills...he had me turn my back to him and he hit a white key or a black key on his piano and I had to tell him if the sound I heard was from the white key or the black key... I knew nothing about music so all I did was guess...I failed the test...he told my mom it would be a waste of time and money to give me piano lessons...thus my dream to play the piano ended...needless to say Teresa my favorite block is the piano block...Virginia's daughter

  15. not sure that I have a most embarrassing but one that sticks out in my mind of my time the high school band was during football season and we were preforming on the field at half time. It was very mudding and director said no matter what keep marching... well I lost a shoe in the mud but kept going after finishing the routine we had to find my shoe before the game could start again...
    I enjoy your blocks and blog.

  16. I want you to know that a enjoy reading your blog. I love your quilts. Now as to an embarrassing musical moment .... hmmm .... the only thing I can think of was the time my parents took my sister and I to see the musical Music Man at a theater in the round. Well, the actors made their entrance and exits through the audience. During one number Robert Preston, the Music Man, was to lead a bunch of children (actors) to the stage. As he was coming down our row he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the stage, smiling the whole time. I was 10 and as much as I thought that was fun I was rather startled and a bit embarrassed not knowing what to do once I got to the stage.

  17. Love the musical blocks. So original. My most embarrassing musical moment was teaching myself the piano and having my son play Name that Tune. He couldn't guess Happy Birthday. I gave up the piano, it just wasn't meant to be.

  18. I lve your idea of a story quilt. I also love your appliqué technique. My most embarrassing musical moment was in class last year. I was teaching the students a song when in the middle of it I totally forgot the lyrics. I felt so old, u can only imagine what my middle schoolers were saying.

  19. The antique quilt you show is one of my favorites. Very folk art style.

  20. Chiming in late, but have a story to share...
    In college, one of my final exams as a music major (majored in Music Ed, played flute, minored in piano) was to play a memorized piano piece for the jury of professors. I knew this piece ~ but had a LOT on my mind. You see, the minute this final was over, I was hopping into the car & future-hubby & I were driving to FL to get married! So there I was ~ playing the music until I get to a certain place & BOOM. I went blank. Completely blank. The professors said, 'it's okay... take a deep breath, clear you head & start again.' So I tried again and go to the exact same spot & BOOM, it happened again. So I stood up, told them 'I'm getting married. Bye!' and left! hahaha! Very embarrassing! That was 28+ years ago. I don't play the piano much anymore, but I'm still happily married. =)

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