Tuesday, January 21, 2020

     Our member story this month features Karen. Let's learn a little bit about Karen: Karen has made things since she was a small child. Her grandmother started her knitting and embroidering when she was around 4 or 5 and she's never stopped. She has a deep history of women on both sides of her family that have made things so it seems it's in her genes. She enjoys knitting, crocheting, embroidering, modifying fabric, making clothes, patterns, and quilts.
he first quilt Karen was aware of is one her great grandmother made for her father out of his childhood clothing. She appliqued Overall Sam in classic depression-era fashion. Karen started making quilts in college in between making sweaters. She says that her favorite thing about quilting is the process. Starting with the germ of an idea through to the finished product. She says she certainly likes a finished quilt, but the making is her favorite. She really likes setting circles and three dimensional work. She finds it hard to say if she's drawn to a particular style of quilt, she likes a crisply made quilt with a thoughtful palette and leans toward modern interpretations of traditional quilts. She finds Depression-era quilts and Amish quilts inspiring.
     I asked Karen to talk a little bit about a current or recent project that she was working on.The quilt she talked about was a series of friendship blocks that she found in an antique shop in New Hampshire. She likes to buy vintage tops, blocks and quilts that need a little love to bring them back to usefulness. During that New Hampshire trip her friends and she went to Keepsake Quilting and she found some fabric to set these blocks in. Life being what it is the project matured on a shelf in her studio for a few years until she got around to finishing the embroidery signatures, backing and setting the blocks and finally, assembling the top at the guild's recent Fall retreat. She plans to send it out for quilting in the next couple of weeks then on to its final home with one of her friends who was there when she first bought the blocks. She takes great sentimental pleasure finishing old tops and blocks. She went on to say "Historically quilt making was a group effort, requiring many hands. In my particular version these quilts are created through a group effort by a number of people, but across time and region. I like being a part of that continuum. There will always be another project like the friendship quilt. I collect blocks and tops like stray pets, foster them, rehabilitate them and eventually send them on their way."
     Below take a look at some of the fantastic vintage friendship blocks that were part of Karen's project:






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