Tasty Treats To Save Your Hostessing Reputation
Okay, put that hand up right now to volunteer as the next hostess for mini-group! And don’t freak about the menu (or get all Martha on us and make quilt-themed amuse-bouche from organic ingredients harvested from local CSA farms within a 50-mile radius of your LQS). Just cruise over to What’s Your Stitch n Stuff , and follow the links to this Virginia Beach, Virginia-based quilt shop’s new line of treats, Quilter’s Gourmet. Choose from a crowd of easy, tasty treat mixes, including Broken Dishes Mini Chipper Cheeseball, Mexican Cross Spinach Dip or Four Patch French Onion Dip (and so much more). The dip mixes are just part of a full line of appetizer, soup and drink mixes that shop co-owner Holly Erdei-Zuber and friends have put together. Prices range from $3 to $8. (And while you’re ordering for yourself, just remember Christmas is only about 14 weeks away. Yeah, we know how you feel.) Online ordering is not available just yet, but phone or e-mail orders can be shipped via USPS or UPS. Contact the shop at 757-523-2711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No Big Hair, Just Big, Beautiful Quilts
Two hundred quilts marking a quarter century of Texan and American history is the simple description of what you’ll find between the pages of Lone Stars III: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1986-2011. But that’s not a good enough description of what is really found between this book’s massive covers. Lone Stars III is the incredible last installment from the Dynamic Q-Duo Karoline (aka Karey) Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes (who also happen to be the mommies of the International Quilt Festival and International Quilt Market) in their effort to document 175 years of Texas quilt history.
Available in hardcover and softcover editions, Lone Stars III brings together 200 quilts, whose makers all lived in Texas when the quilts were made. From ultra-traditional to freeform art, the styles range as widely much as the personalities and style of the individuals who made them. The unifying factors for these quilts are the time period in which each was completed, their Texan pedigree and the wonderful workmanship exhibited by the makers.
From the opening chapter, Searching for Texas Quilts in the Digital Age, Karey and Nancy write delightfully about the difference between producing the first book in this series in 1986 and writing this last book this year. That process alone, which started with typewriters, film and slide photography and tons of air travel and ended with computers, digital images and email, tell much about how technology has changed how we live–as well as how we quilt.
Most importantly, Karey and Nancy carefully document the changes in society and the profoundly significant historical events of the last 25 years that are often reflected in the quiltmakers’ designs. Karey and Nancy write: “Quilters saw ways in which quilts could be used to counterbalance some of the puzzling and disturbing events that were occurring in the world as it hurtled toward the millennium, and the ways in which they could help and heal.”
There is so much to learn from these two women who have sat in the front seat of our contemporary quilt movement from day one. Whether you’re a student of history or just a fiber maniac, you will glean complete enjoyment from this book. And we promise you won’t even have to know where Dallas is on a map of Texas.
Hardcovber, $50; Softcover, $29.95. University of Texas Press
Half-Square Triangles and Flying Geese? No More Tears…Ever!
The bane of a quilter’s existence has just become a more-than-pleasant experience with these nifty new rulers from the too-smart folks at Bloc Loc. Picture a thick Lucite ruler made with a channel that perfectly grips your diagonal seam allowance(s), enabling you to trim your block without having your pieces shift. That translates into very accurate blocks made from half-squares and geese and you will look like an expert quilter in no time!
Bloc Loc owner Janna Thomas fully credits her mother for coming up with this brainchild. On a visit, she watched her mother use a ruler that had layers of tape strategically placed to create a lip for where her seam allowance would butt up. And even with the tape, there was still some moving going on, but the idea was solid.
We love, love, love these babies and you will, too. But in case they puzzle you, check out Bloc Loc’s website for instructional videos for some handholding while you attack these new piecing challenges. Oh, and Janna and her crew are developing patterns and books filled with half-square and quacking quilts, so there’ll be more HST fun ahead! Prices range from $10 for the smallest rulers to $80 for sets of different sizes.