Tuesday, August 29, 2017

African Boxes and Eichler Homes

Words on Quilts

As I mentioned several times, I'm probably the last person to add words to quilts. Bad to be so far behind the curve. Good that there are so many excellent examples to spark ideas. One of my favorite quilters is Lynne at Patchery Menagerie. Her work is beautifully executed and usually humorous. For example, take her Chicken quilt. Here are the results of a Chicken search on her site. Taking the time to read through these posts will enlighten you on her process and certainly generate ideas of your own. Thanks, Lynne, for sharing so generously.

African Boxes

This quilt started from a photo sent by Sujata with a casual challenge to make a quilt from it. That was back in 2015. I had an immediate response to the structure and red color. By happenstance I was already making sets of long skinny triangles. It struck me these could easily substitute for the red boxes.

It's been finished since last year but I kept it to put in our quilt show this spring. I finally had the opportunity to personally give it to the recipient.

African Boxes, improv quilt
African Boxes

I stitched in the ditch down each side of the "strings" as well as the triangles. Then I casually echo stitched the piecing with a walking foot.

African Boxes, detail

The back is also muslin. This is one of the softest quilts ever. That muslin makes it so comfortable to snuggle in.

Detail of stitching from the back, African Boxes
Construction details.

Quilt Details

Size: 63" x 71"
Design: Original based on antique Ghanaian textile
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose 100%cotton
Thread: Gutterman 50/2 white cotton and YLI invisible nylon monofilament
Quilting: Walking foot 

Eichler Homes Exhibit

I saw this intimate exhibit at the Los Altos History Museum last week. Joe built open occupancy, post-war subdivisions in northern California with wide streets, parks, and community centers that are still treasured today. Open occupancy meant all races and cultures were welcome. In fact, he resigned from the National Association of Home Builders because they would not support this standard.

They are mainly one story homes with walls of windows on the back or side and frequently included an atrium. Perfect for California.

The museum had several current and vintage photos of Eichler homes...

Photo of an Eichler home in the 1960s

Photos of Eichler homes today by Marika Reed

floor plans {I always love these because they're like maps.}...

Eichler home floor plan
Eichler home floor plan

and accessories from the 50s and 60s.

Home accessories from the 1960s

Enjoy the day, Ann


Gale Bulkley said...

Your quilt is beautiful.
My sister-in-law lives in an Eichler home in Marin County. The large space the living area the house provides is lovely to be in, and evenings outside are particularly nice. The last evening we spent with her there we watched the fog roll in over the neighboring mountain, while the sun set peacefully without the interference of street lights.

patty a. said...

The quilt turned out wonderful and the fabrics you used are so interesting!
I have always wanted to build a house with an atrium. You don't find many houses in Ohio with those.

PaulaB quilts said...

We lived In Palo Alto in the 60's and 70's, surrounded by miles of generic Eichlers, no atria, identical floor plans, but private backyards. Maybe,they were knockoffs. I'm impressed by your quilt. It has an African feeeling. Congrats on the finish.

Janice Smith said...

You African Boxes quilt is lovely.

Robin said...

The African boxes quilt is so refreshing. I like that you used the whale fabric as one of your backgrounds. Visually, it's very pleasing.

Millie said...

Thanks for the link and the shout out! I had a lot of fun making that chicken quilt!

(Millie is the cat)

Ann said...

Eichlers were made for northern California. I love the unobstructed views from the living rooms. So relaxing. And to watch the fog roll in would be even better.

Ann said...

These are perfect California homes but not quite so wonderful in many parts of Texas where we have much more extreme high and low temperatures. It would be worse for you. But like you, we can still dream.

Ann said...

I realized from this exhibit there were several different quality levels of Eichlers. As you noted, all their backyards are beautifully private. At least until someone builds a two-story next door.
Thanks. I like this quilt, too. And so does the recipient.

Ann said...

Thank you, Janice.

Ann said...

Thanks, Robin. The whale fabric is a remnant from some napkins I made for my daughter. I like it even better here.

Ann said...

Thank you, Millie's butler! I could tell how much you enjoyed it by reading your posts. Such a charming quilt.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

I followed your link back to Sujata's quilt, and love your interpretation of it! And it's such a great mix of subtle colour & fabrics, love that diagonal 'pop' of blue.

audrey said...

There's just something very compelling about this quilt. So glad to see it again! I particularly like the way you quilted it. A perfect blend of contemporary and cozy.:)

Mel Beach said...

It came out fabulous!! Love the fabric combinations and the piecing! Such a fun finish!!

Anonymous said...

Who knew that muslin would be so snuggly - that is a beautiful quilt! We loved our first home in Santa Clara, it was an Eichler. We did add a pitch to the roof over the garage but the house kept its charm.

likeschocolate said...

Never heard of an Eichler home before, but now I need to go look it up. The quilt is lovely! I can't even begin to imagine all the hours you put into it. It is wonderful!

Ann said...

Oh, I'm glad you followed it back. It's an amazing piece of work; I wish we knew who originally made it. You and I both enjoy seeing how works metamorphose when we use them as a springboard for inspiration.

Ann said...

Thanks, Audrey. Making it stretched me. The recipient wanted a very quiet, almost neutral quilt. That quilting was fun to do.

Ann said...

Thanks, Mel. Coming from you, that means a lot.

Ann said...

What a wonderful memory to have lived in an Eichler. Not only cute homes but friendly neighborhoods.

Ann said...

Thanks, Kelleyn. I have no idea how much time it took. Fortunately.

Cathy said...

Congrats on the wonderful finish. I like the color scheme and how you quilted it. I'm always stuck as to how to quilt anything. I do often use muslin for backings - particularly on quilts using 30s repros and I agree...very soft.

Post war housing here is rather plain. Never heard of an Eichler home but would sure love to have an Atrium in my house. Well, maybe not in winter...who wants to feel like they are buried in a pile of snow?

I might have some 50s and 60s accessories in my home! Might even have that book on my bookshelves! Fun stuff.

Ann said...

I made it with the colors the recipient wanted - a bit grudgingly. Then found I liked it so much I wished I could keep it. At least I can visit it.
When I first started quilting I was one of the first to use prints rather than muslins on the back. Heresy. Now I'm finding I love these high quality, soft muslins.
The Eichlers can be very plain. There were several small subdivisions (about 50-60 houses) that varied in price and finishes. Atriums are tough in Houston with all the rain, and then so hot in Dallas. But perfect for California. Also the ceilings generally follow the roof line. No attics. And that can make homes hot in Texas. There is no one perfect home but every area has a style that suits them best.

JustGail said...

I like your interpretation of the textile. I like the triangles and scrappy fabrics. And the colors. And the way you quilted it.

I see a big drawback to those 2 floor plans before considering how impractical they are for anywhere that's not similar to California. Those hobby rooms look more like laundry rooms. I know some would love that much space, they might be workable IF the washer/dryer were not there. IMHO they need to be at least twice the size.