Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Phillies Baseball Quilt, Soldier Quilts and AHIQ 26

Perfect timing. The World Series starts tonight between the Houston Astros and LA Dodgers. Neither FO’s Phillies nor my Giants made post-season appearances but his quilt is bound, washed, and gifted. This is the final quilt for the Great Debaters. Remember those adorable friends of my youngest who wrangled over who should have received a graduation quilt?

Front
I alternated left- and right-handed ball players. On my first attempt I turned the templates over but between front and back of fabrics and templates got myself turned around. It was easier to make two template sets: one for lefties and the other for righties.

The gloves were originally drawn with curves but I quickly found that unnecessary. Simpler is better. Sashing color seemed a difficult choice since the team colors were covered by the red shoes and blue caps. Happily this two fabric choice worked wonders. The true whites strengthen the quilt by pushing the value range. The outer border might be a bit wide. I simply cut the fabric into four equal lengths and didn’t want to trim it off in the end. After all, FO is a grown man. He needs the size.

Making the field of different greens added life to the top. Still, this quilt uses far fewer fabrics than most of mine.

What fun to design and sew! But... I've created a bit of a monster: every guy in my family wants one celebrating his team and several people have written asking for the pattern. There aren't many patterns of guys. Mostly we buy camping fabric or plaids and call it a guy quilt. Not that hearts and flowers are only for girls but this one has struck a chord with many people. I'm going to try to write up a pattern formally. After the holidays. Stay tuned. And thanks for the encouragement. :-)

Nine Phillies ballplayers stand on fields of green with gloves in hand, ready to play ball.
Phillies Baseball quilt 

DH thought team patches would be the cherry on the top. He insisted until I agreed he could buy one. He bought four. Plus four more for the Giants quilt he wants. {Someone doesn't want me to forget my promise.} One is the Philly Fanatic, probably the best mascot in all sports. He alone is worth the trip to a Phillies home game. Another celebrates their 2008 World Championship.

Back
FO's name is behind the red-bordered box. Next is his university and graduation year. {Yep, this has been in the works for quite a while but he says it was worth the wait.} My son came up with the third line. Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell so the screen flashes, "Ring the Bell!" after home game home runs. The final four lines are a quote by Aaron Rowand.

The white and beige background fabrics include stripes, plaids, spiders, power poles and lines, and boat building plans.

Ring the Bell for Phillies home runs.
Phillies Baseball quilt back, owner's name whited out in photo

Quilting
Detailed quilting might have showcased each section with a different designs but this quilt will be used heavily and {hopefully} washed frequently. After stitching in the ditch along the sashing, a curving, allover design will be the sturdiest choice.

The Baptist Fans come courtesy of Quilt Diva Julie who generously shared pointers. I couldn't have done it without her help. The only other time I sewed fans they were a disaster - misshapen, missized, mistaken. With Julie's encouragement and advice these worked so well I used them on the border as well as the players. {Why miss another place to practice?}

Phillies Baseball quilt, quilting details from back

Quilt Details
Size: 86" x 92"
Pattern: Original design
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose 100% cotton
Thread: YLI nylon monofilament with white Gutermann and Presencia 50 wt grey cotton 
Quilting: Walking foot straight line and free motion Baptist Fans

There are quite a few previous posts about this quilt:
  1. An idea to celebrate baseball
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Appliqueing Phillies in cursive
  4. Free-hand piecing letters for the back
  5. Making sentences
  6. Applique numbers
  7. Sewing the back together
  8. Baptist fan quilting

NYC
DH had an unexpected meeting in NYC. Guess who tagged along? So many things to see and places to go. First up.

War and Pieced: Quilts from Military Fabrics at the American Folk Art Museum showcases Soldier Quilts created 19th century British soldiers who served in Crimea, India, and South Africa. Calling them quilts is a courtesy classification as these are only one layer and frequently intended as wallhangings or gaming boards.

One of the soldier quilts from the exhibit War and Pieced at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.
Soldier quilt with elaborate borders, India c. 1855-1875

British military uniforms were made from milled wool broadcloth which was also felted to produce a raised nap. Since the fabric could be cut without fraying, tailors and soldiers could cut it into complex pieces without seam allowances and hide the overstitching in the nap. Except for the embellishments on the front, they look the same from the front or the back. It's believed the fancy-cut fabrics were ejected from buttonhole punches or created with special die.

One of the soldier quilts from the exhibit War and Pieced at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.
Detail of the elaborate border. Fabric may have been ejected from buttonhole punches.

Facings were dyed in regimental colors which included black, white, blue, buff, green, purple, and orange. Although many of the soldier-makers remain unknown, the theater they served in can be identified by the colors used in their quilts. For example, the mid-blues in the quilt above were only used by British regiments in India.

Did you know that different dyes were used for different ranks? The uniforms of common soldiers were dyed with madder and could turn purple or pink over time. NCOs, sergeants, and volunteer corps got "mock scarlet" created from a variety of dyes while true scarlet from cochineal dyes was reserved for officers.

One of the soldier quilts from the exhibit War and Pieced at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.
Bright fabrics from military uniform facings
With longer periods of inactivity during Indian service, soldier quilts from that continent were brighter, more complex, and - inspired by that ancient Indian art - often included beading. Several are thought to have been made by orderlies who were frequently Indian tailors.

Quilting was promoted as a healthy antidote to the "canteen culture" of war and to provide employment to wounded soldiers. Who knew quilting keeps alcoholism at bay?

The simpler construction and limited color palette of the quilt below suggest it was made by a convalescing soldier. The four crosses at the bottom may mark graves of fallen comrades.

One of the soldier quilts from the exhibit War and Pieced at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.
Soldier's Quilt: Square within a Square; Crimea, India or UK; c. 1850-1880
The final two photos below reminded me of Fort Ticonderoga. The blue design on the left looks like a star fort to me. On the right, the visible white threads are exactly what the soldier-guied used to sew uniforms at the Fort. I noticed all the threads that showed or mended these quilts were white.

Details of two of the soldier quilts from the exhibit War and Pieced at the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.
Two examples of the Soldier Quilt exhibit that reminded me of Fort Ticonderoga

The book Wartime Quilts: Appliqued and Geometric Masterpieces from Military Fabrics accompanies the exhibit and includes many more quilts. I had it shipped home to save luggage space. The Magazine Antiques posted an article last month explaining current understanding of these masterpieces. It has great photos, too.


Fourth Quarter AHIQ Invitation
We've all been busy. At first I thought it was summer vacation, then back-to-school but now realize we are all overcommitted for the year. Hardly anyone has time to comment. Perhaps we are disheartened by world politics which seem to focus on war and rumors of war. Fortunately, this vacation as it helped me realize I need to slow down, breathe, and reevaluate.

We considered another invitation but decided now is not a good time. Check Kaja's post for details. It's just what we all need.

What have you quilted this month? We could use something pretty to look at with details to enlighten.

Enjoy the day, Ann
An InLinkz Link-up

EDIT: Linking to Linda's Sew, Stitch, Snap, Share and to Finish it up Friday.

37 comments:

  1. Your Phillies Quilt is amazing!

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  2. Wee who wouldn't want their own team baseball quilt - its just wonderful.
    Thanks for the soldier quilt photo. I would love to see that exhibit.

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    1. I hadn't realized till now that these are all "man" quilts. I was so excited to see War and Pieced as I never thought we'd visit NYC. While researching links for this post I came across The Magazine Antiques article. It's incredibly thorough and has photos that are so much better than mine. I highly recommend reading it in detail. The book is incredible with many more quilts than those included in this exhibit and lots of detailed text. I almost think the exhibit accompanies the book rather than the other way around.
      I believe this show will be at the International Quilt Museum in NE after closing in NYC.

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  3. Your Phillies quilt give me goosebumps!

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  4. The military quilts are fascinating. I've bookmarked the magazine article to read later. Your Phillies quilt is a HOME RUN! Congrats on the fan quilting - it really is fun, isn't it!

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    1. I've written before and still thank you for the fan advice. It's lots of fun and makes a great texture. Plus, as I age I appreciate designs with less stopping.
      You'll love the magazine article. The photos are even clearer than they were at the museum (although you can't get your nose right on it!) And the book has many quilts that weren't in the show.

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  5. The quilt turned out great! Of course I love the addition of the patches since I put a lot of patches on my t-shirt quilts! I wish the Indians had made it to the world series this year, but at least the Yankees are not there!

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    1. Thanks, Patty. I like the patches, too although I wasn't sure at first. Baseball is a great game. The Indians had a good run - certainly better than the Giants.

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  6. I so love your blog!!!! It never fails to inspire. I also want to make several of your baseball quilts for family! It is so wonderful!

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    1. How kind of you to write, Sue. I enjoy quilting. It's even more fun to write and read about their construction. Wouldn't it be fun to see different fans with these quilts.

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  7. I can see why everyone is wondering about the pattern. I'm not even a sports fan and think the quilt is wonderful. Most of the sports fans I know are football, not baseball, fans. Your Baptist Fans turned out nice. I tried fmqing them once on a small quilt and ripped them out because they looked terrible.

    WOW on the military quilts. I didn't know some could be game boards.

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    1. How kind of you, Cathy. One of my guys wants me to adjust the design for football. I probably will even though I hate the injuries that game causes.
      My previous attempt at fans was equally bad although I didn't rip them out. I probably should have.
      Read the magazine for much more information about the military quilts.

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  8. I am looking forward to your pattern! I love your sashing; the white makes the quilt sparkle.

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    1. Thanks. I wasn't sure about the sashing but didn't know what else to do. Now I think it makes the rest of the quilt work.

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  9. Wow and wow!! The Phillies quilt is just wonderful. Yes, hundreds of men will want their own. And no one could make it exactly like you. All the things you said about it make the quilt really striking (pun not intended.) You bring up many points we can learn from to make our own quilts better. Thank you for showing and explaining the soldier quilts. They're fantastic. It's good to know that there was enough peaceful time to make such beautiful objects.

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    1. Thanks for such a lovely note, LeeAnn. I'm so glad I made this quilt and learned so much from this version. It does help to evaluate at the end and decide how we can improve/change next time.
      Such a good point about the soldier quilts. When our tv was offline I found I got much more done. It does help to have free time to work on our art, doesn't it?

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  10. Your 'philies' quilt is great, no wonder everyone wants one now! Interesting reading about the use of those brighter fabrics from military uniform facings. Thanks for sharing with 'sew stitcg snap SHARE'

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    1. I didn't think Australia would be much interested in a baseball quilt but thought you'd like the soldier quilts. I never realized quite how colorful military uniforms were before 1900. Thanks for running such an interesting linkup.

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  11. I can definitely see why so many men would want a custom version of your quilt! It's really magical in a manly, man sort of way and that's priceless in the quilting world! I've always loved the soldier quilts too--so much emotion in them.

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    1. Manly men. I like that! Intriguing to consider how to draw my sons into quilting although they both love them already. I'm blessed.
      There are so many emotions in these quilts. The recent advances in artificial limbs helps so many regain a semblance of their lives. They can get around much better than wheelchairs. Of course, there are other wounds. While I've never been in battle.

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    2. I just realized my comment was partly deleted. Hmm. Here's the rest:
      I do know any way to break the loop of depression/fear/loneliness/mourning is helpful. Finding a hobby or someone else to help is almost always a good way to start. Learning a new skill adds self-esteem. I can see men mourning and rebuilding their lives in these quilts.

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  12. The Phillies quilt is amazing. You inspire me each time I read your blog. And I know a Sox fan who would really like a baseball quilt. Looking forward to a pattern...in your spare time ;)) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. How kind of you, Laurie. I'll probably be making a Sox quilt in future myself. We'd better start looking for quotes. Ha!

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  13. Wow, you really went the extra innings on your Phillies quilt! It is a work of art. I've never heard of soldier quilts before, so this was very informative and intriguing. Thanks for sharing these. They are outstanding!

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    1. Making this quilt was very entertaining, especially when the men around here got involved. Lots of input. It made me more enthusiastic myself. Now I have even more ideas.
      I hadn't heard of soldier quilts either although I'd seen sailors' work - scrimshaw and sewing. Just as it helps us, I can see how this would be a good activity for someone who had to stay in one place but couldn't participate in their regular job.

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  14. My daughter wants a Nationals quilt... she's working on culling the list of players she wants on it. So I'll be watching for your pattern too. Thanks so much for sharing your process and progress.

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    1. I'd better get busy! It's hard to limit yourself to only nine players.

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  15. What an excellent finish, congratulations! I love all the stories embedded in this one, both sewn and unsewn. Even though it was a lot of work, it seems like it went quickly. Sometimes it's so fun to just run with the ball!

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    1. You summed up my feeling on this perfectly. Thanks, Monica.

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  16. I LOVE your quilt!! I discovered you today through Crazy Mom Quilts Finish Up Friday. There are so few quilt ideas for men of any age but particularly college age boys. I just love your story and the back of the quilt is amazing too! I can't wait until your pattern is available! I have several grandsons who are Red Sox fanatics.



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    1. Thanks for writing, Barb. You are so right about quilts for college men. And mine, at least, are the most appreciative of my quilts. I'll get busy soon.

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  17. I'm not surprised people want to make quilts based on this - it's fantastic and I love that it's so personal, but with universal appeal too. I had seen some soldier quilts in an old book, but your pictures are much better. I wonder if there are any on display somewhere over here.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. I think it could be adapted to several sports but will say that baseball teams are the perfect size for a quilt. Haha.
      The soldier quilts were collected by Ms. Gero from UK, Australia, Canada, and US. Several I didn't mention were made in Prussia and sent to UK. I think most of these were by British soldiers; there was only one by an American. So I expect there have been or will be exhibits in the UK. It's worth seeing in person although the lighting was very low to protect the quilts. But we can always see details in person. OTOH her book is phenomenal. So many more quilts that shown here and beautifully light with lots of information. I looked through it at the museum then had it shipped home. It's a bit pricey but could be a Christmas present.

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  18. Hey Ann! I love the baseball quilt and I think the fan quilting looks great too! Thanks for posting the military quilt pix. I read about that exhibit. I'd love to see it but won't be in NYC anytime soon so thanks for taking the time. cheers!

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    1. Thanks, Claire. It was an unexpected treat to see the exhibit in person. Be sure to read the magazine article I linked. It covered the exhibit even better than I did and their photos are so sharp.

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