The Secret’s Out !!!!!!!!
Prairie Queen Quilting & Antiques has expanded! As of May 1st,we can now offer you yardage off-the bolt along with our usual assortment of fat quarters and one-yard cuts that you have found in our booth before. The decision to move from a single antique mall booth space into a full service quilt shop was not an easy one! We pondered & discussed & measured & tossed around many ideas until finally all heads were nodding in the same direction. Thank you Gary & Doris, owners of The St Joe Antiques Mall, for being so open minded! This is a leap of faith for all involved! After all, a quilt shop in an antique mall is not your routine business venture! But the combination of reproduction fabrics, antique furniture, & assorted vintage or antique “stuff” is very fitting. It produces a very comfortable mix that we hope everyone will enjoy. So, much moving & shuffeling was done & we were all glad we were only moving into the next room & not clear across town! We are still in Booth #30, but now you will find us in the big side room just down from our old spot.
Our main objective continues to be to bring you quality reproduction fabrics. Our fabrics have expanded now to 10 of the major producers of reproduction fabrics. That is very exciting to us to be able to offer that variety to you!
We will also offer you other quilt-related items to help you reproduce a favorite piece or preserve a family heirloom. We’ll offer Hobb’s Heirloom Cotton Batting to give your quilt that feel “just like Grandma’s”. Products to help you care for your vintage textiles such as Treasure Wash & Vintage Textile Soak. And books that deal with antique textiles & patterns such as:
*** Antique Quilt Designs by Roberta Benvin
*** Lewis & Clark Volumes 1 & 2 by Terry Clothier Thompson
*** Pennsylvania Plain & Fancy by Anita Shackelford
*** America”s Printed Fabric 1770 – 1890
by Barbara Brackman *** the leading authority on fabric history & dating and everyone’s favorite resource person!
Her Latest lesson on fabric education includes:
** 8 repoduction quilt projects
** historic notes & photos
** dating your quilts
And as always, we’ll carry a full line of stencils from the 1800’s & Kansas City Star.
We’ve expanded our “guy stuff” section with newly reconditioned bamboo fly rods for summer fishing season. There are camping antiques, miscellaneous sports paraphenilia & as always,plaids & flannels for the man of the house.
For the month of June, to celebrate our new expansion, we’ll offer 10% off all in-store fabric sales or free postage on all internet fabric orders over $50.00.
Come visit us — on the web or in person — to see what’s new in our world! You’re sure to find something good to treat yourself or a perfect gift for someone else!
Until Next Time —
Becky & Kate
•Use the clear- plastic food containers that grocery stores sell berries and donut holes in to keep fabric strips wrinkle-free and thread organized.
•Transport your quilt block units from the cutting table to the sewing machine with a large square of flannel and a Q-Snap 17” square quilting frame. The flannel keeps the pieces from sliding during the transport.
•Paint stencils are available in many great designs and can be used for fusible appliqué projects. To use a stencil, place it facedown on the paper side of the fusible web and trace the shape. Trace the stencil right side up on your background material for an instant and exact placement guide.
•To protect your ironing board cover from begin stained with ink when pressing paper-pieced blocks, iron freezer paper over the area where you use for ironing. When the ink builds up simply replace the freezer paper.
•Various size metal washers at the hardware store make perfect appliqué circles. Trace around the appropriate size washer on the back of the fabric, trim, and run gathering stitches around the edge. Slip the washer into the slightly gathered fabric circle, draw up the gathering thread tightly and press with an iron. Using spray starch will help retain a nice crisp edge.
•A great reusable quilting template is to trace the template or quilting design onto freezer paper and cut it out. Iron the freezer paper pattern in place on the quilt block and quilt around it. Once the block is quilted, peel off the pattern and use it again and again.
We hope you can find everything you need.Longarm Quilting by Carol Davenport is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet your expectations using the very best products available in today’s quilting world. Completely COMPUTERIZED and handguided designs on my wonderful Innova Lightening sttich Auto Pilot for your prized works. Auto PIlot mach3 is being added in June.
With a variety of offerings to choose from, we’re sure you’ll be happy working with us. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.
We offer edge to edge quilting (one design over the entire quilt, including meandering and freehand):
.015 cent per square inch for all over meandering; .02 cents for pantographs edge to edge; and custom charges of .025-.03 cents per square inch.
Batting: I provide rolled batting, available for $9.00/yard for 96″ and $10.00 for 108″. It is 80/20 and beautiful Hobbs quality. I also have wool batting and light all natural cotton if you prefer.
Backing: You should provide your backing, already sewn together and IRONED. IRON YOUR SEAM(S) TO THE SIDE. DO NOT IRON YOUR SEAMS OPEN. Backings must be a minimum of 4-6 inches wider on each side of the quilt top (i.e., right side, left side, top side and bottom of quilt) and cut evenly on the top and bottom.
$10 per seam if I cut, sew andprepare your backing.
Binding: You provide the fabric and I will prepare and sew on top with mitered corners and no hand work; ready for you to sew on back: $25.00
I use a variety of thread. I have a chart or you can let me know the name and/or number and I will provide the thread. I have a good selection of thread in stock.
Thread charges: $10 for solid colors and $12 for veriegated threads. Minimum charge for any quilt (including baby quilts) is $50.00
All orders will include Texas sales tax (.0825). Thanks again for visiting. We hope to meet you soon!
Quilting a legacy
by Freeman, Roland L
Beverly and I arrived at Alice Walker\\\\s Victorian row house on a pleasant, rainy Sunday afternoon. Alice has a gentle, quiet personality, and the sound of her voice is very soothingand the peaceful aura that surrounds her also draws you in. I quietly went about setting up my lights, as Alice talked about her recent film on female genital mutilation and her new book, \\\\Possessing the Secret of Joy. \\\\ We then spread out a few of her quilts and Alice got comfortable on her sofa. I asked Alice to talk first about the tradition of quilting in her family.
Well, my mother was a quilter, and I remember many, many afternoons of my mother and the neighborhood women sitting on the porch around the quilting frame, quilting and talking, you know getting up to stir something on the stove and coming back and sitting down. My mother also had a frame inside the house. Sometimes during the winter she would quilt and she often pieced quilts. Piecing . . . I\\\\m really more of a piecer, actually, than I am a quilter, because I can get as far as piecing all of the little squares or sections together, and sometimes putting them together into big blocks, but then I always have to call in help-spreading it out on the frame, or spreading it out on the floor and putting the batting in and doing the actual quilting.
[The first quilt] I worked on [was] the In Love and Trouble quilt. And I did that one when I was living in Mississippi. It was during a period when we were wearing Africaninspired dresses. So all of the pieces are from dresses that I actually wore. This yellow and black fabric I bought when I was in Uganda, and I had a beautiful dress made of it that I wore and wore and wore and eventually I couldn\\\\t wear it any more. Partly, I had worn it out and also I was pregnant, so it didn\\\\t fit, and I used that and I used the red and white and black, which was a long, floor-length dress that I had when I was pregnant with my daughter, Rebecca, who is now twenty-three. I took these things apart or I used scraps. I put them together in this quilt, because it just seemed perfect.
Mississippi was full of political and social struggle, and regular quilts were all African American with emphasis on being here in the United States. But because of the African consciousness that was being raised and the way that we were all wearing our hair in naturals and wearing all of these African dresses, I felt the need to blend these two traditions. So it\\\\s a quilt of great memory and importance to me. I use it a lot and that\\\\s why it\\\\s so worn.
Well, I actually have an essay, \\\\How I Wrote The Color Purple\\\\ in which I describe how, when I started thinking about that book, I had to change everything in my life in order to write it. I had to leave my husband, sell my house in New York, sell two houses in New York, in fact, come here and try to find a place to work. I settled in San Francisco and that wasn\\\\t right, and I went north to the country and that was right, finally, although I went all over the country, this part of the country, looking for a place. I knew that in order for me to have the kind of meditative depth to the book that I needed, that I had to do work with my hands and I asked my mother to suggest a pattern that would be easy, and she said that there was nothing easier than the Nine-Patch. You know, you just get some fabric and cut up the pieces into nine blocks and you sew them together and that\\\\s it. So, I followed her advice and I went to Boonville, in Northern California, and I was with my partner, Robert Allen, and we would make big fires in the stove and go apple picking, or swimming in the river, or whatever, and then in the evenings I would work on this quilt. And as I worked on it, the novel formed.
I asked Alice about the significance of the colors she chose:
I am very deeply influenced by colors, and there are certain colors that come into my life with real persistence. And this kind of reddish or fuchsia, along with one of my old Indian dresses, black, green, and maroon stripes-these are colors that just struck me as colors I needed to give me strength to go on into the work I was doing, so that it always felt cheerful and strong and interesting working with those colors. I couldn\\\\t have written \\\\The Color Purple\\\\ working on a brown quilt.
I asked her what happens when she sleeps under that quilt:
Oh … I am warm and I am secure and I am safe. I feel that I know how to create my own environment, and I know how to protect it. And I know how to choose it. I realize that my quilts are really simple, and yet, they give me so much pleasure, because even in their extreme simplicity they are just as useful as the most complex. And in their own way, they are beautiful because they do express what I was feeling and they clearly mark a particular time for me.
Well, the Crazy quilt I have, by Rosie Tompkins of Oakland, is very special because unlike so many quilts, it has a lot of satin in it and what else-almost party-dress fabric-and I get under that quilt and I just feel real snazzy, and I can\\\\t be depressed but so long, lying under that. Under this Log Cabin Windmill quilt, I-it is just so lovely. I mean, I wake up and I just feel that I am sleeping under a beauty that is as complicated and as rich as the beauty I see out my window, which is nature. And so it just makes me feel all the more connected as a human being to what is created constantly in and among nature.
I mentioned to Alice that Maya Angelou had told me that when she was having trouble writing a particular book, her mother told her \\\\Nake this quilt and go and sit on it and you won\\\\t have those problems, it will be all right.\\\\ I told her that I\\\\ve come across a lot of folklore within my family and others about powers and quilts, and I asked her if she had had any such experiences.
Well … other than to say that I feel just really good and protected and blessed, especially when I am under quilts made by my mother. But my feeling of power-because I feel myself to be in the Shaman tradition-comes from the making. The making of myself. It\\\\s the same tradition as sand painting, or carving-all of those things that people do. The power is partly about grounding yourself in something that is humble, something that is-that you can actually see take form through your own effort, and it\\\\s like seeing that you can change things and create through your own effort and in a way that you can see. This makes you realize that you also do that constantly in an unseen way. That is also the way that the world is created. There is a consciousness that is manifesting in things that you see around you. Even though you never see it, it\\\\s there. I feel really connected through the work that I do.
It is such a great experience to do this while writing a book, because, you know on days when you cannot move in the narrative, you can work on your quilt! There are days when the characters just don\\\\t want to come anyway. They are off doing something else in another world. You have your quilt and you can keep going, and so one faith leads the other-the faith that you can continue making this pattern in the quilt restores the faith that you may start moving, that you can continue in the unseen-which is to draw these characters out of nothing and make them real for someone.
I asked her if she had made a quilt for her daughter.
No. I\\\\m sure that she will make her own quilt. I\\\\ll be happy to leave her these if they are not worn out, which they will probably be, but I hope that she will make quilts for her own grounding and her own connection to me and to her grandmother and to her great-grandmother. [I\\\\ve seen] quilts that my grandmother made. They tended to be very serviceable, very heavy and really for warmth, and, well of course, beautiful. [My daughter has a quilt] that she travels with. It\\\\s just a beautiful simple quilt that she loves. I gave it to her because she just feels like you can\\\\t sleep under just any old thing. It\\\\s got to be something that is congenial with your dreams-your dream sense, your dreamtime. I\\\\m trying to think of where I got it. I think that I just bought it somewhere. I believe it is from Texas.
I asked Alice what she\\\\d like to say to people in general about quilting.
That they should learn to do it. That they should think less about collecting quilts and give more thought to making them. Because, really, that is the power. It may do all kinds of good things, too, to collect what others have made, but I think that it is essential that we know how to express, you know, our own sense of connection. And there is no better sense of understanding our own creation than to create, and so we should do that.
And to those people who prefer to buy a quilt, saying they don\\\\t have time to make one:
Well, I think that they should restructure their lives because obviously there is a problem and we should stop actually saying that we don\\\\t have time. Time is all we do have. And really learn to do the things that matter rather than only the things we think are worth doing. Some people will immediately think that\\\\s not possible, but I think if you want to really be here, you have to be committed to being here, and to be here now is to be here at this moment. It is the only moment there is. And there is nothing like quilting to help you appreciate that, because it\\\\s very slow. It is very slow. Your life just sort of winds down to a very slow stroll. And it\\\\s wonderful because you are really there, and that\\\\s why, you know, we talk about all the reasons that people make quilts, but it\\\\s really because of that glimpse of eternity that people get. That\\\\s one of the greatest gifts-that glimpse of eternitythat fraction of eternity.
Let me try [to clarify] . Because it is easy if you\\\\ve felt it, but there comes a time when you do grasp that you live in eternity. But the eternity is only in the second that you have. That\\\\s the eternity. But once you really live in it, once you really know that you can have it, you will have it forever, and that\\\\s why there is no reason to be afraid of dying. And in quilting you have moments of that where you know that this is eternity. This very moment is eternity A bus could fall on my head at this minute and I will have had my eternity. In other words, as Martin Luther King said, \\\\Longevity has its place.\\\\ But once you really have your life, you have it, whether you have it for ten minutes, or for a hundred years. It\\\\s all about whether you are alive in the moment that you have.
And the proess of quilting ves you that. Yes, as well as anything would, I mean, like again sand painting. I don\\\\t know if you read the article about the monks who came to the San Francisco Museum. They came to town, and they were making this elaborate mandala out of sand, and they\\\\re working and they\\\\re working, and they\\\\re working and they work for-I don\\\\t know how long-weeks to make this mandala, and just as they were about to finish, there was a woman who came, leapt over the little rope, and danced on the mandala and completely destroyed it. And what did the monks do? They stood there and smiled. And when she had completely demolished it, they gathered up the sand and started over. Because that was what was going to happen to it anyway. When they finished with it, they destroyed it. So it\\\\s in the doing, you know, it is really in the doing. It\\\\s in the creation. That\\\\s where your joy is. It\\\\s a gift. Because they have gotten the gift. They\\\\re not giving anything away. They are giving you what\\\\s left. The quilt or the sand painting is what\\\\s left. And we look at a quilt, a sand painting, or any genuine work of art and we say, \\\\Oh, how beautiful!\\\\ As I do every day. But I know I\\\\m just seeing what\\\\s left. What\\\\s really amazing is what was going on when she was making this quilt. You know, I mean, boy, when she was just whoever, doing her art, what a state of being!
I asked Alice about the relation of quilting to the camaraderie of women and whether that relation fits into the whole process of creation.
Absolutely. Absolutely. And it\\\\s even higher because it\\\\s communal. It\\\\s one thing to get into eternity by yourself, but to get into it with five or six other people, all of them cooking and talking about whatever. It\\\\s really incredible. I mean, you\\\\re talking about some high states of being. We just have taken this as being completely ordinary. What\\\\s happening is very fine. Very high. I mean really evolved.
And yet, the people doing this, they say, \\\\Get out of here-What are you talking about?\\\\ But the evolution is there. Because they are creating out of the heart. But not in a precious way. And they\\\\re together on it. They\\\\re making something together. It\\\\s really quite remarkable. And when you think about that kind of creation and then you think about these rugs that you can buy from India where they literally steal these children and they beat them and force them to make these rugs… this is the other end of it. This is where the moment is not a glimpse of eternity, it is a moment of hell. I mean it\\\\s eternity in a different way. And that is what you get. You get the rug and you think that this is a beautiful design, but you can feel that it just doesn\\\\t have the life. It doesn\\\\t have that purity; that moment where you were just, as the creator, up there.
I asked her to comment on her sense of my attraction to the environment women created in quilting, one in which they were away from men.
Well, first of all, even though you thought what you wanted to hear was what they were saying, what attracted you was the feeling that they generated. You were attracted to their eternity. They had taken their eternity back from the men around them. And this was the form that they used to have their eternity. You see. And then when you get one of their quilts, you can see that this is what their eternity, externalized and made into a form, looks like, but in fact, they experienced their eternity long before you saw their quilt. They took it. God bless them. God has blessed them. Because think of the people who don\\\\t know how to steal their eternity back from people who have stolen it! And there they are without an eternity. They\\\\re mad. People who take drugs are trying to get their eternity They\\\\re trying to have their time, their endless time of being, who they are, as they are, their eternity, and they take the drug and-they think this feels like it, you know, this feels like … this must be. ..this is so good it must be my eternity. But it\\\\s not. Because you don\\\\t need drugs to get it. You need creative work to get it. You need creativity to get it. You need to create just like, whoever created all of thisthe earth, the cosmos-needed to create.
An Excerpt from A Communion Of The Spirits, Africa-American Quilters, Perservers, and Their Stories
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