Susan’s block number 13 – Still in progress and new stories about Hannibal posted

In the beginning

I haven’t had a lot of time to sew this weekend- Went to the Northern Stars Quilt show on Saturday- saw some beautiful quilts and finally bought a Roxanne thimble. I know it’s supposed to hurt a bit when you first use it, but the pain doesn’t seem to be subsiding. I will give it a few more tries, since it was pretty pricey. It certainly is beautiful!

I have one side of leaves sewn down and now am working up the right side. All my leaves are sewn onto paper and ready to go. I like the idea Australian quilter, Kerry had about using Adobe Illustrator to reverse the pattern- I may try that only using Adobe Photoshop, which I am more familiar with. Kerry has some really terrific ideas on her blog, so if you haven’t started reading it, you should! I may also try two layers of freezer paper instead of paper foundations. Maybe two layers will be strong enough.

I posted two new stories about Hannibal on the History page, and there’s more to come. I am really excited about going down to Katonah Wednesday to meet and hear Stacy Hollander speak about political quilts. She is the curator of the American Folk Art Museum, the museum which houses the Bird of Paradise Quilt.sue


Leaves in waiting

Susan’s block number 7 – “Birds with Snacks” – complete!

Sue completeI really enjoyed making this block – the toughest challenge for me was deciding on a crown for my blue bird. I went through about five crowns, including chopping up what little Liberty of London fabric I had. A friend actually went to London several years ago and bought little pieces of gorgeous fabrics for me. I haven’t used too much of it yet. I find that the weight and feel of the fabric is different- It ‘s a bit thinner and feels more like silk than cotton. I know Paula Nadelstern uses lots of Liberty fabrics in her kaleidoscope quilts.

I think the butterfly added some interesting color contrast. The birds beaks are little bits of the Australian fabric I buy every year at the Somers, NY quilt show (which is coming up next weekend!).  I try not use too much of the that fabric, since the weave is really loose. I mainly use it for bags. I used little white cylindrical beads and a bit of black ultrasuade for the eyes – it is a bit difficult to see them in the photo.

This past Tuesday, a circus historian, William Schnitzer and a former NYU librarian, who is the ultimate researcher, George Thompson, got together with Ashley (Collections Manager at HHS and blog assistant) and I,  to dig deeper into Hannibal’s past.  I think we now have about six more articles on the escapades of that poor elephant. Hannibal was an Asian elephant who was brought to the United States at the age of 12- He had quite a temper and was notorious for his tantrums- he was known to have killed at least one man, several horses (especially ones he did not like) and raised havoc in countless cities across the country. I will have a map of all the places he visited this coming month.

I will post the newspaper clippings, as well as their transcriptions, in the History section of the blog. I will start putting them up this week.

And thank you Mona, for your inspiration –