Sunday, December 10, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #17, Julie Yukimura's Quilt

When I searched for Julie Yukimura, I found her story.
This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

Julie Yukimura founded The Kapaia Stitchery of Kauai, Hawaii in 1973. The shop is the longest operating, largest quilting, sewing and fabric supply shop in the region. It started as a yarn shop, but soon, Julie's love of quilting took over. She made Hawaiian scrap quilts, including this one from 1977. When I searched for information about Julie, I found her story. To read more about it, click here.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #18, Hand-Painted Bicentennial Quilt

Rebecca Thompson was determined to finish this quilt!
This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

Kit quilts are not usually my thing, but this hand-painted Bicentennial quilt grabbed my attention because the maker, Rebecca Thompson of Boaz, Kentucky, started it in 1976 and finished it in 2016. I admire her determination. To read more about it, click here.
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Friday, December 8, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #19, Velvet Love

I'm crazy about this 1920s velvet crazy block quilt.
This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

I love crazy quilts, but have a real weakness for crazy quilts made out of velvet. This one came from an eBay seller in York, Pennsylvania. It is 62" x 62" and includes 16 blocks with crazy patchwork in rich, jewel tone velvets.


Each patch is outlined with feather stitching with a variery of colorful threads. The quilt arrived about a month ago, and it looks like I never got a chance to blog about it previously, but it is one of my favorite purchases of 2017.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Top 20 Quilts of 2017: #20, Andrea Proudfoot's Quilt

Everything new is old again. Pieced alphabets are popular, but nothing new.
This month, I am posting a series of blogs counting down my top 20 quilts of the year. All the quilts were acquired by the collection in 2017, and they represent four centuries of American quilts. 

Everything new is old again. The recent wave of quilts with pieced letters actually has some historical context. Alphabet quilts appeared as early as the late 19th century. They were uncommon, if not rare, but they have surfaced from time to time. Andrea Proudfoot was among the first to copyright her alphabet, and she even quilted the copyright into her quilt!

I blogged about the quilt in March. To view the original blog, click here.
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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Throwback Tuesday: That Quilt Top

Where have you seen this quilt top before, and who made it?
Seven years ago in October I launched Wonkyworld. Over 1300 posts and more than a million page views later, I'm still blogging. Most of the time I blog about collecting antique and vintage quilts, but sometimes other topics: art, food, health, travel and leisure.


Readers may be familiar with the blue patchwork background, but did you know it is from a quilt top I made more than ten years ago? It was an experiment, made with old denim. I thought I would try to make a quilt inspired by Gee's Bend. At the time, I never expected to have a real Gee's Bend quilt in my collection, so the idea was to make one.



Soon after I started the blog, a bona fide Gee's Bend quilt came to the collection, and I blogged about it here. The stunning discovery helped get the ball rolling for Wonkyworld, and there were many other wonderful revelations to follow. Sometimes the latest discovery is right in front of us, such as the source of the design for the wallpaper at Wonkyworld.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Heart Centered Kirtan


I am incredibly proud of my sister, Libby. She recently released a very special CD called Heart Centered Kirtan with Jeff Martell. The recording is special because it is a celebration of Jeff and Libby's musical legacy following Jeff's untimely death in January 2016.


They were working on the CD at the time, and all Jeff's vocals were recorded. Libby called on friends and musicians to finish creating, recording and producing the music, and the result is a gorgeous, uplifting and emotional tribute to their musical legacy. I cry almost every time I listen to it, full of admiration for Libby, who kept the music alive.

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More information from the Heart Centered Kirtan website:

Kirtan is a meditative and energizing practice of devotional call-and-response singing.  The repetition of the phrases combined with the back-and-forth nature of this group practice soothes the mind, creates community, and fosters an awareness of something greater than one's individual self.

Our debut album Heart Centered Kirtan is a tribute to the memory of Jeff Martell and the music that he and kirtan collaborator Libby Volckening made together before Jeff's untimely death in January 2016.  The 10 original compositions weave Sanskrit mantras, hymns and aphorisms from ancient India with Jeff and Libby's own blend of rock, blues, and reggae.  A rousing a capella chorus opens the bluesy first track Om Namah Shivaya, which is followed by two of the livelier tunes on the CD, Govinda Gopala Narayana and Bhagavan Kripalu.  The mood shifts with the tender Om Cecilia, written in praise of the Catholic saint who sang her heart out to God, which features a chorus of heart-melting harmonies.  The next track Even Kali Gets the Blues offers a fierce interpretation of a verse from the Devi Argala Stotram.  Next up is Om Asatoma percolating with percussion, followed by one of the most popular songs of the album Ishvara Pranidhana, inspired by the 12-step slogan "Let go and let God."   The edgy Mahamrtyunjaya Mantra  is intensified by a powerful electric guitar solo, and then the mood lightens with the a sweet interpretation of the classic Purnam Adah shanti mantra.  The album closes with the Saraswati bija mantra, a compelling blend of Martell's rich voice and acoustic guitar interwoven with wistful South Indian flute.  We hope this album makes you want to "Sing all the time!" For more information about Heart Centered Kirtan including a link to buy the CD, click here.