Here is the quilt from the video. After reviewing the quilt I realized that I missed coloring the triangles around the octagon white. So I will share the adjusted coloring as well.
I would love to see your feathered star quilts. Please feel free to post in the Learning EQ Facebook group.
Advanced Feathered Star Quilt Showcase
Tech Know Quilter Masters members, recently went through a class on some pretty complex feathered stars.
This topic was developed based on a viewing of quilts from the Linda Giesler Carlson and Dr. John V. Carlson collection at the International Quilt Museum. Linda Carlson is an active member of Tech Know Quilters. She graciously allowed me to use photos of her quilts for a class. I've included an interview with her which you will find at the end of the showcase.
Here was the first inspirational star antique quilt from Linda Giesler Carlson's collection used in the Tech Know Quilter class.
Here are some of the quilts created by Tech Know Quilter member that were inspired by the circular star antique quilt.
Here was second inspirational quilt from Linda Giesler Carlson's collection.
Here are some Tech Know Quilter member quilts inspired by the California Star quilt.
Linda Carlson Interview
Linda Giesler Carlson is a quilt educator, fabric designer and collector. She has published four books, taught extensively across the country and on cruises to Alaska and the western Caribbean. She has donated her large collection of antique four block quilts to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln Nebraska. Although she has now retired from teaching and lecturing, she continues to quilt and is an active member of Tech Know Quilters, where she is mastering Electric Quilt 8.
Linda graciously allowed us to use some of the photos of her quilts from her collection at the International Quilt Museum in a Tech Know Quilters Masters class.
She also allowed me to interview her about her history with quilting.
Tell me about your first quilt.
I started quilting in 1975 when oldest daughter Amy was on the way. I thought it was the thing to do. So I bought a kit which was pre-quilted and bound that needed applique with embroidery on it. I knew so little, I didn't even know to hide my thread knots on the back.
My next step was when my husband John got into medical school. My mother said that I needed something for myself to do. So I created an applique pillow (Ernie from Sesame Street) and a pieced pillow (the Weathervane block) in a beginning quilt class.
What are your favorite parts of quilting?
I like designing original patterns and choosing the fabrics. I became fascinated with four block quilts. I liked applique quilts but thought the multi-block applique quilts would take a long time to make. In those days everybody did everything by hand. I thought that four blocks would be a lot faster. I hadn’t considered that the blocks in the four block quilts were much larger and more involved than multiple applique blocks.
What inspired you to collect quilts?
I wanted to teach about four block quilts, and being an elementary and junior high school educator, I knew I needed to do research before teaching about the subject.
My research involved State Quilt search projects and museum collections from states that came into the Union before 1850. I found that of those states, many of the four block quilts came out of the Pennsylvania heritage and were set next to each other. The ones that had five blocks were on set on point. That creates a center block. Sometimes that center was filled with quilting and sometimes it was a block just like the others.
How long have you been collecting quilts?
Probably since the late 1980s. The focus of my collecting became the most popular four block patterns. They were:
I acquired unique examples of all of those major categories and used them in my lectures. I also collected others that had different types of motifs, but were very unique and unusual.
I found them by going to antique shops when I was teaching on the road. When I taught at the big shows like Houston and Paducah, there would be antique dealers there. I got to know them and they would end up sending me photos and ask if I would like the quilt. And I always did.
The International Quilt Museum in Lincoln Nebraska has at least 72 of my quilts. There were two shows of those quilts and I did go and present the lecture to them. That was quite fun.
I was also invited to participate in "What's American About American Quilts" symposium at the Smithsonian in 1995. I was able to present a 20 minute lecture complete with slide show on “The Roots of the Large Four Block Quilt”.
Tell me about your books.
Quilting to Soothe The Soul
This had a different focus than the first three books. I was working on a four-block tree quilt for Meredith -- my youngest daughter. My dad had died in 1993 when I was working on the border which included a number of willow trees. Of course, the weeping willow is a symbol for mourning. As I was stitching the quilt, I realized that other quilters had gone through their own grief periods as well. Thus began the research for this book.
I found that different cultures traditions emerged in the quilts. Tribes such as the Delaware, Shawnee, Lakota, and Ogalala Sioux practiced Giveaway ceremonies for life events. One Indian tribe always gave star quilts to their graduating seniors from high school. It was always just one large star in the quilt. There were other cultures that had casket quilts or a pall to go over the coffin.
During that research I found a lot of wonderful stories. One of the 4 block tree blocks included in the book had baby hands in the quilting with the names Keith and Kenneth. One of the hands was turned backwards. I believe this was a memorial quilt to these twin sons that maybe died at birth because the hands were quite tiny. On the other hand, it is possible that she was already making the four block tree quilt. When the twins were born, she wanted to commemorate that.
The book was originally written to write about quilts to express grief. But then I decided to expand that research to include hard issues including health issues, families moving away or kids leaving home.
During that time 9/11 happened. I included a sub-section of the book for 9/11 quilts. I corresponded with a guild in New York and asked what our guild could do for them. They were making quilts for the funeral directors that were helping with the burials. Along with my guild’s participation in the quilts, I featured some of their quilts in the book.
Why did you decide to donate your quilts to the International Quilt Museum?
When we built the house in 1996, we created a room that was light and humidity controlled. However, my studio was next to the heater room and we started thinking about what would happen in case of a fire. So I began to think in earnest about what I wanted to do with the collection. I knew I did not want to break up this collection because it was extremely unique.
I had attended a conference at the International Quilt Museum. I was very impressed how they took care of the quilts. They were really enthusiastic about quilt history, quilts and textiles. I've never regretted that decision.
Have You Redrafted the Quilts using Electric Quilt?
Not until the Tech Know Quilter's Masters class. In my book Four Blocks Continued, I shared some of the quilts from the collection in modern fabrics. I typically just traced the applique units using pencil and paper and included applique templates in the book.
How has Tech Know Quilters helped you?
It has pushed me considerably in creating patterns on the computer. However, when I am stumped, I will go back to the paper and pencil. I know how to do that and am comfortable with that process. What I really love about EQ is that you can choose fabrics including combinations or fabrics and values of fabrics and plug those into different places in your design before you cut even one piece of fabric.
And what’s really nice is when create quilts with a current collection and you know immediately that it is going to work in this place in a block.
It is great that we can continue to push ourselves to learn new things.
Linda finished our interview with a quote from her husband John who is a retired pathologist.
Before quilting became my career, he said in gest that "quilting was an obsession and a disease and the end stage is collecting antique quilts.”
If you are interested in purchasing any of her books, you are welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has extra copies of all of her books other than Roots, Feathers and Blooms.
Check out her collection of quilts at the International Quilt Museum using this link. Linda Giesler Carlson and Dr. John V. Carlson collection at the International Quilt Museum. I suspect you will be as inspired as I was.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.