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November 1, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Patched army arrives

Swarmed into town with a purpose – carrying those – well, you could call them carpet bags.

Yes, in truth, you could.

Carpetbaggers unashamed.

They seem to be everywhere – blanketing the area.

Not exactly stylishly Kate Spade, but they don’t care.(Sobebunny/

Pushing their threads of the conversation.

 Sharp and well prepared.

Pinning people down.

They carry an assortment of materials: something to appeal to everyone.

Some of them are considered, even by their own, to have radical views.

les femmes de Tiffauges.1793. Chasteignier(US Public Domain.scan of art)

Prepare to get needled if you can’t fold your ideas into theirs.

Warning: most have never met a scrap they didn’t like.

On occasion they may hem about a project, but they walked away from the “granny pants” stereotyping a long time ago.

Cutting the apron strings, so to speak.

Totally modern fillies.

Thoroughly modern (1910-1915 Flapper.Bain New Service/Library of Congress/

Gathering, and nitpicking the old ideas while stretching out some new ones.

(Although often touched by comments they are cut from the same cloth as pioneers.)

Always a pattern with them – even if it’s only in abstract (and hard to read).

Despite the differences between fractions, traditional heritage and contemporary, they all roll up their sleeves to unite.

They are who they are – and don’t care who knows it.

A stitch in time here.

A patch up there.

They are planning their grand designs.

Their efforts embroidering their message:  The world’s just one crazy quilt of people 

Revenge of Frankenstein trailer (1958. US Public domain

And crazy or not, you’ll probably be impressed with The International Quilt Festival Houston

Warmth for the body and soul.

(And it ain’t your granny’s quilting! Click here to see why.)

Granny. (Karelin.1837-1906 US Public Domain, expired copyright.

In stitches over this material,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more: 

Winning quilt could be called an all American work of art.  Click here for story and quilt.

Red, white and blue – with 5,121 Swarovski crystals, and lots of symbolism

The Wyoming quilter won $10,000.00 for this one.

Some of the Postcard Quilts. (Image: Cody Duty/ Chronicle)

Buy a tiny quilt: (Dogs will woof and kitties will purr proudly)

Read  about it here   700 fabric postcards

See some of the tiny quilts were made by famous artists and quilters

The Festival’s project raises money to benefit Friends for Life, a local no-kill rescue group.

The rescue group also provides pet food and pet medicines to seniors/owners who are financially struggling.

An assortment of quilts from the show. (Images from Houston Chronicle/

“Prairie Fire” by Ruth Powers. A winning quilt (

“Hot Africa” Award winning quilt from Netherlands

“My Gentle Ben” Prize winning quilt by Patti Blair of CA

Sea Gull from quilt (Image by Thomas Shea/HC)

Detail from Peacock quilt (Image: Thomas Shea/ HC)

“Spring in the Lawrence Swamp” Quilt by Sally Dillon (Image by Thomas Shea/HC)


  1. PiedType / Nov 1 2012 2:43 am

    I wandered into a quilt shop in Snowmass, Colo., one summer. With an address like that, you can imagine what I found. The most exquisite, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind quilts I’ve ever seen. I admired them for several hours, trying desperately to find one I loved that I could afford. I loved them all, and couldn’t afford any of them. I still dream one day of having something like this on one of my walls instead of the usual framed rectangles of cold glass. “Prairie Fire” would do nicely.


  2. Marylin Warner / Nov 1 2012 6:00 am

    Wonderful variety! Your post is rich with details, art, color, information. Fascinating.


  3. roughseasinthemed / Nov 1 2012 6:24 am

    I’ve never understood the attraction of quilting. It strikes me as being a real American thing. However one of our neighbours and clients was such a keen quilter that she was actually asked to tour the US and lecture, so it seems it does happen in the UK after all. In terms of art, I think it is beautiful.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 1 2012 2:15 pm

      Quilting as art really took off in the states – of course the skills came with those immigrants from Scotland and Europe. My dad’s family (poor farmers) made quilts to keep warm. Scraps of fabric left over from making clothes were turned into quilts for the winter. We used to laugh at my mom who sew clothing and saved all the scraps – which eventually went into quilts – we told her, mom, instead of “crazy patchwork quilts” you could actually buy fabric and make one with a design. She did finally. There are actual shops here that only sell fabrics for quilts. It’s gotten to be a big deal apparently: the line between art and “arts and craft” disappearing (The Arts and Crafts movement in England started that merge ages ago…and Bauhaus, too I guess – form follows function?)
      Anyway here’s today’s article about the international quilts – nice pixs
      Thanks for threading in a comment!


  4. CATachresis / Nov 1 2012 11:08 am

    My aunt is a quilter. She does it all by hand and is very disparaging of the modern army of machine quilters!! Her quilts are stunning, even if I say so myself lol


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 1 2012 2:08 pm

      My mom was the same way – all by hand. There was a group of women in the small town that gathered to work on quilts together. It was a community/social experience as well as producing a finished product. Don’t have the patience myself, but like you, I love to see them. Thanks for setting up the frame to quilt in a comment


  5. Snoring Dog Studio / Nov 1 2012 11:35 am

    Wonderful charity – will definitely check out that link! Gorgeous quilts of birds, too.


  6. RAB / Nov 1 2012 11:53 am

    As a sometime quilter myself, I thank you for this witty and wonderful post, and for the link!


  7. Ally Bean / Nov 1 2012 1:06 pm

    I cannot quilt. [There I said it.] But I can appreciate all the effort and creativity that goes into a quilt. And these ones are amazing. Absolutely fascinating.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 1 2012 2:19 pm

      I can’t either: too tedious. But if someone wants to give me one….
      Thanks for piecing together a comment


  8. Sunshine / Nov 1 2012 2:17 pm

    Anyone who produces such beauties with only thread and fabric is really, really a blessing. Makes our world more beautiful. 🙂 Thanks for sharing about the postcards and the Friends for Life…great idea.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 1 2012 2:23 pm

      Even in the leanest of time, some found a way to make life more beautiful (and they had an excuse: everyone needs more blankets for the winter – so who could criticize?) Those postcards are wonderful, aren’t they. That rescue group is a stellar one here, so glad they are benefitting. Thanks for cuddling in to chat


      • Sunshine / Nov 1 2012 4:06 pm

        Sometimes the beauty of the quilts would make me want to hang as art rather than cover for warmth… Haha. 😉


  9. Jonesingafter40 / Nov 1 2012 3:08 pm

    Great piece, Phil! I saw a documentary once about Amish (I think) quilters who made the most exquisite quilts. It fascinated me that they would purposely sew one piece of fabric upside down in every quilt as a way to show that they were imperfect humans and only God is perfect. Quilts are truly works of art.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 1 2012 4:03 pm

      Amish quilts are beautiful and well made to last.
      Many Native American tribes also weave or leave and imperfection in pieces for the same reason – a universal spontaneously appearing many places around the world? Funny how so much is the same.
      Glad you pieced it together and stopped to comment


  10. notedinnashville / Nov 1 2012 3:46 pm

    My 96 year old friend sews and quilts. She was just discussing the other day about how “young people” don’t appreciate the work that goes into quilting. Her goal is to finish making one for every child, grandchild, great grandchild, and great, great grandchild while she can. She’s amazing!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 1 2012 4:05 pm

      My mom made everyone quilts, too. Those are real treasures. It is very hard work. How much fun it must be to watch her quilts in progress. Thanks for tossing that material over here


  11. writingfeemail / Nov 1 2012 8:06 pm

    I have had quilters in the family, but have never tried it myself. I’m not much for sewing, but boy do I respect those who make these.


  12. Kourtney Heintz / Nov 1 2012 8:38 pm

    That peacock is AMAZING. wow. That is art!


  13. jmmcdowell / Nov 1 2012 10:41 pm

    Those are truly works of art. I would never have the patience to sew a quilt, let alone come up with something so creative. Bit I can admire their beauty. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 3 2012 3:31 pm

      I’m the one who uses glue or staples for hems – these are mind boggling. Thanks for cutting out to visit


  14. EllaDee / Nov 2 2012 12:21 am

    I think proper hand quilting is an art form. I love the idea of memory quilts where the fabric are saved up over a lifetime. Good quilts are so real and personal they have a multi-dimensioned life of their own 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 3 2012 3:36 pm

      When my mom was into quilting after retirement, she did several different types of memory quilts. One was where she contacted childhood friends and asked them each to stitch or paint on a blank square she sent them. Then she stitched all the squares together for a “friendship” quilt to be given at college graduations. She did wedding quilts like this, too. I have a couple of quilts that were just patchwork ones and I can see my 2nd grade dress, my high school tropical surfer shorts….it’s a history all right. Thanks for adding to the comment fabric!


  15. shoreacres / Nov 2 2012 2:50 am

    I love the pieced quilts I have from my grandmother and mother. I still can sit and go over them, pointing out a sundress here, an uncle’s shirt there. They were the original “scrap books” for us.
    I wish I’d been in town for the event – even if it’s still going on, I’m not inclined to drive into Houston. I did see one show in Fredericksburg a few years ago that knocked my socks off. I have a friend who just took up quilting three or four years ago and is producing terrific pieces now. She hand-quilts those babies, too – no machining at all. Amazing.


  16. jannatwrites / Nov 2 2012 5:28 am

    I had a great aunt that made quilts – but they weren’t anything like some of these! Oh, they were beautiful, but were quite simple in design by comparison. I had no idea that the prizes were that high in quilting contests (they earn every dollar, that’s for sure.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 3 2012 3:53 pm

      This must be the Superbowl of Quilting? Certainly amazing. Thanks for patching in a comment


  17. Spinster / Nov 5 2012 12:35 am

    I know someone who may like this; gonna try getting them to needle their way over here to read this. 😉


  18. Robin / Nov 12 2012 10:40 pm

    Wow! Those are some amazing works of art. Quilting is one of those things I wish I’d learned how to do, but then I think about it some more and remember how much I hated sewing when I was in home ec class (do they still have home ec classes??). Enjoyed your play on words as always. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 13 2012 12:38 am

      Those are incredible, but not something I think I could manage. Thanks for stitching in a comment


  19. Reginald / May 2 2013 10:52 am

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m
    not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 2 2013 2:30 pm

      Word Press gets quirky and does that sometimes. Nice photos on your blog. Thanks for stitching in a comment here


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