Loose Threads: Stories to Keep Quilters in Stitches

Loose Threads: Stories to Keep Quilters in Stitches

Face the Winter Naked. Postcards from Cedar Key. Secrets on Cedar Key. Steps to the Altar. The Third Hill North of Town. Across a Green Ocean. Every Quilt Tells a Story.

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Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! Pat Hannaway rated it really liked it Jul 30, Finally numbering twenty-four quilts, all in a thirty-five-inch by fifty-inch format, they include images of Norway, Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Austria Switzerland, and many states and cities in the United States. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Sarah Minor Sarah Minor is a writer and a designer from Iowa.

Helen Kelley's Joy of Quilting. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them.

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HELEN KELLEY

Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! Ratings and Reviews 0 1 star ratings 0 reviews. Her early years were spent on the East coast, from New York to Georgia, where her father was a consulting engineer for textile mills. It was in her high school years in New Haven, Connecticut, that she developed a love of the theater. She attended Stephens College in Missouri, and graduated in with a degree in theater from the School of Speech at Northwestern University in Illinois, where she joined the Delta Zeta sorority.

At the University of Minnesota, she did graduate studies in speech pathology. Of course, this explained her knack for humor and style in both her writings and lectures. In , when she was home from school, her brother, Rennie, was released from the German POW camp Stalag VIIA where he had been taken prisoner in November while his military unit was pushing north from eastern France.

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She spent hours with him recording his experiences and wrote it out in a forty-page double-spaced manuscript that they called "Kriege. Not knowing another quilter, Helen studied the character and style of old quilts and was able to figure it all out.

After marriage, she and her husband, Bill, lived for many years in Schenectady, New York, then moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, and Johnson City, New York, before Bill led them back to Minnesota, his native state, in Amid all these moves, including those associated with his service in the Marine Corps, Helen toted her trusty Singer featherweight sewing machine with her to make clothing and costumes for herself and their children.

In time, their family grew to five children, and raising them became a challenge and a full-time endeavor for Helen.

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Their son, Billy, was born developmentally disabled, so his life required flexibility and creativity from everyone. Their daughter, Connie, is blind. Both Connie and Billy were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when the family arrived in Minnesota, and Helen had to manage their insulin and diets among all her other duties. Their four daughters have grown into remarkably flexible and creative women. They all sew beautifully.

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Even their daughter Connie sews, although she is blind; the walls of her California condo are hung with quilts, both hers and Helen's. While most people give gifts to family, Helen made special quilts in recognition of each family member.

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By the end of her life, Helen had five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, and her role had evolved into "Grandma Kelley's" quilts. One of Helen's most famous quilts is The Unicorn , which began with traditional designs but changed once her research started. She was inspired by the symbolism in Renaissance paintings and the mille fleur tapestries in the Cluny Museum in Paris. On the back of the quilt, Helen listed the symbols used, such as the strawberry plant at the feet of Mary, representing righteousness. Another noteworthy quilt, Renaissance , seven years in the making, was finished in In this quilt, she set out to blend the art and traditions of Norway with American quilts, resulting in a stunning tribute to her husband's maternal grandmother, who came to America from Norway at eighteen and was known as "Granny" by the family.

Each motif is a double applique with black applied first, under a second image inspired by Norwegian woven tapestry.

Helen Kelley

Helen considers this a strong, groundbreaking quilt, especially since it was made during the bicentennial time when most quilters were still using traditional patterns. This quilt received recognition in many venues, including Marion Nelson's Norwegian American handicraft exhibit, which opened in St. It was later acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society. At the end of her life, Helen still found creative inspiration by using old patterns in her exciting contemporary quilts.

On her website, she stated that "ethnic needlework from around the globe has fascinated me Helen's Postcard Quilts evoke precious memories of places she has visited.

Finally numbering twenty-four quilts, all in a thirty-five-inch by fifty-inch format, they include images of Norway, Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Austria Switzerland, and many states and cities in the United States. A nonpostcard quilt that Helen made to commemorate a family vacation in Jamaica was stolen from a quilt show in Chicago.

She called this Come Back to Jamaica and gave a framed photographic copy to each of her daughters. Another of her quilts, Crazy Jubilee , or as her family knows it, Victoria was acquired for the quilt collection at the International Center for Quilt Study in Lincoln, Nebraska. Helen's writings have appeared in several books and countless magazine articles, and her own library reflected her ambitious research abilities. As a result of all this research and writing, Helen's work as a writer consultant and historian continues to inspire and entertain readers.

Early on, Helen recognized the importance of putting a time period to quilts in her self-published book Guidelines for Dating Quilts. Her book Scarlet Ribbons was a twenty-five year study of the Native American Indians' use of French silk ribbon for reverse applique floral designs.

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In , Every Quilt Tells a Story: