Show 2102: Quilts with Vintage Textiles

Featuring: Mary Kerr

Posts On: July 16, 2017


Quilt appraiser and historian Mary Kerr will knock your socks off with her contemporary quilts featuring often overlooked vintage textiles that are usually headed to the scrap heap. With a deep appreciation for those who stitched these orphan blocks, Mary shares tips and tricks for stabilizing and utilizing blocks.  Once prepared, the fun of playing with the blocks to create a ‘new’ piece begins. From pillow to wall hanging, the ideas abound.

All this, plus Ricky shares a new rendition of an antique Civil War quilt featuring machine appliqué and an inventive use of the clamshell quilting design. Ricky calls this his ‘fast train to finishville’ method.

Show Information

Links to Artists:

Mary Kerr

From Chapter One:

Inspired by a Civil War quilt, Ricky gives new life to the antique Sumter Rose block by creating a contemporary rendition wall hanging. The version he demonstrates substitutes an invisible machine blanket stitch for the hand appliqué. He also demos a clamshell quilting design.

From Chapter Two:

We learn about Mary Kerr and her love of vintage textiles. Alex and Ricky take a look at her quilts.

From Chapter Three:

Using the pumpkin seed block, Mary shares tips for evaluating orphan blocks.  Once determining the most usable candidates, she shares a pillowcasing technique that stabilizes the block. She shares several placement options and applique choices. 

Mary also has a collection of ‘seed bags’ (idea bag).  These clear bags are filled with fabric/block elements that might work together.  She let’s the seed bags percolate while determines their future.

From Chapter Four:

Mary demos a great idea for using a small orphan block to create a pillow.  She uses a shirt placket w/ buttons to finish the back of the pillow. The pillow is also a great arena for trying out free-motion quilting while adding a layer of interest and texture.

After Set:

Mary comes from a family of artists. We see her collection of hand thrown jugs that feature faces.

Products/Books/Artists Mentioned:

Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff Poly
Quilters Select Glue Stick
Apliquick Tools
"Monopoly" by Superior Threads
Superior Microtex needle #60/8
505 Spray adhesive

Riley Blake Fabrics

Book - Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist by Shiffer Publishing

  • Pepper Cory
  • Cathy Franks
  • Mary Holman
  • Debbie Kaufman
  • Karen McTavish
  • Gina Perkes
  • Kim Stotsenberg
  • Linda Thielfoldt
  • Candace West

#13 jancarall 2017-07-26 14:38
Great show. I will say again, I am amazed at Bernina owners who think that the hover mode is something new. I own a 1990's model Husqvarna Viking which has this feature on it. It is nothing new to Viking owners.
#12 Pemela 2017-07-24 16:12
What a wonderful show, from beginning to end. So many ideas and inspiration, the creativity was infectious. Thank you all at TQS.
#11 Donna Holton 2017-07-23 16:19
So happy to see Mary Kerr on the show. She was in the Cabin Branch Quilters guild I was in when I lived in Northern Virginia. It is so nice to have permission to do modern things with vintage quilt elements!
#10 Jon 2017-07-22 18:49
I just attended Mary's lecture in Raleigh, she is such an inspiration! Her exhibit of recycled hexagon quilts with vintage embroidery panels are amazing and inspiring! It's such a great way to honor the the artisans who made these items (hankies, doilies, aprons, tablecloths etc.) by breathing new life into them and making them relevant again!
#9 GeneBlack 2017-07-18 21:50
As a male quilter - I have shirts in the closet that are no longer safe! I loved the idea of backing a pillow this way.
Thank you, Mary Kerr.
#8 caregiver14 2017-07-18 18:19
I am trying to watch the current show 2102. I am a qualified member, but only get a wiggling line when I choose the watch arrow, and the screen remains blank. This has happened frequently as I try to access videos. What is the problem?
#7 Carolyn Tolbert 2017-07-17 17:03
Please give me more information about product Ricky used to back Sumpter Rose pieces. I checked Shop but was unable to identify.
#6 Yolanda Corzine 2017-07-17 16:11
Thank you Ricky for the Sumter Rose Block Demo. I love the Vintage SHow from Mary Kerr.
#5 fairbanks 2017-07-17 08:52
I love watching your shows. But. Am annoyed that I can only watch on the computer. The little symbol that allows the show to be watched on the tv is missing on the show page. Although it is present on the other videos on your site . I wish you would do something about this. Thank you. Maureen
#4 sewiskow 2017-07-16 10:02
Great TQS Show! So many great ideas, I learned a lot and now just have to find those old blocks i have been saving for so many years. I knew inspiration would happen one day. Thank you Mary Kerr
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