Frivols Quilts · Something to Think About

Quilting as Part of Our Life Story


Happy Almost May with Frivol #5!

I’m beginning this post by talking about my ongoing goal to make up all the Mode Frivols tins. As I mentioned before, it’s been a good experience to try something new, to work with fabrics that weren’t generally found on my shelves, and Frivol Tin #5 is just that sort, as its filled with French General.  I’ve used French General before, but it was lighter and airier, when I made a quilt for my sister:

new-journeys-front (1)

After receiving the quilt, she repainted her room to match.  Now if that’s not undying love from a sister, I don’t know what is.

Frivols 5_1

But this tin is a bit darker, filled with lusciously colored deep reds, for the tin was originally placed in the shops in December, a month when we typically sew with those kinds of colors.

First up, this note from Moda:

You can find more about this tin on their blog (including how they turned it into a tin for hand sewing supplies), but for me, I’m dying to open it:

Frivols 5_1a

Frivols 5_1b

It will be a table topper, or even a doll quilt as it’s even tinier that what is printed on the tin (see note, above).  However, that means it will sew up quickly.

Frivols 5_2

As I mentioned in last month’s overview, there is always a treat in a tin, and this time it is a beautiful woven ribbon in red and white.Frivols 5_3

Continuing on, I also received news in my Yahoo mailbox about new ownership of that enterprise, including Flickr.  So went over to Flickr to see what I would lose if I just ignored that whole thing forever.  The newest activity in any Flickr group was over a year ago.  Most activity was much older than that, which told me that a lot of other quilty peeps have abandoned that site.


My masthead, but I think that “Joined 2009” thing is when I opened a yahoo email account.


Here’s my first set of photos on the site: March 2012, with my EPP quilt Kaleidoscope.


And my last set, in uploading photos for the Mid-Century Modern Bee, which ended that year.

I used to belong to seven groups on Flickr, most of them Bees, and I also had several Galleries.  I got rid of the Galleries, and unjoined all groups that weren’t a bee I had participated in.  However, I wanted to write about this most popular bee block.

Star Bee Blocks.jpg

This is called Starry Sky and was originated by Kylie Kelsheimer.  It was originally found online as a download, but I lost track of it.

UPDATE: The links to the original pattern are all gone now–but Kylie now has it up on PayHip.  In figuring out the story through email, apparently she thought it was up on Craftsy, but was unaware of Craftsy’s purge of young designers (I think she had a baby at that time).

Here’s a link to her PayHip version: Starry Sky by Kylie Kelsheimer.  It’s always good to support young quilters; since her pattern is so reasonable and has three sizes, I encourage people to head over there to purchase it.  Kylie has since written me, thanking me for keeping her pattern out there and available.

2015 MCM Sept
This one was mine.

So I guess I’m saying that it feels weird to have the history of the quilt world on the internet go missing after such a short time, and it feels equally weird to be erasing some of my own history as well.

It reminds me of some of the things I read in The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter (really, it’s a great little book by Margareta Magnusson): “If someone has lived in a home for many years where children, grown-ups, relatives, and guests have stayed and felt welcome, that same someone is often so busy that they never think of reducing the number of things in the household. And so the number of possessions grows and collects quickly over the years. Suddenly the situation is out of control and the weight of all those things can begin to seem tiring.”

My home and my digital media sites and my blog and Flickr are all like guests that have stayed and felt welcome, I guess.  Unlike the woman in the Swedish Death Cleaning book, not only will we have garages and drawers and closets full that we’ll need to deal with, we’ll also have digital universes that need clearing out, too.  That thought ought to cheer you up, right?

Ken Burns.png

Which leads me, finally, to this a wonderful video about Ken Burns, the historian and documentarian, who sent a lot of his quilts to be exhibited in Nebraska at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.  If you want to see them, they will only be on exhibit for a couple of more weeks, but the museum does have a good gallery of the quilts online, from which I excerpt these:

Ken Burns Flag w Crosses.pngMy favorite is the American Flag, with all the crosses surrounding it.  So many terrific quilts, and thankfully, someone, some where, did not clean them out and throw them away.  Someone did not think they were household junk to part with.  Thank you, Mr. Burns, for sharing your wonderful collection and thoughts:

Ken Burns Quote.png

Ken Burns Shaker Quote.png

“Ann Lee, who founded the Shakers, said ‘Do all your work as if you had a thousand years to live, and as you would if you knew you would die tomorrow.’  The things we leave behind — our children, our land, the environment, but also these made things, the art — will commend us to posterity.”  ~Ken Burns

18 thoughts on “Quilting as Part of Our Life Story

  1. I’ve always loved that star block! And oddly enough I had an email from a blog reader a month or so ago wanting a copy of it. Of course, I went back to look for it, and had no luck! Thanks for the link- I’ll be keeping it safe for the future- if time allows me to get to my ever-growing ‘one day’ list of quilts to make!

  2. Love that starry sky pattern! Thank you for saving it! I have been trying to purge for years. I am the oldest living relative in a small family, so I have all the family “stuff” Every year I get more bold with my purging.

  3. I saw that notification from Flickr and just ignored it. I got into the Flickr game late in my technology journey, and joined mostly to be part of the Mid-Century Modern Bee. Now I can’t get into Flickr because I deleted my Yahoo account after their program was hacked a few years ago. Is it worthwhile to open a new account so I can get into Flickr and delete what’s there? If no one’s visiting Flickr anymore, does it matter?

    I’m glad for you to stick to your commitment to make those Frivols. I’d find it especially challenging to work on duller-colored fabrics. You’re very sweet to have made a French General fabrics quilt for your sister.

    1. I’ll bet you wouldn’t be able to get into your flickr account even if you open a new yahoo account. My husband had access to his flickr account shut off a couple of years ago for no discernible reason. He did everything he could to get “help” to help him, but they would not do anything about it. Perhaps you can just download your photos to save in some other format. Or if you can’t directly download them, you could screen capture them to save. But deleting them? Probably not.

      1. I’m not a bit concerned about the photos that are on Flickr, as I uploaded them from my own files which are still intact. So, I won’t pursue getting back into it, especially after your experience of dealing with Yahoo. It’s not worth it.

  4. Wow, the next Frivols is going to make quite a small quilt, isn’t it? I hardly used Flickr at all; I came into the online quilting community too late. But I should probably follow your lead and remove what content I do have up there. Thanks for the nudge.

  5. Great blog as usual and love watching those Frivols come to life. What better way to stretch yourself using all types of color and patterns you may not normally use.
    This month “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter” is hitting close to home. My aunt had a large collection of my GM and GGM’s quilts. She along with her cousin were genealogists and saved stuff. I had already been given quilts, photos, books, old family letters (many sea captains in family), but in one visit to my aunts she had a pile of quilts on the floor and was bringing them to the animal shelter! All well and good, but not on my watch! I brought them home, repaired and cleaned and stored.
    I am very organized, love history, work on genealogy, quilting, read and collect. Funny thing, I think I have become my parents. 😂
    my children expect to find treasures, but for now I will keep “gently” weeding out all the other stuff. It is an ART to know what to save!
    Liz, hope not to long.

  6. Loved this post and thanks for the Starry Sky Block repost, I had been looking for a wonky star and so far I like this one the best!

  7. Great as usual. Yes we have to keep the art made by all in the family. One of our grandsons was here for 3 days. He ran around making motions like knitting. We had
    no time to get to that or quilting. He just sent me a pic of a baby hat and booties he
    crocheted for a school project with the hope that we can do some more “art” the next
    visit. Big football player did a fantastic job.

  8. Thanks for the post. First to say, I love the star block! It reminds me of some of the things my sister has been making recently, of her own design.

    Also yahoo/flickr: I was a member of a couple of yahoo groups, more active in one than another but with sometimes long hiatuses. I finally decided some time last year that I didn’t want to be involved anymore, mostly because I have enough online diversions. I deleted myself from both groups and put an automatic reply on my email account saying I’m not there anymore. Guess I should check it to see if there’s been any activity at all. Last time I looked, there was not.

    And on clearing things: I am good at getting rid of things. A few days ago I texted Son a photo of a stack of Downbeat (jazz) magazines in what was his room. Did he still need them? No. Those will go in recycle. And a small number of other things will go in a box to mail to him. But also in the last month, Jim and I have gotten rid of a stereo cabinet (actually attractive still, simple lines,) an antique oak trestle table, a ping pong table, and a crock pot, among other things. We have an ongoing intention of getting rid of more than we get, and we do pretty well at that. By the time we’re ready to sell this house, 4-6 years from now, we should be in pretty good shape.

    Last: the Ken Burns collection! I hadn’t looked at the dates and assumed it would be there much longer. Thanks for mentioning it, so I can make a plan to go over.

  9. It’s so much fun to follow your Frivol’s journey. I’ve always enjoyed the French General fabrics too.

    The Flickr information is interesting. I’m sorry to read it as it is a great digital storage idea for quick reference.

    I LOVE that Starry Sky block. It is “on my short list”. I have a question for you. What is the actual measurement of the top line in A8? My printer does not like to print anything out at 100% or actual size. I need to do them at 103-108% to get the actual size. If I have one actual measurement (or 1″ sq.), I can figure it out from that. Thank you.

  10. I am that sister who is lucky enough to have Elizabeth as my younger sister. That quilt she made still comforts me on my bed. My husband died in 2015 and I am now making new journeys in my life, moving houses, throwing away old stuff, and planning for a new bedroom to match that beautiful quilt.

  11. The Starry Sky pattern is still out there on Kylie’s Dropbox account. I did some searching around with Google and the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and found an archived copy of Kylie’s website, with a link to her Dropbox page. To get the pattern, you need to have (or create) your own free Dropbox account, and log in to your account. Then you can paste this link into your browser, and download the file!

    Here’s the Wayback Machine link to her old website:

  12. Your posts always make me take note. For more than 10 years (when my parents passed) I have been trying to clean out so my girls don’t have to deal with my stuff! I am going to see if the library has that book. The stuff does weight on me and stress me out. It makes me unproductive in what I want to do, and wastes a lot of time looking for something.
    I got an email from Verizon a month ago that my free Cloud with my photos would be ending unless I paid for it. What! We paid off our phones and pay a large bill each month! So I grabbed all my photos to an external drive and am categorizing them.
    I got the Flickr email and thought, as you did, what do I have? Well, not much. I posted copies of photos and ideas of others I grabbed when I saw them. I haven’t used Flickr in over a year or more, so goodbye, Flickr.
    I will visit the link to Ken Burns’ quilts. Thank you. And always nice to see your progress on the little quilts.

  13. I love French General too, so I hope you enjoy playing with this tin.
    I gave up on Flickr a few years ago.
    Mr Burns’ passion for collection is fascinating. I saw a snippet of video about his quilts not long ago.

  14. LOVE the Starry Sky block! I do have a question though…is this a paper pieces block? From the looks of your pdf I’d guess it is.

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