SHOWING OFF QUILTS

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Four quilts on a wooden fence

Quilters love to show off quilts to anyone who will stop long enough to look – we are just like that. Yep, we are show-offs, at least when it comes to our quilts. I thought that starting off this week by showing off quilts would be a great way to deal with Monday.

A sampler quilt
A sampler quilt

All these photos were taken in June 1995 in Montana. A co-worker allowed me to “borrow” the old barn and wooden fence on her family farm for a personal quilt show.

Dresden Plate made from my Grandma's real feed sacking
Dresden Plate made from my Grandma’s real feed sacking

I like doing my own outside personal quilt shows. It is fun to see them hanging outside in natural light. Plus the different surroundings make them look very different from being on a bed or wall.

Hand quilted fabric panel
Hand quilted fabric panel

Supplies to do this are minimal:

  • Permission if private property
  • Some sort of rope or thick string
  • Clothespins
  • Tacks
  • Small hammer
  • Pliers to pull out tacks
  • Dry weather that is partly sunny seems to be the best for lighting
SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Basket quilt

When people tell me they do not have time to quilt, I nod. However, in my head I am saying “really?”. In 1995 when these photos were taken, I had:

  • children under 12
  • was homeschooling said children
  • working 30 hours a week in town
  • being a loving wife and mom
  • raising a large vegie garden
  • getting 4 – 5 hours of sleep nightly
Quilts on the side of an old barn
Quilts on the side of an old barn

Honestly, we make time for what is important to us. And what is important probably changes over time.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Another scrap triangle quilt with lots of small triangles

I make no claims at being “Super Woman”, but I do like to make my time count. At the end of the day, I need to know that something good was accomplished. I work because I have bills to pay and groceries to buy. But creating is how I feed my soul. Quilting gives me joy.

Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts
Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts

Just Do It

If quilting is what makes me happy and “fulfilled” I will make time in my crazy schedule somehow. Even if some days there is only 15 minutes crammed in before I go to work, I will make it fit.

Flying Geese, and Friendship Star
Flying Geese, and Friendship Star

My totally unsolicited opinion is to please look at your own daily schedule. Make a list, and see where changes can be made so there is more time to quilt.

  • Can daily “chores” be moved around for better time management?
  • What can be gotten rid of completely?
  • Are there items that suck time from your day with no visible benefit?
  • Activities that absolutely have to be done?
  • Can you utilize some time saving gadgets or techniques to gain a few more minutes as you go through the day?
  • Is multi-tasking of “chores” possible?
  • What could or should be done by someone else in the home?
  • How can you stop phone or other interruptions?
SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Dutchman’s Puzzle

I felt guilty, or allowed others to make me feel guilty, because I “selfishly” took time out of my crazy days to do something that I enjoyed. Then my grandma reminded me that if I am happy I will make a happy home.

And I wanted, and want a happy home. Not perfect, but happy.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Dutchman's Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler
Dutchman’s Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler

So embrace your quilting. Let it bring joy into your life. And when you get a chance, show off those quilts.

Just for fun

Here is a real outdoors quilt show in Montana. Lots of beautiful quilts made by wonderful quilters. So inspiring to be able to see all these quilts and the mountains at the same time.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

The Antique Honeycomb Quilt was a wonderful find during a visit to an antique shop in Farmersburg, IN during 1997. The top was in a pile of other antique tops back in a dark corner. I paid $15 for it, and happily took it home.

This quilt pattern is a bit different than “normal” because the honeycombs are more rectangular than hexagon.

I compared the fabrics to some other quilts I had. And did some research, including a visit with my aunt who specializes in antique quilts. We both decided it was probably made in the very early 1900’s. The range of fabrics is from the 1860’s to 1900.

Some of the browns are faded and starting to shred.

Brown fabric that is shredding.
Brown fabric that is shredding.

Please note that this quilt is not a charm quilt where each fabric is different. It is scrap with lots of repeated fabrics. Someone using what they had on hand at the time.

A note on old fabric:

The antique honeycomb quilt top really called out to me for attention and care. I very carefully and gently washed (really soaked) it in the bathtub (see Method 2 of this link). I did not wring it out or agitate it in any way, but there were problems even with this.

Some of the fabrics that were intact prior to washing started shredding. The flip side is that some of the fabrics stood up to the water just fine, and looked brighter.

Fragile old fabric is something to be aware of if you like antique textiles of any sort. The condition of the fabric will determine if it is for show or use.

Some basic research shows that if any metal was used in the dying or dye setting of a fabric, the fabric is much more likely to shred or deteriorate with time. This seems to occur more in the time period of the mid 1800s to early 1900s.

To hand quilt or not:

Even with some of the pieces shredding, I decided to hand quilt it. There are two reasons for this: I could keep the tension of the quilt frame loose enough to quilt but not put stress on the fabric. The top called out to be completed into a quilt.

This quilt had no border, and I chose to leave it the original size of 68″ x 74″.

Here is the antique looking fabric for the backing.

Backing fabric of the antique honeycomb quilt.
Backing

The hand quilting is a simple outline around each piece. I simply “eye-balled” the quilting. It looks uniform enough that I have been asked what I marked it with.

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

A simple solid red binding completed the quilt.

Most quilts that I make are intended to be used. This one is only for display. It looks very homey and comfortable.

Some quilters would replace the shredded pieces with reproduction fabric, but I chose to leave them there. It adds to the antique look and feel of this unusual quilt.

This quilt gets many comments from people who like antiques, and other quilters. It is an unusual block, the various fabrics, the backing, the hand stitching all combine to make for a conversation starter.

Honeycomb pieces.

Would I do it again?

I honestly do not know if I would take the time and care to hand quilt an antique quilt top again. This one spoke to me and I paid attention. It is a source of happiness for me every time I look at it.

The moral to this is to follow your heart when making a quilt. Enjoy the process. Pick fabrics and colors you enjoy. Use a technique you enjoy. There is no right or wrong to making a quilt for yourself.

Make today amazing
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS TABLE TOPPER

Christmas tree clip art
Source: Bing clip art

Table toppers are easy and quick to make. It is such a nice feeling to make an entire quilted project quickly and have that wonderful warm feeling of “yeah, it is done”. That is how I feel about this Simple Christmas Table Topper.

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS TABLE TOPPER
Yippee!! It is complete.

Courthouse Steps pattern is a variation of the ever popular Log Cabin.

Making this Simple Christmas Table Topper:

Obviously the strips and center squares could be cut the size you need. But I used 2.5″ beige center blocks, and 1.75″ strips in green and red.

The front pieces were all from the scrap bin. The backing was a piece from the stash.

The blocks are super easy to piece. Sew a strip of one color (green) on the two parallel sides of the squares. Iron. Sew the other color (red) on the two parallel sides of the squares. Iron. Repeat until the block is the size you want.

The border I added was cut 4″ wide. I really like the cardinals and pine cones on it.

The border of the table topper.
Courthouse Steps border

For the machine quilting, I did straight lines along each row of blocks. Also along the borders. Simple and quick.

Polyester batting is great for this sort of project because it does not need to be closely quilted.

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS TABLE TOPPER
Courthouse Steps

The binding is a 2.5″ straight strip that is folded in half and ironed. I then sew it onto the front of the quilt. Yes, the corners are mitered. Please use whatever method of binding you want on your project.

I hand sewed the binding down on the back.

This Simple Christmas Table Topper is 34″ square. Finish it by adding a tag with at least initials and year. I use up scraps of Aida cloth from counted cross stitch projects for this.

Happy Quilting.

Holly clip art
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

DONATED BABY QUILTS TO THE LOCAL CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER

DONATED BABY QUILTS TO THE LOCAL CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER

I am a big believer in giving back to my community. Here are six simple donated baby quilts to the local crisis pregnancy center that I made. As I make these quilts, they get donated in batches of 6 – 12 to two local pregnancy centers.

The blocks are a mix of flannel and cotton with the batting being scraps left over from my own projects. The backing is usually a flannel or child print cotton. They are tied with yarn. People know that I make many of these annually so many of the supplies are donated to me for this purpose.

Supplies For the Donated baby quilts:

Nine 9.5” cotton or flannel squares (3 rows of 3 squares each)

Batting

Bright colored yarn

Backing fabric (flannel or cotton – 1.25 yard)

At a minimum they should be tied at each corner and in the center of each block. They could be machine quilted easily in straight lines.

I do a self binding by trimming the batting even with the top, and then trimming the back to 2″ on each side larger than the top/batting. Fold the over hang in half once (so now 1″ wide all around quilt) and sew down as binding.

DONATED BABY QUILTS TO THE LOCAL CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER

If using fleece as the backing, when self binding trim to 1″ and zig-zag stitch down. I have found if using fleece for the backing, I do not use batting.

Please remember that these donated baby quilts for the local crisis pregnancy center are meant to be loved to death, so make them well and colorful.

Reach out to others:

If you ask or look around your own community, there are people or places who would love to receive warm and cuddly quilts. These are also a simple way to teach people basic sewing skills.

In the past, I have used these quilts to teach basic sewing and giving skills to a group of teen girls at church. It was a fun way to learn and for them to socialize as well. Currently I am making the donated baby quilts alone as the girls have all left for college, and none of the current teen girls are interested in sewing.

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2015/02/10-crisis-pregnancy-quilts.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2014/09/19-crisis-pregnancy-center-quilts.html

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

LOST AT SEA QUILT

Lost at Sea quilt

This quilt started out simple enough as an Ocean Wave quilt. And then “disaster” struck and I ended up with this Lost at Sea quilt.

My daughter wanted a bright and cheery quilt. And as always I was happy to make a top that used lots of scraps from my overflowing scrap bin.

This pattern uses two sizes of triangles and normally goes together easily enough. I currently cannot find the old paper pattern from a magazine that I used (it may finally have been used to death), but this quilt pattern is very similar.

Due to the the small pieces, and large amount of pieces needed there is a real need for the time to work on it.

“Disaster strikes”

So how did I make this mistake on the Lost at Sea quilt? Lack of time and being over tired so I just did not catch my mistake. I pieced this top in 1997 and my kids were all under 12, and we were homeschooling.

The blocks went together individually just fine.

It was when I connected the blocks that the mistake happened. The blocks got turned around and ended up in a totally different design. Yes, it does resemble real ocean waves and we all liked the finished top.

At least the gray and pink striped border frames it beautifully.

Another view of Lost at Sea.
Canon Inc

Crisis avoided by laughing about it, and just renaming the quilt. This quilt was a favorite of my daughter’s and it is long worn out from being loved into nothing but rags.

The finished size was 68″ x 88″. It was machine quilted in an all over wavy pattern in 2000 by MG.

And finally…

I love this pattern and it makes beautiful quilts. So far, I have only made these in scraps but it would make a beautiful two color quilt. I am thinking about making a solid colored quilt – maybe like an Amish quilt with black or navy background.

I made the below Ocean Wave quilt in 1990. Here it is in a personal quilt show last spring. It still looks good.

Ocean Waves quilt in green, blue, purple, and gray.

Wherever your quilt journey takes you, enjoy the trip. Learn from it. Challenge yourself. Be happy.

Make today amazing.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

VINTAGE CHURN DASH QUILT

Vintage Churn Dash Quilt
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Sometimes a quilt top appeals to me and I just have to bring it home. That is what happened with this vintage Churn Dash quilt when I saw it at an antique store in Oaktown, IN back in 2010. Plus it fit my budget at $30.

The blocks are 8″ square and are made of cheerful 30’s and 40’s prints. A solid orange sashing is between the blocks. Here is an easy pattern to make your own.

I kept it where it could be seen for several months while I decided about adding an outside border. I was not concerned about the size, however, I personally like an outside border to frame the quilt.

After several months, I decided to leave the quilt top “as is” and had it machine quilted by RLM in January 2011. The design is a loopy design that is close and does a good job of covering the entire top.

Loopy quilting design shown on front and back of quilt.
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We chose a poly/cotton blend batting, and the backing is a cotton multi colored design on light background.

The finished size is 64″ x 76″.

This vintage churn dash quilt makes me happy every time I look at it. The fabrics and cheery colors remind me of something my beloved Grandma would have made from feed sacks.

Cheerful colors make this quilt top.
Shoo fly quilt

Reminder to all quilters:

Please don’t feel like you have to make every quilt you have. It can be fun to purchase completed blocks, a completed top, or a finished quilt. The important thing is to surround yourself with quilts you like because they make you happy.

Purchasing parts of a quilt, or an entire top can also save some much needed time. Quilting should make you happy, not stressed.

HOW TO ENGLISH PAPER PIECE

I have no idea who showed me how to English paper piece hexagons and diamonds. But the years have slid by and I really enjoy this technique. It is portable, easy, and looks great when completed.

What research I have done on this technique is that it started in England (well that certainly is obvious) in the 1700’s. The technique showed up in America in the early 1800’s. I have not done enough research that may or may not show this technique in other countries.

Gather supplies:

Paper (I use scrap paper that is on hand, such as discarded mail)

Fabric

Pattern in shape and size desired

Thread

Scissors

Easy directions:

I found this slide show about English paper piecing to be very easy to follow and the photos much better than anything I had in my own personal collection for directions.

If you prefer YouTube, this is a nice presentation.

This previous post has a PDF pattern for the hexagon I use in most of my quilts using this technique.

How To English Paper Piece
Flowers & Tumblers Quilt

This is not a hard technique, but it is time consuming.

Here are my steps and tips FOR HOW TO DO ENGLISH PAPER PIECING:

  • Get my supplies together.
  • Make the template from something sturdy (I cut up the plastic lids from ice cream containers for this). Draw around it on the paper for the amount of hexagons (or diamonds) you want to do. Personally, I start with 2 or 3 sheets of paper and cut more as needed. I find I can use the same paper shapes 3 times before they are no longer stiff. Cut carefully and accurately.
Papers used for English paper pieced hexagons
  • I do not cut out hexagon (or diamond) shapes from fabric. I do cut squares or rectangles big enough to cover the shape plus be folded over to the back. My reasoning is that I can trim off the extra fabric from the back of each shape – I cannot make extra if I don’t allow enough room. I learned the hard way that not centering already cut fabric means there is not enough fabric on back to prevent fraying or just flat out not enough fabric.
  • Take one paper shape and one fabric piece. Pin the paper to the wrong side of the fabric. Baste all around the shape. You will want the fabric to fit snug and the edges sharp. Do not bend the paper shape or have the fabric sag away from the paper.
  • Starting with the center and one petal, whip stitch along one side. Add another petal and sew the two seams. Do this all the way around until you have one complete “flower”.

One completed English paper pieced flower.

AND FINALLY:

  • Do not remove the paper yet. When you remove the paper will depend on what you do with the sewn shapes. The basted edge holds the raw edges firmly so they can be sewn together to the next row of hexagons. Or sewn down to a fabric block by applique.
  • When you decide to remove the paper, simply take out the basting stitches and pull out the paper. As long as it is still stiff and the edges untorn, it can be reused in another “petal”.
More English paper pieced flowers.

Other places for information:

I found several other links about English Paper Piecing. We all learn differently, so these might be helpful too.

The History of English Paper Piecing | MQG Community (themodernquiltguild.com)

My Summer English Paper Piecing project | Diary of a Quilter – a quilt blog

Discover Vintage America | Covering Quilts (discoverypub.com)

Dear Readers,

Have fun exploring the world of English paper piecing. You may be one of those quilters who becomes “addicted” to this technique. Even if you are not one who becomes “addicted”, at least you will have learned how to do English Paper Piecing. Happy Quilting.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

CHINESE LANTERN QUILT

Chinese Lanterns Quilt

In all my years of quilting, I had never seen a quilt pattern like this Chinese Lantern Quilt.  This beauty was probably pieced during the 1930’s. It is so unique, and I had the privilege of hand quilting it in early 1996.

The background fabric is a bright orange with cotton candy pink circles appliqued between the lanterns. Diamonds of 1930’s prints make up the lanterns and are appliqued on the orange background too. The first border is a narrow black strip, with the outside border more of the bright orange fabric.

Close up of quilted top.

The hand quilting is a circle inside the pink fabric circles. In the orange I quilted a stipple design. Some of the diamonds in each lantern are quilted too. I put 203 yards of hand quilting into this cheerful and unique quilt.

The backing is plain unbleached muslin. I wish that I had taken a photo of the quilt from the back as well, but at the time it just did not get done.

Finished size is queen.

When I quilted this Chinese Lantern Quilt, it was owned by PB of Fiddletown, CA.

Are you wondering why I am showing off a quilt from 1996? Truthfully, it is a gloomy, drizzly day here in central Indiana. I completed my reports for work and took some time to look back through my scrapbooks of quilts and found this cheerful beauty.

It is an unusual pattern – I have to wonder if it was designed by the maker.

Fun clip art of Chinese Lanterns.
Source: Bing clip art

Other ideas for Chinese Lantern quilts –

Here is a link to a pieced pattern that is named Chinese Lanterns.

I saw a version of a Chinese Lantern quilt at a quilt show in Terre Haute, IN. It is just one of many beautiful quilt photos from a post earlier this year.

Please note that all photos and written content in this post are mine.

FIRST GRANDBABY QUILT

FIRST GRANDBABY QUILT
Source: Google

I recently spent some time looking at my old blog and walking down “memory lane” of quilts that I did years ago. I thought this quilt “First Grandbaby Quilt” would be a fun one to share. It was simple and made with a lot of love for a wonderful surprise.

Our first (and to date only) grandbaby was a wonderful surprise. Our daughter was and is a planner, and as far as we knew babies were not part of the her life’s plan.

So being a quilter, my mind went into “quilting mode” and what kind of quilt to make for the expected precious little person. The daughter refused to have a sex test done on the baby so any quilt would have to be for either gender.

After much sorting through the stash, I finally decided on cheerful and bright. Some bright scraps, some flower fabrics, some cat fabrics, and a newly purchased piece of Winnie the Pooh fabric for the border.

The grand-daughter arrived as scheduled in March 2015. She was (and is) a precious addition to our family. We are so glad to live only a short distance away which means we are able to babysit a few hours weekly. The years slip by so fast and she is now in kindergarten. She is beautiful just like her mom.

Stork & baby clip art
Source: Google

The First Grandbaby quilt is faded and well used, which is exactly what it should be.

See another easy quilt on this blog.

Completed quilt:

FIRST GRANDBABY QUILT

Remember these are the sizes I used and feel free to adjust to suit your needs.

Finished size is 54″ square.

Center 9 blocks are 10″ square. The strip blocks are 2.5″ wide strips sewn together side to side. Trim to the size you want.

Inside border of cat fabric is 6″ wide.

The outside Winnie the Pooh border is 8″ wide.

Machine quilting by RLM is a medium size stipple.

Binding is self bound with the gray flannel backing being pulled to the front and machine sewn down.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Make Today Amazing
Source: Bing

ODE TO VINTAGE CARS

ODE TO VINTAGE CARS
Source: Bing clip art

As I mentioned in the previous post, a current project is a quilt for my nephew. He loves vintage and muscle cars. I am making him an Ode to Vintage Cars quilt for his high school graduation this year. Simple and personal.

I try to do my business locally, and in this case the search for specific fabric took longer than expected. I found so many vehicle fabrics, but most were juvenile looking or were not the right kind of cars. Amazing as it is, I was able to get four vintage car fabrics on my last road trip to the Daviess County, IN Amish community.

My plan is this –

Double bed size made from 10″ squares. The car fabric will be alternated with solid orange fabric. It will be 8 rows across by 9 rows up and down for a total of 72 squares. So 36 orange and 36 car fabric. Can you tell I like to keep my math easy?

Some car fabrics

My thought is to add three separate borders: 2.5″ wide white, 2.5″ orange, and 4″ navy blue with small white stars. The borders will be my ode to my favorite muscle car.

I am aiming for a finished size of 85″ x 95″.

Right now, the rows are sewn together and the top is waiting the borders. I should be able to get the borders added this week. Then it will go off to be machine quilted.

I will add more photos once the quilt is complete.

ODE TO VINTAGE CARS

It should make a young man who loves vintage and muscle cars a happy guy.

Update 06/22/2021:

I just finished the self binding on this quilt, and wanted to add an updated photo and information.

Ode to Vintage Car quilt complete.

This quilt has three borders. The first is white solid, the second is the same orange solid as the alternate blocks, with the outside border being navy with white stars.

The backing is a gray solid flat sheet. For quilting thread I chose gray variegated to blend in with the backing. Batting is a poly/cotton blend.

An all over stipple design was done for the machine quilting.

The completed size is 88″ x 98″ so a bit bigger than the original goal.

Update 7/06/2021:

Nephew is happy with the quilt.
Nephew is happy with the quilt.
ODE TO VINTAGE CARS
On his bed – it looks really good.

My favorite muscle car:

During my teen years in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, muscle cars were common. I had my favorites – Corvette’s and Nova’s. Then this TV series came on in 1979 named the Dukes of Hazzard. I fell in love hard for the most “magic” muscle car of them all – the General Lee. It was beautiful jumping and it always drove off after a jump.

Coolest vintage car
Source: Google images

I found out the hard way that jumping a muscle car was not smart and very dangerous. A school mate and I ruined his dad’s newly restored Camaro by jumping it on a country road. The moral to that lesson – let the stunt guys drive crazy.

Conclusion:

Easy and personal quilts can be made from any novelty fabric that suits the interests of the recipient. Here’s another idea for a personal quilt that involves vehicles. I also found an unlimited amount of car quilt ideas on Pintrest.

This kind of quilt is simple to make and a joy to receive. Have fun making these for the special people in your life.

In the meantime, I will finish the Ode to Vintage Cars quilt by adding the borders and getting it off to the machine quilter.

Have a great day.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing clipart