THE FUSSY CUT BARNYARD QUILT

THE FUSSY CUT BARNYARD QUILT

Sometimes it is fun to walk through the memory lane of quilts and old projects. I recently found my photos of this one, “The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt” and thought I would share.

Can you say baa, oink, or moo? When I made this quilt back in 1996-97, I still had a small child at home who thought making animal sounds was great fun.

Some day I will show off my quilt scrapbooks here, but for now let me just say it has been fun to look at them and remember. With my wrist still in a brace, my hand quilting has been a non-happening thing lately. Thankfully therapy is helping, but there is a long way to go.

The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt…..

Once upon a time I had a yard of fabric that had primitive farm animals printed on it. You know – horses, cows, pigs, and sheep. They were spaced far enough apart that I could fussy cut them out.

One fine spring day my young daughter ran around the house and yard making farm animal sounds at the top of her lungs. Her brother tried to interest her in quieter, calmer things but she was not going for it.

I had been “playing” with several fabrics to try out fussy cutting. On this day, I was inspired to involve my noisy daughter into “helping” me make this piece of fabric into a quilt.

I measured and cut, daughter gathered the pieces up and laid them out on the floor of the living room. She made the correct animal noise for each block as she went along.

Her brother picked out the fabrics to frame each animal. I sewed, he ironed, and she finally fell asleep on the floor under the table with the sewing machine on it.

Brother and I got the top together during the nap of a now quiet little sister. She woke up just as the last rows of blocks were being sewn together. I decided that no border was necessary. Top was done.

Now to hand quilt it…

I should have just machine quilted this and been done, but I thought it would be fun to hand quilt. Why you ask? I can honestly say I have no idea.

Somehow, I came to the decision that the “Baptist Fan” would look great on this. The design looked great when complete, but marking it was awful. It seemed like every area of the quilt needed some different color of marking pencil.

The joy of putting in the last quilting stitch on this quilt !

The finished size was 31″ x 47″.

No wool batting for this quilt. Instead I used what was on hand – a left-over section of polyester batting. The binding was just a plain black cotton solid fabric.

By now, daughter had lost interest in farm animals and the sounds they make.

Complete…

I entered it in the local fair that summer. The quilt got second place with many comments about how “original” it was.

The Barnyard quilt made rare appearances at other quilt shows, and on my walls at home.

The quilt guild I belonged to was raffling quilted items off in 2002 to help a local organization. This fun quilt still looked new, and I added it to the pile of items that were being raffled. It was time for the quilt to go live at another home that would appreciate it.

Barnyard quilt completed.

Thoughts on donating…

As you read through this blog and my old one, you will discover that I truly believe quilts and quilting can be helpful in our own corner of the world. There are so many people who can use quilts.

The donated quilts do not need to be beautiful, or even bed size. They should be well made. Many people associate quilts with comfort, happy memories, or family.

For veterans, babies, or children, quilts are especially appreciated. Check around your own community: homeless shelters, veterans clinics, adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers, kindergartens, etc.

Donated quilts can be simple designs. Generally machine quilting or tied with yarn is acceptable.

If you prefer to make something more time consuming or involved, then an organization that is doing an auction or raffle may be the place to donate.

Most quilters I know say they have too many quilts, or too much fabric to use themselves. This is the way to give back.

Any day spent sewing....
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

USING PRE-PRINTED QUILT TOPS

Using pre-printed quilt tops as a pattern for quilting is wonderful. I used the Feathered Pineapple pre-printed top for the Amish Bar Quilt. Plus it saves hours of frustration marking a quilting design onto fabric.

USING PRE-PRINTED QUILT TOPS
Source: my photo

Steps to success:

The first thing is to purchase the top  – I get mine from The Stencil Company  either on-line or at the quilt show at Paducah, KY. Do not pre-wash these tops.

The next thing is to decide which top you already have, or make one to fit the size of the pre-printed top you bought.  I like my quilt tops to be about 2″ bigger all the way around just so I am sure they will fit together.

Next is to make your quilt “sandwich” like always – if you are going to hand quilt it then you will want to baste it  really well.  Use the batting of your choice (I use wool from Hobbs).

When I use the pre-printed tops, I put the pieced quilt top on the bottom, then the batting, then the pre-printed top. I will be following the marking on that top to make the quilting design of the quilt.

I am hand quilting these – I imagine the process would be similar if it is machine quilted.

When you put the quilt “sandwich” in the frame, make sure that the pre-printed top is what you see. Until you complete the quilting – the backing is the top so the marked lines can be followed. 

Marks be gone:

Once you have completed the quilting the quilt can be washed to take out the lines, or lay the quilt outside on a dry sunny day.

Method 1:

Lay a king size white flat sheet on the ground, lay out the quilt pre-marked quilt top up, and then lay another king size white quilt on top. By late afternoon, the marking has pretty much faded. 

Method 2:

I have 2 methods to wash quilts depending on the weather or my available time:

One way is to put a white sheet in the bottom of the bath tub, put the quilt loosely bunched up on top of the sheet and put in warm soapy water.  Let soak a couple hours. Drain water and push as much of the water out by hand. Then run in more warm water and let set another couple hours to rinse. Drain really good – usually another couple hours.  Hang up over chairs or wooden drying racks to dry. 

Do not hang on the wash line as the weight of the quilt will damage it.

The second way to wash a quilt is to take to the laundry mat. Use a large front loading machine  that does not agitate on the gentle cycle.  Then throw it in the dryer for one cycle and take home to hang up over chairs or wooden drying racks.

Conclusion:

Using pre-printed quilt tops allows you to spend the time quilting, instead of marking the top. I find it very enjoyable to follow the printed lines and relax with the rhythm of the quilting. Here’s another pre-printed top I used to make a quilt.

USING PRE-PRINTED QUILT TOPS
Source: my photos
Make today amazing.
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

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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.

TWO CELTIC KNOT PILLOWS

Celtic Knots
Source: Bing clip art

These Celtic Knot Pillows (hand quilted and embellished with beads) started out as a single pillow and project. They started with the purchase of some historical looking metallic trim that I hand sewed small white beads within the design. I had so much fun making one that I did a second one.

The hand quilting and embellished trim really made for a one of a kind item.

Mixing large quilts with smaller projects is fun and allows me to have several projects going at the same time.

Navy pillow:

The navy blue fabric is silk and made for easy hand quilting. I drew the design with a white chalk pencil using a stencil. Then I carefully machine sewed the trim to the fabric – I had to be careful to go slowly so I did not catch on the beads. The pillow is finished with the envelope (see below) and off to a local auction it went.

This same stencil was also used in this Irish Chain quilt on this post.

Navy blue silk pillow with beaded trip and quilted Celtic knot.
Complete and ready to go to the auction !

Burgundy pillow:

The burgundy pillow is also silk fabric and again hand quilted so easily. This one is a gift for a local woman who helped me sew some clothing (in my opinion, complicated compared to quilting). The method was the same for both pillows.

This stencil was also used in this green and white Irish Chain quilt on my old blog.

Burgandy silk pillow with beaded trim and hand quilted Celtic knot.

The pillows are sewn together and finished with the envelope method. See: https://www.domesticimperfection.com/how-to-make-envelope-closure-pillow/.

Batting for both pillows is a good quality polyester I had on hand.

Both finished at 18″ square.

You can make yourself some fun, funky or personalized pillows by using stencils and trims similar to these Celtic Knot Pillows.

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

QUEEN ANNE’S STAR WHOLE CLOTH QUILT (hand quilted)

I love to hand quilt. However I am choosy about which ones I spend the time on to hand quilt. I found the pre-marked top, Queen Anne’s Star Whole Cloth quilt, and knew it would be worth the many hours to complete with hand quilting.

Blue hand quilted Queen Anne's Star Whole Cloth quilt.

The finished size is 92″ x 100″.

About this quilt:

Queen Anne’s Star Whole Cloth quilt has a medium blue linen top, wool batting, and the pre-printed muslin back. I put the pre-marked side up in the quilt frame so I can see the design to do the hand quilting. This one only has 5 spools of quilting thread in it, unlike the Welsh Beauty (https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2009/09/welsh-beauty-wholecloth-quilt.html) which had 7+.

Package label for Queen Anne Star whole cloth quilt.
Packaging with pre-printed top

I used Hobbs wool batting (http://www.hobbsbatting.com/products/hobbs-tuscany-batting/hobbs-tuscany-100-wool-batting/ ) for this quilt and it was so easy to stitch. This batting still has the lanolin in it, and even with the extra weight of the linen it quilted so easy.

Binding is the same blue linen as the top (2.5″ strips). I folded the strip in half and ironed. It was then sewed down by machine on one side and finished by hand on the other. I also hand cross stitched tag gives my initials, place, date (2009) and sewed it to the muslin back at a corner.

I have a quilt frame that is in the living room (wonderfully cozy in winter as the wood stove is in the same room). My kids were teenagers before they realized that a quilt frame is not standard living room furniture – it had always just been part of their life.

Look at the beautiful design and quilting:

Quilted feathers on Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt.
Feathers from blue linen side.
Muslin side that was pre-marked for Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt.
This side was pre-marked – beautiful design.
White muslin side of Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt showing hand quilting stitches.
More of the hand quilted design
Quilted feathers in Queen Anne's Star Whole Cloth quilt.
Quilted feathers
Queen Anne's Star whole cloth quilt hanging over laundry line.
Looks and feels wonderful.

I love the look and texture of hand quilting. Just as good is a beautiful and useful finished quilt.

Another whole cloth project that I did:

https://indianaquilter40.com/queens-crown-1/

MAKING QUILTS FROM THE IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD

Have you ever had an idea for a quilt that was so totally different than what you see normally in the quilt world? The idea just rattles around in your head and you can’t get away from it? But you think it is embarrassing to even consider something so different from “normal” quilts. Stop thinking that. Quilting should be fun, and making quilts from the ideas in your head can be so satisfying.

I am going to share three very different quilts from my quilt scrapbooks because I want you to make the quilts that make you happy. We are all unique creations, and it should not be surprising that we have ideas for unique quilts.

Before we start, put away the angering, sad, and depressing thoughts about the current events in our country. We are taking a break and just going to have fun for a few minutes.

Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Queen’s Crown #1 Mini Quilt

Making quilts from the ideas in your head - Queen's Crown #1

See here about this fun, hand quilted mini quilt that is embellished with beads.

Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Welsh Beauty Whole Cloth Quilt

When I mentioned making this whole cloth quilt to a few ladies in the local quilt guild, they gave me either blank looks or were verbally negative. The kindest comment asked me why I would “want to quilt silk fabric, and use itchy wool batting? And something about extremely sore fingers. I continued on with my plan for this beautiful quilt.

MAKING QUILTS FROM THE IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD - WELSH BEAUTY WHOLE CLOTH QUILT

Welsh Beauty is posted on my old blog here, see for details.

Making quilts from the ideas in your head – Maxine Strikes Again (reversible quilt)

My mom-in-law really, really likes Maxine (you know, the really sarcastic old woman comic strip). When I found both the Christmas and regular fabric versions, I had the wild idea to make a reversible quilt.

MAKING QUILTS FROM THE IDEAS IN YOUR HEAD

This is probably pretty tame compared to my “normal” outside the box quilt ideas, but it was fun. Coordinating fabrics from my stash. A little math to make them the right size.

Reverse side of the Maxine Strikes Again quilt.
Here is more info about this quilt.

The Christmas side I made 2″ bigger all the way around than the regular print side. This was so I could do self-binding.

advice to you

Go ahead and make quilts from the ideas in your head. If you have an idea for a quilt, follow your heart and mind, and just make it. So what if the quilt is not how you imagined it. If it truly is not what you want when it is done, gift it to someone else in your family or community.

But it may turn out better than you ever thought. Just think what a satisfying finished quilt you would have missed if you had not made it. Follow your ideas.

Enjoy your quilting journey.

Clip Art - make today amazing

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

GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS (hand quilted)

GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS – The last time grandma and I went fabric shopping together, she told me that I didn’t have to buy scraps (I was buying 1/4 yd. pieces of Christmas fabric) because she had plenty and would be glad to share.

"Grandma Came For Christmas" hanging on a fence.
Photo taken in 1998 before the county fair.

I pieced the center 16 Log Cabin blocks in 1988 while living in West Germany. The red center block is 2.5″ and the logs are 1.5″ in width when cut. I used green and red scraps with muslin. I put them away because I wasn’t sure what to actually make with them.

At some point, I added two borders around the center blocks, with the red border being 3″ cut and the cream muslin border being 4.5″ cut.

On one of my trips back home, Grandma and I went fabric shopping – many of those 1/4 yard pieces got put into the piano key border which is 10″ wide (cut). The final outside border was from Grandma’s fabric collection and is 6.5″ cut.

I would piece on it, then put it away for several years (1988 – 1997). Grandma never saw the completed top or quilt since she died in 1996. I hand quilted this in 1997. The binding is also hand finished.

Finished size is 80″ x 80″.

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - the hand quilting.
Some of the hand quilting. Location was front of SCPL, Sullivan, IN

In 1998 this quilt got a blue ribbon at the county fair. Here are the comments from the judges:

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - judges comments.

Grandma was a huge part of my life growing up. She encouraged me to quilt and be anything I wanted. She insisted on good grades in school and finishing high school because she only was able to complete up through 10th grade. I miss her still. Her wisdom and compassion are something that are missing in our current world.

“Grandma Came for Christmas” is brought out every year at Christmas to be displayed, cuddled in, and talked about. It is a great way to remember a super important person in my life.

Quilters, your quilts can have a story or be in memory of some important person in your life. Quilts can have funny or sad stories. Don’t forget to pass the stories on with the quilts.

"Grandma Came for Christmas" - the colors are still as bring in 2019 as in 1998.
The colors are still as bright in Dec. 2019 as they were in 1998. Location of photo was at front of SCPL, Sullivan, IN

Another log cabin quilt I made:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2019/08/purple-without-apology-log-cabin.html

More Christmas quilts I made:

https://indianaquilter40.com/a-road-trip-and-beautiful-quilts

QUEEN’S CROWN #1 (Small quilt with beads – hand quilted)

Most of us don’t think of embellishing quilts with beads is very practical. But I really wanted to try my hand at beading for embellishment with hand quilting. This pre-printed square was the perfect choice for this experiment. It is the Queen’s Crown #1 (small quilt with beads – hand quilted). I would later make another mini quilt using the same technique.

Queen's Crown #1 - Small quilt with beads.  Green solid with gold beads.
Front side. The beads really embellish the hand quilting.

Supplies:

  • One pre-printed 18″ block from  https://www.quiltingstencils.com/ 
  • 22″ piece of muslin for backing
  • Batting to fit (I used a leftover piece)
  • Glass beads in your choice of color (I used gold/yellow)
  • Quilting thread (I used dark green color)
  • Binding fabric (I used dark green cotton)

I found that thread basting this very closely in a bright thread that would not blend in to the background was easier than safety or straight pins.  It was easier to roll the fabric up in my hand then to use a hoop or small frame. Start the quilting in the center and work on it in quarters. I used shorter lengths of quilting thread (about 15″) than normal because it was easy to get the thread caught in the beads that were already quilted on.  

QUEEN'S CROWN #1 (Small quilt with beads - hand quilted)
Reverse. Notice how even the stitching is…..even where the beads are.

The beads are quilted on – every time the needle came up through the top, I put a bead on the needle tip and I then completed that quilting stitch. Time consuming, but makes for a beautiful finished project. The texture as I run my hand across the top is a mix of soft and hard.

The binding is solid green that matches the front of the small quilt.

When I completed the small quilt, I washed it by hand and laid it between two dark towels to dry flat.

Queen’s Crown #1 small quilt has been part of my Christmas decorating for many years.

Lesson learned –

Don’t be afraid to try something different in quilting. I get many, many compliments on this mini quilt. However, it appears to be unique to me and that is just fine.