Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vintage Thingy Thursday: quaint wallhanging

Hosted by Colorado Lady! This week she shares with us her new display of vintage platters and creamers. After enlarging her photos, I smiled. One of her creamers in in the pattern my grandmother had, and that brings back happy memories.

oops! Picture is a little crooked! Click to enlarge. That's the bedroom carpet in the background :-) This wallhanging came from a small, local "antique mall" that was actually more of a flea market. I don't normally like Sunbonnet Sue type things, but this was too sweet to pass up.

I don't know how old it is, but it is vintage. The green, yellow, and bright red fabrics were manufactured for years and years. The pinks seem to be from the 1930's or 1940's. There is a backing but no batt and no quilting. No name or date.

I am pretty sure this is a pattern, though I have not seen this one before. Right now it is languishing in my quilt room closet, but I should find a place for it, out of direct sunlight.


A-11 Pebble's Protest

Pieced, yes, but the larger outer squares are supposed to be one piece of fabric, set in to the white fabric pieces. No way!

My sneaky way out? Redraw the outside pieces as below, and pick a fabric with a small, non-directional, busy pattern, that will not show the seam lines!

Above: Almost last piece to sew on. Bottom: Add a frame, and I am done.

I do not know WHY it is called Pebble's Protest.


fireweed flower

This is block M-3 in Brenda's book. Someone on the Dear Jane mailing list suggested this alternative piecing. I wish I could remember who! this is her idea, not mine. The large triangles are supposed to be one piece of fabric, with set-in seams, but,... what if one quartered the pattern? And of course changed the diagonal seams in the background. Then you have four pieces for paper piecing. And hint: pick a focus fabric that does not have a direction, or that looks OK pieced together like this. I used a reproduction indigo with orange and white swirling accents.

Partially pieced together.

Completely pieced. A few pieces don't meet exactly - but - "finished is better than perfect"!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I have seen the Mother Quilt!

I was able to get to Bennington VT to the Bennington Museum last week, to see The Quilt. I wasn’t able to be there for Brenda’s talk – I do hope someone will tell us about it.
The Quilt is displayed in a gallery upstairs with two antique quilts from the museum collection and a selection of Peace quilts from Haiti. It is on a tilted board (covered with a soft fabric) and displayed behind a rope and under low lighting. Absolutely no flash photography allowed, so I have no digital pics to share.
Here are some observations:
This time, the Quilt is displayed with what we know as the left side at the top. Rebecca’s basket is right side up, and Jane’s signature square is in the lower left.
The corner with the five pointed white star (Longwood): the star is made of a shirting print. I guess this is shown in Brenda’s book but I never noticed it before. The pink five pointed star on this corner appears to be reverse-appliqued.
Triangle BR9 Sue's Garden: the smallest piece near the point of the triangle is appliquéd on, not pieced in. TR6 Carla's Candle Flame shows some fabric bleeding. Also, Jane used dark thread on the top melon and I can see her stitches! I felt close to her then.
Jane did use different background fabrics – at least they aged differently to slightly different shades. And at least one block has pieces of background fabric with a twill weave. (think chinos, or gabardine) Yes I was very close to the Quilt – I tried not to breathe on it or drool on it. I did not touch it though I could have reached out and done so.
In the signature square, 1863 is very obvious. Only in a strong light does one see the thread behind the fabric, linking the numbers.
Hunter’s Moon: I could see the detail on this brown striped print, not nearly as ‘solid’ as I thought.
A number of blocks are smaller than 4.5 inches – in some cases a bit smaller. Jane framed them with white fabric on all 4 sides.
L-10 Nan's Naiad shows up well. The blue fabric is not as pale as I thought. The little triangles are appliquéd of course.
B-12 Starflower really did appear to be reverse appliquéd. I will take heart and do mine the same way.
And most of all: I am AMAZED at the variety of fabric used in this quilt.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cheryl's Clown BR 7

Funny, I always read this as Cheryl's Crown. Anyway. After studying this for awhile, I broke it up into sections. I looked at the photo of Jane's block, to see her seam lines. The Electric Quilt Dear Jane program will not let you break it up this way. I printed out the triangle on paper and paper pieced.

Then, match section to section carefully and sew them together two by two. Here it is, finished. It is close to how the original triangle looks in the quilt.


1800's Christmas Jane 130, 40, 1, 3987

Pretty in Pink Jane 95, 33, 0, 2983

Miniature Madness! 55, 0, 0, 776

World Series B-7

Well, back to the recent blocks. Since I have done Hunter's Moon (A-3), which has 4 melon shaped pieces appliqued to form a circle, I figured I could start on this one. First, I traced the pattern from the Dear Jane (R) book on freezer paper and cut out all the pieces. the center piece I ironed to the center of a 6 inch piece of green fabric. This will help me place the melons into position ( a hint from the Dear Jane (R) mailing list).OK. Now I placed the melons (inside and outside curves are not quite the same - mark your template!) and used the brute force applique method.

Of course, the melons can still look a little wonky. Mine are always off a little, but I am not going to undo the sewing. The white lines are chalk marks for a five inch square. This was to help me keep the diamonds in the block, and not extend into the seam allowances.

There is a 'short' end to the diamonds, and a 'long' end. Orient them correctly. After appliqueing two, with those tight points, I began to wonder if reverse applique might be a better way. Too late now.
As Brenda says, "Finished is better than perfect."

1800's Christmas Jane 130, 40, 1, 3987
Pretty in Pink Jane 95, 33, 0, 2983
Miniature Madness! 55, 0, 0, 776

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some of my first blocks

Some new followers have joined my blog since my contest - Thank You!! They are joining as I am - gasp! three quarters of the way through my Dear Jane Journey? Believe me I never thought I would get this far.

Some of you have complimented me on my blocks (thank you again) and said, these are so complex! So tiny! I could never do that! Well, it is a learning curve, and if you want to, you can do this. Look where I started. I had been quilting for some years, and had done some paper-piecing.

I started this journey/project in October 2007. I had Brenda's book, but no software, no rulers. I pieced a few blocks that looked simpler (i.e., bigger pieces) and then took a deep breath and started on a few applique blocks.

In the picture above are three of my early pieced blocks. The next row down shows (left) Five and Dime, my first attempt at melons, (middle) Jane's tears, my first try at reverse applique in a long long time, and (right) Tour de France, a somewhat later try at applique. It is those yellow melon points that make me laugh now. Not very pointy! I have also contributed a few blocks to Rosa Robichaud's Dear Jane "Bloopers" list of shame.
So, take heart. We all start somewhere, and get better.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

VTT: doll quilt

Hello. Once again I'm participating in Vintage Thingy Thursday, hosted by ColoradoLady.

Today: A sweet doll quilt, held here by my son's favorite Teddy bear. And I took this picture before I looked at ColoradoLady's blog! I guess it was meant to be.

Four blocks by four blocks in size, each block is a random log cabin block, with strings being added outward from the center. Many of the fabrics are feedsack, and they are faded. The solid peach colored fabric is not. I think it is pieced by machine.

There is batting of some sort, and a feedsack backing. I know, because I have the same feedsack in a different color. The quilt is tied by a sturdy pink string in the middle of each block only. The batting is not lumpy, which makes me think this doll quilt has not been washed, or not often, or else the batting would bunch up. The edges are turned in (knife edge finish) and there is no binding.

I found this in an Ohio Antiques shop some years ago. Some little girl must have loved its soft colors. I would guess it is from the 1940's or so.

Happy Vintage Thingy Thursday!

DianeH: the prize patrol is calling you!

DianeH of Ontario Canada:

Please email me privately at viridian61 [at] to claim your prize package! If I do not hear from you by Sept. 15 I will award the fabric prize to the next person on the random list.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

C-7 Megan’s mountain laurel

Ok, back to some quilting content. Recall that I have the Dear Jane Software from Electric quilt which makes many things so much easier. I printed out the paper patterns, which have quite a few fiddly bits for the inner diamonds. You just have to slow down and take it step by step.
I decided not to applique the diamonds but to piece them. Just extend lines out (look at my seam lines above). I did this with previous blocks like Decisions, decisions, and yes it adds more small pieces to fiddle with, but for me anyway it reduces my frustration.


1800's Christmas Jane 130, 40, 1, 3987
Pretty in Pink Jane 95, 33, 0, 2983
Miniature Madness! 55, 0, 0, 776

Friday, September 4, 2009

Post #100: Giveaway Winner

And the winner is....

DianeH from Ontario Canada! Congratulations! The fabric will be packed up and sent as soon as I have your mailing address. There were 70 entries, but I am sorry only one prize. Thank you to all who visited, and to those who are now followers.

I will catch you up on quilt block progress starting tomorrow.

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