Wednesday, July 14, 2010

taking on someone else's unfinished project: happy VTT

I am joining Coloradolady this week for Vintage Thingy Thursday. See what other people are sharing - click on the icon above.

As if I didn't have enough of my own UFO's (UnFinished Objects).  I have to buy one off ebay.

Arriving in a sheet box was a set of partially finished Dresden plate blocks and pre-cut pieces. In addition, a catalog from John C. Michael Co. of St. Petersburg Fla., with other kits listed.  I had not heard of this company before.

Here are two of the finished circles, some of the pre-cut petals, and wedge-shaped pieces for the border.  Under the pile of fabric pieces is a very long strip of lavender cotton, for the binding.  You needed to provide the muslin for each block, the batting, and the backing material. Still, according to the catalog, this kit for the "Friendship Quilt" cost $2.50. (I paid quite a bit more for this kit! Shh!) There is no date on the catalog or the instructions, pictured below.

The instructions, by the way, are a bit limited!
Maybe this kit is from the 1940's? early 50's?  A good value perhaps if you didn't have a variety of printed fabrics.  Muslin is always cheap and available.  Quilt kits are still available today, some yes with pre-cut pieces.

Must stay away from ebay..... stay away from ebay....


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tutorial: Half-square triangles

If you are interested in making a Perkiomen Valley quilt, you'll need a goodly number of these triangles.  And for that scrappy look, you will want these triangles in a variety of pairings of light and dark fabrics.

A top option is using Thangles, in the proper size for the block you are planning.  If you don't have these, try the method I show below.  It may be familiar to you, but maybe not.

Step 1: Cut squares of light and dark fabrics the proper size.  What is the proper size?  The size of your finished square plus 7/8 inches.  For my project, each square finishes at 1 inch, so I cut my squares 1 and 7/8 inches on a side.  For a finished measurement of 1.5 inches, cut your squares 2 and 3/8 inches in size.

Step 2: Draw a diagonal line on your light colored square of fabric.  Take a dark fabric, right side up, and place a light square, right side down, on top of it, all corners aligned.  See the photo below.

Step 3: Sew 1/4 inch to the left of the diagonal line on your light fabric.  Use your 1/4 inch presser foot if you have one.  See photo above.  You can chain piece a number of these.

Step 4: Take the squares out, turn them around, and sew down 1/4 inch away from the diagonal line, on the other side.  See the photo above - sorry can't see my thread too well!

Step 5:  Cut along the diagonal line with a rotary cutter and a ruler. Here I took the photo of the back.


Step 6: Press open, carefully.  It's easy to stretch these along the bias of the fabric.  Measure.  If your target finished size is 1 inch, the unfinished size of these units should be 1.5 inches squares.  Check to see.

OK!  I hope to put one more post up before a break, we'll see.  Stay tuned for instructions on sewing and assembling Perkiomen Valley quilt blocks.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Perkiomen blocks: Possibilities

Start with a number of blocks similar to the one on the right (16 patch block). I described the beginning of these blocks, and why each block finishes at one inch square in a previous post.

Here is one way to arrange 16 blocks.  With the light/dark boundary on the diagonal, you can arrange these blocks as you would log cabin blocks.  This is called the Barn Raising set.

Above is another way to arrange blocks.  This format takes 20 blocks.
Below is a more complicated arrangement.  I did not have quite enough blocks  to finish it, at the time I took this photo.

The above design is based on a vintage quilt pictured in Barbara Brackman's blog, Material Culture, in a post on Perkiomen Valley quilts.  Scroll down to the bottom of her post. 

I now have enough blocks to finish this, and I'll show you the steps along the way, this next week.  To make it scrappy, pick rather light fabrics, and rather dark fabrics, and believe in the power of value!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vintage Thingy Thursday: Dresden Plate quilt

I am joining Coloradolady this week for Vintage Thingy Thursday. See what other people are sharing - click on the icon above.

I really can't help myself.  I purchase old and vintage quilts when the price is right, even on vacation.  And I was on vacation in Cape Cod and the price was right. Note there are cut-outs (flaps?) so that the quilt drapes nicely over the corners of the end of the bed.  there are some stains on this, which brought the price down.

A closer look.

And a look at one block.  Great fabrics! And 18 petals to each flower, not 12 or 16.  I think I have one of these fabrics in my fabric hoard collection.
This top has finished seams and so is a "summer spread" - usable as is, but no filler or backing.  The pink strips shown above are top-stitched on - not very well I may add.
Happy vintage Thingy Thursday! Is there a well-loved quilt in your family?

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