Crafting a quilted pillow for spring

This is the type of quilting project you make over the weekend when you’re waiting for further medical tests.

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Spring pillow sham made with Aloha Girl mini charm pack and other fabric from Fig Tree & Co. for Moda

Last week on Thursday I went to the doctor with a health concern, and the doctor ordered some additional tests. The only problem was that the soonest appointment I could get was for Tuesday morning.

Needless to say, it was a long, long weekend. As we tend to do, my mind dwelled more than I would have liked on the worst-case scenarios, and by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday I was pretty consumed with those thoughts. I tried to take a nap, but that didn’t really work. So instead I got up and told my husband, “I need to go downstairs and sew.”

I had sort of started this project the night before when I pulled out a Moda mini charm pack of Aloha Girl by Fig Tree & Co. that I’d gotten at Fall Quilt Market. (This was one bit of Market swag that I did not feel obligated to share with my coworkers. No guilt at all.)

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Come to mama

As I wrote in my blog post about the Winter Geese pillow sham I designed using batiks (click here to read about it and see photos), I figured I would need to get started on a spring pillow sham before long. Seeing as how the winter sham took almost three weeks to complete from first sketch to final stitch, I knew I didn’t want to spend as much time on the spring version. Nor would I need to, with such a pretty mini collection in my stash.

So on Friday evening I pulled the wrapper off the mini charm pack and started playing with placement. Since the pillow is 16″ square, and since there are 42 2.5″ squares in a mini charm pack, I knew I’d need to supplement in some way to fit the required dimensions. I took inspiration from Fresh as a Daisy, a bright and happy pillow sham designed by Jen Daly for our Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014 special issue. (You can read more about both of Jen’s projects in the issue on her blog; click here.)

 Crafting a quilted pillow for spring

Fresh as a Daisy pillow sham by Jen Daly for Quilters Newsletter’s Best Fat Quarter Quilts 2014

Jen used an entire mini charm pack and adapted it for a rectangular pillow form, adding a sweet embroidered-and-appliqued panel to attain the dimensions she needed. I wasn’t in the mood for special touches; I just wanted to get this done, so I turned to fabric I had from Fig Tree & Co.’s Avalon collection (also shown in the Winter Geese blog post).

I removed one cream solid square from the mini charm pack, leaving me with 41 mini squares, and then cut two 4.5″ squares from the Avalon print so I could work with a grid of 7 x 7 2″ increments. The most attempt I made at artistry was to play with a watercolor-type arrangement with the different prints, but I didn’t spend too much time on it.

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Stitching on a spring Saturday afternoon

Once that was put together, all I needed to do was add borders that finished at 1″ on each side.

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Testing the (border-less) spring pillow sham top on top of the winter pillow sham

And that’s pretty much all there was to that. I completed it on Sunday afternoon, hand-finished binding and all. Quilting can be art or craft or (most often) a healthy combination of the two approaches. I freely admit that this was all about the craft and the doing and the process. I didn’t want to have to think much or make many decisions. I just wanted to keep busy with pretty fabrics. Ain’t nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. But even though I didn’t want to think about it much, this pillow sham now has its own story behind it.

As far as my medical tests went, I got them moved up to Monday afternoon and I’m happy to report that my fears of worst-case scenarios were just that: fears. The tests came back normal and I got a prescription to treat my symptoms, meaning I’ll be more in the mood for artistic decisions soon I’m sure.

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagramYouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Mary Kate Karr-Petras, Staff Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 5

March was National Craft Month and National Quilting Month, and here at Quilters Newsletter, we spent March celebrating the craft of quilting by celebrating you, the quilter. At the end of February, we asked our readers to submit a photo of themselves with a quilt they made with information about themselves and their quilt for a chance to be a featured quilter. This week, which is both the last week of March and the first week of April, we’re celebrating one final quilter who submitted, Linda Thielfoldt of Troy, Michigan.

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Modern Mojo Two, 65″ x 90″, 2014, by Linda Thielfoldt

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Modern Mojo Two, 65″ x 90″, 2014, by Linda Thielfoldt

Our featured quilter this week is Linda with her quilt, Modern Mojo Two. Here’s what Linda had to say about this quilt: “This was quite a transition quilt for me as I have been a traditional quilter for more than 40 years.  The quilting is my own design, as is the quilt, and I machine quilted it on my Gammill.  It won 1st place at MQX Springfield and was juried into QuiltCon and Paducah this year. I have been competing since my first entry in 2002 and am proud to still be in the game after all these years.”

Linda owns her own quilt shop, The Quilted Goose in Troy, Michigan. Linda says her machine quilting specialty is feathers, but if the detail shots of Modern Mojo Two below are any indication, she has talent in many other patterns as well. You can see some of the machine quilting designs she has created at Legacy Quilting.

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Detail of Modern Mojo Two, 65″ x 90″, 2014, by Linda Thielfoldt

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Detail of Modern Mojo Two, 65″ x 90″, 2014, by Linda Thielfoldt

Want to be a featured quilter? Send a photo of you with a quilt you’ve made to QMNsubmissions@fwmedia.com with your name and location as well as any details you’d like to provide about your quilt and quilting career.

Need some inspiration for that next quilting project? Check out our these digital quilt patterns from Quilters Newsletter:

As always, to find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, PinterestInstagramYouTubeQNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on CraftDaily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Zenith Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED! CONGRATULATIONS MARY!

According to the saying, April showers bring May flowers. Some of us have already been seeing some flowers around our neighborhoods. In fact, here’s a picture I took last week the evening before we were supposed to (and did) get a little more snow: Spring Zenith Giveaway

Both the Hyacinths and the other leaves I’ve been told look like tulip leaves were a surprise to me as I moved to this house last October and only knew about the cattails. I think the purple and pink colors of the Hyacinths might just be the perfect colors to inspire a quilt. One of the quilts patterned in Quilters Newsletter April/May 2015Shower Power by Carol Strief seems like a nice quilt to put those colors into: ShowerPower 500 Zenith Giveaway

And if you need some more inspiration for quilting, particularly in fabric form, then you’re in luck, because this week we’re giving away a fat quarter bundle of the Zenith collection from P&B Textiles, a bundle of chevron inspired color on color fabrics: Zenith Bundle 1 Zenith Giveaway

To enter for your chance to win this lovely bundle, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday April 5, 2015 (Happy Easter!) telling us about the last thing which inspired a new quilting project for you. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+PinterestInstagram, YouTube, QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Making the Most of a Mistake

I’m going to share another of my older pieces with you. I’m not sure when I made it but it was sometime between 2004 and 2007. I was taking a class to be certified as a teacher for Jenny Haskins. This pretty little wall hanging was one of the projects.

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The Finished Quilt

It has lots of detail. There are decorative stitches galore and embroidered buttonholes with ribbon laced through them.

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Pretty Details

The prairie points are a fun touch too.

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Prairie Points Made with Two Different Fabrics

But somehow in the construction process, I misunderstood the directions. I don’t remember anymore what went wrong but it was in this area where I was adding strips to the center. It looks fine now so I figured out a way to make it work on the front of the quilt.

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This was the problem area.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but, just in case you missed it, here it is again.

When we are sewing/quilting and make a mistake we have several choices.

1. We can pitch the project, discard it … but I almost never do that.

2. We can unsew. Sometimes that’s the easiest solution. But sometimes that means hundreds of stitches and I’m not patient enough to do that.

3. We can add something to another area of the project to distract the viewers so they don’t notice the mistake.

4. We can cover up the mistake with embroidery, applique, ribbons, buttons, etc.

Some of my favorite projects are those where something went amok and I went with choice #3 or 4. That’s the case here. The mistake became a creative opportunity.

By the time I had fixed my construction mistake, I had several rows of decorative stitching on the back and it was starting to look kind of pretty. The backing fabric was just ivory cotton but I was using peach thread in the bobbin so it was the beginning of a subdued, romantic looking quilt back and I went for it.

I had a couple of big pieces of machine embroidered free-standing lace and dozens of tiny free-standing daisy-like flowers.  So working from the back, I attached the lace. I used mono-filament thread in the bobbin so the stitching is not noticeable on the front.

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The Quilt Back

The big pieces of lace made a great focal point for the back of the quilt.

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Beautiful Machine Embroidered Lace

And the tiny flowers sprinkled over the rest of the quilt are a fun finish. This is a close-up of the area that was problematic when I started.

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Detail of the Problem Area

I made this quilt in three different colorways and over the years I’ve given the other two away. But not this one – it’s a favorite because I made a mistake.

And now I have a funny story to tell you. I’ve recently moved and I’ve spent every spare minute for weeks and weeks, first packing and now putting things away and trying to get my house organized. I pretty much ignored my sewing room because that is a hobby after all. Then, last Wednesday, on my drive home from work, I suddenly realized that I have to make two graduation quilts by the middle of May. I “suddenly realized”??? What, didn’t I know that I have grandchildren? Grandchildren who are graduating? Did I forget that I always make graduating grandchildren a quilt? I’d thought about it early in the year. I know what color both of them want their quilts to be. I knew I had quilts to make but it seemed far away in the future. So now I’m looking for something fast and fun to do for the two quilts. One is for a granddaughter who is very much a tomboy. She wants something lime green and navy. I’m looking at something like McCall’s Quilting’s Stellar.

Stellar Making the Most of a Mistake

Stellar

Or maybe QN’s Gumdrop Twist.

gumdrop Twist Making the Most of a Mistake

Gumdrop Twist

But then I think … 2 quilts, 6 weeks. I need big blocks or big patches. Denim Waves might be a better idea.

Denim Waves Making the Most of a Mistake

Denim Waves

Part of the fun of quiltmaking is the design part. I hope I can make up my mind soon because I really, really have to get moving. I’ve sorted out a whole stack of navy and lime green fabrics so I have begun. Right??? But it’s time to be cutting and sewing, not just daydreaming about what pattern to use.

So now, until next week, be sure to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. There are new Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

Posted in Inspiration, Lori Baker, Staff Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Sweet Floral Applique

As I’m unpacking boxes that have been in storage for a while, I’m finding and examining some of my older work. I’m finding some things I like, some things I don’t like and some things I’d like to revisit.

This is one I’d like to revisit.

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Basket of Flowers

I made this in preparation for a class on appliqueing dimensional flowers. Parts of it I love, like the ruched flower and basket handle and rim.

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Ruching

But in the same photo, notice that I appliqued the other flowers and the leaves with monofilament thread. I really, really don’t like that look. You can see the holes created by the needle and the shine of the nylon thread, neither of which adds anything to this pretty little table topper.

I love the folded fabric I used to create the rose buds.

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Rose Buds

And the woven strips to make the basket are great. But I’m not crazy about the Swarovski crystals I put on the pink flower on the right. They are too elegant to go with the feel of the rest of the quilt.

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The Woven Basket

I’m sure that I found this pattern in a book but I have no idea anymore what the book was. I’d love to find out because this is an idea that needs a lot more exploration.

I echo quilted by machine.

I truly love applique, especially floral applique. I must put that on my list of need-to-do quilts. Just because I want to; just because I can.

And here is a good place to start with that quilt.

Untitled 1 Sweet Floral AppliqueDoes anyone else out there think this is a perfect project for spring?

Be sure to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. There are new Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.

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Celebration of Quilting Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS, CAROLE!

In the world of silly holidays, tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, 2015 is “Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.” Considering how many silly holidays there already are, I’m pretty sure just about anything you might dream up has already been placed on the calendar somewhere. (Today, the 25th, is both Pecan Day and Waffle Day if you were curious). I was flipping through the pile of books available to give away and found Celebrate the Day with Quilts by Shannon Gingrich Shirley from Schiffer Publishing, an art quilt challenge book which features quilts for many of the days of the year as well as helpful calendar pages listing a great number of those silly holidays to help you find something to celebrate with quilting on any day of the year. This week’s giveaway prize is built around that art quilting concept.

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Celebrate the Day with Quilts is just the first book of this celebration of quilting prize which also includes Pictorial Art Quilt Guidebook by Leni Levensen Wiener from C&T Publishing, First-Time Machine Applique by Janet Pittman from Landauer Publishing, Color for Quilters by Lauri Linch-Zadel and the editors of Quilters Newsletter and Quiltmaker, a Clover Water Soluble Marker, a Clover Finger Presser, a Handy Helpers Extendable Magnifying Mirror, and Richard Hemming & Son Big Eye Quilting Needles in sizes 10 and 11.

Don’t want to wait to see if you win before starting a new art quilt — or just a quilt using some of those same techniques? Check out these bits of inspiration:

To enter for your chance to win the celebrations prize, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday March 29, 2015 telling us about something you have cause to celebrate lately. Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, PinterestInstagram, YouTube, QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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More adventures in quilting with little kids

ruler More adventures in quilting with little kids

I’m pretty sure I’m not the one who put puppy stickers on my acrylic ruler…

This past Saturday morning — which just happened to be National Quilting Day — I was watching Fons & Porter’s “Love of Quilting” on our local PBS station, as I try to do every week when new episodes air. Because it airs at 8:00 a.m., however, and because I have small children who seem to want food or attention (or both) from mommy first thing on Saturday to get the weekend started, I’m usually not able to pay attention to it as closely as I’d like.

So I was a little surprised when, completely unsolicited, my kindergartener said she wanted to do some sewing, and my 3-going-on-13-year-old agreed.

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My view of my sewing machine when my 3-year-old “helped” me with my machine quilting.

A few months ago we did an episode of Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community in which I talked about some easy quilting projects I did with my daughters (click here for the episode on QNNtv.com); I also blogged about them (click here to read my blog post).

Truth be told, we haven’t done a whole lot of sewing together recently. Sure, I let my younger daughter sit on my lap when I’m at my sewing machine and she “helps” by placing her fingers on the fabric to guide it. But I haven’t done hand stitching with them since the first time I did it with my older daughter because, well… To be honest, it’s because my younger daughter is no longer taking a regular nap, and I haven’t felt like wrangling two small sets of hands simultaneously. And besides, when I’m downstairs in the guest/sewing room, I want to be working on my own projects. Yep, I’m selfish that way.

But they were both pretty insistent they wanted to sew, so I took them up on it.

10995858 10153089843305552  300x210 More adventures in quilting with little kidsGetting started was a challenge, as my older daughter was having trouble deciding exactly what she wanted to do and how to describe it. When she said she wanted to draw on some fabric with my marking pencils (which she’s already worn down to nubs by scribbling on paper), I decided to press scraps of white fabric to freezer paper for stability and let both of them color with crayons. My older daughter wrote, “I ❤ you mom dad,” in keeping with the theme of her current series of notes left around the house, similar to the one shown. Meanwhile, my younger daughter took a Jackson Pollack-approach to her scrap. I’m going to heat-set both of them and use them in the pieced backing for the queen bed quilt that is currently a UFO but will be a WIP before long (she says optimistically).

After some breakfast, my older daughter remembered that what she really wanted was to sew with a needle and thread as she’d done before. I took a deep breath, pulled out some scraps, two small embroidery hoops and my sashiko needles, and then I let them pick some thread. My older daughter ended up choosing a pretty, light orange rayon thread, which maybe wasn’t the best match for a big-eye sashiko needle. The needle came unthreaded a number of times, but once she got the hang of holding it at the eye, she got into a rhythm and worked by herself while I focused on her sister. When I checked on her progress, I was mighty impressed by how diligently she stitched and how (relatively) even her stitches were.

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The kindergartener’s hand stitching

Such a difference from the large, crisscrossing stitches she did last year!

And in her first foray, the 3-year-old did a good job, too. She’s always caught on quickly to how things work, saying, “I can do it mySELF!” And by and large, she’s right — she can do it herself, as you can see below. (I let her choose which color size 8 perle cotton thread she preferred, but limited her choices to my thicker threads.)

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The 3-year-old’s first hand stitching efforts

So I guess you could say National Quilting Day was a successful one in our house. It will be interesting to see if and how their interest in sewing develops over the years. They’re still both very young, although my older daughter is acquiring new skills at an exponential rate these days, so she may be ready for some real projects soon. I noticed that longarmer extraordinaire Angela Walters and her daughter Chloe recently appeared on Jodie Davis’ “Quilt It!” show to talk about Get Quilting with Angela and Chloe, their upcoming book of quilting projects for 8- to 13-year-olds (click here for the first episode on QNNtv.com). I haven’t watched it yet but I can’t wait to do so. After all, my daughters will be 8 before I know it.

If you’re not a kid anymore and are looking for some fun hand-stitching tools and projects, check out the links below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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National Craft Month Quilters Celebration Week 4

March is National Craft Month and National Quilting Month, and here at Quilters Newsletter, we’d like to spend March celebrating the craft of quilting by celebrating you, the quilter. At the end of February, we asked our readers to submit a photo of themselves with a quilt they made with information about themselves and their quilt for a chance to be a featured quilter. This week, the fourth week of March, we’re featuring the fourth set of two quilters who submitted photos: Linda Creel of Ocean Springs, Mississippi and Lisa Timmer of Boonsboro, Maryland.

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Red Quilt, 50″ x 60″, 2015, by Linda Creel

Our first featured quilter for week 4 is Linda with a quilt she designed both the fabric and the pattern for. Here’s what Linda had to say about this quilt: “This quilt epitomizes what I love about working with fibers. I want to showcase my fabrics. There is no precision piecing. It was constructed using the quilt as you go method, with large wonky blocks of fabric and very simple quilt lines. All the fabric, with the exception of the black sashing, is hand-dyed, stamped, painted or disbursed by me. As you may be able to see, a few of the blocks are actually pieced from leftover strips of the fabrics, but the majority are single pieces. And a lot of the fabrics utilized are recycled fabrics, often 100% cotton sheets that I find in thrift shops. In fact, the backing fabric is an old sheet that I pulled out of the drawer and tossed in the washing machine with the remains of a bottle of RIT dye. And it came out the perfect shade quite by accident! I love these colors, but I’m also planning to make a similar quilt using shades of blue and aqua, which I may use as a wall hanging.”

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Detail with backing fabric of Linda Creel’s Red Quilt.

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Linda learned to sew when it was cheaper to make your own clothes than buy them and made everything she wore for many years. Currently she also loves to knit and to dye fabric, usually using low water immersion dying with Procion MX dyes. She also likes to combine dying with random disbursing, stamping and painting. She says, “Because I only have a standard sewing machine, I make quilts using the quilt as you go method, either in blocks or strips. I particularly like the vintage strippy quilts from the North of England. The quilts I make are utilitarian, made primarily for practical reasons, combining blocks and strips and, frequently, tying. They are made to be used.”

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Comfy Critters, 34.5″ x 34.5″, 2015, by Lisa Timmer

Our second featured quilter of week 4 is Lisa with her version of Comfy Critters. Here’s what Lisa had to say about this quilt: “Attached is a photo of a baby quilt I made just last month. The pattern comes from The Big Book of Baby Quilts (That Patchwork Place) and is called Comfy Critters. It is machine pieced using simple 9-patch blocks, strips and squares. The quilting was done on my machine. I stippled the inset blocks and added wavy lines for the strips to mirror the print.

“I love this quilt for a couple of reasons. My husband and I are going on a mission trip to Haiti this July with a team of 12 others. We are hosting a fundraiser dinner this month and having a silent auction at the same time. I have been busily sewing to provide auction items and there is not much time left. So, reason #1 that I love the quilt is that the pattern was easy. I was able to cut it and sew the top together is a single sitting. I was also able to quilt it myself and save money rather than sending it off to the longarm experts.

“Reason #2 is that I was able to pull it together using my current fabric stash. I inherited the fish print last year from a dear friend whose mom passed away. She shared my quilting passion. I wasn’t sure what I would do with this print but thought it might come in handy one day. The bold strips in the quilt remind me of seaweed, and I thought it would pair nicely with the fish print. The blue bubbly print looks like water — this came from a kit I chose not to do when I received it. I am glad I was able to make use of fabrics that I otherwise didn’t know what to do with.

“Reason #3 is that this is the first pattern I am making using this particular book and now I feel as though I have validated my purchase!

“Reason #4 why I love this quilt is that not only it is being offered up for a good cause, but I simply love to sew. I work full time outside of the home, but the job doesn’t provide me with my quilting fix — just the funds to feed it. Until I work in an industry where I get to play with fabric every day, I have to sneak off to my sewing room in the evenings. Love it!”

Want to be a featured quilter? Send a photo of you with a quilt you’ve made to QMNsubmissions@fwmedia.com with your name and location as well as any details you’d like to provide about your quilt and quilting career.

Need some inspiration for that next quilting project? Check out our these digital quilt patterns from Quilters Newsletter:

As always, to find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+Pinterest, InstagramYouTube, QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on CraftDaily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

Last Friday evening a friend of mine posted this photo of a Dresden plate quilt on Facebook with the following caption: “Pretty little vintage thing spotted while thrifting tonight. Too bad I couldn’t justify the price. So, I’ll have to settle for a pic and the hope that it’s still there next week, when it would theoretically be on sale.”

11074397 10203628390295248 120390770352977435 n Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

My first comment was, “Where? How much? (Just curious, not going to take it.)”

Her reply was, “You know where! $35.”

I sure did know where. Apparently I live near one of the better thrift stores in the Denver suburbs, to the extent that this friend (Stacey) as well as fellow editor Gigi both visit it regularly even though (as I regularly point out to them) they are traveling out of their zip codes and into mine to do so. The unmitigated gall of some people!

It’s the same thrift store where I found my vintage quilt made from 1940s bow-tie blocks. But I got my quilt for only $9, and the one Stacey had found was priced almost four times as much. Either someone new was setting the prices, or she had found a real treasure. The more I looked at the photo she’d posted, the more questions I had.

Essentially, even though it was scrappy and the fabrics looked vintage, there was something about the quilting in the sashes that bugged me. It just didn’t seem crinkly enough for a quilt that would presumably have been washed a number of times. My curiosity was piqued. I told Stacey I’d try to swing by the thrift store the next day to take a look at it: “If I think it’s truly vintage (note I’m not an expert but I have seen a wide variety of quilts) I’ll snag it for you.”

So when my husband said something about having bagels and lox on Saturday morning, I volunteered to go get some. By some strange coincidence, the thrift store is between our house and the bagel shop — what are the odds?

I strode into the thrift store shortly after they opened and made a beeline for the linens section, a woman on a mission. I found it quickly and pulled it off the hanger. Stacey was right: it was large, and it had a $35 price tag. She was also right about it being vintage. As with my own vintage quilt find, I checked the binding on this one carefully. There were no tags or labels at all, and the binding was certainly done at least partially by hand. It looked like two opposite edges were bound by folding the backing to the front and tacking it down by hand (with white thread), and the other two edges were bound with strips, again back-to-front. The quilting and turned-edge applique were also done by hand, and done quite well, with neat, small stitches. [Click on the photos to enlarge them.]

IMG 0906 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

Most of the blocks were made with fabrics that looked to be from the 1930s or 1940s.

IMG 0905 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

It was also really dirty, as in someone might have used it to wrap furniture being transported in the bed of an old pick-up truck type of dirty.

IMG 0904 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

In other blocks I saw fabrics that looked more recent, maybe from the 1950s or 1960s.

IMG 0908 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

IMG 0907 Her three favorite words: Thrifted. Vintage. Quilt.

I snapped some photos, and conscious of the bagels cooling in my car, headed back out. Stacey texted me just as I was leaving, so I called her to tell her what I thought: certainly homemade, definitely hand quilted and appliqued, most likely not any more recent than the 1970s and probably earlier. I suspected the fabric used in the sashes and borders was not 100-percent cotton but probably a blend of some sort, based both on how it felt and how smooth it looked. The one thing I forgot to try to assess was the type of batting used, which would have told us a lot.

My advice to Stacey was, If you love it, get it. The price, although high for that particular shop, is still a lot better than retail, and it was good quality if in need of TLC. I offered to post my photos on the Quilts-Vintage and Antique Facebook group to see what some of the experts might think. She said she thought it was a great idea and looked forward to hearing what they would say even as she was simultaneously sending her husband over to the store to pick it up.

There are some serious quilt collectors and historians in the Quilts-Vintage and Antique group who really know their stuff, and membership in the group certainly has its privileges. People were quick to help me play Quilt Detective, and in addition to input I got from Bill Volckening, to whom I’d sent the photos separately when I was having trouble uploading them directly from my phone, I got a better sense of how and when the quilt was made. (Bill also made some recommendations on how to clean a vintage quilt safely. He’s done so many times with great success; click here to learn more about Bill’s tips for collecting and caring for old quilts.)

The consensus seems to be that it’s an intergenerational quilt that was started as early as the 1930s with additional blocks made in the 1960s; friend-of-QN Pepper Cory said, “perhaps in order to make it a larger quilt, the assembler used what older blocks she had and then added new ones.” One woman commented on the photo directly above, “I made a maternity dress from the fabric with the aqua, pink and small flower. That was in 1964.” Another said of the same photo, “I couldn’t see it as well in the other photo, but in this one, it does appear that the block center is different than the border. And yes, newer fabrics by far.” Yet another said, “I think the quilting reflects the later dates too, not as dense as older quilts.”

Regarding the peach fabric, one woman commented that it could be a polished cotton, which she said was popular in the 1950s. I don’t know anything about polished cotton, but now I’m intrigued. I’d like to find a time for Stacey to come to the office to take advantage of the experienced eyes and hands of some of my colleagues, Lori in particular, who know a lot about different quilt and garment textiles from the past few decades.

Until then, my friend will just have to be content with the one thing everyone agreed upon: she found a true treasure and she should be happy. And she is.

If you also love vintage or vintage-looking quilts, here are some resources you may want to check out to tide you over until you find your own hidden treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, to find out about Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube,  QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

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National Quilting Day Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED. CONGRATULATIONS NANCY!

The first recognized quilting day was called “Quilters Day Out” by residents of Kentucky in 1989. By 1992, Quilting Day had been voted in as a national holiday, celebrated on the third Saturday of March each year. That day happens to land on this Saturday, March 21, 2015. The day before that this year, Friday, March 20, is the spring equinox here in the northern hemisphere as well as International Earth Day. Which explains why I was in a bit of a springtime mood when assembling the prize for this week’s giveaway. You might notice some flowers, birds and butterflies among the items, all of which can be used to help celebrate National Quilting Day: NationalQuiltingDayPrize 550 National Quilting Day GiveawayThis wonderful prize includes a bundle of fat quarters from the Baskets in Bloom collection by Gail Pan for Red Rooster Fabrics, a Butterfly Effect quilt pattern in three sizes by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes for From Me to You, a Stencil Series Feathers and Flora template from Indygo Junction, Color for Quilters by Lauri Linch-Zadel, a Creative Options plastic storage case with handle and locking lid, a Handy Helpers EZ Bob, Stacking Patchwork Pins (Fine) from Clover, 20 size 10 Big Eye Quilting Needles from Colonial and 6 size 12 Applique/Sharps Black Gold Needles from Clover.

To enter for your chance to win the quilting prize, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm Mountain Time, Sunday March 22, 2015 telling us how you’re celebrating either National Quilting Day (March 21) or National Quilting and Crafting Month (March). Open to anyone worldwide who has not won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the past 90 days. If you are randomly selected as a winner, the email will come from QNMquestions@fwmedia.com with “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” in the subject line.

To find out about giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagramYouTubeQNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.

Posted in Contests | Tagged , | 785 Comments