A Tale of Two Quilts

26 09 2017

My friend and fellow quilt guild member, Yolanda, has a long time friend, Sophia. This is the story of Sophia’s family quilt and Yolanda’s remake in the spirit of the original design. My part was quilting the remake.

Sophia writes “My great-grandmother, Serena Herndon (Richards), started this quilt in Oklahoma in the late 1920’s, but my grandmother, Elzira Scoggins (Herndon), finished the quilt top in Mt. Shasta and Oroville, California sometime during 1930s-1940s. My mother, Serena, born in 1945, quilted this blanket in Oroville around mid to late 50’s.” Be sure to click on the photograph to zoom in. Many of the fabrics are wildly colorful.

Sophia’s mother recently passed, and so she asked if Yolanda would cut up the quilt top to incorporate some of the original blocks into a new quilt because  many of the fabrics were worn out from age and use. Yolanda encouraged Sophia to allow her repair the old quilt instead and also to make a new one that would capture the design of the original. Happily, Sophia agreed.
The inspiration for the quilt blocks came from the original quilt. Yolanda’s goal was to isolate the original block design and set it on point. However when she laid out the blocks to audition them before sewing sashing between them, she liked the look of a horizontal set best. By exercising creative license, Yolanda gave the new quilt its own identity. The angels in the central panel are representative of Sophia and her mother meeting again in heaven. The wording “To God be the glory, until we meet again” is her way of rejoicing for the coming reunion.
Yolanda selected 2 1/2 inch wide strip packs of Civil War reproduction fabrics from Connecting Threads. The border is an end of bolt find from Pineapple fabrics; the backing is 108 inch wide cotton backing also from Pineapple fabrics. I quilted the “Splash” pantograph with old gold polyester thread. The gold blended well with all the patchwork blocks yet showed up nicely in the wide blue border. Since I didn’t want to quilt the panto over the angels, I meandered in the background of the panel and echo stitched around the angels. (It was not easy to interrupt the pantograph in this way, but this treatment suited the quilt.) Yolanda added a label which details the tale of these two wonderful quilts.
In the words of Hattie, another of Yolanda’s friends, this Granny Square block is so reminiscent of lessons learned from those who have gone before us.  Yolanda’s remake of Sophia’s family quilt is a beautiful story of a shared love for this ageless art work.  Isn’t it wonderful how the past can bring out the best in us?
Advertisements




Table Topper Quilt

25 09 2017

Does your table décor need a fresh look? Or do you need a birthday or housewarming gift? Consider making a table topper by adding several borders to a patchwork block. The block design is “Cameo Appearance” which was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 15. This volume of the bi-annual magazine was published in May 2017. Click here to read my blog post about the block.

The fabrics are from Geri Robinson’s “American Beauty” line for Red Rooster. Aren’t they so gorgeous and homey? The first border was cut 2 1/2″ wide from ecru print background fabric with blue print corner squares. I cut the second border 3″ wide from a tan leaf print. For the binding, I debated between the red print and the blue print. Hubby suggested the red, and I think it pulls out the cheery color from the center of the quilt.

After quilting around the flower motif, I used continuous curves in most of the patchwork. Meandering in the first border adds texture, and leaves and loops continue the leafy idea of the outer border.

I am so pleased with this speedy yet pretty project, perhaps I should delve into my collection of orphan blocks and make a few more table toppers for holiday gifts!

 





String-Pieced Pumpkins

20 09 2017

Grandson Aidan’s birthday is near Halloween, and he is enthused to decorate (already) for both celebrations. We decided a pumpkin quilt that he could keep “forever” would be fun to make. For inspiration, we used Bonnie Hunter’s string-pieced pumpkin design published in the Quiltmaker September/October 2017 issue. You can see pictures of a table runner Bonnie made with string pieced pumpkins here.

To begin with, we dumped my shopping bag of strips and strings on the sewing room floor, searching for all the orange, rust, tan, and green. After ironing the selected strips and cutting paper foundations from an old phone directory, I changed my sewing machine needle to size 90 and decreased the stitch length to 1.5. Piecing the four pumpkin blocks on the paper was quick and easy; in a couple of hours, all were complete.

Aidan decided he would prefer a long, skinny wall hanging rather than a Four Patch style block layout as pictured above. This layout makes the quilt more versatile as it can also be used as a table runner. Sashing and border strips were cut 2 1/2″ wide from Wilmington Prints black “Criss-Cross.” The quilting design is a spider web pantograph with metallic gold thread. (I suggested metallic silver thread, but Aidan’s choice of gold turned out just fine! Click on the picture, zooming in to see the quilting details.) Lime green binding makes a lively finish. With a hanging sleeve on the back, we are ready to decorate for fall and Aidan’s birthday!

 





Miniature Block Exchange

14 09 2017

Earlier this summer my friend Lori organized a 4″ block exchange among five quilting friends. We used the Simple Friendships book by Kim Diehl and Jo Morton as our guide. (Click here to view the book on amazon.com.) We are making blocks for the row by row sampler quilt on page 100. While the book gives instructions for using only brown Civil War prints and tan shirtings, we are using various colors with the shirtings. The only stipulation was that we must use fabrics from our stashes (i.e. not purchase any new fabric). This rule was hard to abide by because I found some gorgeous medium blue with small white paisleys and a lovely tiny floral with mustard yellow background at Loving Stitches quilt shop. (I bought fat quarters anyway to use in a future Civil War repro quilt.)

There are six different blocks in the sampler, so Lori settled on a six month exchange scheme. We are to mail three of the blocks to the other participants in September. Enthused about the project, I made five each of four of the blocks right away. Then summer activities and other quilts distracted me. September rolled around, and I realized that the two blocks I procrastinated in making are supposed to be mailed this month. Arrrgh!

A couple of hours of concentrated cutting and sewing, and they are done! It will be so much fun to see the fabrics my friends have used in their sampler blocks. Although the blocks and the wall quilt are small, the exchange project stretches over several more months, so you probably won’t see the finished quilt until the new year.

Are you currently participating in a block exchange?





Magazine Winner

5 09 2017

Thanks to all who commented on my blog post regarding the publication of “Scrappy Patch” in the Oct/Nov 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. There were some great suggestions about limiting the color palette: fall colors, Christmas fabric scraps, black and white with a pop of red, blues and denim, lilac/purple on a cream background, reds and blues. The funniest comment was from Debbie R. who said, “I would probably start going scrappy and then my OCD would kick in and I would end up doing a controlled color !!”

The winner of the magazine is Trudy with comment #27. Congratulations!

If you didn’t win this time, and your newsstand does not carry McCall’s Quick Quilts, click here to link to the Quilt and Sew Shop to order your copy of the magazine. You may also simply order a digital copy of the pattern. For those of you with a Go! Cutter, take note that the magazine includes instructions for cutting all the pieces for the quilt using your cutter.

Stay tuned for another chance to win a magazine . . . soon!





Aidan’s Quilt

2 09 2017

A Step-by-Step Photo Journal

In July four-year-old Aidan and his family visited for a long weekend. It happened to be the weekend his cousins Kaleb and Krystine had finished their summer quilt projects and were ready for a photo shoot. “Could I make a quilt, too?” he asked. Absolutely! There is no better question to bless a quilting grandma’s heart!

We looked in my bin of juvenile prints and he selected a rocketship print and an seaside print (thinking he might make two quilts, one for himself and one for his little brother). Grandma Aby decided to focus on one project at a time.

We selected colorful tonals that coordinated with the rocketship print. The patchwork design is a variation of my “Steppin’ Up” quilt found on the Patterns page of this blog. Instead of cutting ten 4″ x 40″ strips, I cut eight 5″ x 40″ strips. Then we arranged the strips in color order.

Next, we sewed the strips together on the long sides, joining the first and the eighth strip to make a tube. Note whose toes are operating the sewing machine’s foot control.

   

I cross-cut the tube in 5″ increments and un-sewed one seam of each unit to make a “Steppin’ Up” design. We placed the rows on the design wall so Aidan could see what his quilt would look like.

I pinned and sewed the upper four rows together and then the lower four rows together. “Yes!” we are making progress!

After sewing the upper rows to the lower rows, Aidan joined his cousins for the photo shoot. If you missed it, you can see Krystine’s and Kaleb’s quilts on this blog post.

In order to make the quilt a little larger for this would-be astronaut, I added a narrow black border, a scrappy border made from 2 1/2″ wide strips, another narrow black border, and a 5″ wide red outer border. Aidan was enthusiastic about the “Blast Off” pantograph from Lorien Quilting which pictures a rocketships, stars, and Saturns. He selected a variegated thread of primary colors. Black binding completes the project modeled here by one happy boy!





“Scrappy Patch” Published!

29 08 2017

I am very excited to tell you that my quilt, “Scrappy Patch,” was published in the October/November 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts!

My inspiration for this quilt originated with a Block of the Month challenge issued at my quilt guild. We were instructed to make totally scrappy “Aunt Sukey’s Choice” blocks with a white background. To speed construction along, I dove into my container of  2 1/2″ squares and my container of 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles. Click here to read the blog post about my disappointment in not winning all the blocks submitted by guild members. But since I liked the idea of turning my scrap squares and rectangles into a quilt, I made eleven more blocks which resulted in a large lap quilt, 57″ x 71.” Click here to read about how I assembled a kit for each block during a car trip. And Click here to see a photo of the quilt and instructions for ordering a digital pattern from McCall’s. If you are not yet a subscriber to Quick Quilts, you can order a copy from  the online Quilt and Sew Shop.

After completing the blocks, I debated what color to use for sashing such a “wild” quilt. I felt a neutral or solid color would be best. Black would work, but might lend the finished quilt a somber air. I settled on white to add some modern “negative space” with the added bonus of a secondary “Nine Patch” pattern. I thought a black print would frame the quilt and help settle down the multitude of colorful prints. I found the black print with zigzag lime green lines in a quilt shop’s sale basket. Perfect! And I decided a coordinating lime green tonal would make a great inner border.

To repeat and accentuate the triangles in the quilt blocks, I overlaid some Prairie Points on the wide black border after quilting the quilt, enclosing the raw edges in the binding. The Quick Quilts magazine gives excellent, step-by-step instructions for making the 3-D Prairie Points. As you can see from the picture below, I folded back the triangles about 1/4″ and hand-tacked the Prairie Points to the border so they would lay nearly flat but still give a 3-D effect.

Using lime green thread, I free-hand quilted spirals over all the quilt. Alas and alack, I didn’t have enough of the same lime green print used in the inner border to bind the quilt, but I found another stashed lime tonal to conclude this very scrappy quilt!

Would you like to win a copy of the magazine? If so, leave a comment below stating if you would make this quilt totally scrappy or employ a limited color scheme. I’ll draw a winner on September 5.