Monday, March 29, 2010

Old Quilts #2

Donna had some great quilts on display before her talk at the quilt guild. This little one is from 1850. It is made from red and tan calicoes and the piecing is wonderful! All those diamonds and flying geese!
I chose a seat right in front of this quilt so I could enjoy it all during the meeting!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Old Quilts

This is one of the first old quilts that my new Oklahoma friend, Donna Skvarla, showed during her presentation to the Central Oklahoma Quilt Guild. Being a fan of mid-19th century red/green quilts, I immediately fell in love with it! Each block is amazing, and it turns out that the blocks are PIECED, not appliqued as one would assume! Donna says this one was made around 1840. Another unique feature of this quilt is that it has a woven twill binding. This type of binding was manufactured on the East Coast. The next picture shows a close-up of one of the blocks.

The hand-quilting on these old quilts is amazing, too! Such close quilting and such tiny stitches. Stop and think about the tools they had to work with back then and the lighting they had! These old quilts were truly labors of love!

Since being home, along with getting lots of sewing done, I've also created a website of my own. I hope you will pay it a visit: Bookmark it so you can visit it often, and please tell your friends! Thanks! Happy scrap quilting!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Charity Challenge

I just finished a charity quilt. This one began as a mystery and was a challenge! A friend at Curves told me about and their "Quilts for Kids" project. (Check it out at I looked at the website and volunteered to help. Within 3 days I received the kit to make a kid-size quilt! Inside the kit was the pattern, complete instructions, fabric for the quilt top, fabric for the backing, and a label for the quilt. I just needed to supply the batting and return postage.
So why was this a mystery and a challenge? I had no idea what kind of fabrics I would receive. From the picture you can tell that these fabrics were BRIGHT! And the theme was race cars. (I have all girls in my family...I haven't made many quilts for little boys!) Also, the quilt had to be machine quilted; it could not be tied. I normally do not do machine quilting--another challenge! And I decided to use Warm and Natural batting--something else I normally do not do. I figured, why not? All in all, I was pleased with the results.
One reason I enjoy making charity quilts is that I get to try new techniques and practice my skills. It was fun to work with fabrics that someone else had chosen (I now have some bright leftovers to add to my scrap bag!), and I'm getting a little better at machine quilting. It warms my heart to know that a child will enjoy this finished quilt. Why don't you take the challenge???

Friday, March 12, 2010

Taggie Blankie Update

While in Oklahoma, I was able to view the Taggie Blankie "in action". First of all, I am happy to report that it has been washed many times and is holding together nicely! Nothing is pulling apart on THIS project! :)
It was fun to watch how it was being used. It is a great quiet toy during church! My daughter always has it stashed in the diaper bag on Sunday mornings. It is a great soothing toy when it is naptime! And it is great for playing "Peek-A-Boo" by placing it on Granddaughter's head. She loves to pull it off and giggle! And she seems to have a favorite tag on the blankie, one that she plays with more than the others. She likes the wide, turquoise ribbon that has lots of embroidery on it! (Lots of texture to that ribbon!!!)
My daughter and I ran across a whole line of taggie items while out shopping one day. There are board books with tags, small blankets with tags, and a variety of stuffed toys with tags. They are marketed under the "Taggi" name--designed by a mom who noticed that her little ones always played with the tags on things! Cute and clever, but the variety of tags was disappointing. Only satin and grosgrain ribbons were used, in solids and prints. All seemed to be the same width, too. By digging through my box of trims in the process of making my Taggie Blankie, I came up with many more-interesting-to-the-touch tags!!! Hooray for scraps and leftovers! :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baby quilt update

I've been in Oklahoma for a week and the time has flown by! Great to spend time with my daughter and family here!!!! Granddaughter has changed just since Christmas!!!
Everyone is off to work and Granddaughter goes to daycare. But I'm not bored. I brought along a hand piecing project that I want to really make progress on. (so far, so good!)
One of the first projects I tackled tho was the baby quilt that pulled apart. I started in on it with a seam ripper. Since I was limited to what I could bring along, I did not bring batting for the new quilt. I was hoping I could reuse the batting from the original quilt. As I was doing the "rip-it" stitch, I was impressed at how well I'd sewn the binding on! It took a while to take it all back off!!!
I was also amazed at how that one particular fabric really frayed and pulled out at the seams. Made me wonder if 1/4" seam allowance is big enough for a quilt that will be washed a lot? I also came to the conclusion that I'd not put enough ties in the quilt to begin with--perhaps the quilt top was allowed to move around too much during washing?
After the ties were removed, I began to separate the 3 layers. I found that the fraying seams had intertwined with the batting and things weren't pulling apart very easily. I was also surprised at how the batting had pilled. I can't remember if I used Mountain Mist batting or Fairfield, but one thing was for sure--I wasn't going to be able to reuse this batting. With all the pilling, it didn't even seem good for stuffing, so it went into the trash.
I went out and bought a crib-size Fairfield Traditional batt. And this time, I put lots more ties into the quilt. It is all bound and once I get the label sewn on today, it will be ready for Granddaughter to use! I've decided that the old quilt top will be cut up and scrappy pieced back together to make a doll quilt for her. If I get started on it soon, it will be ready for Christmas!