Friday, April 8, 2011

Thrift Store Find

While making a trek through the thrift store today (hey, I was out on errands, might as well see what's there), I found something that needed a home. Something that needed a quilter's touch.

I found a small quilt top of pastel blocks with flowers embroidered on them, surrounded by a wide border of blue-and-white gingham. Both materials are very lightweight, and the top looks to have been intended for a baby quilt. The borders are a little wonky, so I may try to re-do some seams and straighten that up a bit before quilting it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Project

Here's a new project - I've never made a "spool" block before. I saw a neat quilt on another blogger's site, and thought I might try a small wall hanging. It goes together pretty easily, and it's fun to play around with different color combinations. I may even tweak the pattern, and see if I can make one a little more "realistic-looking." That could be a fun effect - making the middle part look like thread!

Here's the link to the blog page that shows the "spool" quilt:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Old and New Gingham Doll Quilts

OK, here's what the hints of the previous two posts were about!

I have this antique doll quilt, that I enjoyed playing with as a kid. It's made entirely of various gingham prints. It's colorful, and I've always loved it. I don't know if one of my grandmas made it, or if Mom did, or who. But I got this wild notion in my head to make a "modern reproduction" of it. I looked it over good to see how it was done, and wanted to use the very same method.

1. All gingham prints.
2. No batting.
3. Machine "quilted," diagonally both ways through each square.
4. Cotton backing.
5. Rounded corners.
6. Tiny, colorful binding.

It looked pretty simple, but let me tell you, after making this, it took some doing! It wasn't hard, but it definitely had some effort in it. So, whoever made the original one, I appreciate it all the more! It could've even been sewn on a treadle machine, perhaps.

So after the previous two posts, showing the cut-out squares of gingham (loved the big yellow-and-white gingham with daisies I found in my stash!) and the top pieced together, here's the rest of it.

The top pinned to a white cotton backing. (Remember, no batting.)

A closeup of the pinned doll quilt.

It was a little chilly today, so I took a break for some homemade potato soup with crackers, enjoyed in one of Mom's Fiesta Ware bowls.

Using the sewing machine for the diagonal quilting. This was the first time I had EVER tried ANY kind of quilting by machine. It was a nice way to "get my feet wet" with machine quilting.

Then it was time to pick the binding material. I had a lot of solids to pick from. This was a dark yellow pretty close to the original, but there wasn't enough of it. Rats! So ... I looked through the rest of the choices.

Medium blue ... nah.

Light green ... nah, didn't quite match the greens in the quilt.

Regular pink ... nah.

Dark pink ... NO!

Red ... no, it clashes with the dark "brick" red in the quilt.

Dark blue ... it would work, but it's too "dark" for a cheerful doll quilt.

I had a lot of pale yellow, but there's a lot of yellow in the top, so thought maybe it would be "too much."

Ick green ... NO!!!!!!

Dark green ... I think we have a winner. A nice, definite border, but the green matches the darker gingham, and green can be cheerful, too. Better than the dark blue.

So I cut out strips and bias-sewed them together to make a continuous strip, then pressed it.

Started pinning the binding on. I'm not going to mention that I had to take all these pins out and start over, as I got down to the bias seam, and had folded the binding wrong side out and the seam was on the "outside!" So forget you read this.

Ah, the binding all pinned on ... correctly! A continuous binding, even around the corners (no mitering).

Sewing on the binding. I sewed a "scant" 1/4-inch seam, to allow a little extra room to fold over the thickness of the edge. I went very slowly.

Now I have a rule that generally I don't sew over pins, but once in awhile, I do, such as if things are slipping a little or threatening to be uneven or get wrinkled. But with this binding, I sewed over EVERY PIN. I wanted this binding to stay in place! And, amazingly, I only bent ONE pin. But it was a doozy!!!

Tacking down the binding. Since it was a little cool this day, I had on older Son's cammo snuggie, like a jacket. Them things are warm, let me tell you!

Finished! The original quilt and the new quilt, side by side.

The original, antique Gingham Doll Quilt.

The brand-spankin'-new reproduction Gingham Doll Quilt.

Comparing the backs used on each quilt.

A comparing view, including the rounded corners and binding.

A fun project completed!