Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bowtie on the Bed - Re-run

82" x 93"
It's cooling off here in Minnesota but it is not yet fall. I do love having a reason to really USE a quilt on the bed again, even if it requires leaving the windows wide open all night!

I want this lovely bow-tie to get a little more attention before I turn to the fall tones. It's like wearing white shoes or there still a 'rule' about Labor Day?

If this looks familiar, I shared it in  this previous post with a few other bow-tie examples from my collection - but in this 're-run' I will share more close-ups of the fabrics and some tips for successful scrap quilts.

I have it on a double bed. With the deep mattresses today, most vintage quilts need to bump down a size to work. It would be skimpy on a queen. (If you are making quilts from patterns in old books, be sure to double check the size of the bed you are using!)

5" blocks

Purchased last year in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a veritable catalog of fabrics largely from the 1950' including florals, stripes, geometrics, plaids, dots and novelty prints in a range of colors, scale and value.

Variety is the key

The diagrams below show two construction methods for this block. 

The following close-ups show that the maker of this quilt used the classic version. The 'knot' at the center (D) is a separate square sewn in using the "Y" seam method retaining the plaid or stripe where needed. In the Quick method the use of an overall print would work best.

For a successful scrap quilt be sure to include:

A range of SCALE

Small scale print floral

Large scale

 Interesting Geometrics/Plaids and Checks



 A range of VALUE- more important than the color itself:


Tone-on-Tone fabrics - They appear from a distance as a solid:

Novelty prints - identifiable objects:

Dogwood Blossoms


Botannical forms

Directional prints and stripes create movement:


A unifying fabric - a place to rest your eyes

 In this case, the plain white cotton used as the background for each bow-tie and the same plain white used in the border tie it all together.

What I love about scrap quilts besides the fact that they allow a maker to 'use up' leftover fabrics is that they invite you to take a longer look - delighting with first one fabric and then another as you move your eyes across it.

What is a scrap quilt, really?  Some guilds today require a specific number of different fabrics to be used in order to qualify in that category in their shows. Some say if you 'buy' the fabric specifically for the quilt that it's not a true scrap quilt......

Do you have 'scraps' piling up? 
Have you made a scrap quilt lately?


  1. Scrap quilts are my favorites. Most of the fabric I buy is on the clearance table, or in the remnants--or men's shirts. Now and then I make a more planned quilt from purchased yardage--but scrap quilts have my heart.
    This bowtie quilt is a great study in fabrics!

  2. scrap quilts are my favorite too!! and the one you posted is a beauty!! I need to spend a few more years of quilting before I can make a true scrap quilt new fabric in it, only scraps....I just don't have enough scraps to do it yet, but I do think that is the way to go, when you buy the "scraps" it becomes too planned and not as spontaneous

  3. Tim, You could expand your 'top' buying to include ones you could 'use for parts' on totally new creations...or the trimmings and unused blocks you have when you revamp tops!

  4. Janet - Men's shirts are great much fabric.

  5. What fun to get a look at all the wonderful prints in this quilt. Scrap quilts are my favorites, too. Somehow all those fabrics just work together, often in surprising ways.

  6. Scrap quilts one of my favorites, but to make myself, the one that scares me the most. Love your bowtie!


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