Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another 'small' Top Completed - Dutchy 4 Patch

Here's another little Pennsylvania 'Dutch' project I made in my February 'theme'.

I chose a simple 4 patch to experiment with these colors. It's 'outside of the box' for me and for that reason was really fun to do.

20" x 24"

It's so much fun to say something is 'done'. I say it at each stage along the quilt creation highway.., " I'm done cutting those blasted triangles" or "At last the top is done". But as our realtor once said about houses - there's Sold and there's Sold/Sold. Only the latter is meaningful in that business.

To be Done/Done in the quilt world a  top needs to be quilted or tied, bound and labeled. Sorry fellow quilters, but as Edith Ann would say, "That's the truthhh!"
(if you don't get that you are too young to remember Lily Tomlin's character, Edith Ann. Here's a clip)

So. Yes. I do realize these small tops I'm crashing out will need to be quilted and  I love that part of the process, too, but right now I'm having so much fun making them I just can't stop. I promise I'll share them again when they are Done/Done!

Vintage Inspirations

Isn't this fabulous? Look how the maker alternated pink and yellow backgrounds for her 4 patch blocks. 
It currently belongs to Ann Hermes of Pennsylvania.....but it could belong to you! When I asked permission to use the picture in my blog she told me it is actually for sale right now on her Etsy site. I agreed to pass that information along to my blog followers. Take a look at her blog, too.
Crib Size
Crib Size

This little quilt was published in Miniature Quilt Ideas magazine in 2005. Does it look familiar; green sashing, pink and yellow alternating background fabrics.....?
(Hint: Made by Ann Hermes)

Mini - as seen by my thumb!
Made by Ann Hermes 

This tiny treasure was in the AQSG Silent Auction in New Jersey last fall. 

Did one of you win it?

Recommended reading for more about Pennsylvania style quilts:

 Quilting Traditions by Patricia Herr 

Quilts; The Fabric of Friendship, with quilts from the York County, PA quilt documentation project. 

        Thanks for Visiting 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thrift Store Fabric Finds - Shirtings

I got a couple of great shirts from Saver's at 50%  off today. Inexpensive to start with, shopping on additional discount days almost makes me feel guilty. Almost.
100% cotton shirts are plentiful in the men's department.  I start my hunt in the XXL section - the more fabric the better!  The back of this great plaid measures 26" x 27"; the perfect backing for a small quilt I have in mind and I'll still have the fronts and sleeves leftover.

This one will also work perfectly for an upcoming small quilt.

This is not a new habit. For years I've haunted thrift stores and church rummage sales where the last day is usually bag day..... and believe me, you can get lots of cotton shirts into a brown paper sack.
Here are some others from previous shopping trips....

My bin is stuffed full

Here's what I do with them after washing so they are ready to use. Cut the sections apart....here's a sleeve.
Fold neatly and store...until you have to dig through the bin and then all bets are off.

I cut this assortment into strips for use in repairing a log cabin quilt.

You don't think I'd throw the buttons, do you?
I string them onto a piece of the cuff

I don't limit myself to shirts. Jeans are another favorite re-use textile; denim or corduroy. I'll show you those some other time!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating Love

Happy Valentine's Day!
I couldn't resist posting the few things I've made with a heart theme.

This little pillow....a simple old-fashioned redwork embroidery.....

and a raggedy hearts wall quilt.

I bet many of you have made this one, too.It's done in the same way as the Bull's Eye quilt I posted here except with heart shapes instead of circles. It goes much faster as a group project as you get a great variety of red prints. Machine applique a large red heart on a neutral background (raw edge) Cut into fourths and re-assemble for the scrappy look. Wash and dry it - the raw edges fluff up nicely.

Potholder from an extra block

There is a Facebook page called Quilts-Vintage and Antique. Many beautiful antique quilts with heart motifs have been posted over the last few days. If you are interested, visit the site here.

Tell someone you love them today!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More Vintage Pink and Green

I was fortunate to visit a friend today with, shall we say,  a 'rather large' collection of quilts....and guess what I spied?

So before we move on....

Acquired at a recent AQSG silent auction

Fragment - two blocks of a once larger quilt

Backing and raw edge

This one adds a white shirting to the combo

Great block, don't you think?

Today's quiltmakers can look to vintage quilts for inspiration in color, design, and quilting ideas
If you are saying, "I don't like pink and green", consider working with the designs in fabrics and colors of your own choice.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another 'Small' Quilt Top Done - PA Pink and Green

15" x 17"

Here's my latest 'small' quilt; the first in a series.
You may remember that February is my month to play with fabrics and styles typical of many early Pennsylvania 'Dutch' quilts...nothing whatsoever to do with Holland - but rather a simplification over the years of 'Deutsch' or German. Examples date predominantly from the mid 1800's into the early part of the twentieth century and are characterized by the use of bright colors (red, green, yellow, orange etc)  and the absence or minimal use of white, tan and other more commonly used neutrals. Light blue,  yellow, red, 'cheddar'  - all may be used as backgrounds giving these quilts what some consider a gaudy appearance. The late great Cinda Cawley once said that in Pennsylvania orange IS a neutral!

I combined features of two quilts in Great Little Quilts by Eleanor Levie. If you have the book take a look at  pp. 97-99. If you don't and you love small quilts I saw several copies on Amazon.com at ridiculous prices. In it are 45 antique crib and doll quilts with directions. I don't know the author and have no affiliation. Nor do I necessarily follow the directions! I like the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't look of both Broken Dishes and Pinwheel blocks.

I used both the front and back of the green print when I discovered the back was lighter and a bit more lime-y.

I used a few different pinks as well.

These little things are so much fun to put together I think it could become addictive!  I've decided to call them 'smalls' rather than doll quilts as there are so many ways they can be used.

A few vintage examples

I saw this small quilt at one of the AQSG seminar vendors in Ohio in 2006. Perhaps one of you owns it now!

The design looks complex but is just simple Sawtooth Stars set diagonally. The maker alternated the color placement of the pieced star and the background. You'll notice she didn't get it exactly right when putting it together....but isn't that the kind of thing that makes us study it a bit longer? And smile?
The borders and the little appliqued leaves floating around the edges and those tiny hearts in two corners add a nice touch.

Close-up of above example
IQSC Collection
15" x 15"

Ann Hermes has a great collection of vintage Pennsylvania textiles.
Here are two  pillowcases she shared at the AQSG seminar in New Jersey last year.
In case you find yourself wanting to whip up a little quilt like mine - in your own color choices.....here's how I did my triangle units.

Tutorial - Easy Triangle Units
1. Cut two squares about 1" larger than you want the finished unit. Specific math directions say 7/8" but I find they can get kind of out of shape - you may not sew a scant enough seam or whatever..... so I like to just add an inch and it keeps the math simple, too.

2. Draw a pencil line diagonally across the back of the lighter one.

3. Place them right sides together, pin and sew a scant 1/4" on each side of that drawn line.

4. Cut on the pencil line
You now have two identical units.

Because I added a bit more than technically needed when I cut the initial square, I now need to trim them to the precise size I want. In this case just a sliver -  less than 1/8" - came off most of them...

Be sure you line up three things when trimming.
1.That yellow 90 degree line on your ruler must be exactly along the diagonal seam. Being right handed, I line up the bottom left corner.Now position it so that both the
2.left side and the
3. bottom side read the same - 2 1/4" in this case.
Then you trim only two edges; the right and the top.

Thanks for Visiting!

Oh. I almost forgot....
 Amish Quilts and the Welsh Connection arrived today!