The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt Part 4 of 4!

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The embellishments! The add-ons! The bling! What ever you want to call them, it’s time to talk about the things I added to the finished quilt. Note: from this time onward, all stitching/securing/etc. is done by hand with a needle and thread.

I could almost rename this project to The Butterfly Quilt, you’ll see why as you keep reading.

Let’s start with the bottom right corner where I quilted undulating feathers in the long vertical white rectangle. I had this beautiful piece of ivory crochet to hand stitch on top. This method allows the quilt to look well quilted from the back without me quilting through the crocheted piece. After it was secured in place I was able to make a blue satin bow with long streamers to strategically place both on top and through the crochet openings as I worked my way down the block. Once the ribbon was placed and pinned, using a very fine beading needle and Nymo thread, I attached the white Ceylon beads to the ribbon being very careful to take tiny stitches so as not to show on the back of the quilt. After the beading, I added the butterfly applique piece

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018

Below you’ll see I’m adding both seed pearls and size 15 seed beads to the centers of the flowers. The trim piece is very flimsy and difficult to handle so as an experiment I secured it on top of a single layer of machine embroidery wash away stabilizer before the embellishing began. Yes it worked, but would I do it again? Not worth the trouble, time and effort.

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I think this crocheted piece below is fantastic, made even more so by dressing it up a bit with ivory satin ribbon and pearls.

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RhondaDort.com 2018

Below you’ll see I’m working on a very simple blue variegated crocheted circle. You’ve all seen the beautiful vintage crocheted pin cushions with the ribbon work around the outside? Well I decided to give it a try:

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In order not to accidentally pull the ribbon taut, I had to pin each “bump” as I worked my way around the circle.

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RhondaDort.com 2018

To give the piece a more vintage look, I pressed the ribbon flat after I secured the ends.

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I found a tiny 1/8″ wide ivory ribbon that I used to weave in and out of the open crocheted spaces in the medallion above.

And then it was off to the races with my wonderful embroidery machine aka a Janome 11000! Here I’m not even half way through stitching out a white free-standing Battenberg lace butterfly on wash away stabilizer.

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And 2 are finished:

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RhondaDort.com 2018

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RhondaDort.com 2018

So I experimented again, this time by stitching out a free-standing Battenberg lace heart onto clear water soluble wash away stabilizer. Success!

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And then the failure…the beautiful free-standing ivory lace 6″ heart below… Not free standing lace. Imagine the trauma of watching it all fall apart when I immersed it in water. All 1.5 hours of machine embroidery stitching.

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Another butterfly! This time a vintage hand crocheted blue and white variegated butterfly. There are 2 of these on the quilt.

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Here’s another new butterfly, this one new, paired with a vintage blue and white variegated crocheted flower. Do you know crochet generally has a front and a back side? This little blue flower has more color on the wrong side so that’s how I chose to stitch it on the quilt.

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More ribbon work, this time in white satin with the same white seed beads and a new heart applique.

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This new white butterfly applique does double duty: 1. it looks pretty, 2. it’s covering a torn part of the blue embroidery floss applique or button-hole stitched edge on the dresser scarf. In the early blog post 1 of 4 of this series you can easily see the problem area.

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Again, double bling below. The butterfly is one I machine embroidery stitched (again, free-standing lace) and the small ribbon rose…well, this is something totally different: I love lilies, especially Star Gazer Lilies.

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This has absolutely nothing to do with this quilt except when one is watering the lilies and unbeknownst to them they get a tiny fleck of the lily pollen on their fingernail and then touch their white quilt. Nothing known to man removes lily pollen. This little white ribbon rose hides this disaster. But if you think this is big, read on…

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Look down in the border and find the white lace trim another white ribbon rose, yep, another disaster covered with an embellishment. What happened this time? Well it gets even crazier! I was sitting on my saddle stool up to my Big Board hand stitching a few of the embellished pieces to the quilt.

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Imagine my horror when I realized that this border area touched the hydraulic lift part of the stool. Black hydraulic gunk on my white quilt! I made the next mistake of gently blotting with a tissue. That just drove the gunk deeper into the fabric. I cut my losses and immediately shifted my sewing activities elsewhere and stitched on the trim piece to cover the black mess.

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There are 2 Grandmother’s Flower Garden vintage blocks in the quilt and I felt the solid blue fabric was a bit too heavy. By adding new white applique pieces to each I was successful in “bringing down the color” to my liking.

RhondaDort.com 2018

RhondaDort.com 2018

Here’s the final bit of embellishing:

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Just the addition of some tiny blue, white and green seed beads made this piece fit the quilt. The cluster of vintage crocheted flowers with added pearl and seed bead centers finished this block nicely.

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This is it! The end of the final tutorial on how you can, if you break it down, go full speed ahead into making your own “Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt” no matter your color scheme.

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If you have a question, either email me or pose it in the comments section, I’ll try and respond quickly. If you’re already working on your own quilt or if you plan to start one soon, I’d love to see pictures!

You may realize the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey is fast approaching. I’m not sure how I feel about it…its been a horrible year, it’s been an awesome year. I read through my blog post following the storm and I find myself amazed at the outpouring of love from everyone. I cringe when there’s a heavy extended down pour of rain but I know it will pass in God’s perfect timing.

Thanks for reading and blessing to everyone!

Happy quilting,

Rhonda

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The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt, Part 3 of 4.

What’s not to love about sewing with a big cat on your lap… He was bugging me because he thought it was “kitty crack time”.

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This is another blog post loaded with pictures and it’s time to talk about the outside border. The scallops are custom sized to fit the space. Remember way back in the blog post tutorial of May 26, 2017 about how easy they are to create? I followed each step except I used the raw edge applique technique this time. Why? Because one of the swag fabrics had some girth to it and it would have been quite a bump with the raw edge folded under. The swag fabrics are new, purchased off the bolt at JoAnn Fabrics in their garment fabrics section.

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The circles at the top of each swag are cut from the damaged old Damask tablecloth you may remember from My Pink and Green Vintage Linens Quilt.

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Here are the quilting particulars of this project:

Before quilting it measured 72 x 88″, after quilting, 70 x 86. The back fabric is Moda double wide Classic 9952/11, the color is white. I used a single layer of Hobbs Tuscany Poly batting, Wonderfil Specialty Threads 100 weight Invisafil color 104 in the needle and Gutermann Skala color white in the bobbin. The quilting time was 56 hours. I cut the binding 2″ on the straight of grain, width of fabric. I had this piece appraised yesterday for replacement value, $2500.00.

Note: I usually always double batt my quilts but because the blocks were created on foundations of muslin, I chose not to add to the bulk/weight of the finished quilt. I’m very happy with the Tuscany Poly and the sense of depth and character achieved with the heavy quilting.

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I always, always, always Stitch in the Ditch (SID) my quilts. I do the entire project before any custom quilting takes place. For starters it secures/stabilizes the quilt sandwich, it solves the problem of potential quilt top shift during the quilting process and it serves to highlight each block and it reduces the involved rollers to just 2. This 2 roller thing is a big deal when it comes to moving a quilt back and forth while quilting.

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So with the SID work behind me I’m ready to begin the free motion quilting in the body of the quilt. I mark registration lines to give me either boundaries or guidance as to how I want a block quilted. I mark as I go rather than mark every block and then begin quilting. Why don’t I mark the whole quilt? Sometimes I have an idea, quilt it out and make an immediate decision never to do that again.

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Here’s a technique to “in a fashion” replicate a piece via quilting. I knew I did not want to do heavy quilting over this rectangle of circles so I laid it on the quilt top sandwich, pressed it gently with a steam iron which in turn transferred the general design shape to the surface beneath. Can you just make out the impressions left on the quilt top? Those impressions will guide how and where This block gets quilted. I used an acrylic circle template from Teryl Loy to quilt the uniform round shapes first. Side note: it you haven’t used any of her awesome templates, take a look at her website, she has great well thought out longarm quilting products.

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Once the circles were quilted, I drew both horizontal and vertical blue registration lines as boundaries for my feather circles.

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You can see that I needed to make some slight length adjustments to the feathering along each of the sides. At this point I knew I wanted to put a few embellishments on this piece of trim so I set it aside. Even if I didn’t want to embellish later, I would have not attached it to the quilt right now. It’s too easy to catch and tear things like this with the hopping foot of the longarm, ask me how I know… once the quilting is finished and the binding is on I will stitch this piece down by hand using that wonderful Wonderfil thread.

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Here’s another example of how I mark blocks for quilting. I hardly ever stitch the stem lines on feathering so you’ll see them just drawn on the block below. But also notice the dotted lines. This is my notation of where I plan to stop the feather plumes. By using a dotted line  I usually don’t get confused about what is a stem line and what it a stop line. Usually…

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Can you see below where I’ve stopped the “reach” of the feather at the dotted line: If you look closely you can also see where I messed up and used the dotted line as a stem designator… would you have noticed it I hadn’t pointed it out? Use this as a reminder to not fret the small stuff.

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This next picture demonstrates how sometimes I don’t let my blocks determine where the continuous quilting starts and stops. The left most block is made up of 2 scraps sewn together and the right block is a vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden block machine appliqued to a bleached muslin background. My quilting started in the bottom right, meandered left, crossing the block seam line, and then up the left side and back to the right.

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Below you’ll find one of my favorite blocks. I love french (and Colonial) knots and this dresser scarf had plenty of white french knots. I let the scarf and the embroidery determine my quilting.

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Like I said, one of my favorites:

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So when do I want to quilt right on top of a piece of vintage crochet? There are three “stars” below. See the top one? It’s not been quilted. The bottom two now have depth and character. The quilting makes the crocheted design pop in this instance.

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This butterfly and flower dresser scarf is also a favorite. For embroidery, I pretend it is applique and I stitch in the ditch around each motif. Once that work was finished the open white space needed to be filled so I chose to quilt replicas of the flowers and leaves and then you’ll see I quilted tiny little leaves on vines among the blue lines in the bottom right.

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And the Basket Block… Visually this is quite a heavy block compared to the others in the quilt. I auditioned it throughout the making of the quilt top and it finally found it’s home at the bottom right. The bullion knots are hefty. Hefty enough I knew quilting on or through them would be a disaster. It look quite a bit more time and effort to give the appearance that the feather wreath is continuous, but it’s not. I had to do many stop and starts in order to not quilt atop the bullions and the basket.

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Here’s a closeup showing I quilted directly over the blue embroidered line but around the bullion flowers. This is a great example of how the Invisafil thread takes on the color of what’s beneath it.

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When you’re searching for tools to determine registration lines, don’t overlook your 1/4″ acrylic quilting templates. I’m using this one to only draw a curved line. It’s perfect!

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While I forgot to take a pictures, I used a long Curved Cross-hatch acrylic quilting template to draw the curved lines below the swag. Here’s another picture of a goof. Can you pick it out? I had a lot of in-picking to do when I had to remove the left side feathers under the swag. I followed the wrong blue line the first time I quilted them. The next picture shows them quilted properly.

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And finally, on my borders outer edge I did 1/4″ parallel lines:

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I’ve included lots of pictures of the quilting of the border, I love how it turned out.

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The next blog post about this quilt will be the final tutorial in this series. It will detail all the add ons and embellishing that happened to finish this piece.

***What would my blog be without a house update! The repairs to the roof were finally accomplished! We have a steel shingle roof that has the appearance of slate. It has a life time warranty. A warranty that doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t find anyone to make some repairs. But I digress… it’s fixed!

Remember way back when I told you it takes 8-12 weeks to get 2 lazy boy recliners? Well lo and behold, they are scheduled for delivery this Thursday! We will bid a fond farewell to the recliner lawn chairs, they served us well.

In other quilty news, my piece titled: My Vintage Linens Quilt was accepted into the juried Quilts: A World of Beauty for the Fall 2018 Houston Quilt Festival. img_0197.jpg

And I entered this piece into the MQX Midwest Show, hope it is accepted, I should know in the next week or two.

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Right now my plans for Fall Festival 2018: I will be doing demo’s in a Vintage Linens Vendor Booth. More info to come as the details are ironed out, but needless to say I’m excited for the opportunity!

Whew, enough of this post! It’s gone on forever! So until next time, be blessed and happy quilting!

Rhonda

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The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt, Part 2 of 4.

Part 2 of 4 is all about the right side of the quilt! Here’s the finished quilt with most of the new pieces marked with the red stars. In my last blog post we covered the left side of the quilt, top to bottom. Today we’re going to do the same with the other side. Are you ready?

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Section 5

This is Section 5, the upper right side. This is also one of the few sections made up entirely of vintage pieces. Starting with the upper left side, we have a small (4×9″) portion of a table covering, a piece of pale ivory lace (4×9″) and half, (10×18″) of a beautiful blue and white dresser scarf below. See the piece to the left of the vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden block? One of the blocks in Section 4 had a bit of embroidered areas left after I cut it to size. I merely joined those 2 left over pieces to create an entirely new block. It’s not obvious is it? Keep this in mind before you discard anything, sometimes bits can easily be joined to create something new! The rectangle piece beneath, I don’t know… I suppose it could be part of an antimacassars set? A small dresser doily? Whatever its original purpose, I think it works very well in my quilt.

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Section 6

This is Section 6. The bluebird doily is vintage as is the rectangle block to its right where I took 2 pieces of white-ish old lace, laid them curved sides together and machine stitched them to the bleached muslin foundation. The next 2 pieces, top and bottom are new. The top piece is from my embroidery machine, I added the lace around the 4 sides. Beneath this piece is new straight off the bolt beautiful fabric from the now permanently closed Hancock Fabrics. I wove the blue ribbon in the cut-outs of the fabric. The rightmost piece is again, a beautiful vintage doily.

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Section 7

Welcome to Section 7. We only have 2 more sections to go after this one before the quilt top is completed. The top left long-long-long rectangle block measures 6×22! I really had to do some diagram adjusting to make this piece fit. On its right is a 4×6″ piece of vintage lace and finally a 4×12″ block of the most beautiful lace/trim/adornment ever! It is not symmetrical. You’ll see the top edge is not straight light the bottom edge. This is a piece I could have never ever cut so I’m glad I could use it in its entirely. (Note: this piece was moved over to the left side of the quilt during the quilting process.) Bottom row left has a 6×10″ piece of what may have been a curtain/window treatment and the doily in blue and green is an end of a dresser scarf. Next you’ll find a 2×10″ piece of hand crocheted trim and then a new hexagon shape from my embroidery machine. Beneath the hexagon is a plain bleached muslin rectangle and then a 4×4″ vintage lace panel piece.

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Section 8

Hello Section 8! Are you confident yet in knowing you can take vintage pieces and easily mix them with new? Starting at the top left we have a vintage beautiful blue pillow case, part of the hand crocheted piece we used in a section on the left side of the quilt, a new white on white embroidery from my machine and then an equally beautiful piece of blue embroidery. Measuring 10×14″ this may have been a tray cloth? On the far left we’ve got another piece of that table covering and a darling childs pillow case that measures 4×16″ finishes this section.

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Section 9

Are you still with me? This is the final part, Section 9! Beginning on the left, a 8×12″ new-ish Battenburg guest towel with a 4×8″ new machine embroidery ivory piece below. The next area has 2 different vintage laces, the top measuring 4×6″, the bottom at 4×10″. Moving to the right, the top 4×12″ rectangle is 2 pieces of vintage lace placed with scalloped edges touching and stitched in place on the foundation. The Basket… I auditioned this basket in almost every section as I created them. I finally realized that it was so “visually heavy” it had to go on the bottom edge. It balances nicely in this position. To its right is a 6×16″ beautiful piece of vintage crochet.

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Right side of the quilt top

Whew! We’ve covered each of the 9 sections in great detail. Success (for me) came from the “Divide and Conquer” method. Had I set out to create this quilt without a diagram I would have been at a loss as to where to start. Don’t give yourself a monumental task, break it down into managable goals, or in my case, 9 managable goals. Again, many thanks to Andrea for creating a very usable/adaptable diagram that is well laid out and easy to use! You can keep scrolling down to my post of 7/1 to see Andrea’s diagram if you’ve forgotten what it looks like.

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Here’s the quilt top with all the sections laid together on the design wall. We’ve come a long way since the previous post!

Are you planning to create a quilt using this 4 part tutorial? Yes? Well please send pictures so we can all see what you’re doing. With your permission I’ll post your pics and we can all be inspired! Do you have questions? Bring them on, if you’re wondering about something, chances are so are others.

Next post, part 3 of 4, will be all about adding the borders and quilting! There’s nothing I love more than the quilting part! I took 10,000 pictures so get ready!

Lisa, have you started your quilt???

Here’s my thought for the day: “Any day spent in the sewing room is a good day!” Today I spent the biggest part of the day in mine!

*** Huge house update! Sunday (July 15) the roofers finished with the Hurricane Harvey repairs! Can I tell you that’s 321 days ago!!! Now that the roof’s repaired, the contractor can come back and fix the dining room wall. Once the wall is spackled, sanded and painted I can begin putting the dining room together! Can I also tell you I ordered furniture last Wednesday for the family room. I’m told to expect it to arrive in about 8 weeks. This means that we will be past the 1 year Hurricane Harvey anniversary! Who would have ever thought it would take this long, but God is good and so are we!

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Oh, and I survived the Juvenile Delinquents, aka the chickens…

Happy quilting and blessings to all,

Rhonda

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The Making of the Blue and White Mostly Vintage Linens Quilt, Part 1 of 4.

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I say “mostly” because this was an exercise in combining both new and old pieces into a single quilt. When I speak to groups one of the most common comments I hear is something like: But I don’t have all those beautiful old things and don’t know where to find them. Here’s proof you don’t need a huge stash of vintage linens to create a beautiful quilt.

In the picture below, with a red star, I’ve identified almost every new piece in this project:

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If my counting skills are sharp, there are at least 25 new items in this quilt. But how did I start this project? If you’ve read any of my past blog posts you might have seen the tutorial on the making of the Pink and Green Vintage Linens quilt. I used a wonderful quilt block layout by Andrea of http://www.mouseinmypocket.com. She has generously given me (us) permission to use her layout. If you’re going to go forward with her design, it would be great to drop her a line or two of thanks!

Below is the layout from Andrea’s web site.

Scan 1

What are the numbers in each unit? They are the finished size of each block. So right away your “quilty antenna” should be going crazy. Did you catch that: Finished Size!!! That means each and every single time you reference one of the numbers, you MUST add 1/2″ to the numbers!!! For example: look at all the 4’s. You know that really means 4 1/2 x 4 1/2″ right? If you forget your seam allowances you’re in big trouble! What about the units that are not easy squares like all the 4’s? Look at the 2×10 units. They are actually 2 1/2 x 10 1/2″ blocks. Get yourself into the frame of mind that you double, maybe even triple check before you cut! Think: SEAM ALLOWANCES!

Here’s my adaptation:

Scan 2

So what’s happened with my adaptation? I’ve marked off the diagram into sections, 1-9 (see the numbers circled in red),  I’ve labeled where I’m thinking many of my linens, etc. will be used,  I’ve changed up the block layout within each segment to meet my needs and I’ve totally revamped segment #4.

While you’re at it, using pencil, write your ideas for what pieces to use where. Then, take a piece of paper, write the Section number and block size down and straight pin it to the piece you’re going to use. This way you won’t get confused and try and use the same piece two or three times… like that would EVER happen to anyone…

It’s all about divide and conquer! And why did I totally revamp section #4? A number of reasons: I had a large piece I wanted to use and I wanted to avoid all the Set-In seams. What’s a Set-In seam? Here’s a pretty good link: How to sew a set-in seam

But, let’s start with section #1 and the design wall.

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Section #1

From the top left: guest (hand) towel, pillowcase, old dresser scarf,  new machine embroidered cross stitch design framed (Doily also new, cut into 4 quarters) ivory hand crocheted doily, hand crocheted white piece, blue cross stitch dresser scarf, vintage ivory oval doily and finally, new machine embroidered heart with old trim sewn along the bottom edge. See the top right edge of the large blue cross stitch? See where the edge is torn. I don’t care because later a new white butterfly will cover this problem area. Don’t fret the problem areas. Think of them as opportunities for adornments/distractors/etc.

If you’re comfortable with your block placement, sew them together and pat yourself on the back!

What about Section #2?

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Sections 1 & 2

With these close up pictures, I’m seeing a few new things I did not get marked with a red star. Starting at the top left of Section #2, the white embroidered piece is straight from my embroidery machine, as is the little ivory piece to its right. The middle piece is from a table runner and Home Sweet Home; well, straight from the Goodwill. When I bought it for $2.50 it was hot glued into a wooden round embroidery hoop. Once released from captivity, I trimmed away all the glue, used a circle template to cut it to perfect shape and added a bit of beautiful ivory hand crocheted trim around the edge. The bottom right piece is a guest hand towel.

This is a good time for a break to talk about the Vintage Linens Quilt Police: they exist only in your imagination. Don’t be hampered by thinking there are Vintage Linen rules. Do I have a few personal rules? Yes. I won’t cut up a fabulously beautiful “perfect in every way” piece, I generally abhor fusibles with vintage pieces and… I can’t think of anything else. For you: the pieces are yours. You can do with them as you please. You don’t need permission from anyone else because the pieces are not theirs. Ok, enough said.

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Section #3

From left to right: new off white lace, rectangle section of a small damaged tablecloth, a vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt block, a filler block of bleached muslin, new Morning Glory machine embroidery using variegated blue/white embroidery thread (I embroidered this onto a vintage pillowcase that already had a small line of variegated blue/white handwork), another piece a vintage panel lace and finally, a small filler lace at the bottom. For the Flower Garden quilt block, I  machine appliqued it to a square of bleached muslin fabric before I began to set the section blocks together.

Are you with me so far? See how breaking down the quilt top into 9 Sections makes the task seem so much more manageable? If you concentrate on each section at a time you don’t feel so overwhelmed at creating an entire quilt top from bits and pieces. If you scroll way back to the top you can also see from the diagrams that sections 1-4 are sewn together to form the left side of the quilt and sections 5-9 make up the right side. Easy-peasy!

 

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Section #4

We’re now at the bottom section of the left side! Section 4 begins with the bottom edge of an ivory guest hand towel, a vintage Aida (I think…) piece of trim, a new blue and green machine embroidered heart with new white lace trim added, a vintage dresser scarf, the edge of an all white dresser scarf, a piece of beautiful light ivory trim and finally, a blue flowered small dresser scarf/doily.

 

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Say this with gusto: “Taaa-Daaaa!” The left side of the Blue and White Vintage Linens Quilt is complete!

Now that you’ve read thus far, do you have some ideas for your project? You can see that not every block has to be “The Star of the Show”. You need a mix for the eye to travel around your quilt. You need some blocks that pop and others what recede and “read” as plain. In other words, your eye need somewhere to rest as it travels the quilt top. What you do need to keep in mind is visual balance and that’s where your smart phone or digital camera comes in handy. It’s easy to snap a picture and look at it to see if your arrangement is visually heavy and/or light in certain areas. If you really want to get picky, revise your photo to black and white for ready reference to balance.

Do you have an embroidery machine, does your sewing machine have an embroidery module? Does a really good friend have either one? Can you see how the sky’s the limit when you take into consideration the adding of new pieces with vintage pieces to create a beautiful quilt? I hope I’ve opened your eyes to the countless ways to take what you have in your stash and add to it! Now here’s the upright and mature part, just make sure you don’t try to pass off your mix of old and new as totally vintage, because honestly, not too many people would be able to tell the difference!

Part 2 of 4 will come in a few days. I’m taking care of the daughter and son-in-law homestead once again, this time it’s only the chickens and watering the garden. The 5 chickens are juvenile delinquents. They don’t like me, they don’t mind and are in general, a nuisance, but right now they are my grandchickens and I will try and love them. 🙂

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***House update: the construction repairs are complete! Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow! It has been 10 months and 3 days since Hurricane Harvey and the flood waters came to visit. It seem like yesterday, it seems like years! Here’s another jaw dropper: when ordering from LazyBoy, it takes 2-3 months for chairs to arrive. Seriously, what do they do, harvest the polyester and weave the cloth!

So what do you do if you really what to watch television and don’t want to sit on the floor? You ask your awesome son-in-law or order 2 reclining lawn chairs!

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They are amazingly comfortable, and will probably be even more so when I venture out to the store to buy a couple of chaise lounge pads!

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot!!! I have a new BFFWALVL! That stands for Best Friends Forever Who Also Loves Vintage Linens! This is Lisa and she works at Quilter’s Crossing in Tomball, TX. A wonderful fabulous quilt shop!!!!! Stop in and tell her you saw her here in this blog post! And then spend several hundred dollars while you’re there!!!  🙂

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Until next time, blessings to each of you and of course: Happy Quilting!

Rhonda

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Machine Quilters Showcase New England!

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The spring 2018 Machine Quilters Showcase New England, Manchester, NH was awesome! I am so humbled that 3 of my quilts were juried into competition and amazed that my Vintage Handkerchiefs took a 3rd Place ribbon in the New Traditions in Textiles category!

New Traditions in Textiles  Sponsored by ABM / Innova
3rd Place           Vintage Handkerchiefs by Rhonda Dort
2nd Place          Solitaire by Bethanne Nemesh
1st Place           Mesa Verde Cliff Palace by Kathy Adams and Joanne Baeth

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Wondering how the entries were judged? Here’s the judging sheet for Vintage Handkerchiefs:

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The other 2 entries and their judging sheets were:

Roses:

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and My Pansy Doily Quilt:

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Why am I showing you the quilts and their judging sheets? I want you to know what judges are looking for in a quilt show dedicated to the art of machine quilting. Now that you know there’s no mystery, why don’t you consider entering 1 or 2 of your quilts into the next show? Sure it’s scary the first time you enter, but once that’s behind you, the sky’s the limit!

I flew into Boston on Wednesday. My sweet travel agent/chauffeur/quilt show companion and all around awesome friend Kathryn (accompanied by my new friend Jill) picked me up at Logan and it was “off to the races!” Our first stop was at the historical Wayside Inn where we had a fantastic lunch:

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We had to said goodbye to Jill after lunch as we were headed to Manchester, NH to the MQX, needing to be at the show venue by 6 pm for the Awards Ceremony.

Thursday (the entire day!) was spent at the show and can I just say the true masters of machine quilting were represented in the amazing quilts. I was so inspired by every piece hanging!

Congratulations to Janet-Lee and Mary, they hosted an awesome show! I know countless hours and many sleepless nights went into the production, their 22nd (or was it 23rd?) show!

Friday found Kathryn and I headed for Center Harbor, NH to shop at Keepsake Quilting and my-oh-my did they have the fabric!

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We stopped for a fantastic lunch at the Lakeside Deli & Grill in Meredith on Lake Winnipesaukee.

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Leaving Meredith, we set out for Henniker, NH to the Quilted Threads quilt shop. What a beautiful and well stocked quilt shop! 3 levels of shopping, classrooms and fabulous Bernina machines of all kinds.

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Our last quilt stop of the day was to The Quilted Crow in Bolton, MA. This proved to be a devastating shop-to my wallet… they had the most wonderful selection of fabrics, many of which came back to Houston with me.

Our final stop on Friday was a lovely dinner at Arturo’s Ristorante, Westborough, MA where “Mr. Kathryn” joined us. I was really wanting to speak out loud about my dislike of the Patriots but Mr. Kathryn told me I could easily be booted out the front door by the crowd around us. I pretty much kept my mouth shut… 🙂  If I’d known the Philly Eagles fight song I might have hummed it throughout the meal… just saying…

Saturday we spent the day running here and there, a book store so I’d have something to read on the plane that evening, a fantastic fabric store, lunch at Legal Seafood, a quick tour of part of the route for the Monday Boston Marathon and then it was off to pick up Mr. Kathryn who drove us to the airport for a 5:04 flight that actually left at 6:24 and arrived in Houston way way way behind schedule 😦

It was a wonderful whirlwind trip! Kathryn drove the entire time as I was tanked up on cold meds., she planned the entire trip and I thank her so very much for everything! We are already plotting and scheming out next adventure.

Oh, and a big thank you to Sandra Soni (on the right) as she found me Wednesday evening and here’s our picture together on Thursday afternoon! She’s a fellow FB QuiltingVintage member! Such a super sweet new quilting friend!!

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The next MQX is in Springfield, IL, Sept. 27-30, 2018. You’ll want to attend!

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting!

Rhonda

***Of course, what would my blog be if I didn’t give a house update! We are 7.5 months post-flood and while I was away the Master Bedroom closets were finished! Remember the 6 windows that were delivered and only 2 were correct? The remaining 4 are scheduled to arrive Tuesday. The kitchen is scheduled to undergo the necessary repairs and painting maybe next week. We may very well be finished with the house by June. I will be thrilled!

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Feature artist/blog: Sarah Lizzies Handmade

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This woman is to blame! After stumbling on her blog (via Pinterest) a few years ago, my creativity headed in a whole new direction, my spare time was spent searching for that perfect vintage whatever, my pocketbook began its downward spiral and sleep became random.

Her blog is such a joy to read. I’m thinking that if she stopped being creative with her hands, her words alone would likely pay the bills.

I am in awe of creative “think outside the box” individuals and she’s definitely one of those people! She has a name by the way, it’s Kim. She has no idea I’m featuring her in my blog today. Gosh I hope she’s good with this!

If you have a minute, or two, or ten thousand, click on the underlined link above and spend some time in Tasmania. For the geographically challenged, Tasmania is at the southernmost tip of Australia.

The link is above. For some reason I cannot get the font to be dark blue 😦

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I have been introduced to this island by her blog because not only is she genius when it comes to creativity, she’s a mighty fine photographer to boot.

So, I was afraid of hexagons until I found this picture, the rest is history as they say…

I immediately began planning what would be my first embellished hexagon quilt. In the States (for quilting) we measure hexagon sizes by the length of an individual side. If I had to guess I would say these hexagons might have 6-7″ sides? And just look at those fabulous pillows! Vintage linen pillows!

This picture above was the inspiration for my small piece titled: Basket of Flowers. Thank you Kim! And feast your eyes on this awesome basket in the pic below! Wow!

How many people do you know that wake up one day and say to themselves “I think I’ll cut apart a perfectly good book and paste the pages on a few wall in my home”?

Her garden pictures are sublime, her sense of composition are wonderful and she has taught me about her family, her town, her country, her talents and most of all she has taught me to stretch my creativity.

Thanks Kim!

Happy Quilting and Happy Creating and Blessings,

Rhonda

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***house update: 6 replacement custom windows (ordered months and months ago) were delivered to the house on Tuesday. The window installers came on Thursday. Only 2 were correct… 4 have to be remade… Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and just about everything from that dreadful hurricane has been, well, just crazy!

 

 

Vintage Linens Quilt #2; the final tutorial, Part 5!

Ta-Da! It’s finished!

I’m going to take you through the entire quilt and give you some quilting pointers, some do’s and don’ts based on me getting to know my seam ripper much better. Get ready, there are more than 35 pictures below with lots of words to go with them!

I set out to quilt a theme in this quilt: Hearts and Feathers. I had such fun with this piece for a couple of reasons. For starts, I love quilting feathers and…I honestly didn’t like this quilt top all that much so I wasn’t on pins and needles about getting everything perfect! Now that’s it’s finished, it’s one of my favorites!

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First let me show you how little things can make such a nice difference. Look at the arrows on the pic below. The black arrow points to feathers stitched in the traditional manner and the red arrow points to the feathers stitched with a simple vein in the middle of each individual plume.

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Just this simple addition to the feathers give them depth, definition and character:

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Is the pic big enough that you can see the parallel lines at the outside of the ivory swags? Super simple, very dramatic method of quilting the edge of a piece. Now, don’t get any idea that the parallel lines 1/4” apart go quickly, they don’t but I think they’re worth the time.

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When you’re quilting or telling your quilter what you’d like, keep in mind that seams/fabric changes can be completely ignored when it comes to quilting designs/motifs. See how the hearts below span both the pink polka dot as well as the solid light pink and right above the top heart, notice how the undulating feathers cross over both the ivory with the tiny rosebud and the mint green floral. Don’t ever feel you’re confined by your seams/fabric changes.

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But how did that quilting get beneath the big horizontal ivory linen and crochet piece above?  I un-tacked the corners of the crochet, folded them into the center and quilted underneath. Once the quilting was finished, I folded back the crochet, tacked it back into place. Here’s an example of a don’t: see the horizontal and vertical lines on the hearts in the above pic…had I thought through my process completely I might have realized that diagonal lines would have been a better choice. The quilting lines, as they are, accentuate the fact that they are askew with the fabric seam lines. The top heart lines are ok, the bottom heart lines look wonky.

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Speaking of quilting, you’ll see when you mix things up you create a quilting visual interest/tension by sometimes staying within a fabric such as the pink heart and the feather wreath to its left.

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The sweet blue ribboned floral bouquet below gets lots of attention with the tiny orange peel background fill.

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Just to add some visual interest I quilted diagonal parallel lines in the pink print fabric below. What the pictures don’t show is that I diagonal line quilted all the plaid fabric also. And how about that beautiful ladies vintage handkerchief? It was the perfect background for a half feather wreath within a half feather wreath.

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See the sweethearts Juan and Juanita below? How could I not quilt hearts on the lower left and right open areas of their block! And can you see I took liberties with the doily and quilted additional vining branches and leaves into the design?

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The medium ivory vertically placed trim next to the turquoise fabric was quilted down on all edges except the left side leaves. I left them free of any quilting.

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I was undecided about whether or not to quilt directly on the laces, trims, crochet pieces and the tatting so I did a variety of things. Some crochet long strips were heavily quilted, all the light weight laces were heavily quilted, the tatting was quilted, the ivory crocheted heart was also quilted but the dark ivory hand crocheted glove was not. I machine (think crazy tiny) zig-zagged the outer edge of the glove and quilted feathers all around the outside. From the front it looked great. From the back it looked awkward…there was this large un-quilted hand on the back of the quilt. 😦 kind of like I forgot to quilt a large area.

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I un-stitched the glove, drew a diagonal grid in the void and quilted a tiny orange peel design.  The blue box below shows the “after”.  Needless to say,  I was much happier!

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How about that “googly-eyed” butterfly! Eyes the size of nickels and 6 antennae! Crazy but I like it! I quilted directly on the butterfly. This block is another good example of quilting straying successfully over fabric seams.

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I’ve got a few cross-stitch pieces in this project. I quilted straight lines along each edge of the cross-stitch so that the flower and leaves puffed out. See how the center veins in the feathers gives them character and depth.

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Such a dilemma with the tatting. I finally decided to quilt directly on and over the tatting and if it looked bad, well, my seam ripper was close by.

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This large handkerchief below was in just OK shape but you’d never know it with all the quilting. Keep in mind when working on a vintage linens project that the quilting can be a wonderful distraction from less than perfect pieces.

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What do you do if you have a nice crocheted edge that you want to stay loose and free of quilting stitches? Home Depot to the rescue with blue painter’s tape!

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Here’s a quick look at a small portion of the back. (The yellow cast in areas of the pictures is just due to my novice picture taking abilities.)

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So what did I do with this “already pretty visually active” quilt top? I  intentionally quilted the living daylights out of it. Does it distract or add visual interest? You be the judge with the before and after pics below.

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If you’re still with me and are making your own Vintage Linens Quilt top, take a chance and quilt your project yourself! It will be a great way to practice and a great memories will be made!

The particulars: Backing fabric is Moda 995211 white, 100% cotton, 120″ wide. This time I used only 1 layer of batting: Hobbs Tuscany Poly, white. The needle thread: Wonderfil Deco Bob color #104, bobbin thread: Guttermann Skala 240 color #800. Total quilting time: 38.5 hours.

Why only 1 layer of batting this time? Remember that I created each block on a foundation of muslin. This is essentially like having a double layer quilt top. It was heavy and I felt like a double layer of batting would be too much.

From tutorial #4 someone asked how I handle all the little tears, shreds, holes, etc. in the vintage pieces. As a general rule I acknowledge I am not creating a utility quilt to be used as warmth on a bed. I make my pieces to be teaching tools as I guest lecture, as examples to accompany my blog posts or as show pieces. Unless the damage is severe I ignore the problem areas and leave them as evidence of their use for which they were created. When it’s time to quilt I specifically use a dense technique where necessary with the idea of further securing the damaged area(s) with the stitching.

So many of you have asked such great questions! Keep them coming! Thank you!! And of course thank you so much for all the kind words about the loss of my youngest sister.

House update: windows are scheduled to be delivered (and maybe installed?) on Thursday! Woo hoo! Progress!

Additionally a bit of exciting news: I have 3 pieces juried into the MQX New England! (I can’t find a full pic right now of the first one.) The show begins the evening of April 11th and runs through the 14th.

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting!

Rhonda

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