Vintage Linens Quilting Retreats in 2021!

I’m so excited to announce two Vintage Linens Retreats for 2021! The dates? July 8-11 and Dec. 1-4. The very idea of maybe, just maybe getting back to normal makes my heart happy and wouldn’t it be fun to work with Christmas themed vintage linens at the December event!

Each retreat will each feature 3 projects, the Pink and Green Vintage Linens quilt:

The Vintage Handkerchief quilt:

And Saving the Cutter Quilt project. Below you’ll find several pictures of examples. But what’s a cutter quilt? I think it is a quilt best described as worn, torn, tattered, stained. A quilt in very sad shape but worthy of saving.

The 1914 Boehm House in Moulton, Tx is the perfect venue to work with vintage linens and quilts. The beautiful 3 story Victorian home converted into a retreat center is very welcoming, comfortable and ready for your reservation!

Get in touch with Anita, her email is: info@1914BoehmHouse.com or you can find her phone number in the picture above.

Here are a few pictures from a previous retreat, we had a blast!

Check your calendar, make a call, send an email, just get in touch with Anita and book your adventure! I’m looking forward to teaching again this year! See you there!

Rhonda

Class 3: Adding Sashing to Hexagons

Have you been following the free classes on Facebook at the: 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat group? We started January 1st with our first class and we’re now working on hexagons in Class 3. I hope you find this third tutorial helpful:

Three hexagons with sashings added. So far the sashings look quite ordinary.
Stack one on top of the other, still ordinary.
Add one more in this placement and the magic takes place as the sashings begin to look intertwined.
How to begin? With your hexagon in front of you, begin to audition fabrics and color placement.
Check the back of your hexagon, are the dots still there?
Pin your first sashing strip in place.
Flip your hexagon over and sew dot to dot.
Flip and press.
SERIOUSLY IMPORTANT TIP: always always always on EVERY HEXAGON sew the sashing strips on in the same order, either clockwise or counter clockwise. ALWAYS!
For the next 4 sashing strips, the dot to dot sewing is ignored.
Sew from edge to edge.
Using scissors or rotary cutter, you can trim the right hand excess from sashing strip #1.
Flip and press.
Continuing in my clockwise placement, I pin and sew sashing strip #3 in the same manner, edge to edge.
Flip, press, repeat through sashing strip #5.
Can you see how I have folded down and pinned sashing strip #1? After this pinning, set sashing strip #6 in place and this time…
Sew left side dot all the way to the edge of the pink strip.
That’s right, keep sewing.

Flip…
Carefully press strip 6 and then un-pin strip 1.
This is what it will look like.
Carefully open up strip 1, lay it out over strip 6 and sew in the pressed
fold line.
Begin sewing at the edge of strip 6.
Taaaaaa-Daaaaaaa!
Flip, press and with your rotary cutter begin to trim away the excess fabric.
Is this a great technique great or what!!! 🙂🙂🙂
And here it is in my quilt top!

If you follow these steps you will end up with amazing sashed hexagons!

Happy quilting!!

Rhonda

Class 3: Making a Star Hexagon with 60° Diamonds

Have you been following the free classes on Facebook at the: 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat group? We started January 1st with our first class and we’re now working on hexagons in Class 3. This is the second tutorial to be published for Class 3.

Once again, stitching ONLY between the dots is key! Because so much of the instruction is the same as the hexagon made with the three 60° large diamonds, I am not going to have quite as much to tell you about in the picture captions.
By sewing two strips of fabric together and then strategically placing the template, you will have made things soooooo much easier as you construct your 6 point star hexagon.

Here’s an example where I go against tradition and press the seam open.
Remember, the dotted line is the stitching line. It gets placed directly over the seam line.
You can mark and scissor cut or you can use your rotary cutter for your pieces.
By sewing the two fabrics together first, we have saved ourselves so much time!!!
But wait!! What’s this new template? I’ve had this super handy Deluxe Corner Trimmer for ages and I love it! I can also use it to mark the 120° and the
60° angles.
It’s a close match-up in the star center. I could have done better but this works for me.
All six of the ivory diamonds have been added and I am ready to press.
Remember to be consistent when pressing seam allowances.
This is one instance where I go against the rule of “press to the dark”.
I lay my hexagon template over my creation and if necessary I will trim
to size.

Are you ready to give it a try?

Happy quilting!

Rhonda

Class 3, Piecing a 60° Diamond Hexagon

Have you been following the free classes on Facebook at the: 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat group? We started January 1st with our first class and we’re now working on hexagons in Class 3.

This was the introduction to hexagons posted on the Facebook group on May 1st:

Let’s begin our Class 3 hexagons with a picture laden little tutorial all about how I mark and then sew pieces together that will form a hexagon. We are beginning today with three 60° diamonds. You will find instructions below each of the pictures.

But first let me tell you about a perk Marti Michell is offering. When you make any purchase, in the shipping information, in the line titled Company all you have to do is type in: Rhonda sent me and you will receive a free template! I’m listing her web site, her products are simply the BEST!! https://frommarti.com/

With the larger of the two 60° diamond templates from the Marti Michell set H, I place the template on the fabric so the bird is generally centered. Once I am happy with the placement, using my rotary cutter I fussy cut my first piece.
I perform the same function on this different bird fabric.
The third diamond will be cut from this vintage dinner napkin. While I cannot get the entire design to fit within the template, I work with it until
I am happy with the result.
Always be aware of the 1/4” seam allowance when positioning your template over a design.
This is what my three diamond pieces will look like when they are stitched together.
I use either a mechanical pencil or a Pilot Frixion pen to mark a dot with the holes as my guide. These holes are at the exact spot where the 1/4” seam allowances perfectly meet. *Edit: if you use a Frixion pen you will need to re-mark the dots after you press your finished hexagon.
Now I’ve marked the ivory diamond.
If you do not have the benefit of the Marti Michell templates I suggest you very lightly draw a pencil line or a Frixion pen line of the entire length of the seam line.
Mark the seam allowance on each of the four sides. You can mark the entire length of each side or just enough so as to have intersecting lines
at each angle.
It is at the crossing of the lines (the intersection) that indicates where your stitching needs to begin and end.
I begin with these two pieces.
I lay them perfectly one on top of the other with the right sides together.
I send a straight pin down through the top dot making sure it goes through the bottom piece dot. Leave the pin straight down. Do the same thing with the dot at the other end of the side of the diamond.
With your two straight pins still straight down, take two more pins and position them as you normally would to hold fabric together.
So here is almost the most important thing I can tell you!!! To begin sewing put your needle down manually into the fabric exactly on the dot. This is where you will begin sewing. I advise you to take two stitches forward, one stitch in reverse and then sew to the next dot. DO NOT SEW A SINGLE STITCH BEYOND THE DOT! 🙂 When I reach the end dot I take two stitches in reverse and then 1 stitch forward. We don’t usually “back tack” in quilting, it’s
usually reserved for garment construction but it is essential when constructing your hexagons.
Remember: no stitches before the starting dot and no stitches after the
ending dot!!!
Congrats! Your first two pieces are sewn together! Do not press/iron yet.
From the right side with the seam allowance finger pressed to the right, take the tip of the right diamond and carefully fold it down.
Do you see what happens when you fold this diamond down? That seam allowance opens up automatically for you!
Straight pin the folded down diamond just as shown in this picture.make sure that little point stays just as the picture shows.
Position your third diamond (the one I marked with my ruler) into position and straight down as before. Once you are confident your new piece is in the correct position, with three more straight pins, pin as shown in the picture, the difference this time is you will position 2 pins at the bottom, one before and one right after the dot.
After you remove the straight down pins this is what it will look like. That second pin after the stopping dot serves to hold the other diamond out
of the way.
Taaaa-Daaaaaa!
Are you ready to sew your final seam?
Remember earlier when we folded a diamond in half top to bottom? We are going to do that once again with the ivory piece. The action of folding the ivory piece will automatically cause that little angle piece to move out
of the way.
Again, at the two dots, pin straight down and then two more pins in
normal fashion.
Your seams are finished!
So it’s decision time and this decision needs to remain consistent throughout the remainder of your quilt…do you press clockwise or counterclockwise? The choice is yours, just be consistent!
I press clockwise, but see what needs to happen in the center? If you place your fingertip at the center and slightly twist very carefully your seam allowances will position themselves perfectly!
Finished! It took a hundred times longer to type out directions than it will take you to sew a three diamond hexagon!

Happy quilting,

Rhonda

Class 3: Vintage Linens Hexagon Quilt

Class 3: Hexagons! I am so excited to spend a few months with hexagons! Have you noticed? Our Facebook membership has grown to 1800+! How amazing is it to have a globally active quilting group!

Class 3 starts Saturday, May 1, 2021. Between now and May you have several important decisions to make:

  1. What kind of hexagon project will you make.
  2. What fabrics will you use? Will they be neutrals? Colors?
  3. Do you have the necessary vintage linens and trims for your
    desired project?
  4. Do you plan to embellish your hexagons?
  5. What size project will you create?
  6. Will you make a “show” or a “utility” quilt?

I will have a basic supply list posted by Tuesday, April 6.

Take some time to look at hexagon quilts. Search through both Pinterest and Instagram for beautiful and varied examples. (I am particularly fond of 2 patterns: Sweet Sunday Candied Hexagons and another titled: Smitten.)

This is a screen shot of my Hexagons Board on Pinterest. (How do you find me on Pinterest? In the app search bar just type in my name Rhonda Dort. I have my Boards in alpha order so they’re easy to locate.) I’ve pinned 299 pictures of fabulous hexagons/hexagon quilts. This board has been so inspirational as I ventured into hexagon experimenting.

Hexagon quilts can be visually very structured, they can follow a general layout or they can be remarkably random. I’ve made examples all three and each was a very rewarding experience!

The 5 hexagon quilts pictured in the class reveal are each of my own creation, no pattern followed. They were not difficult to create, they were each an experiment with a different technique and goal in mind.

3” each side hexagons surrounded by 1/2” finished sashing strips. The placement of the sashing strips gives them the appearance of being woven together.

My interpretation of a lovely Australian pattern titled: Sweet Sunday; Candied Hexagons by Tree House Textiles. All ivories and whites with little pops of quilting fabric colors.

This work-in-progress is almost the complete opposite of the previous picture, smaller areas of neutrals surrounded by rich colors.

A very structured hexagon experiment, these are 2” finished hexagons and equilateral triangles set together with 60° diamonds.

And finally, 3” each side finished heavily embellished hexagons set together in a honeycomb method in the fashion of English paper piecing.

Are you already seeing the possibilities? The sky’s the limit on what you can do with a basic hexagon shape! Class 3 begins on May 1, 2021. How can you participate? On Facebook search for: 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat, make a request to join and you’ll be all set!

Today is Good Friday, take a moment and reflect on what that means. Blessings to all, Rhonda

Class 2: Restoring Mother-of-Pearl Buttons for Embellishing Vintage Quilts

If you have and/or are planning to add mother-of-pearl (MOP) buttons to your Quilt(s) or any project there are some things to know about these little treasures.

Back in the day, MOP buttons were removed from garments before they were laundered as the process and the laundry detergent chemicals could and did cause much harm to these buttons made from shells.

If you’ve ever seen MOP buttons that are dull, chipped and peeling you can assume the buttons have been exposed to the laundry process.

There is a way to save these abused buttons, I’ll outline it below:

  1. Sort through your buttons and remove any that are not MOP.
  2. In the laxative section of your Drug Store look for Mineral Oil.
  3. Place your buttons in a container and pour in enough Mineral Oil to cover everything.
  4. Very gently stir the buttons over the next few days.

The Mineral Oil will penetrate the button surfaces and restore the lost luster. The oil will most likely also loosen and dirt etc. from the button surfaces.

  1. Transfer the buttons to a colander and rinse them well using warm-hot tap water.
  2. Place the buttons into a clean container, cover with warm tap water and a teaspoon of Baby Shampoo. Carefully wash the oil from the buttons. Do not leave them in the shampoo water for any length of time!
  3. Again, using the colander and warm tap water, rinse the buttons and spread them out on a terry cloth towel to air dry.

You should see a remarkable difference in the before and after for your mother-of-pearl treasures!

https://tissura.com/articles/mother-of-pearl-buttons

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2109516/Where-buttons-come-The-mother-pearl-shells-mottled-punctures-old-fashioned-process.html

Mother-of-Pearl Buttons From the Banks of the Mississippi

Photographs courtesy of the web sites listed above.

Isn’t it wonderful to think we can save these precious little buttons! Blessings to all and happy quilting,

Rhonda

Class 2, Embellishing with Laces and Trims, my Vintage Lattice Stars Quilt

When considering embellishing elements for your quilt, don’t forget commercially produced laces and lace applique motifs. Once again you will find detailed information in the individual picture captions. Are you seeing that embellishing can add so much to an already pleasing quilt? Keep in mind: if you are intending the quilt will be a utility piece, your embellishments need to be able to survive the laundry process.

This flower and leaf lace motif was part of a much larger piece. I trimmed until I was happy with the size for my quilt. With 6 straight pins holding the lace in place, I machine stitched the flower/leaf piece to the quilt using the default stitch length setting on my sewing machine.

Another flower/leaf lace stitched to the quilt.

Don’t be afraid to overlay your laces.

If at all possible, place your embellishing pieces in groups of odd numbers. You’ll remember from a previous FB post that odd numbers create visual tension and therefore visual interest.

Not all added embellishment need to be laces. The circle with petals above was cut from a manufactured ivory doily with damage from use.

Some people still are asking if these embellishments were added before or after quilting. Can you see that the longarm quilting is hidden below this lace motif? This tells you the lace was added after the quilting took place.

Hope this gives you ideas about using things that might not be “old” but will work so well with your Vintage Lattice Star (or any other) Quilt!

Blessings and happy quilting!

Rhonda

Class 2, Adding Embellishments Quilted Quilts, my Vintage Lattice Stars Project

Let’s spend a little time and talk about how ribbons and buttons work so well together when embellishing vintage linens.
Once again I am going to use the picture captions to give you step by step instruction about how I approach adding them to this pink and white Vintage Lattice Stars quilt.

I like my white ribbon but I know I can give it some more character by adding a vintage button. And I’m going to use my sewing machine to sew the button on to the quilt.

Use transparent tape to keep the button from moving when sewing onto your quilt.

With my button taped in place, I’ve attached foot #18 to my Bernina. A little tip for those of you using the #18 foot…there is a movable “part” in the middle of the foot that allows for a “thread shank” when sewing on your button. This “part” gets in the way. I have this”part” taped up so it is disabled. This is not a button that will be used as a utility fastner and therefore I do not need a thread shank. Does all this sound like gobbly-talk? I have a garment construction background…sometimes I intermix the lingo with quilting…

Once my button is sewn in place I easily remove the transparent tape. If you sew on a Bernina, you will find your button attaching stitch with the buttonhole options.

You can see I’ve sewn a 5 button swag. Make note about the 4 hole buttons…not all the holes need sewing machine stitching.

I digress here but…don’t you just love the French Knot flower blossom!!

I’m using 1/8” wide white satin finish ribbon and a hand sewing needle with an eye large enough to handle the ribbon. I am not actually sewing the buttons with the ribbon, merely kind of weaving it up and down through two of the button holes. I do not sew the ribbon to the quilt top. Between each button I tie a simple knot for visual interest.

If I would have had a light pink narrow width ribbon it may have looked a little better than the white but I’m happy with this result. You can see in this picture that I tied a simple knot both between the buttons as well as on top of the holes on the center one.

Just a closeup for a better look at the end result. If you have difficulty pulling your threaded ribbon needle through the button holes, the gently assistance of a small pair of pliers might help. Just do not pull so hard that you rip your button from your quilt!!!

Does it bother me that I have used two different white ribbons in the same block? Not at all! There are no quilting embellishing rules at this point!

So far I’ve showed you 1 button, 5 buttons and now 3 buttons. Odd numbers create nice visual tension and visual tension creates interest.

3 vintage buttons with a very narrow spring green ribbon connecting them all.

Sorry about the poor picture quality here but can you see the single white button with the narrow green ribbon bow? There are so many different things you can do with ribbons.

Again a single vintage button with the narrow green ribbon. Very simple yet eye catching embellishments you can add to your finished quilt!

I hope you see the possibilities in your own quilt creation!

Until next time, blessings and happy quilting!

Rhonda

Another Hexagon Quilt; Step-by Step, Start to Finish.

A wonderful experiment using whites, very pale ivories and new quilting fabrics for little pops of color.

This whole hexagon block began life as a guest hand towel. For this project I decided ahead of time to use an under layer of medium weight bleached muslin. Muslin that was laundered twice in hot water and dried in the dryer.

The thing to keep in mind about vintage linens is that they have most likely been used as utility pieces and would therefore have been laundered many times and because of this they are probably not going to shrink.

Each side of the hexagon, when a 1/4” seam allowance has been taken, will measure 3” EACH SIDE.

The nice thing about experimenting is knowing you can and most likely will make changes. See the top left hexagon? I was not happy with the diamond with the green, it was an easy revision.

As the block count grew so did the rearranging.

I think one of the hardest things was to not put a pop of quilting fabric in each of the hexagons. I’m using a small design board, it is propped up in a chair, the jug is holding the board in place. But see the hexagon right above the jug? The one that looks like an upside down radioactive symbol? That one made me chuckle every time I looked at it…

The entire quilt top is machine pieces. One of the things I LOVE about the Marti Michell templates is they allow you to easily and accurately mark the quarter inch seam allowance points! I can’t imagine piecing this quilt without these markings! Click on this link to take you to her web site: https://frommarti.com/collections/template-sets/products/template-set-h-large-hexagons

Yes! Consider this a shameless plug! I love every template and template set Marti Michell sells. In set “H” you get 3 templates that will allow you to accurately cut and mark 11 different shapes. Genius!

After sewing three hexagons together, the pressing direction allows you to splay open the seam allowances. I hate having a huge and cumbersome lump to quilt over and this pressing method solves that.

All of the full, half and quarter hexagons have been sewn together, I’m happy with the arrangement so my next step is to decide on a border.

Way back when I was making this quilt (July 2018) I was in my “put scallop swags in every quilt border”phase. For a change I decided to leave this border empty and quilt a “to be determined later” design.

Scroll up 2 images and note how many seams there are in this relatively small (42×45”) quilt top. You can see that to stitch in the ditch (SID) I had quite the task ahead of me. Why do I SID? It serves several functions, it keeps all the blocks (hexagons) true to their shape, it secures the overall quilt sandwich for later intense custom quilting and it allows me to “work” with each block on the longarm prior to deciding how each will be quilted. SID is a very important step, take the time do do it right, you’ll never be sorry.

The next group of pictures will take you through many of the areas of the quilt:

When I’m doing the quilting I have developed a symbol system. The two curved arrows in this picture above tell me I want a single curved stem of feathers as well as the direction they will be quilted. I’m using a very nice air/water erasable marking pen by Leonis.

Just another example of different ways I mark for quilting.

When deciding on how to do the hand guided custom work, sometimes I follow the design in the fabric and other times I add the designs with my quilting work.

Remember the plain white border? Remember how I said I was going to leave my swag phase behind? I changed my mind for a couple of reasons. When I quilt I like to have in mind the idea of mixing straight lines with curved lines. I think of it as Hard and Soft quilting The hexagons and all their pieces are certainly straight lines; the Hard, and swags are the Soft.

I also knew that in order to keep a sense of quilting balance I would need to heavily quilt the borders. The body of the quilt needs to be in sync with the borders.

Bring on the intense border quilting:

I’ve changed to a blue water erasable marking pen. Why? Honestly probably because it was at hand. I like the blue and the purple making pens equally.

Again, you can see I’ve used marked symbols to direct me as I’m quilting. I snapped this picture to show you that sometimes I forget to follow my symbols. The red outline shows you where I was in a “quilting daze” and forgot to stop mid way in the swag. Do you know it takes at least 8 or 9 times as long to pick out quilting as it does to actually quilt!

Fixed!

I was especially pleased at how the quilted swags fit so nicely at the corners. And notice how much more depth the little feathers have after I quilted in a vein in each one.

After each of the border swags were finished I still had quite a bit of negative space to fill.

The tiny little match stick quilted lines give the border negative space a great look as well as add dimension to the feathers.

It looks very dark in between the feathers because I’ve used a water pen to dissolve the blue and purple marking pens.

And again, a picture of the finished quilt:

Such a joy to create! Never be afraid to mix white with ivory, especially when working with vintage pieces, they compliment each other so nicely.

What are the particulars? Needle thread: Wonderfil Specialty Threads Deco Bob #104. The bobbin; Güttermann Skala 240 #111. The back fabric is 100% cotton bleached muslin, the batting is a single layer of Hobbs white 80/20. I quilt on a 26” Innova. All my work is either free hand or ruler, I do not have a self guided computerized machine.

The actual quilting time was 24 hours. Speaking of quilting time, do you keep a journal? Invaluable!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my trip down memory lane as I’ve uploaded and talked about the pictures of this quilt! Blessings to all!

Rhonda

Class 2, Vintage Lattice Stars Quilt, creating the ribbon and streamer embellishments.

We are at the point where many of you are finishing either your Class 2 quilt top or you have your project already quilted! Bravo to all you speedy and talented quilters!!!

A few weeks ago a member asked about how I create and apply ribbon bows and streamers on my pink and white Vintage Lattice Stars quilt. This post is loaded with pictures and will take you through the step by step procedure that I use. I am positive there are numerous methods, find one that works well for you and your project.

Look for details in the yellow ribbon picture captions and then I have included pictures of my past work showing you finished ribbon work.

When should your ribbon(s) be attached to your quilt? This depends on your quilter, it depends on whether or not you want quilting to pass over on top of your ribbon work and it depends on what kind of ribbon you use. Remember: Anything that has the potential to break a needle MUST be added when your quilt is 100% finished.

I am using new 1/4” Offray brand satin finished ribbon.
Cut the ribbon ends to a sharp angle to prevent unraveling.
For this example I am using a length of ribbon about 18” long. Lay it out on a flat surface with the left side about 4” longer than the right side. Squeeze a bit at the top, this will mark the center for creating the loops to make your bow.
I am working on a padded surface, my wool pressing mat covered with a white damask napkin. Why? The napkin looks better for the photography, the pressing mat lets me pin with ease.
Place a straight pin down through the center of the bow. Do a bit of ribbon manipulating to create some “character” for your bow loops. Pin as you go in order to retain the bends and folds.
Once one side has been pined, start on the remaining loop and process in the same fashion as above.
Ready to start on the right side streamer? Gently pull the left streamer up out of the way.
Begin arranging the streamer by bending, twisting etc. to achieve a pleasing appearance. Work your way down the streamer, pinning as you go.
Once you have finished the right streamer, move to the left streamer and repeat.
Remember my good friend Spray Starch? Once you have your ribbon bow arranged and pinned to your liking, give it a healthy spray!
Let it sit for a few minutes. This will allow for the spray to soak into the bends and folds of the ribbon fibers.
Using my dry iron, I started at the bottom of the right side streamer and slowly pressed my way up to the bow.
Working up the left streamer, I remove the straight pins as needed.
Once I have pressed creases into my ribbon, I carefully left it from the pressing cloth.
And gently place it onto the vintage linen. It will generally hold its new shape but it is easily further manipulated if necessary.
Another example of where it could be places on the embroidered piece.
If this were my final placement, I would very carefully use either Elmer’s Washable White School Glue and a dry iron to affix the ribbon to my vintage linen or I could pin the ribbon in place. Whatever method I used, my personal next step would be to machine stitch the ribbon permanently to the embroidery using a matching needle thread. Your choice might be to hand stitch the ribbon in place.

And finally:

Hope this little pictorial tutorial will help if you should decide ribbon bow and streamers are just the perfect thing to embellish your quilting.

Blessings to all,

Rhonda