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


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 2018 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. 2018

I think this crocheted piece below is fantastic, made even more so by dressing it up a bit with ivory satin ribbon and pearls. 2018 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: 2018

In order not to accidentally pull the ribbon taut, I had to pin each “bump” as I worked my way around the circle. 2018 2018

To give the piece a more vintage look, I pressed the ribbon flat after I secured the ends. 2018


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. 2018

And 2 are finished: 2018 2018

IMG_0681 2018

So I experimented again, this time by stitching out a free-standing Battenberg lace heart onto clear water soluble wash away stabilizer. Success! 2018

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. 2018

Another butterfly! This time a vintage hand crocheted blue and white variegated butterfly. There are 2 of these on the quilt. 2018

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.


More ribbon work, this time in white satin with the same white seed beads and a new heart applique. 2018

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. 2018

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. 2018

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… 2018

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. 2018

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. 2018

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. 2018 2018

Here’s the final bit of embellishing: 2018

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. 2018

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. 2018

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 2018

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”.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


Like I said, one of my favorites:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.



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


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


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.

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!


IMG_4386 (Edited)