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)



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

  1. Very late to see this one, but OH MY! what a huge piece of work. Just looking at the details, I am filled with intimidation at doing something this beautiful. I do not possess the resources of a fancy long arm machine, just a simple little Singer Heavy Duty, and would be terrified of sewing so many layers with it. That said, my mind is trying to wrap around how this could be accomplished by hand, and how to incorporate my own tatted & crocheted pieces within. You’ve given me a great challenge for this new year of 2021. Thanks! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. how do I get to your previous blogs? I wanted to go to July 2017 to read about you quilting the handkerchief quilt. thanks. love your blog. it is wonderful to find how to do these pieces of treasured vintage fabrics/doilies etc etc. Ginnie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ginnie, scroll up to the top of any blog post. Then look in the top left corner to find either or both: the word Show or three little horizontal lines. Tap on either one. The option to choose: Home should be listed on the left. Click on the word Home. You should be able to scroll all the way back to September, 2016 if you look on the left where the Archives are shown. Please let me know if this helps! Have a great day and of course, thank you for your kind words!!


  3. Thank you for sharing the process of putting together such a beautiful masterpiece! You are such an inspiration!! Best wishes with the shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on one quilt being accepted and one waiting to hear. I like to hear that and to know how much your quilts are appraised at. I learn so much every time I see and read your posts. This quilt is so balanced and beautiful.Very feminine. I never would have thought to iron over the lace to make the circles. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and also highlighting others talent. I always laugh when I read “ask me how I know”. Congrats on your roof and your furniture. I like the swag fabric. It goes along with the whole quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing all of your techniques. Your blog is always packed with great information. I changed my choice of my favorite block again. Now I’m in love with the basket block with the beautiful quilting.

    I’m so excited about the progress of your house. You are blessed.

    Oh, I’m so excited about your two quilts. 💞

    Hugs, g

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gobsmacked…just read the definition of this word a few days ago. Little did I know it would fit my reaction to another of your amazing quilts. Thank you for sharing your pictures, your process, your tips and techniques. Sounds like things are lookin up in the house situation – hooray!

    Liked by 1 person

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