When friends get together, all sorts of crazy things can happen! Last July while retreating at the Boehm House in Moulton, TX, Robyn says something like: how about we cut this quilt in half, you do your thing on your part and I’ll do the same and when we meet again next summer we can compare our finished pieces! I jumped at the chance to work with half a quilt!
I’m going to overload you with pictures that will hopefully give you some ideas about transforming a vintage quilt should you ever get the urge. Grab a coffee and let’s go!
First let’s start with a picture of the finished challenge quilt above. The next picture shows you what I started with. The quilt is in relatively good condition, just showing signs of a bit of wear. Quite cuddly some might say.
In this project my goal was two fold: to give the pinwheel quilt pops of color and interest and to do most if not all the work by machine.
Using an Accuquilt Cutter and a flower die, I cut using a tattered Double Wedding Ring as well as a yellow/white Drunkards Path.
Each of the die cut flowers has a vintage yo-yo in the center. To make the process a bit easier I machine stitched the yo-yo to the flower before machine appliqué stitching the flower to the quilt. Let me explain a bit. If I had machine stitched the flower to the quilt first, each flower requires stitching/turning the quilt 360 degrees. Adding the yo-yo would require a repeat of the process. By first sewing the yo-yo to the flower, I saved time and frustration under the needle. My mantra: don’t make things harder than they need to be.
Every other open white space gets a flower/yo-yo decoration.
I sew on a Bernina 550 and used the applique stitch #1329. The default setting is perfect. I am using yellow Superior Threads, the Omni line, color 3050.
I love that by using a tattered Double Wedding Ring quilt from which to cut the flowers, it features so many pieces of the vintage feed sack fabrics.
Remember how the project started? A quilt cut in half. That means I have a piece with only 3 borders. Hmmm… I cut away these borders because I can use these pieces to make smaller motifs.
Again, Accuquilt Cutter to the rescue. By strategically placing the Die I can cut lots of hearts from the cut away 3 borders. This heart Die is from Crafter’s Edge, an adapter is all I needed to use it with the Accuquilt.
But…when I cut away the 3 borders I had a bit of a boring looking quilt. I dug into my stash of quilt parts and found several rows of a vintage yellow Drunkard’s Path quilt. These rows made perfect “new” borders for my pinwheel quilt.
The borders were machine stitched to the pinwheel piece. This means I was stitching through 6 layers, 3 of the pinwheel and 3 of the Drunkards Path. Yes it created a bulky seam but I pressed the finished seam open and from the front side of the quilt I zig-zag stitched, straddling the original seam. The zig-zag stitch nicely flattened the bulk but I now needed to address the raw edges on the back of the quilt.
One of the last things I did before binding was to hand stitch bias binding over the raw edges.
At this point I was moving fast and must have forgotten to take pictures so the next pic shows the quilt on my design wall. I’ve machine appliqued flowers and hearts and yo-yo’s all across the quilt. I’ve also sewn on the binding but in the next picture you’ll see that I added lace at the binding edge on the front of the quilt.
After turning and hand stitching to the quilt back I decided to give the binding a bit of interest and again using the applique stitch and matching thread, I stitched directly over the inner binding edge.
I can honesty say I was not overly thrilled with the pink and white Pinwheel quilt when I began this transformation. With the additions complete I love this finished piece!
With the plan to do most all stitching by machine, you can see the border hearts are applique using pink thread, again, Omni by Superior Threads, color #3131. I sewed the buttons on with the machine using the #18 foot, added lots of ribbons, all stitched in place with a very narrow zig-zag.
Where the tattered DWR cut heart shape showed really bad damage I placed laces and/or trims over the holes and machine stitched in place. This is also a good picture below to show you that the zig-zag stitch straddling the quilt and the added border pieces of almost un-noticeable. There’s so much going on with this quilt that I’d be surprised if someone notices without me pointing it out.
A close-up showing the hem stitching used to attach the yo-yo’s to the die cut flower. The white beads were sewn down by hand.
If you look closely, the picture above shows how I used a tiny machine zig-zag to stitch the ribbon bow in place.
The border cut small heart have an added vintage button to each of their centers. The remaining picture show more close-ups of the add-ons and finally the finished project.
Thank you Robyn for suggesting this challenge, it was a joy!
Did I have in mind what my finished project would look like before I began? A resounding “NO!” Each step was an experiment. How did I know when I was finished? It was when I realized I was out of ideas for anything additional.
Blessings and Happy Quilting, Rhonda