A recent find and you know me and hexagons, I could not pass on it. But let me tell you…this quilt was filthy! So filthy I could not bring myself to do more than cover the holes with soft white tulle. I had to stop and wash my hands frequently and while I’m not a crazy germophobe, I did wonder at times what kind of dust and grime I was inhaling as I attached the protective tulle. 😕
Only one edge was bad, the others have binding issues but that can be easily resolved later.
About 9 different full and several half hexagons had the fabric literally rot away. While I am not an expert on feed sacks I do believe the hexies are mostly if not all made from feed sack fabrics.
Using soft white tulle purchased at a craft store in the bridal area, I cut squares/rectangles a size that would cover the areas where the fabric was missing.
Can you see the pink thread? Choose a thread other than white, something you can readily see because after the soak/laundry step you will be removing the tulle. I used the longest stitch my sewing machine offered and most often I did a straight stitch through the battered hexagon area to further secure the damaged batting.
If you look closely you will see that this hexagon fabric has split and the tulle will provide some stabilization until I can make the necessary repairs.
I can tell from the bits of fabric left that the same fabrics consistently across the quilt top could not stand up to the wear of this utility quilt.
The back of the quilt also has some serious issues but nothing that can’t be fixed. I do think there are some stains that are permanent though. I will know after the piece has finished soaking.
At first I thought these were rust stains, but now I’m not too sure. They are all over the back fabric. Time will tell.
Look at the ugly brownish-yellow water at the bottom of my soaking tub. Oh my! I soak all my vintage quilts in Sodium Perborate, the same thing as Retro Clean. It does such a wonderful job of removing the dinge associated with old quilts. I use very hot tap water and always soak my old quilts for at least 48 hours. After soaking, I will drain am much water as possible and then it’s on to the front load washing machine and the dryer. It’s after the quilt is dry that I will begin removing the tulle and the repair process will begin.
Can’t wait to see this potential beauty when it’s clean and smelling great!
🗓 Class #2 begins on March 1, 2021 and oh my, I just looked and we have over 1600 members in our Facebook group! Wow!
It is a bit difficult to maintain a sense of order and organization while holding a class in a Facebook/Blog group. In any given month there can be a thousand posts and comments from the members. If you will adhere to the following rules, things will flow smoothly and your admin’s (Rhonda and Anita) will be so happy! 😃 Thank you in advance! ❤️
📌📌📌Reminder: The Facebook group directly associated with this Class is: 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Classes. Please remember to join this group.
Read everything your Admins (Rhonda and Anita) post/blog related to this new Class.
If you do not know how to use the Facebook tools/functions, learn before you post.
All specific patterns/charts/diagrams that are not copyrighted will be found in the Files section of this FB Group. You do not have permission to upload anything to Files. If you upload anything to Files you will be sad because you will find yourself blocked. ☹️
Do not ask questions until you have read all admin posts back to Jan. 31, 2021. Wondering how to find all admin. posts? Refer back to rule 2.
Negative posts and/or comments will be deleted.
Your posts must be related to one of 4 topics: The Boehm House, my retreat at the Boehm House of March 2020, Class #1 or Class #2. Anything else will be deleted and again, you will be sad. ☹️
If you go shopping and post pictures of all your found vintage treasures, please know I will most likely remove your post after 24 hours.
PS: how do you pronounce Boehm? Think Baim with a long “a”. Rhymes with Same. Does that help?
I was looking at the statistics for our Group, on a normal day we can have posts that generate several hundred comments. It is my goal to keep the group on topic and on target with the current class but to meet this goal I will need your help! 🙂
Karen Walker’s pattern Lattice Stars is so very straightforward that most if not all of you will not need much direction from me until you reach the stage of embellishing, that is if you decide to embellish.
Karen gives direction on how to create the different parts of the Star Block, but if you have your own “tried and true” method do what works for you.
Once you have decided how large you want your quilt top to be and how many Star blocks you will need, begin your block construction.
The Star block center…make it whatever you want it to be! The pattern calls for a 9-Patch, the sky is the limit on what the Star block center might be in your quilt! Make your Star blocks wherever your quilting heart leads you! It’s your quilt, there are no Quilting Police! I promise!
This picture below is from another project a few years ago but it gives you a visual for a Crazy Quilt star block center square.
Another idea I’m developing: I went eBay shopping a few weeks ago looking for a vintage Christmas tablecloth. I purchased one, soaked and laundered it when it arrived. Because I discovered it had been printed on the fabric bias, spray starch came to my rescue as I pressed out the laundry wrinkles.
This red/blue/yellow/white Star quilt top makes me smile every time I see it! No, it is not finished, I am still deciding on borders. I’m in no hurry so it may stay unfinished for a month or two.
Have I told you today how much I love Star Block quilts? In a perfect world I would make one every other week!
Are you already working on your blocks for Class 2? Post pictures on our Facebook group page! Can’t wait to see them!
Embellishing your quilt blocks can take on many forms, one of which is utilizing the built-in stitches on your sewing machine. But sometimes you might want to stitch on something as sheer/light weight as a vintage handkerchief. You have a few options, let me take you through two similar techniques I like to use. They each involve using my friend Elmer…Elmer’s Washable School Glue. (I only have experience using the white glue, not the clear.)
Many of the sewing machine built on stitches are dense and it is the density that sometimes gets us into trouble by causing the sheer/light weight fabric to pucker and/or distort.
This technique also works well with machine embroidery on a very sheer washable fabric where no underlay is possible.
Use this glue ONLY on items/quilts that you plan to MACHINE quilt (never on potential hand quilting) and LAUNDER. If you wish you can easily use this technique and then launder your embellished piece before adding it to a quilt block.
My recipe: 1 to 1 ratio of Elmer’s to water, stir until well blended. If you want a stiffer piece to stitch or for machine embroider, considering a mix of two parts glue to one part water would be a good place to start.
Cool completely and clean the sole plate of your iron when finished.
Before you jump in and use a beautiful sheer piece, do a bit of experimenting. Hopefully you will like this method as much as I do.
In this picture I have backed my vintage handkerchief with laundered and pressed bleached muslin. Using an artist paintbrush, I lightly wet the area with the water/glue mixture where I plan to stitch. No need to over saturate. Have you noticed I am working on a white Teflon pressing sheet? I want to protect my ironing board surface from the mix.
You can either allow your fabric to air dry or carefully press it with a dry iron. Why a dry iron? If you use steam you will be adding moisture to existing moisture that you are trying to dry.
I sew mostly on a Bernina 550. For my first example I have chosen stitch #602.
I get a beautiful stitch with no puckering.
So let’s choose a stitch that has a greater stitch density, #414.
Again, the glue/water stiffened fabric gives a beautiful stitch without any fabric distortion.
But what happens if I reduce the #414 stitch length to make the design even more compact? Not a thing!
The view of the back of the handkerchief muslin block.
What happens if I choose not to back the sheer handkerchief with muslin? Because I am going to cover a larger area this time with the mix, I choose a larger paint brush.
I was a little heavy handed with the glue, next time I will use more care.
I can either carefully press or let my piece air dry. I have pinned the handkerchief as straight as possible to my wool pressing mat and because I was impatient I carefully dry pressed.
Choosing a very dense stitch #407 for my “glue/water only handkerchief”, I begin my test.
Absolutely no puckering of the sheer handkerchief.
Another stitch, another example.
I love being able to stitch on sheer fabrics using glue mix as my inexpensive stabilizer.
Sometimes it is unusual household items that prove very helpful!
Happy stitching and blessings! Stay safe during this ugly pandemic!
I’m so excited to tell you about what we are going to make in Class 2 beginning March 1, 2021. We are going to follow a pattern by a professional designer, Karen Walker. Owner of Laugh Yourself into Stitches, (laughyourselfintostitches.com) Karen created Lattice Stars but has allowed me to rename our project Vintage Lattice Stars! How great is that!
Karen’s patterns are very straightforward making them easy to follow. She has gone the extra step for us by making the pattern available as both a downloadable .pdf or as a traditional purchased paper pattern but here is the best part: she has priced the .pdf at only $3.99 and the hard copy at $6.50 and that includes shipping…USA only. ***Please note: International purchases are only available in .pdf downloads.
Click on the above blue link to take you to Karen’s website.
The pattern has 4 different finished sizes to choose from so you can make anything from a Throw to a King-sized bed quilt. Being quilters, we recognize a great deal when we see one!
I have created 2 examples for you, the first is the pink and white finished and partially embellished quilt, zoom in on the picture to see all the added elements.
The second is the red/white/blue/yellow quilt top that has yet to get its borders:
The special tools I used for the Class 2 quilts are:
12 ½” square quilters ruler,
6 ½” square quilters ruler,
Ultimate Flying Geese Tool
June Taylor Shape Cutter.
While these tools helped me, they are not absolutely necessary to create the quilt. You have the option of deciding which or all to add to your quilting resources collection.
Let’s talk a bit about the 2 quilts I have pictured above for you. The pink and white fabrics are things I pulled from my stash. Zoom in on the picture to see all the embellishment I added and know that more embellishments are yet to come.
The second quilt top uses Moda fabrics, mostly (but not all) from the Back Porch collection. To begin the quilt top I purchased and used 11 half yard cuts. I did not use up all of the individual 11 fabrics, I have a bit left over to go into my growing Stash Scrap Bin.
The white fabric in both quilts is the same, something I had on hand. It is a quiet white tone-on-tone with a small ivy leaf and vine design.
As soon as you purchase your pattern, begin thinking about your color scheme and your vintage linens stash. You will have until March 1st to gather your things together. And if I know many of you like I think I do, after you get your pattern, some of you will have already made a quilt top or two by then! Remember, it is easy and acceptable to mix old with new. Not all your star centers need be vintage.
The sky’s the limit on a quilt like this! I may make one in Christmas colors using a vintage Christmas tablecloth as my star centers. I have been on eBay looking for just the perfect piece to cut apart. Are you excited to use your star making/flying geese making skills for a new project? I know I am excited to present this new class to you!
Happy fabric and linens collecting! Remember, the class begins March 1st so you have plenty of time!
The quilting and the binding is finished. This has been such a wonderful journey, so many in the class have created such beautiful quilts! I’ve had a great time, hope you have too!
I used a single layer of Hobbs heirloom poly down batting, Wonderfil Specialty Threads Deco Bob thread, #104 in the needle and bobbin. I use a size 16 longarm needle. The backing fabric is bleached muslin and I quilt on an Innova longarm.
Did you know that if you turn most of the overhead lights off and just leave the machine light on, you get some wonderful shadows that highlight the quilting designs?
The embroidered vintage pieces were easy to quilt, the stars worked well with a large feather wreath design.
I plan to use this piece as a Throw. Here it is keeping me warm on one of our few cold Houston, TX winter evenings.
If you’ve followed me for very long then you’ll know I adore quilting feathers. This quilt is no exception. 🙂
I love the idea of getting vintage linens in the limelight, they are beautiful and I believe that by using these worn, torn and stained pieces it is a wonderful way to honor the hands that made them.
Thanks for following me, for participating in my class and for all your kind words and support! Are you ready for Class 2? It begins March 1st! Stay tuned for information soon!
Time to sneak in a blog post that’s not about the ongoing Vintage Linen Classes. What’s not to love about a warm color Fall quilt when it is cold outside!
From a pattern by Karen Walker, owner/designer of Laugh Yourself into Stitches, this is my adaptation and I’m loving it no matter what time of year it might be!
Designed to be 52×64 I added to my quilt and made it 72×90.
After digging through my fabric stash these are the “light/dark” combinations I arranged. Goldens with darks, oranges with darks, you get the picture.
Have you ever used the Magic Eight method of creating half square triangles? Simply genius and fast! If you’re not familiar, do a quick internet search.
There is a method for half square triangle (HST) placement. Position 4 small blocks with the light fabric to the inside and sew them together.
Here’s where I really went rogue. The pattern calls for 2 borders. I stayed with that idea but changed the inner border to be 1 1/2” wide and the outside border 7”.
My next step was to dig through all my old Fall applique quilt patterns looking for pumpkins and gourd motifs.
I also located my template plastic, quickly made templates for all the motifs I thought I might use on the outer border. Pumpkins, a gooseneck gourd, pumpkin stems, leaves and a squash blossom. this was a huge time saver! It’s easier to quickly draw around the outside of a plastic template than it is to trace from a pattern laid out beneath the Heat n Bond Lite. If you study the border you’ll note I ended up using only a few of the leaf motifs.
My “go to” fusible for quilting is Heat n Bond Lite.
If you’ve done much machine applique you will know it usually draws the fabric in a bit. I cut my outer border 1 1/2” larger than necessary to accommodate but I also knew that I needed a “visual” reminder of the desired finished border size. I chalked my guidelines but knowing the chalk lines would not survive all the movement necessary with the machine applique. I chose a yellow thread and a long stitch on my machine. Now I had a semi permanent visual of the parameters of my applique area. I also yellow thread stitched the center line of each of the outer borders. I should also mention that I serged the edges of my borders prior to the applique process. All the movement and handling tends to be rough on the fabric cut edges. This way I didn’t have to constantly trim away fabric fray. When I finished the applique I trimmed each of the borders to size and easily removed the yellow center line thread.
The green vine is a 3/8” wide cut on the bias. Cut with Heat n Bond Lite already fused into the back and is very easy to manipulate into swoops and curves.
To make things easier/quicker I chose only a few different colors of threads for my raw edge machine applique and detail stitching. One each of: green, orange, yellow and tan. Where possible, on each border I appliqued all of the same color at a time. In order to break up the monotony I created all the borders and then appliqued each start to finish one at a time.
See how the tiny satin stitch on the pumpkins adds dimension?
I set up my sewing room television so I could watch/listen binge on some great detective shows while stitching.
Making progress! Only one more outer border to make.
And the quilt top is finished and ready for quilting on the longarm.
When trying to decide about the quilting I realized I had a dilemma…the center really wouldn’t benefit from custom quilting yet the border cried out for it. After a lengthy phone conversation with a quilting friend I decided to do a hand guided panto in the quilt body and custom quilt the outer border. Was the panto in the body a pain to execute? Yes! Was it worth the aggravation? Again, yes!
How darling is this pumpkin edge to edge pattern! Purchased from Urban Elements, it’s titled appropriately Pumpkin Fest and is 9.75” high.
And how perfect is this variegated cone of King Tut by Superior Threads! Color: Pharoah’s Treasure. In the bobbin? Omni color #3043 Barley.
I changed to a brown needle thread to match the border fabric and outlined all of the motifs. Once finished I decided to quilt simple straight lines at 1/2” apart:
The small inner orange border needed something, but what? A simple wavy line added enough interest.
What a fun project!
Do you keep a quilting journal? Mine is invaluable to me! If I had not recorded these facts they would have soon been forgotten. My journal tells me what I did and most often why. I record the pattern designer, my adaptations, the quilt top size before quilting. I make note of the needle and bobbin thread(s) as well the batting I used. You will note I need to make a few updates to my journal because it has yet to show Hobbs 80/20 batting as well as the finished size after binding. I also keep detailed “quilting time” records.
The quilting is finished and while this picture does not show it, the binding is complete. What a wonderful project!
The sashings, the cornerstones and the sections for the quilt top construction.
The sashings and cornerstones: you have measurements and numbers necessary in the Files. (The sashings are where I utilized my June Taylor Shape Cutter.) You can see that I have chosen my sashings to be bleached muslin and my cornerstones are a medium/light green print. There is a speedy quilter that jumped the gun and posted a section of her quilt top showing her pink sashings and various color cornerstones, they look lovely! Again, this is a very personal choice but make color choices that will bring continuity to your quilt top. Your sashings and cornerstones can either pop or they can fade into the quilt top, you be the judge! 🤔🙂❤️
But…don’t just jump in and go crazy sewing blocks together without looking at the diagram that points out the Sections of the pattern. Unless you want to bring crazy trouble into your sewing room, follow the Sections to sew your blocks together.
Note that Section 8 is a peculiar one, it is a strip made up of only cornerstones and sashing strips down the left edge of your fabulous creation.
Now…I know there are many of you who have a bit (or quite a bit) of stitching to do in order to get to this point. Don’t for a minute think I am leaving you behind! Mark my word, we will get you to the finish line, I am here for you!
I am so excited to begin to see finished quilt top pictures popping up all over this FB group page!
Wow! here we are, the final Lesson for Class 1! It has been great! Are you ready for Class 2? Stay tuned for more information to come in the next few week.
Pinwheels and 4-Patch blocks couldn’t be easier! Remember, the Pinwheels are our little “action blocks”. They draw the eye in and spin it around, the 4-Patches are jealous of the Pinwheels as the 4-Patch blocks are just a very good way to add a little color, use up bits and pieces and provide a hint of interest.
The 4-Patch blocks measure 6″ square when finished, so they will measure 6 1/2″ square before you sew them to other blocks. Each of the 4 pieces for your 4-Patch will be cut 3 1/2″. When sewn together, your unfinished block will measure 6 1/2″. That is all there is to a 4-Patch! Whew!
The Pinwheel blocks look at bit intimidating what with that bias seam running diagonal down the center of each of the 4 quadrants. The Pinwheel block is made up of four Half Square Triangle blocks and are also known as “HST’s”.
If you have not made “8 at a time” half square triangles, you are in for a treat! Either of these excellent tutorials will take you step by step through the process of sewing 4 long diagonal seams, making 4 long cuts resulting in 8 beautiful half square triangles.
If you bought the Slotted Trimmer(s), this is where it come in handy.
What if you do not care for 4-Patch blocks? Make something else, just remember that your unfinished block needs to measure 6 1/2″ square.
What if you do not care for Pinwheel blocks? Same as above, just remember your unfinished measurement requirements and create something else.
The Blue numbers are in the 4-Patch blocks, the Red in the Pinwheels.
Once these additional 8 blocks are complete, it is time to lay out all your blocks and begin to make some serious decisions about what goes where. If you are keeping with the diagram design, lay out your Stars and your Dresden block and begin to fill around them with everything else.
Feel free to change things up, you do not have to place your blocks as I have diagramed the quilt top…you remember my mantra: Make yourself happy! It is your quilt!
We are close to the end!
Have you realized that after this step all your blocks will have been made? The only thing remaining are the super easy sashing strips and the little cornerstone blocks! Wow! You are well on your way to a finished Vintage Linens Quilt Top! Bravo!
I am so happy to see all of your BEAUTIFUL!❤️blocks! The talent is this group is off the charts! Do you know how far we have come since just a few days ago on January 1st!
We have talked about and made wonderful Star blocks. We have amazed everyone with our fabulous Dresden Plate blocks. We are ready for our next move to:
LESSON #3! 6×6” and 6×12” blocks!
Do you have use of a design wall or a designated area where you can arrange your blocks? It is such a help as you lay out or audition these smaller blocks in your project.
Remember to take pictures of your layouts. Change the picture to black and white to readily see the visual heavy areas. Once identified, begin to move linens/fabrics around until your are pleased with your results.
❤️❤️Remember: this is your quilt! It needs to please you above anyone else! It is ok to ask for the opinion of others, but you are blessed with making the final call.❤️❤️
Oh, and yes I know block 9 background color is incorrect in the diagrams. You’re just going to have to imagine it has a purple/pink color. 🤪 🤷♀️🤣
Spend some time reading the picture/diagram captions, they have information including why block 10 is circled in yellow!
These are very simple yet very important blocks. The Dresden is your “pull me in” bull’s eye block, your Stars draw the viewers eye around the quilt and with these new blocks we are going to work on give the eye a place to sit and rest for a little bit.
Are you ready? I feel like this group will fly through the making of these 15 new blocks. In their simplicity they are so much fun!
I have placed a big red X over the blocks we have addressed.
The red numbers show the ten 6×6” blocks and the blue numbers show the five 6×12” we need to make. Start by sorting through your vintage pieces and fabrics and begin to lay out ideas for the 6×12 blocks first. Why first? Because they require a much larger piece than those half their size.
Here is the Boehm House Vintage quilt top with the blocks marked. Why is block number 10 circled in yellow? Artistic license allowed me to substitute a pinwheel where the pattern called for a solid block. In other words, I made one too many pinwheel blocks and decided to use it in the place of a solid block.
The Dresden Plate center 12” block. Pictures 1-14 show the Dresden made with 2 ladies vintage handkerchiefs. Pictures 15-40 show the same block made with a single handkerchief plus a tiny bit of white fabric.
Take some time to read the picture captions for both the 1 and the 2 handkerchief Dresdens. Hope you enjoy this lesson! 🙂❤️🙂
Now we will talk about making a Dresden Plate using only one vintage handkerchief.