The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 9

In the last blog post I talked about how 18 minutes of free motion quilting turned into 9 hours of “un-quilting”…

I loaded the quilt sandwich using two layers of batting, Hobbs white 80/20 with Hobbs Tuscany Poly-Down on top. I also purposely chose a light ivory thread for the needle and bobbin. I’ll update this info with thread manufacturer color and weight when I return home in a few days.

If you’ve followed me for very long you know I think quilted feathers are the solution to just about every quilt top loaded on my longarm. This quilt top was no exception. That is…until I was about 18 minutes in.

All of my basic Stitch-in-the-Ditch work was finished first.

I began quilting feathers in the top right block. Right away I knew I wasn’t thrilled with the look.

I felt that the quilting competed with the pieced and appliquéd block

I’m thinking to myself: I really don’t like this…but maybe I will like it with a bit more quilted…

Nope, I’m still not liking it.

Talk about distracting! I hate the quilting. Hate it! Hate it enough that my next step was to unload the quilt, hunt up a sharp seam ripper, find a good Acorn tv series to watch (but mostly listen to) and set about un-quilting.

I figured I had 3, maybe 3.5 hours to get the task done…but no! 9 hours! I quilt Bump Back feathers. Bump Backs have lots and lots of stitching over top previous stitching.

Thank heavens I had my stitch regulator set to 12 instead of 14 stitches per inch!

And just let me add…see this lace? The lace was the reason I had to remove the quilt from the longarm. It was too risky to pick out the quilting stitches from the front side of the quilt. It was so easy to damage the lace by accident no matter how careful I was trying to be. ☹️

My solution: a very basic no frills diagonal cross-hatch with stitching lines 1” apart. I am marking my lines with a Leonis air and water erasable purple ink pen.

Maybe I was in a bad frame of mind at this point but when I started round 2 of quilting I really was underwhelmed with the straight lines.

After I had 2 blocks quilted I liked the quilting a bit better.

Remember way back a few blog posts ago when I added the wonky strips to each side of the wonky vintage blocks? Then I added the lace to visually distract from the wonky-ness of it all? In the block above the seams for the added side strips are very visible but unless you know what to look for they do not distract! Yay!

Slowly (and I do mean slowly!) the quilting is starting to look ok.

Slowly…never in a million years did I think that straight line ruler work would take so long! I timed a few blocks and just the ruler work takes 30-35 minutes per block!

So what’s that acrylic yard stitch doing? Unless you want to get vertigo looking at the finished quilt, the lines from block to block need to line up.

So this is where I am currently. My longarming has come to a sudden stand-still, all caused by the appearance of grandson #2! Can you think of a better reason to put quilting on the back burner? ❤️🙂❤️

Blessings to all and happy quilting, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 8

This project, this 100% experiment has moved along quickly and I’m happy with how things have progressed. I hope everyone understands my desire to save and bring honor to the original quilt maker. This is one of those quilts that very well might have ended up in the rubbish bin and what a loss that would have been!

I do find it fascinating to think about the quilt maker and how her creativity found its way into these 20 pink baskets. Having found many of the original block patterns, I can see she made most, if not all the blocks to her liking, similar yet different from the patterns. This is sooooo me! I like to tweek quilt patterns (or just about anything) to make them my own.

Besides all the machine decorative stitching, I did quite a lot of hand work on the blocks.

I’m a huge fan of French Knots.

Each of the tiny white flowers intertwined around the basket handle got a tiny pink French Knot center.

Lots of 5 petal lazy-daisy flowers will find their way into the blocks.

Larger yellow French Knots around the left half of the flower centers as well as pink satin stitching directly over the manufactured yellow centers of two larger white flowers.

Did I mention I like French Knots?

The pale green ribbon is quite old, something I pulled from my stash.

This pale ivory flower motif is a new piece.

A little hand stitching was needed to secure these tiny little flower petals.

All the blocks are finished, the quilt top is complete and has been loaded onto the longarm. In blog post #9 I will detail how 18 minutes of quilting turned into 9 hours of “un-quilting”. ☹️

Blessings to all, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 7

Remember how it all began? My eBay purchase that was remarkably advertised as a “quilt in good condition”?

If you’ve followed the blogs posts 1-6 about this quilt you’ll know I soaked and laundered, deconstructed/reconstructed/squared up/and embellished in my experiment to save this interesting and “appealing to me” quilt top.

Below you’ll see pictures of what the blocks looked like before I added lots of embellishments:

What’s up next? Here’s a picture of what I started yesterday:

Did you notice all the white flowers with the yellow centers? Again I shopped Amazon.

Thanks for staying with me through these 7 posts about this quilt, just a few more to go and hopefully I’ll be reporting about a finished quilt!

Blessings to all and happy quilting, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 6

Lace to the rescue! New recently delivered from Amazon white lace is a wonderful way to both enhance the overall quilt block as well as distract the eye from the inconsistent strips added to the blocks allowing them to be squared up.

I don’t do this often but I feel like this was a great buy, that’s why I’m promoting this product.

The lace has been sewn on but what’s going on with the curves drawn using my black Frixion pen?

I’ve machine satin stitched what appears to be a vine that is wrapped around the basket handle. I love to hand embroider but I also love to utilize the amazing things my sewing machine can do!

My newly stitched vine needs some machine stitched leaves.

I do most all my sewing on a Bernina 550QE, the leaf is stitched with #407.

These little white flowers add a nice visual to the leafy vine.

Are you wondering about the sets of holes that look like snake bites…remember, this was a Tied quilt. Even after the hours and hours of soaking and the washer/dryer spa treatment, the holes remain.

This block gets commercially produced lace flowers and a bow on the handle. If you can zoom in on the bow you will see it is made from very old tattered ribbon.

Can you tell I’m having a ball embellishing these vintage quilt blocks? What else is happening to these wonderful blocks? The picture below is another sneaky-peek:

Are you thinking ahead to the quilting stage of this “yet to be finished” quilt top? Yes, this will be custom quilted, with the addition of all the embellishments it will not be a quick job but I’m up for the challenge!

Blessings to all and happy quilting, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 5

Remember a few blog posts ago I mentioned I had saved the quilt back but had to soak and launder it twice? I’m so glad I have it as the original quilt back is the same ivory fabric used on the front of the quilt. I believe it to be a light weight muslin.

There was enough of the ivory back fabric to cut enough 2 1/2 x 18” strips that I can use to square up the wonky quilt blocks.

I can’t straighten up the quilt blocks too much (or sometimes at all) before I add the strips to each of the four sides of the starched and pressed original blocks.

Can you see that if I straighten the original block, the basket base will be cut away on the pink triangle edge? I cut the strips wide enough to be able to eventually trim the block to 16 1/2”.

The picture above shows the block before I trim it.

Another example of a seriously crazy edge on another of the blocks.

I’m showing you this picture so you can see the evidence of the original seams remain in many places.

Even with the strips of fabric sewn to all sides, it remains a wonky block until it gets trimmed with this giant 16 1/2” square quilting ruler.

So I have a perfectly square quilt block at this point but those side strips sure do look odd. No worries, I have a plan…hopefully it will work.

And in the store this pink sashing looked like a perfect match… it looks good enough I’m thinking.

I was very happy to learn recently about this quilt pattern. A designer, woman extraordinaire, quilter, chef, etc. by the name of Florence La Ganke writing under the pen name of Nancy Page designed this quilt pattern known as Grandmother’s Garden in 1928 or 29.

Quilter Elenor Burns did a book remake of the instructions not all that many years ago.

Blessings to all and happy quilting, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 4

I’ve been moving along so fast I forgot to show tell you how I handled the precariously pieced basket triangles. Most of the actual baskets were hand pieced and many had already come apart by time I bought the quilt.

Putting my built in machine decorative stitches to use once again, I chose a light ivory thread, needle and bobbin, and stitched directly over the seams. I removed the red thread used on so many of the basket handles and using the machine applique stitch I sewed around the entire basket motif to include the handle.

Let me take a minute to show you the back of one of the blocks:

Is it any wonder these blocks are wonky!

But back to the pretty side, there were areas of damage to be addressed, white Bosal brand light weight woven single sided fusible to the rescue:

All I’m interested in doing is securing the torn area. Yes it looks like the “patch” it is, I will address this area later in the process. This is a good closeup though of both the outer edge applique stitch as well as the decorative stitching directly centered over the basket pieces seams.

Want a closeup of each of the 20 blocks?

Oh I do love these wonky blocks! What’s the little tag with numbers at the bottom point of each? I needed to establish both the smallest and largest block in order to make a decision about how to handle squaring up each one.

I’ve been doing research on this quilt pattern and have found out lots of info! More on that in my next blog post.

Blessings to all and happy quilting, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 3

As I work my way through all 20 blocks I try to remember to take pics of the before and afters so you can see the changes side by side. This block, I forgot the “after it was cleaned but before it was embellished” picture.

You can see I’ve drawn embellishing lines directly on the flower blossom using a Frixion Pen (by Pilot).

With deep purple poly machine embroidery thread I satin stitch over the pen lines.

I like the look the newly added lines give the blossom.

But…there’s no embellishing the fact that these are the wonkiest quilt blocks I’ve worked with in quite some time, maybe ever!

Here’s another block…there just no way that these blocks will ever be square again on their own. Yes…a dilemma to say the least!

Not sure about the name of this blossom but I like it! I will like it even more after I satin stitch the drawn lines. And yes, I forgot to take a pic once I finished the satin stitching. ☹️

This sweet blossom has missing fabric issues.

And “not even kind of square” issues.

By removing the fabric piece I will be able to better replicate the shape.

Using my Frixion pen I draw my desired shape.

I had initially thought of using the wrong side of this fabric but:

But after seeing the right side of the fabric sitting on the block, I decided it looked best. I used a machine applique stitch over the raw edges to secure this new piece of the blossom in place.

Many more blocks are patiently waiting their turn for a “make-over”, stay tuned because over the next few days/weeks I will document my progress with additional blog posts. Oh how I do love working with old things to bring them to life again!

Blessings to all and happy quilting, Rhonda

The Vintage Pink Basket Quilt, Part 2

Tackling the vintage pink basket quilt, Post #2. Never one to give up easily, I continue my my mission to give this quilt (now a quilt top) a new chance to shine.

Right away I noticed that this basket block was machine pieced while most of the others were done by hand. This is a good example where the quilter, without regard to individual block size or shape “made it work”. Note all the different sizes of triangles. And I am also going to assume she ran out of all light colored thread as most if not all the basket handles were machine stitched with red thread. I also found many areas where the blocks were machine stitched to sashings with white, ivory, purple and/or red thread and…in most instances the needle and bobbin threads do not match.

Wow did this thread thing bring back memories! I learned garment construction as a child and I was not the most patient seamstress. One of the things I HATED was when I ran out of bobbin thread (and did not have an appropriate backup bobbin ready to go) was having to stop, unthread the machine, wind a bobbin, re-thread, insert the newly wound bobbin, pull up the bobbin thread, find where I left off stitching…you get the picture… What I’m saying is I can totally relate if this quilt top was the creation of an impatient child.

The back of the quilt benefitted greatly from a second time in the soaking tub. Because I work with vintage quilts so often I save every bit of vintage fabric I can. Because they often blend in well, these old fabrics find their way into many of my vintage quilt projects that need a repair/fix.

This is the quilt top hanging on a design wall at a fabulous retreat venue (the 1914 Boehm House in Moulton, TX 🙂) where my intentions were to remove the basket handle red threads and re-stitch by machine using a pale ivory. I know there were fellow Retreaters who thought I had lost my mind…

After I had “fixed” a handle or two reality hit hard when I realized that to be successful, this quilt top needed a lot more than just ivory handle stitching.

Do you see what is nestled in the quilt top at this point?

Hello Mr. Rippit! Can you also see the seams just to the right of the ripper? Just about nothing in the quilt top lined up correctly. Nothing.

Time to dismantle. But are you seeing this…do you recognize what this is? Broiderie Perse! What? Want to learn more about Broderie Perse?

Here’s the bottom half of the block. Oh dear. See the triangles that have been trimmed? There’s no way to fix them unless I take apart the basket and replace these with a similar fabric and at this point I realized I would just work with what I had and be as creative as possible.

So, the deconstruction continues. The stripe fabric is light weight/thin, the stripe colors are pink and an interesting yellow/green.

And nothings pleases me more than when I see a “make-do” block pieced from fabric scraps. What’s up with that Serged edge? After I took the quilt apart I serged the four outside edges of both the quilt top and the backing before I soaked. I purposely set the serger to stitch very loose/loopy in the event I needed to remove these stitches.

More to come soon! Happy quilting and blessings, Rhonda