Primitive Garden Quilt: Patterns for All the Little Extras…

I’ve scanned and commented on most all of the following pictures of the “Add-Ons” to my Primitive Garden Quilt, just as a reminder, this is a wonderful pattern by Lisa Bongean of: Primitive Gatherings.

Why is there a 6″ ruler in each of the black and white pattern pictures? For scale! Often times our printers do not print full scale. This way if you print, you can use your own measuring devise to determine if you’ve printed full or 100% scale.

😦 I cannot find the patterns for the 3 little gourds at the bottom of the left block but they should be very easy to replicate on your own.

I also could not locate the pattern I used for the Carolina Wren on the Birdhouse Block. You can easily use the House Wren pattern, enlarge it a bit and make the tail feather pattern piece stand up.

The Queen Anne’s Lace flowers in the picture above… they are just lots of ivory wool 1/2″ squares that I’ve cinched/gathered in my needle and embroidery floss. I put a pale yellow french/colonial knot in the center of each of the cinched squares. You’ll need 12-15 little squares per blossom head to get the same look. Once the blossom heads were in place I embroidered stems where needed.

***And just as a reminder, create all your “multi-pieced” motifs on a teflon pressing sheet. Once they are fused together and have sufficiently cooled off, gently peel them from the pressing sheet, audition them on your quilt block in several different places. Once you think you have the perfect placement, walk away from your block for a few minutes. Once you return if you’re still happy with the placement, then it’s time to press them in place. Keep in mind that if you’re working with felted wool, don’t use the hottest setting on your iron!***

The turtle is only 3 pieces, the shell, the body and the front leg on the left. The additional details are highlighted by the hand embroidery.

If you vary the size of the leaves in this block, you will add visual interest. You can choose to place any number of birds in your tree branch, I just decided that 2 of them would be enough for me.

About the Tree Branch pattern, you should feel free to add or subtract branches, whatever fits your needs.

I had intended to put a couple of Walking Stick Bugs in my quilt as I used to be both terrified and intrigued by these bugs growing up. Sadly I forgot to include them but thought you might like the diagram for them anyway.

Mr. Field Mouse. He is tiny but cute! The exploded pattern pieces are down below the Blue Jay pictures, they are unmarked but you’ll find them in the top right hand corner of a black and white pic.

The Bumblebees and the profile Dragonfly.

This pattern underwent some serious changes but I stayed true to the intent of the original design. I added undulating ivy, extended the cone flower blossoms to almost touch the bottom of the feeder and redesigned the structure to include the roof. Using my rotary cutter, I placed pieces of “bird seed looking wool” on my cutting mat and sliced them almost to bits. I laid them carefully on the background fabric and placed smoke colored netting/tulle over-top. The netting holds the pieces generally in place. You could use a bit of very light weight fusible directly under the bird seed wool bits if desired.

The Left Cardinal pattern

Are you surprised the Robins are only 5 pieces? Again, its’ the hand embroidery that creates excellent detail. I’m sorry to say I think I have lost the pattern for both the beak and the feet but they are easily re-created.

Above you’ll find the pattern pieces for the Robins.

The top right 3 pieces are for the House Wren.

The Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird is one of my favorites!

The exploded pattern pieces are the Hummingbird. The little tear-drop looking thing is a pattern for tree leaves.

I love the Blue Jays. They have a lot of pieces but I feel like they were well worth the effort!

The top right 3 pieces (ignore the cone shape with the X in the middle) are the Field Mouse.

The left pieces are for the sitting Blue Jay.

And finally, the frog/toad. You will need to enlarge him to create both the large and small frog/toad on the Garden Tools Block.

I also can not find the individual pieces to the American Gold Finch. He is composed of: yellow body, black tail and head cap, white spot at the top of his tail, his beak and his feet.

While I liked the original pattern for the Hollyhocks, I decided to use a graphic I found instead. They are fuller flowers and leaves. I added a lot more of each to the left border.

This pattern addition is my favorite. Mr. Baltimore Oriole is feeding his 3 babies. The nest is just a bunch of pieces of brown felted wool layered on top of eachother. The hand embroidered chain stitch creates the “branches” that hold the nest onto the tree. I added a worm in the dad’s mouth.

If I was doing this over again, I would have the plant stem coming out of the dirt and angled much more sharply off to the left. I didn’t have a pattern for the spilled soil, just wing it, it’s easy.

Mr. Grasshopper

The pattern for the darling little grasshopper is found way up in the black and white picture that also had the Field Mouse. He is 3 pattern pieces, the body, the front and the back leg. Again, it’s the hand embroidery that finished this one!

You may remember, mom made and gave me the Squirrel so I don’t have a pattern for him either.

Does this help you in choosing to personalize this wonderful pattern? I hope so!

Do you have questions? I’m ready to answer anything I can, just send me a comment and I’ll answer back as soon as possible.

If you find that you cannot print the black and white pattern pages from this blog, email me ( ) and I will sent you all the patterns of my little extras.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone, and of course, happy quilting!


All the little extras in my Primitive Garden quilt.

By now you already know how much I love this pattern and what a wonderful time I had creating each and every block and border. But with each pattern I tried to add a personal touch or two or three. This blog post is jam packed with pictures, 41 I think, and each one is included to show you the details of my additions.

The 2 pictures above show 2 of the 7 House Wrens I added to the top border. Below you’ll see I added a tree branch (to the upper left border) featuring a male Baltimore Oriole feeding a worm to one of the 3 baby birds in the hanging nest. Just for fun I added several clumps of red cherries to the tree branches.

Above is a pic of a tiny field mouse that’s found a home at the base of the left fence post in the Birds on a Wire block. In the 2 pictures below you can see close-ups of the beautiful Bumblebees buzzing the Morning Glory vine flowers.

Sorry this pic isn’t clearer, but this is my tiny garden variety snail crawling along the lower edge of the Geranium block.

This sweet little yellow and tan butterfly is flying around in the right upper border, just above the Zinnias.

Here’s one of 2 male Ruby Throated hummingbirds flying around in the quilt. This one is finding nourishment amongst the Zinnias.

The Garden Hoe block features this tiny spider dropping down from his web at the head of the hoe and below you’ll see 1 of 2 green grasshoppers resting on the top left of the same garden hoe.

Here’s the 2nd yellow butterfly hovering above the robins in the Shovel block and below is the 2nd of the 2 hummingbirds searching for nectar in the flowers of the orange Trumpet Vine.

The Shovel block also features 2 male Robins observing their surroundings as they perch on the Trumpet Vine tendrils.

Below you can see I made several changes to the bird feeder design in the left border. I revised the design of the feeder structure, changed from one blackbird to a male and female Cardinal, placed chopped up wool pieces behind smoke colored netting/tulle to resemble bird feed and added a green Ivy Vine that winds its way up the feeder pole and onto the roof.

Here’s the 2nd of the 2 green grasshoppers making an appearance on the Seed Packet block.

More Bumblebees and a tiny little Dragonfly are additions to the Sap Bucket block.

Oh the Rake block! I had a great time creating these 2 male American Goldfinches! They replace the original 2 blackbirds in the original pattern. And, am I the only one that thinks the leaves in the Rake block look like moose antlers?

Mr. Squirrel is at the bottom right of the rake handle. I must confess, my mom made the squirrel for me during one of my visits to Missouri. I was thrilled! It was only because I was not paying attention to things that created the circumstances of the vine appearing to be growing out of his nose 🙂 At least I remembered to provide him with acorns to eat.

Another “tree branch” addition features 2 more House Wrens perched in the right quilt border.

Oh the Blue Jays! I love both of them! Dad Blue Jay is coming in for a landing to join mom Blue Jay on the edge of the birdbath bowl.

In the above 2 pictures you’ll see a small Carolina Wren addition to the Birdhouse Block and look closely and you’ll find a Chameleon resting in the leaves of the plant at the left base of the birdbath base.

Below is one of many red LadyBugs I’ve added to the quilt.

A tipped, yet still flourishing plant in the flower pot on its side and below at the left base of the Hollyhocks is the 1st of 2 turtles.

3 very small gourds round out all the additions to the left border. Below is the 2nd little turtle underneath the Wheelbarrow. You’ll notice I added a second set of leg supports to the wheelbarrow.

A very tiny little yellow butterfly is visiting a flower in the Seed Packet block.

A tiny LadyBug on a leaf in the Garden Tools block.

In the picture above you can see I added 7 bunches, both large and small, of Queen Anne’s Lace blossoms atop the sunflowers.

Below you’ll note I changed up the right border to include a stylized American Flag with vining ivy to replace the original green garden hose.

The top border also got a few more flowers: 2 more red flowers and 1 more purple flower on each side.

And finally, again in the Garden Tools block, I added 2 little green toads, a blue butterfly and deleted the garden clippers.

I’m sure given more time and concentration I could document 1 or 2 more changes/additions but I think I’ve covered the majority of them.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt, many thanks to Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings for such. Wonderful pattern!

Are you still with me? Please know that if you’d like any of my bird/animal/insect patterns, I could scan and send them to you, just let me know.

As a closing note, take time to remember that as we approach this blessed Christmas Season that Jesus is the reason we have this “season”!

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting,


My Primitive Garden Quilt

img_1584Way back in probably sometime around 2007, mom and I were at Festival and in the Primitive Gathering booth had just the body of this quilt on display. The borders weren’t finished yet but we liked what we saw! Liked it enough that we both bought the pattern and decided then and there that we’d each create our own quilt and compare blocks when we could as Mom lives in Missouri, I’m in Texas.

I’m going to present the pics in this blog post as follows: 1st will be a picture of the pattern as purchased and then my interpretation in the completed and quilted block. Are you ready?

This a pic of the pattern cover:

And here’s a pic of my finished quilt. I had a hard time finding various background fabrics of the right scale and color. To help solve this problem, I concentrated mainly on the fabric scale when making my choices. To help them all “play well together” I mixed up a light tan dye vat and over-dyed them all together. All the background fabrics except the Sap Bucket went into the dye for several minutes. It worked like a charm!


But first, where did I get my woolens? This entire project is felted hand over-dyed wool applique on cotton. 95% of the felted and dyed wool came from second hand store garments that I took apart, felted in the washing machine and dryer and then individually hand dyed as I needed specific colors. When searching in second-hand stores I would concentrate on clothing where the wool had a nice weave and texture.  It was such a satisfying journey start to finish! Yes I made a mess in my kitchen but thankfully everything cleaned up nicely. The felting and over-dying of the wool was one of my favorite parts of this amazing project!

Let’s begin with the Shovel Block:

Right away I have taken some liberties with the block composition by adding additional leaves, a butterfly and a hummingbird and also revised the blackbirds to robins.

The Rake block:

The blackbirds were revised to American Gold Finches and I added a Squirrel and acorns to the bottom right side. I should mention right here that mom made my squirrel, thanks mom!

The Watering Can block:

I added quite a lot of hand stitching to this block, especially to all the small purple flowers, leaves and a tiny ladybug.

The Birds on a Wire block:

For my adaptation I revised the fence posts to be smaller, added additional flowers and leaves, gave the blackbirds a bit more character by cutting their wings separately, added a tiny field mouse at the base of the left fence post as well as embroidering 2 bumblebees.

The Birdhouse Block:

I tried to give the birdhouse more detail to create dimension, added additional flowers and buds, leaves and changed the blackbird to a Carolina Wren.

The Garden Tools block:

This block had 2 frogs a ladybug and a blue butterfly added and I did not make the secateurs part of my block design.

The Geranium block:

I revised the placement of the flower stems, added additional flowers and leaves and found the perfect spot for a little garden snail.

The Garden Hoe block:

I had trouble with this block because while I knew why the flowers were upside-down but my brain didn’t like them that way. I dressed up most of the flower edges, added a little grasshopper on the left of the hoe handle as well as a spider and web on the right.

The Sap Bucket block:

This was one of the first blocks I tackled. If I was to do it over again I might change up the bird to a more realistic one. I added 2 bumblebees and a little dragonfly. Otherwise, it follows the pattern rather closely.

The Seed Packet block:

This block also follows the pattern quite closely. I added detail to the flowers, the yellow butterfly and the little grasshopper.

The Sunflower basket, top border:

I made many many changes/additions to the top border: added the Queen Anne’s Lace white flowers above the sunflowers, increased the number of the purple and the red flowers as well as adding 7 House Wrens.

The Wheelbarrow border:

I added a second set of leg supports to the wheelbarrow, the vining strawberry blossoms intertwined through the letters and the little turtle.


The Hollyhock border:

I made lots of changes/additions to this border. I added the tipped and overflowing flower pot, tweaked the bird feeder design, revised the design of the hollyhocks, changed the birds to Cardinals, added the tree branch with the male Baltimore Oriole feeding the young in the hanging nest, added the grouping of gourds at the bottom and the larger turtle at the lower left corner.

The Watering Hose right border:

I also made lots of revisions to the right border, replacing the watering hose with a stylized American flag and ivy vine, added another hummingbird, butterfly and a tree branch with House Wrens. I kept the birdbath but changed the birds to Blue Jays and added a flowering plant at the bottom right of the birdbath base. If you look closely, you’ll find a chameleon hidden on the leaves.

I’ve got a lot more to tell you about this project but I’m going to save it for my next blog post, look for it in a few days. I have to report for Federal Jury Duty Monday morning, I’m taking my computer and hopefully during wait times I can get the next blog post ready to upload. And yes, I longarm quilting this on my Innova. It was one of the first “serious” projects I quilted and yes, I was nervous!

I was fortunate enough to have this quilt win several awards: Best of Show at the Quilt Guild of Houston’s 2015 show, accepted into competition in 2016 in the International Quilt Festival, Houston, Quilts of Beauty, and in 2017 it won First Place, Best of Division, Judges Choice and Best of Show at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo.

This project was a complete joy! One of those where you wonder how you’ll know when you’re finished. Until next time, hope you have enjoyed the journey thus far through My Primitive Garden quilt! In the next blog post I’ll show you a picture of mom’s quilt next to my quilt! We both finished our amazing project!

Blessings and Happy Quilting,

Rhonda 2018

Wool on Flannel Appliquéd Holiday Basket Panel

Here’s an “on the fly” new tutorial:


About an hour ago I posted a picture of this basket on a great Facebook Group called Wool Applique. I got lots of pm’s and questions about how I made it so I decided to do a quick blog post about what I remember…because this was another one of my experimental projects from about 8 or 9 years ago.

I picked up this basket from Hobby Lobby because it had almost perfect horizontal and vertical lines. I knew that any angle other than 90 degrees would cause me some headaches. Plus, it has these great dividers! A win-win!


This is a wool on flannel appliqued project. It could easily be wool on wool, flannel on wool, wool on cotton…you get the idea.

Ok, so the picture below shows you how and where I joined the completed appliqued panel. Knowing what I know now, I could have and should have adjusted the brown stems to perfectly meet or at least appliqued a motif over their joining.


Once you’ve chosen your basket/box/container you’ll need to decide on your applique intentions, ie: your motifs, your sizes, your colors, etc. Your wool or flannel project should be stitched thru a single layer of batting. I used a white 50/50. This batting also gives the panel some “grip” and helps to hold it to the basket when you’re finished.

With your basket/box/container in hand and a medium weight non stretchy fabric, make a pattern of the needed panel. I used a medium weight natural muslin fabric.

The height of my panel needed to be minimum 5″ finished and 29 1/4″ wide around the top of the basket, 28′ at the bottom. In other words, my basket has a slight flair bottom to top. Make sure your pattern needs to fit perfectly. Remember, don’t stretch your pattern fabric.

Once you’ve recreated your basket panel onto your pattern fabric, add an additional 1/2″ to all sides. You know that the more hand work/applique you do to your panel, the more it has the chance of being “drawn in” in both height and width.


The sawtooth borders: they go on last, so don’t worry about them now.

Do all your handwork on your panel and when finished, lay it out on your basket. You can use long straight pins to hold it by sending them thru the panel and the spaces in the basket weave. You’re just interested in knowing how much of an overlap you’ll have at the center back at this point.

Determine where your center back seam should be located. Using white chalkboard chalk or something similar, mark and sew your back seam.

Very carefully easy your joined panel, from the bottom onto your basket body. Carefully!

You can either tuck under or carefully trim away any flannel and batting overhand, top and bottom at this point. Remember, both these edges will be covered with the sawtooth strip you’ll make next.

If you’re happy with the fit, gently pat it into place. Here’s where that 50/50 batting helps tremendously!


The sawtooth edge does double duty: it covers your raw edge of the basket panel and it gives a nice finished look to your project. Cut 2 strips of black wool/flannel/etc. 1″ larger than your BASKET TOP measurement. Using white chalk again, I marked every 1/2″ and then using some very sharp scissors, I cut my sawtooth edge.


Once my sawtooth borders were cut, using Roxanne’s Glue Baste, I glued the top and bottom borders in place, cutting away any excess. If you’re worried about the glue baste holding at the sawtooth joining edge, take a stitch or two in a matching thread.


Let me know if you have questions, and until then: Happy Stitching,


IMG_4386 (Edited)


The Downton Abbey Garden Party quilt.

The Downton Abbey Garden Party quilt, named for the fabric line and the quilt pattern by Laura Heine. You’ve seen the pattern, the one made of bright colors in a 20+ inch quilt block? I bought this pattern about a year ago, started choosing bright color fabrics and set it aside when a few other projects took precedent.

The pattern:

Fast forward to June of this year. I’m not terribly fond of purple fabrics. Sometimes for a break in vintage quilting I actually piece a quilt top. Often times I try and use a fabric color I don’t like just to understand the color and how it reacts with others. That’s what happened here. The Downton Abbey fabrics are all in purple colors-colors that kind of gave me hives…

So what’s up with the laundry hanging in my doorway? I decided to do all the quilt block applique in white eyelet and where best to find a good variety of white eyelet than the many thrift/second hand stores in and round northwest Houston.

I bought 9 different eyelets in either clothing and/or pillow shams and bed skirts. As soon as I got home, everything went straight into the washing machine with a very generous amount of Clorox.


Once washed, sanatized and dried, I spent some time with my scissors and seam ripper taking everything apart.

Now’s a good time to tell you about that 20″ block of Laura’s: I took the pattern it FedEx/Kinkos and using one of their “big machines” reduced the 20″ to a 6″ block:


But how did I get all the pattern pieces drawn on the Heat ‘n Bond Lite? I used blue painters tape to attach a piece of the fusible onto card stock. I then laid out all the reduced pattern pieces on my printer/scanner. I copied the pattern pieces directly onto the Heat ‘n Bond Lite by using my ink/jet printer.  Key word in that last sentence: ink/jet! This technique will not work no how no way with a laser printer!!! Can’t stress that enough! Laser printers work with high heat!


This was a HUGE time saver! Using a medium/high temp on my iron, I pressed all the Heat ‘n Bond Lite printed sheets to pre-cut pieces of bleached muslin. Why bleached muslin and not directly onto the eyelet? I needed a visual barrier between the eyelet and the purple fabrics. Without the muslin, the intense purple fabrics shadowed behind the eyelet.


So… how to hold the eyelet onto the bleached muslin without adding another layer of fusible? Behold the adhesive spray! I googled this brand of spray and it is easily available at several online retailers. Why did I choose this particular one? Because it can easily be stitched thru with my domestic sewing machine with little to no sticky buildup on my needle.


But this spray should only be used with good ventilation! This deep cardboard provided just the right setting for an outdoors successful spray operation. Before I began, I did a short/quick shot of spray on the inside bottom of the box. This shot of spray then allowed me to “stick” my fabric piece to the box and thus keeping the piece positioned to receive the more thorough and uniform blast of adhesive. Don’t leave out this step, it’s important!


Once the muslin side has been sprayed lightly with the adhesive, I carefully played the eyelet fabric on the sticky/tacky side and gently patted the fabric into place.

At this point I’m ready to cut out all the applique pieces.

You’ll note that I don’t have to cut out each flower petal separately, I can leave them attached at the very bottom. This helps tremendously when it’s time to lay them out on the purple fabric.

Peel away the Heat ‘n Bond Lite paper backing and position the flowers and butterfly on the fabric. Once I was happy with the placement I ironed/pressed the eyelet applique motifs into permanent position and began to raw edge machine applique using Glide white thread in my needle. I’m using my Bernina 1630 and my applique stitch is set at  default.

If you look closely you can see that the design/patterns of the eyelet fabric flow nicely when the petals are cut as one unit rather than separately.


Why am I using a design board with a chartruse fabric? Well, it was handy. Don’t worry, this green will not make its way into the final project.

So what would I use for sashings? I auditioned this white trim below. I liked the look but found I didn’t have nearly enough.

With all my second hand eyelet garments, I found I had plenty of one particular kind and that solved my problem. And yes, it order to have some consistency, I backed all the sashing eyelet pieces with bleached muslin.

You might remember from a past blog or two that I’m a huge fan of Elmer’s White School Glue. Just a tiny dab and a hit with a hot iron works wonders when matching seams is very important! The nice thing about this particular Elmer’s is that is washes out completely. Just remember to buy the white School Glue if you want to give it a try.

You can’t go wrong by paying close attention to how you press your seams. Consistency is key!

I’m strip piecing my sashings and cornerstones:

And sewing my rows together:

But… some of the purple fabric is very ravelly! And from experience I know that stray dark color threads can show through quilt tops! Again, Elmer’s to the rescue.

I draw a fine line along the problematic fabric and then with my index finger, smear the glue along the cut fabric edge.

To dry the smeared glue I lay my teflon pressing sheet on top of the fabric edge and quickly press until dry.

Some close up shots of the finished quilt top:

The back:

And finally the front! This quilt top measures 37×44″. The sashings are 1″ finished and the borders will measure 4″ when complete.

All of the block background fabrics are Downton Abbey. The cornerstone and border fabric is something found at Hobby Lobby.


I’m looking forward to the time when I can load this on my longarm and get it quilted. Of course I’m sure it will be full of quilted feathers 🙂

As a wrap up, you’ll find:

A Laura Heine quilt pattern, Andover Fabric, the Downton Abbey line, second hand eyelet garments and bedding, Hobby Lobby fabric, Heat ‘n Bond Lite and Glide thread in this project!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! Let me know if you have questions and of course, Happy quilting!


And… I just found out last evening that this quilt took a ribbon at the MQX Springfield! I’ll find out where it placed later this evening!!

IMG_4386 (Edited)

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)