Feature artist/blog: Sarah Lizzies Handmade

Sarah Lizzies Handmade

This woman is to blame! After stumbling on her blog (via Pinterest) a few years ago, my creativity headed in a whole new direction, my spare time was spent searching for that perfect vintage whatever, my pocketbook began its downward spiral and sleep became random.

Her blog is such a joy to read. I’m thinking that if she stopped being creative with her hands, her words alone would likely pay the bills.

I am in awe of creative “think outside the box” individuals and she’s definitely one of those people! She has a name by the way, it’s Kim. She has no idea I’m featuring her in my blog today. Gosh I hope she’s good with this!

If you have a minute, or two, or ten thousand, click on the underlined link above and spend some time in Tasmania. For the geographically challenged, Tasmania is at the southernmost tip of Australia.

The link is above. For some reason I cannot get the font to be dark blue 😦

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I have been introduced to this island by her blog because not only is she genius when it comes to creativity, she’s a mighty fine photographer to boot.

So, I was afraid of hexagons until I found this picture, the rest is history as they say…

I immediately began planning what would be my first embellished hexagon quilt. In the States (for quilting) we measure hexagon sizes by the length of an individual side. If I had to guess I would say these hexagons might have 6-7″ sides? And just look at those fabulous pillows! Vintage linen pillows!

This picture above was the inspiration for my small piece titled: Basket of Flowers. Thank you Kim! And feast your eyes on this awesome basket in the pic below! Wow!

How many people do you know that wake up one day and say to themselves “I think I’ll cut apart a perfectly good book and paste the pages on a few wall in my home”?

Her garden pictures are sublime, her sense of composition are wonderful and she has taught me about her family, her town, her country, her talents and most of all she has taught me to stretch my creativity.

Thanks Kim!

Happy Quilting and Happy Creating and Blessings,

Rhonda

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***house update: 6 replacement custom windows (ordered months and months ago) were delivered to the house on Tuesday. The window installers came on Thursday. Only 2 were correct… 4 have to be remade… Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and just about everything from that dreadful hurricane has been, well, just crazy!

 

 

Vintage Linens Quilt #2; the final tutorial, Part 5!

Ta-Da! It’s finished!

I’m going to take you through the entire quilt and give you some quilting pointers, some do’s and don’ts based on me getting to know my seam ripper much better. Get ready, there are more than 35 pictures below with lots of words to go with them!

I set out to quilt a theme in this quilt: Hearts and Feathers. I had such fun with this piece for a couple of reasons. For starts, I love quilting feathers and…I honestly didn’t like this quilt top all that much so I wasn’t on pins and needles about getting everything perfect! Now that’s it’s finished, it’s one of my favorites!

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First let me show you how little things can make such a nice difference. Look at the arrows on the pic below. The black arrow points to feathers stitched in the traditional manner and the red arrow points to the feathers stitched with a simple vein in the middle of each individual plume.

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Just this simple addition to the feathers give them depth, definition and character:

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Is the pic big enough that you can see the parallel lines at the outside of the ivory swags? Super simple, very dramatic method of quilting the edge of a piece. Now, don’t get any idea that the parallel lines 1/4” apart go quickly, they don’t but I think they’re worth the time.

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When you’re quilting or telling your quilter what you’d like, keep in mind that seams/fabric changes can be completely ignored when it comes to quilting designs/motifs. See how the hearts below span both the pink polka dot as well as the solid light pink and right above the top heart, notice how the undulating feathers cross over both the ivory with the tiny rosebud and the mint green floral. Don’t ever feel you’re confined by your seams/fabric changes.

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But how did that quilting get beneath the big horizontal ivory linen and crochet piece above?  I un-tacked the corners of the crochet, folded them into the center and quilted underneath. Once the quilting was finished, I folded back the crochet, tacked it back into place. Here’s an example of a don’t: see the horizontal and vertical lines on the hearts in the above pic…had I thought through my process completely I might have realized that diagonal lines would have been a better choice. The quilting lines, as they are, accentuate the fact that they are askew with the fabric seam lines. The top heart lines are ok, the bottom heart lines look wonky.

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Speaking of quilting, you’ll see when you mix things up you create a quilting visual interest/tension by sometimes staying within a fabric such as the pink heart and the feather wreath to its left.

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The sweet blue ribboned floral bouquet below gets lots of attention with the tiny orange peel background fill.

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Just to add some visual interest I quilted diagonal parallel lines in the pink print fabric below. What the pictures don’t show is that I diagonal line quilted all the plaid fabric also. And how about that beautiful ladies vintage handkerchief? It was the perfect background for a half feather wreath within a half feather wreath.

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See the sweethearts Juan and Juanita below? How could I not quilt hearts on the lower left and right open areas of their block! And can you see I took liberties with the doily and quilted additional vining branches and leaves into the design?

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The medium ivory vertically placed trim next to the turquoise fabric was quilted down on all edges except the left side leaves. I left them free of any quilting.

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I was undecided about whether or not to quilt directly on the laces, trims, crochet pieces and the tatting so I did a variety of things. Some crochet long strips were heavily quilted, all the light weight laces were heavily quilted, the tatting was quilted, the ivory crocheted heart was also quilted but the dark ivory hand crocheted glove was not. I machine (think crazy tiny) zig-zagged the outer edge of the glove and quilted feathers all around the outside. From the front it looked great. From the back it looked awkward…there was this large un-quilted hand on the back of the quilt. 😦 kind of like I forgot to quilt a large area.

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I un-stitched the glove, drew a diagonal grid in the void and quilted a tiny orange peel design.  The blue box below shows the “after”.  Needless to say,  I was much happier!

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How about that “googly-eyed” butterfly! Eyes the size of nickels and 6 antennae! Crazy but I like it! I quilted directly on the butterfly. This block is another good example of quilting straying successfully over fabric seams.

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I’ve got a few cross-stitch pieces in this project. I quilted straight lines along each edge of the cross-stitch so that the flower and leaves puffed out. See how the center veins in the feathers gives them character and depth.

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Such a dilemma with the tatting. I finally decided to quilt directly on and over the tatting and if it looked bad, well, my seam ripper was close by.

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This large handkerchief below was in just OK shape but you’d never know it with all the quilting. Keep in mind when working on a vintage linens project that the quilting can be a wonderful distraction from less than perfect pieces.

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What do you do if you have a nice crocheted edge that you want to stay loose and free of quilting stitches? Home Depot to the rescue with blue painter’s tape!

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Here’s a quick look at a small portion of the back. (The yellow cast in areas of the pictures is just due to my novice picture taking abilities.)

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So what did I do with this “already pretty visually active” quilt top? I  intentionally quilted the living daylights out of it. Does it distract or add visual interest? You be the judge with the before and after pics below.

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If you’re still with me and are making your own Vintage Linens Quilt top, take a chance and quilt your project yourself! It will be a great way to practice and a great memories will be made!

The particulars: Backing fabric is Moda 995211 white, 100% cotton, 120″ wide. This time I used only 1 layer of batting: Hobbs Tuscany Poly, white. The needle thread: Wonderfil Deco Bob color #104, bobbin thread: Guttermann Skala 240 color #800. Total quilting time: 38.5 hours.

Why only 1 layer of batting this time? Remember that I created each block on a foundation of muslin. This is essentially like having a double layer quilt top. It was heavy and I felt like a double layer of batting would be too much.

From tutorial #4 someone asked how I handle all the little tears, shreds, holes, etc. in the vintage pieces. As a general rule I acknowledge I am not creating a utility quilt to be used as warmth on a bed. I make my pieces to be teaching tools as I guest lecture, as examples to accompany my blog posts or as show pieces. Unless the damage is severe I ignore the problem areas and leave them as evidence of their use for which they were created. When it’s time to quilt I specifically use a dense technique where necessary with the idea of further securing the damaged area(s) with the stitching.

So many of you have asked such great questions! Keep them coming! Thank you!! And of course thank you so much for all the kind words about the loss of my youngest sister.

House update: windows are scheduled to be delivered (and maybe installed?) on Thursday! Woo hoo! Progress!

Additionally a bit of exciting news: I have 3 pieces juried into the MQX New England! (I can’t find a full pic right now of the first one.) The show begins the evening of April 11th and runs through the 14th.

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting!

Rhonda

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Vintage Linens Quilt #2, the tutorial continues – Part 4!

I know there are several quilters that are well into the process of creating their own Vintage Linens quilt! Thank you for sending pictures of your awesome progress! Recently Elaine Marie on Facebook asked where I get my vintage linens. Here’s my reply:  “I’m rather addicted to: eBay, every junk store in Houston, every antique mall/store in Texas and sometimes my bffs give me awesome things! It seems that all of my friends know I love vintage linens so if they have the task of cleaning out a relatives home, I am so blessed that they often think of me!”

Below is one of my very favorite blocks in this project.

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The colors of my fabrics and the colors in this vintage doily work so well together!

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This is the first time I’ve chosen to use such big prints and bold colors with vintage pieces. The bold colors lend their own set of problems to making blocks that are so often comprised of white and/or ivory linens.

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The large round doily looks great on the bold floral fabric. Here’s my method for handling the shadowing:

  1. Center the doily on the fabric square (or rectangle).
  2. If you have a crocheted edging such as the pic below, machine stitch along the area where the crochet and the doily fabric meet.
  3. Stitch with a zig-zag or a straight stitch, the choice is completely up to you.

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4. Flip your block over. I’ve done both the zig-zag and straight stitch to show you what each will look like. There’s no need to do both stitches on your own blocks. Mine is just for demonstration.

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5. With really sharp scissors, make a tiny snip in JUST THE BACKGROUND FABRIC.

6. Insert the scissors into the snip. Begin to cut away the background fabric very close to your stitching, about 1/8″ away. Continue cutting all the way around until the fabric behind the doily is removed.

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Below is a picture of what your block will look like, but looking closely…what else do you see that is problematic? Look at all those wispy embroidery floss ends flying all over the place! They will show thru to the front side when your quilt top is placed atop batting! Now’s the time to take care of them but first, give the “end game” some thought. Why are you making this quilt? Will it be a utility quilt used on a bed? Will it be a Show Piece in your home? Will you quilt it very closely or will it have mostly wide open un-quilted areas? Because I quilt the living daylights out of my quilts I already know that once loaded on the longarm, I will closely stitch most if not all the embroidery as though it were applique. I also know I am creating this piece as a teaching tool and it will most likely never be used as a utility piece. Therefore I have chosen to clip most of the floss tails to about 1/4″ and then to press them into the floss of like color.

If this were to be a utility quilt I would need to have knotted the floss tails in some fashion to ultimately secure them because as a utility piece the chances of seeing a washing machine and dryer are highly likely.

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Let me also tell you that many of the linens had small (less than 1/4″) holes/tears in them. For this project I did not take time to make any repairs, instead I did heavy quilting over these imperfections. See the pic below for one example of such a hole:

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So here we are with the body of the quilt finished! Well, finished with the exception of sewing all 9 sections together.

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I chose to do 2 borders, the inner 1″ finished and the outer 6″ finished. The outer border features ivory swags cut from a vintage damask tablecloth with shamrock woven designs. I used Heat ‘n Bond Lite behind the swag, pressed it into place and then with a sewing machine built-in applique (blanket) stitch, I  appliqued each swag and circle to the borders. The ivory swags and the circles are both raw edge. Many of you know I do not like using fusible with vintage linens so why did I use it on the swags? The damask tablecloth was of medium weight. If I had turned the edges under, the bulk would have been awkward. The damask was also very ravelly. The Heat ‘n Bond Lite held the raw edges very nicely until I could get the applique/button hole stitch completed. For this quilt I chose to make the swag circles from the same fabric throughout the border.

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Remember, there’s a very detailed Custom Swag tutorial you can find in my blog post of May 26, 2017. Don’t be intimidated by creating a custom swag border, once you’ve done one you’ll be a pro!

Here’s the quilt top ready to be loaded on the longarm:

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I think there’s one more blog post tutorial about this quilt coming. The final tutorial will detail all the quilting and the tidbits about handling crochet, tatting, laces etc. on your quilt top. I had a bunch of “do-overs” I want to tell/warn you about. What am I doing right now on this quilt? I’ve finished 2 sides of the binding, maybe I will be able to do another side or two this coming weekend. That will leave the sleeve and label for another day.

Thank you so much for all your kind sweet words about the loss of my youngest sister. The funeral service in Chicago was beautiful. I had a chance to speak near the close of the service and while rather difficult, I’ll be forever grateful I did.

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting,

Rhonda

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Part 3, Vintage Linens Quilt #2 the tutorial continues…

I know some of you have started your vintage linens quilt tops! I love the pictures you’ve sent! Keep sending pics, keep posting comments/questions! The creative process is amazing!

So remember: you’ve got a plan at this point, you have an idea of what your color scheme might be, you have an idea about the general size of your project and you’ve been scouring your stash, your friends stash, your local antique malls, etc. for wonderful vintage pieces for your quilt. But what do you do when you find something that works… kind of? The colors are right, the motif(s) are right but there’s that thick modern rolled hem all around the outside! You improvise! Today’s post is mostly about improvising with pieces to “make” them work. The luncheon/dinner napkin below is one of these pieces. You’re going to have to imagine it without the blue lines because I forgot to take a “before” picture.

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It’s a lovely light ivory medium weight linen with both dark and light pink hand embroidery. It’s well done, it it perfect in every way except that unsightly wobbly thick machine applied rolled hem. It will be perfect for cutting apart to make 4″ blocks!

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From this single napkin I now have 8 embroidered pieces!

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I immediately head to my repurposed McCall’s pattern drawers to look for trim to cover the rolled hem.

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Auditioning trims, I make a final decision on a machine produced medium yellow/ivory trim. I sew on the trim and then carefully cut away the rolled hem. Important point: if I had cut away the rolled hem first, I would have been left with a fragile bias edge to manage. Don’t make the project harder than it should be!

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Once the new trim is added and the rolled hem is cut away, I position the little piece on a 4″ 1/2 x 4 1/2″ fabric square, machine stitch just above the new trim edge. Now here’s where another problem presents itself. The fabric shadows through the ivory linen, or in other words, I can just barely see polka dots thru the linen. Not a good thing! Flip your piece over to the back side and CAREFULLY trim away the fabric ONLY behind the vintage piece.

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Remember to place your little piece on your foundation fabric and in some fashion, baste around the raw edges. This is one of those times when you’ll be glad of the foundation as the top edge is 100% bias! Here are 4 of my new 4 1/2″ square blocks made from the dinner napkin. For consistency I used the same machine produced trim on each, you may have decided to have vary all of your trims.

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For a little break in the action, here are a few pics of my remarkably clean, non-cluttered sewing room… ha! Yes it’s a giant mess but it’s MY mess! I’ve got my remote control and my can of HEB lime flavored sparkling water so I’m set!

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It’s time to begin laying out your blocks. Refer back to your diagram for placement. Remember to mark (with pencil) on your diagram where specific blocks go, if you’re anything like me you won’t remember within a matter of 30 minutes!

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The pic below will give you an idea of the variety of things you can use in your quilt. You’ll note I’ve used both old and new-ish things.

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Now, here’s a warning of sorts: see the plaid fabric above, the one with the black lines? It is a new fabric, a VERY well known fabric manufacturer. Never in a million years did I expect the black to fade, in fact I never bothered to test it. It fades. I’ve learned my lesson. Test your fabrics, even if it’s just laying them atop a white paper towel and spritzing them with water. If I’d done even just that I would have discovered the fading issue.

I’d love to see pictures of the vintage linen projects you’ve started!

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Now a bit of news from here: sadly my youngest sister passed on Tuesday. We knew it was coming but of course when it happens you’re still deeply saddened. We will be traveling to Chicago on Sunday for a Monday funeral service. I’d so appreciate your prayers for safe travels, for the gathering of the family, for words spoken at her funeral and of course for her sweet husband as he transitions to life without her. God’s plans and timing are perfect and nothing takes Him by surprise. It is in our humanness that we are deeply filled with sorrow at these kind of happenings because we have such a great sense of loss of loved ones.

Blessings to all and until next week,

Rhonda

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Vintage Linens Quilt #2, a Tutorial, Part 2

Part 2! Are you ready?

This post is going to be wordy and full of pictures of the diagram I used to create this quilt top:

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I want to point out a few things about the diagram and offer some advice on how to simplify your process. In the meantime, you can be thinking about what size quilt you want to make and once determined, go ahead and begin choosing your vintage linen pieces that will make up the largest blocks.

It’s never too early to get your linens clean and pressed. Now is the time to soak the vintage pieces and I’m always happy to tell you my soak method. Jump back to my blog post of November 7, 2016 for some very detailed information and a great recipe to get your pieces in tip-top condition. Somewhere along the way I need to tell you I’m a big advocate of spray starch. I starch and steam press just about everything.

So, back to the diagram, have you noticed that rather than random blocks, it is actually large sections? In the following picture I’ve labeled the 9 sections. Did you notice the diagram is divided almost down the center? The right half is 30″ wide, the left is 26″. If you stick close to the diagram, you’ll find all sections except 5 and 8 have one block that is larger than all the others. Keep this in mind when looking at your big doilies.

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If you follow the diagram exactly you’ll find you need: 21 2″ blocks, 34 4″ blocks, 18 6″, 10 4″, 3 12″ and finally, 2 16″. For the record, I did not need this many blocks. I do not have any 2″ blocks in my finished quilt top, they were easily combined either to each other or to adjacent blocks.

My advice to you is to construct your quilt top in sections. Sections 2 and 3 are small and could easily be combined as are Sections 5 and 6, but don’t make things harder for yourself! Use my methodology of: When in doubt…don’t.

Now, let me point out a few other dicey areas that have the potential to give you trouble. In the diagram below I’ve added green arrows and yellow circles to indicate the “set in seam” dilemmas. I made appropriate revisions in my own block sizes to avoid set-in seams. It’s only section 4 that has these pesky little 2″ blocks. You decide.

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When you feel like you’ve got a game plan in mind with your vintage linens, don’t rely on memory about where they should be placed, make a copy of your diagram and with pencil start labeling the blocks such as the following picture:

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You’ll also notice that using a red pen I notated all my changes in block sizes. Do this as you work with each Section and you’ll find everything fits together nicely in the end. This is also a good way to know if you’ll be needing additional vintage linens and if so, what to look for in the shops or your stash 🙂

As you can tell, I’m generally a “planner.” With a good plan I figure I can do almost anything. Now this theory has gotten me into trouble a few times, but usually I’m good.

A few things come to mind:

  1. Don’t forget to plan for seam allowances!!! If the diagram says 12″ you know it really means 12 1/2″ right???
  2. Clean/soak your vintage linens! The last thing you want to happen is to have iron scorch marks on your beautiful pieces from old detergent residue!
  3. Plan ahead for your fabrics. Think about overall color schemes, etc.
  4. Determine the finished size of your quilt top.
  5. Decide what you’re going to use as your foundation fabric if you’re leaning that way, and let me just say your foundation fabric needs to be a true solid, no tone-on-tone, etc.
  6. And finally, if this is your first time cutting into vintage linens, please-oh-please do not use your most valued and treasured family heirloom things this time!!! Wait until you’ve some experience under your belt before using these pieces!

Are you ready? Do you have questions? You can easily leave a question in the comments section. The great thing about the comments section is that if you have a question about something, chances are good someone else will too! I’m here to help! I plan to send out a new “tutorial” for this project every few days. This is going to be so much fun, and YES! you can do this!!!

Blessings to all,

Rhonda

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Vintage Linens Quilt #2, a Tutorial, Part 1.

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Faced with the dilemma of needing my Vintage Linens Quilt #1 (VLQ#1) for a presentation to the Alamo Heritage Quilt Guild earlier this month and knowing it wouldn’t be back in my possession until the end of March, I decided to create a replacement of sorts! VLQ#1 was handed off to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo the first week of January so on New Years Eve day I started this new one creatively titled: VLQ#2.  I learned a hard lesson when I made #1: make the blocks with some sort of guide as to size. Being the Pinterest addict I am, I searched for several hours thru various pre-created quilt diagrams, found one I liked and immediately sent off a quick email to the creator seeking permission to use her pattern.

The first picture above is what I used and adapted to become my VLQ#2. She sent me a speedy reply of permissions so I was off to the races! After a few of my FB posts, so many other people wrote to her asking to use her pattern that she digitized and enlarged the pattern! How sweet is that! Her name is Andrea (and she has a darling little baby girl) and she has a great website at: Mouse in My Pocket.  If you want to use her pattern, send her a quick request first!

Now when you see the end product you’ll be surprised to learn I’m not all that fond of pink, but I have so many pink and green vintage doilies in my stash I decided they would get a chance to shine.

With this project in mind, I scoured the International Quilt Festival last fall for fabrics and came home with several yards total of about 15 different choices. I’m going to feature several different blocks today and try my best to answer any and all construction questions that you might have.

Remember my hubs is sharing my sewing room??? I created both a cutting and a pressing station on my Big Board. Why am I using my ratty light green cutting board for this project? Because several times I forgot and steam pressed my work right on the cutting board 😦

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Of note: I have created this quilt using the foundation method. I chose a light weight natural 100% cotton muslin which I preshrunk using a spray water bottle and a very hot steam iron. Many of my vintage pieces are quite fragile and cut on the bias. The foundation will fortify/stabilize these pieces. The foundation also serves the purpose of keeping me on track regarding block size.

This is going to be the 16×16” finished block in the upper left part of the diagram. I know I want the manufactured edging to be showing rather than incorporated into the side and bottom seams. Now keep in mind you need to add all 1/4” seam allowances so the finished 16×16 will really be 16 1/2×16 1/2” until you see all the blocks together.

Below you’ll find a visual tutorial on how to construct this block:

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I chose symmetry for this block construction, keep in mind your goal is a 16 1/2×16 1/2” square no matter your fabric and doily placement.

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Moving on:

This block quite frankly looks boring as can be! I have big plans for this block so stay tuned…

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I’m introducing an adaptation already to remind you that the diagram is a suggestion, not a hard and fast rule. I knew I wanted to use this vintage doily but none of the block designs were this large. All I did was to combine several of the blocks together. In fact, I printed out a copy of the diagram and made notes all over it. Once you have your larger blocks determined, it will be easier for you to begin creating/deciding what and where to use your vintage linens for your medium and smaller blocks. See what I mean: F6E87B41-00CB-48D6-9DDB-99F2351C3B3A

In this long linen and crochet doily, the pink fabric measures 12 1/2 x 26 1/2”. I know eventually I will add a doily to the middle of this long rectangle piece, but that’s for another day.

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Here’s a very simple little piece of a dresser scarf. I want the bottom edge of trim to show so this block is constructed in the exact same fashion as the first block above. This block measures 6 1/2 x 12 1/2” and is another adaptation as shown below circled in blue:E2CD40B3-AC8B-4282-9F39-8BC7883E65C1

As you make changes here and there to fit your vintage pieces, just remember to make your block measurements fit a space in your diagram. And above all remember to add the seam allowances!!!

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And finally for today, 4 darling little baskets of flowers. The foundation was very important here because they are cut on the bias and are embroidered on remarkably thin fabric. 4FD2FC47-9A0E-4F89-81A3-EFFF3F0EC833

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Are you ready to start your own Vintage Linens Quilt? Let me know if you have questions so far!

*** House update: we’ve been on a blessed 3 week construction hiatus. We’re waiting on windows, doors, siding, some baseboard, plumbing, tile work, etc.  I’m so very thankful for many things, among them: God, family, insurance, patience, a 2 story home and my sewing room!

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting,

Rhonda

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The Making of the Pansy Doily Quilt

 

I’ve been collecting Pansy Doilies for years and years and decided they could be used in as a collection in a quilt.

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I sorted them by general color as I have those with white or very light ivory centers and others with darker ivory/ecru centers. I also discovered many in my collection were not actually pansies but rather, creative unknown flowers. See the doily in the bottom right of the picture below. Beautiful, but not pansies.

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Like any other of my vintage linens, if they haven’t been soaked, starched and pressed, I set about to get those things underway.

Using my design wall I began an experimental layout. The doilies below became my “main players”.

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If I felt the doily passed the layout test, I then laid it out on the bleached muslin to make sure it looked acceptable on white fabric. Some of the ivory centered doilies looked dingy on white and so they were relegated back to the storage drawer for another future project. If a pansy doily was still in the running I gave it a hang tag with a number.

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By this point I felt I needed a plan so with graph paper I set about drafting what I thought would work. Each of the colors below represents a specific pansy doily. On each of the color shapes I notated not only the pansy doily number for that block, but the finished block size as well. It was my intention to always work in multiples of 2″ but with a few odd sized doilies you’ll see I have a few areas where finished 1″ blocks were necessary.

Each of the white blocks represented negative space to be quilted and then to place additional pieces of vintage crochet.

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With the pansy doilies in hand I pulled out my fabric stash of 1930’s reproductions and began to cut strips measuring 2 1/2″. From these strips I then cut 2 1/2″ squares. I contemplated strip piecing for speed on construction but changed my mind deciding I did not want “consistency of fabric/color placement” throughout the project.

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Earlier I mentioned each pansy doily was assigned a number printed on a hang tag. Here’s a picture of two such doilies.

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The white “negative” spaces were intended to host pieces such as the snowflakes and hearts below.

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So with my chart as my guide I began to set the blocks together to make the quilt top:

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This was Plan A: (visual bedlam!)

After placing maybe just half of all the various pieces I stepped back and said “I need a Plan B!” There was way too much going on, there was no place for the eye to rest.

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Now mind you, at this point I am not happy.  I’ve collected vintage pieces for many years and I’d thought this project out in my mind for at least a year and was so excited to finally be creating this giant experiment. The only pieces that made the final cut were the pansy doilies.

Plan B won out and I used only the pansy doilies.

With the entire quilt top created (including  6″ white borders not shown above) I loaded it on my Innova longarm. I used 100% cotton bleached muslin on the back, a double batt of Hobbs white 80/20 topped with Hobbs Poly Down. If you’ve read any of my other blog posts you’ll know I’m a fan of Wonderfil threads, specifically their Invisafil and Deco Bob.

Invisafil won the toss for this quilt. You’ll see in lots of pictures below that by using one of these threads there is no need to change colors as you quilt over different color fabrics.

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For the first time ever I quilted the top border first. I usually always quilt the body and then decide about borders.

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Look at the thread below as I quilted over the different color fabrics! Amazing! If you haven’t tried either Invisafil or Deco Bob, what are you waiting for?

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After I quilted the top border I moved down the quilt top quilting all the sashings. I can’t remember if I also quilted the side borders as I moved down but I’m thinking I didn’t??

I mark registrations lines/circles when I quilt. I always mark the “vein” of feather wreaths and when I know I want consistency in feather lengths, I mark an outside circle telling me where to stop.

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Using my blue marking pen I used the “divide and conquer” method of quilting negative spaces.

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You’ll see below that after I marked the block I changed my mind about what to quilt. The diagonal lines serve no purpose other than they indicate the center point of each of the divided areas and they did dictate the direction of the feather plumes.

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While you can’t see the quilting you can see distinctly the sashings that ended up being 1″ in width. They stand out in the picture below but once the doilies are attached they blend in nicely.

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The quilt at this point is trimmed and bound using the same white fabric as both the front and the back. And what’s not to love about it receiving the “Winston the Cat” approval!

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After the quilt was quilted, trimmed and the binding finished, I laid out the pansy doilies and hand stitched them in place using a small curved needle and the Invisafil thread. I tacked them in the center and then all around the outside edge.

But… the pink and orange doily always bothered me and a few weeks ago I removed and replaced it.

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I still don’t have anywhere in my house to set up my portable quilt display stand so laying out on a king bed will have to do. The picture below shows the pink/orange doily replaced with a more suitable player.

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The lighting gives the quilting a chance to shine:

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I was very worried that the white negative spaces would appear awkward as the original plan was to have a vintage crochet piece in each.

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With this revised layout/placement, it gives the quilting a chance to shine.

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You know, I’ve really never met a feather I didn’t love…

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And finally, a bunch of pictures of the back:

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The finished measurements are: 70 x 90″. This project took 31 hours, 40 minutes to quilt and about 2 weeks ago I had it appraised. I’m sharing the Replacement Value with you not to brag but to let you know you should have your quilts appraised (by a certified quilt appraiser) and then insured. Let’s just say I was STUNNED: $4,500.00.

I created this piece to be a teaching tool/example for what you can do with a collection of vintage pieces. As I speak to different groups, I’m always asked something like “I have grandma’s dresser scarves/doilies/handkerchiefs. What can I do with them other than stack them in the linen closet?”

Am I glad I stuck with it and finally created this quilt? Absolutely! When I look at this quilt I smile. I feel that it is a peaceful tribute to the hands that spend hours crocheting the Pansy Doilies.

If you’d like to use the graph to make your own quilt, please do so! If you need a better graph shot, email me and I’ll send you a better picture.

Let me know if you have questions, and if you’re thinking of creating your own Vintage Doily Quilt, keep me posted!

Blessings to all and Happy Quilting!

Rhonda

***House update: The fireplace wall is finished (and the fireplace is installed). The Master is painted with baseboards, the Dining Room is painted with baseboards and the Powder Room is looking better. The Office is painted. We are waiting on the new windows, the master fireplace, and the kitchen cabinet repairs. The back staircase is ready to be stained, the front staircase is next on the list. Big Progress!IMG_8333

Happy New Year! 

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