Archive for the ‘Vintage Inspiration’ Category

I’m on a mission to finish more of my vintage UFO projects. I finally dug them all out last year and counted them up. As my friend, Barb, might say: “WHY would you DO that?” It’s a depressing statistic, for sure. But it spurred me to action!

I’m hoping to finish one a month (at least), so in January, I chose this Scrappy 9-Patch Baby quilt.

I bought these blocks at Peecher’s Mercantile in Arrow Rock, Missouri, in May of 2017, while I was at the Arrow Rock Quilt Camp for the week.

Since I was teaching handwork classes, I had time while my students were sitting and stitching, to do some stitching of my own, so I hand stitched them together while we all chatted.

Then I brought it home from Camp and it has languished in my to-be-quilted pile since.

In the interest of finishing older things, I got it out and paired it with a vintage fabric from my stash for the backing. At first, I wasn’t sure about it, but now that it’s done, I love this backing on it.

I quilted it very simply with an X in each square. I don’t like to ditch stitch vintage tops because it might weaken the seams further.

I put a cotton batting inside to give it an old-fashioned look and feel.

I chose a blue solid for the binding.

It’s been washed and dried and is now perfectly soft and crinkly and ready to be loved. And it warms my heart that another set of blocks has been saved from sitting around somewhere without their full potential being met!

I sure hope someone takes pity on all of my UFOs when I’m gone!

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Last year, when I designed a BOM quilt for Sew Sweet Quilt Shop, I used various tree blocks, and the quilt was named Brunswick Forest. Each month, I post a bit of information about each block and show the versions that I made.

When we got to Block Seven, I had been rummaging through all my vintage bins, and had come across these blocks:

The timing was perfect, as they were nearly identical to the Brunswick Forest Block Seven: Apple Tree.

So I decided it was a good time to finish them up.

There are 16 of these partial blocks, and I’m planning to finish them and put them into a quilt together. All I have is the tree parts, and one of them is missing part of the tree, but basically all I have to do is add the background and the trunks, and they’ll be finished!

I’m using some vintage muslin from my stash for the background, and a new brown solid for the tree trunks. Isn’t it cute?

This block is just like the Apple Tree block in the Brunswick Forest quilt, only smaller, finishing at 9″; so since I had to re-draft my own pattern to make it fit these tree tops, I thought I’d also offer this optional version of the block to you. It’s a free download you can grab right here: Apple Tree.

While my vintage blocks were hand-pieced, and I’m intending to finish them all with hand piecing, the instructions are for machine piecing, which will go much faster. I’ll probably also set mine together on the machine once my blocks are all ready. And I want to do a pieced border, but I won’t be doing that by hand, either. There’s nothing at all wrong with using a combination of hand and machine piecing, just in case you were wondering!

I had to make a block to test my instructions, so look at this cutie:

I have two blocks finished, and all the background and trunk pieces cut out and ready for the other 14 blocks. Since I’m busy recovering from elbow replacement surgery right now, a handwork project might be just the ticket. Maybe I can move these along over the next month or so?

Don’t forget — if you want to make some of these, too, the free pattern is right here: Apple Tree Quilt Block.

I’ll be back later to show you my progress on these and what I’m doing for a border as I go along.

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Vintage Melons

If you saw my introductory post yesterday, you saw that I confessed that I’ve been rummaging through all my vintage stuff this year. I’m trying to re-organize it all and take stock of what I have, and what I want to keep and work on. Then the ultimate goal is to actually DO the work on the ones I want to keep and finish.

One of the tidbits I unearthed in one of the bins was this pile of already-cut melon pieces:

There are 98 melons in this pile. Lots of interesting fabrics, but also lots of repeats, and I’m not sure what the original maker intended to do with them. However, this template set was in the same vicinity, so maybe they were intended for an Improved 9-Patch quilt? The pattern clearly states that only 42 melons are needed for the Improved 9-Patch, so she must have been planning to make more than one! Or more than two, even!

I contemplated piecing them into a Double Wedding Ring as a full melon version, and Victoria even offered to help me draft the concave piece I’d need, but then I decided that it would be much less stressful for me to just appliqué them down onto backgrounds. Each of these melons needs a 10″ square for the background, and I happened to have a layer cake of solids, so I grabbed it and cut the extras from my stash of solids, and started to appliqué!

I decided to use this as my next “100 Days Project”, so that I would be motivated to stay at it until they’re finished, rather than letting them languish even longer in a bin. So here are Days 1-16, up on my design wall, in no particular arrangement:

I will have some fun later arranging them to get the solids distributed evenly, and to decide on a layout for the melons themselves that seems interesting. I’m on Day 29 today.

I’m adding in two extra melons from my vintage fabric stash so there will be an even 100, and I plan to set them 10 x 10, so this will be a fairly large quilt when I’m finished (and quite possibly not a very pretty one, either)!

If you’re interested in making some blocks like this for yourself, you can download the template pattern I’m using here: VintageMelonTemplate

There’s a full template, and one that’s cut in half, so you can choose whichever one your printer likes best. There’s also a gauge for getting it the exact same size as the one I’m using, but feel free to enlarge or reduce it to fit whatever project you want to do.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my melon quilt, and together, we’ll see how it turns out!

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For many years now, I’ve collected vintage quilt blocks, vintage fabric, vintage unquilted tops, vintage linens, and all sorts of other quilting-related vintage items. My goal when buying them was to someday finish them into projects so that they’re not laying around in drawers or bins, or languishing in antique shops and flea markets, waiting for someone like me to take pity on them.

I have several bins full of blocks and projects, and several bins of tops that simply need to be quilted. Over last Christmas break, I began going through all the tubs and re-organizing all these tops and projects. My hope is to pick up the pace of working on them, so that someday my daughter isn’t having to consign them to yet another flea market! I’d love to do them justice.

The last several years, I have pretty much stopped collecting, except for an occasional rare find on Etsy that I can’t pass up. And I’m not completely finished going through my bins of stuff here. Yet so far, I have counted 34 projects, PLUS 41 unquilted tops that all need to be finished! That’s quite a collection, and did I mention I’m not quite finished gathering things up?

Since a lot of these projects remind me of my grandmothers and my mother and their quilting, and some of my projects were inspired by them, or by my mother’s diary, I’m starting a series of blog posts to talk about all these projects as I work on them. Some will have patterns to go along with them, some will have free tutorials or templates, and some will simply have general information to maybe inspire you to do your own thing. Some will have interesting stories, and some are projects that will make their own stories going forward.

So tune in tomorrow for the first peek at my current project — I think this will be fun!

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