Friday, January 31, 2014

First Finish of 2014 - January

There's a cute little raglan sweater that goes with the booties and cap, but I haven't put it together yet.  The booties will get a white ribbon at the ankles after I find the ribbon.  What do you think; is this cap too small for an infant girl?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day to all my blogging buddies down under!

I hope y'all have a lovely day filled with fun, food, and no worries of drought, wildfires, floods, ridiculously hot weather or inland tsunamis to trouble you.


With love from Texas. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pebbles and Leaves and a Jelly Roll Race

I made some progress quilting my bunny quilt.  I'm pleased with the way the pebbles turned out.  I had never done pebbles before.  They were time-consuming, but fairly easy.  I'm happy enough with the leaf shapes.  I got the effect I was going for, and it was fast.  

The parts I'm really not sure of are the straight lines on the multi-colored fabric.  I wanted to keep it simple, but I'm not sure blue was the best choice thread color.  And the straight lines aren't working out the way I thought they would.  I'll probably add additional elements between the lines, but I'm not sure what yet.  I swear, the most difficult part of free-motion quilting is all the decision-making!

The Blanketeers had a Project Day last Friday where everyone worked on her own Jelly Roll Race quilt.  You start with a jelly roll and sew all the strips end to end.  Takes forever.  Then you divide the long strip in two slightly offset pieces and sew them together lengthwise.  Really takes forever!  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Eventually you have something resembling a quilt top.  It is definitely not my favorite technique. I'll probably never make another, but it did completely use up an old jelly roll that was gathering dust in a drawer for the last 5 years.

Actually, this one isn't too bad.  I've seen some really butt-ugly jelly roll race quilts, and I feared the worst for this one, but it's not too awful.  I have a cool idea for quilting it, but that will have to take a back-burner to the bunny quilt.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Free Motion Quilting - The Bunny Quilt

I've just fallen in love with the free motion quilting of Angela Walters, Leah Day and Judi Madsen. They have taken quilting to a level that is very inspirational to me.  I find I really want to do it too!  As a result, I have renamed my colorful "Carnival Quilt" to the "Bunny Quilt", and have decided to take it in a fully quilted, free motion direction.

I started with this sweet bunny template from Electric Quilt's "Quiltmaker V2" collection for the central motif.  My plan is to pebble the lower half of the diamond shape so it looks like the bunnies are sitting on the ground.  I have a leaf shape in mind for the upper half, so it looks like the bunnies are hiding in a leafy grotto.  I haven't decided how to quilt the multi-colored fabric yet, but I plan to quilt lots and lots of leafy carrots in the yellow and green.  I look forward to sharing the process.  I hope it comes out OK!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

And the name of the quilt is... Oak Leaf and Acorn Variation

I got many interesting leads to help identify the pattern of Great Great Grandma Dunn's antique quilt. I gave them all serious consideration.

Many people thought the yellow in the quilt was originally green, because the green of that era is notoriously fugitive.  Apparently the Prussian blue and yellow dyes that were mixed to make the greens in the Victorian era, faded to poison greens, then yellow, as the Prussian blue fled the fabric. On the advice of my fabric savvy fashion designer niece, I peered behind seams and pushed aside threads, only to determine that there is no evidence the yellow fabric was ever anything but yellow.  Also, yellow is Grandma Vivian's favorite color, so it seems possible that yellow could have been her Grandma's favorite color as well.

I was also encouraged to consider the idea that the acorns were actually rosebuds.  It seems to me, though, that if the leaves were originally the more autumnal yellow, then the rosebuds were more likely meant to be acorns.  In all likelihood, however, the pattern probably never have had any name at all, but I'm calling it "Oak Leaf and Acorn Variation".

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and insights.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Does Anyone Know the Name of this Applique Quilt?

As family historian, I have taken on the task of properly labeling the antique quilts in my husband's family.  This one was made by his great great grandmother, Anna Alice Hite Dunn, 1862-1921.  I'm guessing it was made around 1900, but I have no idea what the pattern is called.  I would really like to find out the name of the pattern, if one exists, so I could add it to the label I'm making for the quilt.

The red and yellow motifs are appliqued on the muslin; however, the red border and the nine-patch corners are pieced.

The red eight-pointed star appliques are made from a single piece of red fabric, as are all the other appliqued pieces.  All applique was sewn with white thread, with tiny, but visible, stitches.

The muslin on the back matches the muslin on the front, and it is heavily quilted in white thread, which is probably why it is in such good shape for a quilt that obviously got used.   I would say Great Great Grandma Dunn was an excellent quilter; her stitches are tiny - there are no "toe-catchers" on this quilt.

If anyone knows the name of this quilt pattern, please either email me or leave a comment.  Thanks for all your help!