Monday, April 30, 2018

Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations

It was hard to pick a block or vintage quilt this project.  I am inspired by every vintage quilt I see!  I wonder what was happening in the quilt-maker's life at the time she made this quilt, what was happening in the world?  If quilts could talk, think of the stories they could tell.  The Variable Star block and the Schoolhouse block were the two blocks I decided to use in my quilt.

From an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Within These Walls.

Much like our Christmas Crafts Bazaars, Northern women who opposed slavery raised money for the cause through Anti-Slavery Fairs.  This little cradle quilt, made of small Northern Stars is one of the items sold at such a fair. This simple star is one of the oldest patchwork patterns, and has been published by many names....Evening Star, Aunt Liza's Star, and Saw-tooth Star. This is one of my favorite blocks to make in any quilt.

This poem was hand inked in the center star of the quilt.

 “Mother! When around your child
You clasp your arms in love,
And when with grateful joy you raise
Your eyes to God above—
Think of the negro mother,
When her child is torn away—
Sold for a little slave—Oh, then,
For that poor mother pray.”

We know that the early settlers traveled west for a better life, and education was a part of the quest for a better life. The school house and the church were probably one of the first public buildings built in a new settlement. The schoolhouse block was usually a variation of a school house or a church.  According to the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska, schoolhouse quilts were popular in the late 19th century and continued into the 1920's and 1930's.   "For rural women of the late nineteenth century, teaching was both the most prestigious and the highest paying opportunity available to them. The Schoolhouse pattern, which became popular at the same time, may reflect the lives of the many women who helped support their families through teaching positions, prior to their marriage."

My quilt measures  40" x 46".  The sawtooth blocks are 6" finished and the schoolhouse block is 12" finished.  I paper pieced the schoolhouse block for greater accuracy, as when I put the block into EQ8, I did not like the rotary cutting measurements it gave me.  I don't do 1/16" all.  Paper piecing saved the day!

Island Batik provided me with the beautiful line of fabric, Blue Moon.  I'm thinking of adding a crescent moon and calling it "Once in a Blue Moon".....what do you think?  Hobbs Batting provided my favorite batting to use, Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton batting.  I love the way it gives my quilt the flatter, traditional look of antique quilts.  Since I use my domestic sewing machine, it is much less bulk to move through the harp of the machine, and easier on my back.  I used my walking foot and created a "hash-tag" quilting. That strip of blue you see on the right hand side is painters tape.  I like to use it to mark my lines.   The blue thread was provided by Aurifil ....looks great on this quilt.  

Do you have a favorite vintage quilt or quilt block? 

Monday, April 9, 2018

A New Technique for me

The challenge for our March Island Batik process was to try a technique that is new to me.  It was hard to find something that I have not attempted to do, but then I remembered that I wanted to learn to use a Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I purchased both rulers and decided to use the larger one to make a table runner.

When you purchase the rulers, there is a project sheet included with great directions on how to use this ruler.  It was so easy!  I chose some yummy Island Batik fat-quarters from the Spring Bloom
collection provided to me by Island Batik.

I quickly cut out the pieces as shown above, and laid them out next to my sewing machine.

The blocks were sewn up in no time at all....and without using pins!

Laid the blocks out, sewed them together and had a table runner in no time at all!

It looks great on my table with the daffodils I managed to save from Mother Nature's joke on us.  We just came back from wintering in South Texas....and it is very cold and snowing here!

I have to brag about my sweet little bunny 13 year old grandson loves to make things and he made this adorable bunny for me.  I love it!

Although I love wintering in South Texas, I am so happy to be home.  I missed my grand-kids and my sewing room.  So....its cold outside and I plan to hibernate in my sewing room today!  What are you doing?  Hope you are having some good creative sewing time today.....

grace and peace....Sharon

Oh...and Bella is happy to be home again...her house has stopped moving!