Posts Written On October 2010

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Emily’s Bride Quilt

Here is my entry for this year’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  I had planned to post my re-make of an antique Album Quilt but, unfortunately, I am not quite done with the quilting.

This is a bride’s quilt I made in 2006 for my daughter, Emily.  She wasn’t engaged at the time, but now she is.   She and her fiance, Aaron, have been together for 8 years — since their junior year of high school.   I knew they would get married some day, and I wanted to be ready.

The quilt is made with vintage scraps, mostly from the 1930s and 1940s.  I had a little trouble working out the geometry of the 6-grid center hearts with the 4-grid border hearts, but I finally figured out the correct width of the white border to make it work.  The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted with a diagonal grid in the hearts, flowers in the block corners, and both hearts and flowers in the white border.

Thank you Amy for doing this — I love checking out all the wonderful quilts.

Emily’s Heart Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2006
machine pieced, hand quilted
72″ x 83″


Grandmother’s Flower Garden Star Quilt – Week 3

Only stars to show this week — I seem to alternate between stars and flowers. Hop over and see Steffi’s pretty star and 2 flowers, one of which is fussy cut.

Originally I was going to make all my flowers and stars with a yellow center. However, I really wanted to use some yellow print hexagons in sets of 12 cut by a long-ago quilter. Since these yellows are so close to the color of my centers, I’ve decided to make all the yellow flowers have orange centers. It looks a bit odd on this star, but I think it will be fine once the top is sewn together since the quilt is so scrappy anyway. Also, I’m going to use a fair amount of that vintage orange solid in the other stars and flowers which should make it blend in a little better.


Colonoscopy — My tip for drinking Colyte

Today I am having a colonoscopy. For the past week or so I have been reading advice online and talking to co-workers about how to comfortably down 4 liters of the vile tasting Colyte. The tips involved selecting the least offensive flavor packet (lemon-lime according to most) and various techniques for the drinking — refrigerating the Colyte, using a straw, trying not to breathe while drinking, and sipping a tastier drink (tea, juice, soda) before and after each glass. The alternate drink idea was the most common suggestion, but the thought of adding even more liquid to the process seemed particularly unappealing.

Because my procedure is in the afternoon, I am drinking my Colyte in two sessions. Yesterday I drank half of it using variations of all the tips I had read or heard. Apparently I am unable to drink without breathing (especially through a straw), and none of the suggestions worked very well, because I could both smell and taste the gross medicine.

Late last night it occurred to me that I might try my technique for cleaning the grill tops on the stove. Because I can’t handle breathing in oven cleaner, I always hold a dryer sheet to my nose when I’m spraying it. The sheet is easy to breathe through, and eliminates both the oven cleaner smell and fumes, so I thought I would try this while I was drinking the medicine. This morning I was amazed that I couldn’t smell or taste the Colyte, and could easily manage to finish each 8 oz. glass. Here’s my technique:

Add water to the Colyte as directed, refrigerate overnight

Add the flavor packet if you have one, although I don’t think it really matters

Have a dryer sheet ready and some lemon or lime slices

Pour an 8 oz. glass of Colyte

Placing the dryer sheet over your nose, take a big breath through your nose then exhale

Begin drinking the Colyte while slowly breathing in through the dryer sheet — try to do this without exhaling

When you’ve finished the glass (or as much as you can manage to drink in one long breath), keep the dryer sheet in place for a few seconds and put a lemon slice in your mouth before you exhale (this helps with the after-taste).

I did not use a straw because I can drink faster without it. Of course, there may be people who hate the fragrance of dryer sheets, but I can assure you that it is way better than the smell of the Colyte.


Walker’s Hot iron Transfers #102 – Children’s Wear

There are a lot of transfers in this envelope — 3 big sheets filled with small and medium designs.

These are numo transfers — they have raised blue dots and are one use only. Although none of the transfers had been used, they were a little brittle and some of the dots had flaked off, probably from being folded in the package. Rather than try to digitally repair just the missing dots, I decided to re-draw each of the designs in Photoshop. For several weeks, I would lie in bed and work on these patterns before I fell asleep — it was mindless, but enjoyable at the same time. I tried to duplicate the exact dot pattern by creating a new layer and drawing on top of the original scan.  I’m pretty happy with the results.

UPDATE:  All of the rest of these designs are available in a later post.


Grandmother’s Flower Garden Star Quilt — Week 2

Before I talk about the GFG quilt, I want to thank everyone for their encouragement and advice on my little business venture. I got some great ideas from readers and a plan is now in shape. After Christmas I’ll start creating instructions for my kits and begin the process of cutting all those little pieces. I’m excited!

Steffi (Steffi’s Candy Quilts) and I are going to be posting our progress on the Nebraska Flower Garden quilt on Wednesdays. You can see that Steffi got a good start on her top last week (two stars and two flowers).  Her blocks are so pretty, and I love her fussy-cut flower. I don’t have many opportunities for fussy cutting since I am usually working with little vintage pieces, but I just barely managed to do one.

A nice bonus on this top is the placement of the white path. All you have to do is add white hexagons around each individual flower and none on the stars. I don’t plan to put my top together until all the stars and flowers are finished, but I am going to start stitching the white hexes around the flowers. I don’t like having to sew all the path pieces at the end.


Grandmother’s Flower Garden Star Quilt-a-Long

My friend, Steffi (Steffi’s Candy Quilts), and I are starting a quilt-a-long to make this amazing vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt that Steffi found on  Steffi, who lives in Germany, is making her quilt with new fabrics, and I am making mine with vintage fabrics.  Of course, we want to extend an invitation to anyone else who might like to participate. We are planning on going fairly slow (maybe one star or two flowers a week) since we are both working on hand quilting projects over the fall and winter.

A while back I was asked if I had trouble cutting into vintage fabric.  Usually the answer is no — the pieces I work with are normally pretty small, and I try to waste as little as possible.  The flower blocks in this quilt will be made from vintage quilt pieces previously cut for a Flower Garden quilt by an anonymous quilter, but the star sections are more problematic.  Because the edge of the star requires 36 hexagons cut from the same fabric, I have to cut into larger vintage remnants which does actually bother me for some reason.  It seems silly (what am I saving them for, if not for a project like this), and I am trying to get past it.

Here are my first two stars, which measure about 19″ at their widest.  My quilt is definitely going to be more pastel than the original because of the particular lot of 1930s pieces I am using.

Lastly, I wanted to show Steffi that I have adopted her pressing technique.  I have never used this technique for only 3 joins, but I like it a lot and the seams are nice and flat.



Vintage Zig-Zag Nine Patch Quilt Top

In the past two weeks, I have purchased three vintage quilt tops — two finished and one unfinished. One was extravagant ($130) and the other two more reasonable ($40), although certainly not a steal. The top I’m showing you today is one of the $40 tops and the first one I have received in the mail.

The photos of this quilt were terrible, so I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get. Here is the original ebay photo and the description…

This is an unfinished quilt top that I acquired from Clara’s wedding chest once I had purchased her home in Plymouth after she had passed away. It is in excellent condition….it just needs some finishing up! It is all handsewn with no machine work. It measures 74″ X 56″ – a twin bed. Its main color is pink.

The photo is so washed out and out of focus that it was impossible to see the real condition of the top.  I thought the faded coloring might be the result of bad photography — and I was right!

The blocks are smaller than I imagined (around 2 1/2″), and the colors are bright and cheery — more depression period than antique.  The pink print is unusual for a background, but I just love it. In terms of condition, the hand stitching is not great, but not bad either. It has never been washed, there are no stains or rips, and no weak or damaged fabric. There is a faint odor which is not an icky musty smell, but more like old cologne or talcum powder.  There is a little bit of raveling on the top and bottom edges, so I may replace those half blocks, and the size after pressing is quite a bit larger — (61″ x 80″).  One thing I’m extremely pleased about is the placement of the blocks. Sometimes on old zig-zag tops, the quilter neglects to line up the blocks horizontally, but Clara did a nice job on this top.

I am considering quilting this in the classic Baptist Fan pattern. I’ve always wanted to use it, and this seems like a good top for an all-over quilting pattern.




Vintage Embroidered Baskets Quilt Top

This top was purchased on ebay a couple of years ago, and it was so cheap — $20, including shipping. It’s difficult to determine the age of the top since there are no prints. If I had to guess, I would say 1930s or 1940s just because of the color and weight of the green fabric.

There are some interesting features in this quilt. Despite having exactly the same design, each of the 12 embroidered blocks is neatly stitched with unique basket, leaf and flower colors, although the cross-stitching on the bottom of each block is the same. It is completely hand stitched (did she not have a sewing machine?), the blocks are 17″, and the borders are unusually wide which results in a rather large top.

Condition problems are minimal for a vintage top — only a few light brown stains and a couple of tiny pin holes. The stains look like they’ll respond to a soak in Oxyclean, and I’ll darn the little holes. There is some fullness in the horizontal sashing, but it’s not terrible. If I decide to quilt this as it is (and I haven’t decided this yet), I think I could quilt this out.

When the top arrived in the mail, I was certain I would redo it — I thought there was too much white in the blocks, and the borders were too wide. Now I’m not sure. I could do some nice quilting in the green and I am a little hesitant to remove all of her nice hand stitching. What do you think?

Embroidered Baskets Quilt Top
Unknown Quilter
hand embroidered, hand pieced
75″ x 95″