Posts Written On January 2011

Wedding Countdown – 7 Months

Sometimes I think I should change the name of my blog.  It’s not that I haven’t been working on projects — it’s just that they aren’t very quilty.  Hopefully, once the wedding is over and my retirement commences (which occur on practically the same day), I will be back to making quilts.

For the past few days I’ve been working on DIY wedding projects.  The napkins (120+) take about an hour to complete, including time to draw, color, stitch and hem.  Here’s one of 20 I’ve completed in shades of pink and red.  I think they look so cute on the vintage china plates we have been collecting over the past 6 months (both purchasing and borrowing from family members).

The little frames will hold the names of the guests with their table numbers.  They are printed on cardstock and then glued to another sheet of cardstock before cutting.  The frame photo was an image on an auction site — I just changed the color and shape a little.

The pennants will be strung down either side of the aisle, hooked to the corner of each chair with a crepe paper flower bouquet (another DIY project).  The scalloping pinking shears belonged to Gordon’s aunt.  I love the scalloped edge, but the scissors are really heavy and hurt your hand after about 5 minutes of cutting — I cut a dozen or so and then have to take a break.  The fabrics are mostly new, but I used two of my favorite vintage prints. The embroidered pennants were made from some old doilies and a tablecloth.  I wanted to finish this project from my stash, but I need 40 more pennants so I’ll be going to the fabric store today.


Krohn Family Crossword Quilt Top

If you compare this top to my original plan, you’ll notice that I didn’t pay any attention to the colors of the background squares.  I have my doubts about the introduction of the bright red.   It looks okay in the letter blocks, but I’m not sure I like it in the background squares.  Since I’m not planning to start the quilting for a few days, I can mull it over in the interim.

The letter blocks were a lot of fun to make, and also easy applique.  It’s big enough (54″ x 60″) for a couch throw, or just a quilt for the kids to play with, so I won’t be adding any borders.  The quilting will be a simple grid in the background squares, and I’ll outline the letters and circles in the letter blocks.

I’m feeling pretty good, since I’ve (almost) finished 3 Christmas presents and it’s still January.


Painted & Embroidered Christmas Ornaments

This is my February project for Allie’s “Christmas Through the Year” club.  It’s inspired by another one of those Flickr images I’ve had in my favorites for a long time. Each day in December, 2008, Barbara at Oodles and Oodles added a different vintage Christmas wrap image to her sidebar. This was probably my favorite of all the cute papers — I just loved these stylized bells, and thought they would make good ornaments.


My first ornament was made with my new, vintage crayons, but even though I used a metallic gold crayon, the colors looked sort of dull. Next I tried metallic paints, and I think these look much better and more sparkly. I applied the paint to a piece of bleached muslin — the bells are backed with a tiny green print. The black areas are either one or two strands of embroidery floss in outline, satin stitch and French knots. The ornaments are about 5″ tall and look much better if you click to enlarge the photo.

These were lots of fun to make, and there’s even another Flickr photo of vintage Christmas wrap which appears to be designed by the same illustrator, only this one has ornaments and a bird. I think I’m going to stitch some of these as well.


Cottage Doll Quilt — Finished

For some reason, I cannot think about a quilting pattern until a top is completely done. I sit there staring at the top….go look at some pattern books….sketch a little….begin stitching a design….rip that out….stare at the top. This can go on for an amazingly long period of time.

In the case of this doll quilt, that’s precisely what happened. I’m finally happy with the design — I seem to prefer quilting with floss on embroidered quilts (or at least adding a little floss). Pearl cotton would probably look good, too, but I don’t have any pearl cotton, and I have tons of floss.

The center motif is outlined with 2 strands of white floss, and the borders are stitched 1/4″ inside the seams in white and DMC 891, Dark Carnation — one of my favorite DMC colors. The back is a vintage piece that is the same print, but different colorway, as the back of my Grandmother’s Flower Garden Doll Quilt. The binding is a reproduction print.

I am pretty excited to have one Christmas present already finished in the first month of 2011.

Cottage Doll Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2011
crayon and hand embroidery, machine pieced, hand quilted
20″ x 20″


Cottage Doll Quilt Top

This cute little cottage illustration is from a vintage valentine uploaded to Flickr by Calsidyrose. It’s been in my favorites for a long time, and I finally managed to use it in a project.

I used the vintage Prang Crayonex crayons, and they worked very well on fabric — much better than the Crayola crayons I normally use. They are more dense so they don’t crumble as easily, and they blend very smoothly with other colors so it’s much easier to add shading and mix colors. The outline was stitched with two strands of floss.

These are some more vintage pieces from the Lord Baltimore box — I still have lots left, even after making the Baby Doll Quilt.

I am hoping to finish this in time for Allie’s Christmas Club in January. Good progress is being made on the crossword quilt, but there’s no way I’m finishing it this month.

Cottage Doll Quilt Top
20″ x 20″


Antique 4-Patch Quilt Top

This is one of two quilt tops I recently purchased on Etsy. I plan to dismantle this top for the fabric, and there are several reasons I liked this particular top — the block pieces are relatively large, there are lots of cool prints (especially shirtings, and most especially red shirtings), and it was hand sewn which makes it easy to take apart.

Antique Quilt Top
68″ x 78″

Here are some closeup photos of some of the fabrics. I rarely find antique green fabric, so I was pleased to see the little green pieces with the holly print, but my favorite fabric (and the reason I was drawn to this top in the first place) is the wonderful brown and pink with the wavy design .

Chris just asked if I know the age of the fabrics, and I don’t. I am hoping that someone reading this might have an idea — Ann Champion perhaps?


More Vintage O-P Craft Deco Fabric Designs

This concludes the O-P Craft series of photos from my little brochure.  They’re probably right about the  “No Experience Necessary” part, but I’m not sure the results would rival “a rich old Flemish tapestry in color, texture and appearance.”   Maybe those Crayonex crayons are a lot better than I thought.

Click here for more O-P Craft designs.


Crossword Puzzle Quilt — A Plan

I’m signing up for Allie’s Christmas Club. The idea is to make a gift every month this year instead of waiting until November or December. Since I’ll be working on wedding stuff over the summer, I thought this was a great way for me to get a start on gift making. You can participate all year, or for just a few months, so it’s very flexible.

The idea for the crossword puzzle quilt has been in the back of my mind for some time, and I finally sat down and worked out a design for my niece, Jennifer, and her family. The font is “Bowl O Rama” which is available as a free download here. I liked the simplicity of the letters (for ease of applique) and the circle background (to add additional color). Normally I don’t design quilts on my computer, but this time it worked well since I could easily make changes to the colors. I am anxious to get started, and I think this is going to be a lot of fun to make.

Update:  I ended up changing the colors a bit. Click here to see the completed quilt.