Posts Written On July 2014

Chintz Quilts for Twin Baby Girls – WIP

Our friends, Jan and Albert, became grandparents (again) when tiny Megan and Eryn were born prematurely in May. The girls are both home from the hospital now and Jan says they are doing wonderfully well. To celebrate their homecoming, I wanted to make a couple of quilts, but I wanted to get them done quickly. I decided to only use stuff I had on hand (no running to the fabric store), which isn’t really that hard because I have a lot of stuff, and I wanted it to be a simple pattern.

The quilts (37″ x 45″) are made with scraps of chintz and other floral fabrics — some vintage and some newer. The squares are leftovers from aprons and my daughter’s wedding pennants, the borders are remnants from the Goodwill. One quilt has a pink stripe for the narrow border, and the other one has a tiny pink check. I plan to use those two pinks for the binding as well.

In these photos, the quilts look incredibly busy. There is a lot going on, but they look much better in person for some reason. I hope I’m not just kidding myself.






Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Elephants

Who doesn’t love elephants, and these are just so cute. I’ve been organizing and cataloging my transfer collection, and I’m also trying to scan and clean at least some of them at the same time. As usual, click images to enlarge.

Laura Wheeler 740, Kitchen Towels

No instructions with these Laura Wheeler transfers, since they were cut and loose, but there was a cute newspaper clipping from 1934.

Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-3 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephants-2 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephants-1 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-6 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-5 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-4

McCall’s 710, Elephant Tea Towels

McCall's-710-Elephants-Sunday McCall's-710-Elephants-Monday McCall's-710-Elephants-Tuesday McCall's-710-Elephants-Wednesday McCall's-710-Elephants-Thursday McCall's-710-Elephants-Friday McCall's-710-Elephants-Saturday


Embroidered Circus Quilt Top

This quilt was started in September, 2009. I managed to stay with it long enough to finish the blocks and sashing, as well as one border, and then it sat in a shoebox for almost five years. Finishing this top is part of my latest attempt to complete some of these old projects.

The quilt was inspired by two things:  drawings from a vintage coloring book that I saw on Chelsea Ann’s blog, Itty Bitty Birdy, and a cute Japanese circus print fabric (last photo below). Chelsea Ann generously sent me some images from her coloring book, then later I managed to locate a copy of both the original circus coloring book, and another book by the same illustrator with even more circus drawings.

The top measures 39″ x 48″, and was stitched with Danish Flower Thread on a natural cream-colored fabric (my photos don’t display the cream very well). The circus fabric is for the backing, but I can’t decide whether I should make the binding with striped prairie points, cross-grain stripe, or bias diagonal stripe. I just realized I also have enough fabric I could add another border out of the stripe (same size as the sashing).  I’d love to hear what you would do.

Update:  After reading the first 3 comments, I decided to add a photo at the end to help visualize a striped binding and a striped border. Click any of the images to enlarge.









Strippy Postage Stamp Quilt – WIP

There’s a reason I can relate to the 1930s quilter who cut all of those tiny quilt pieces for the Double Nine-Patch quilt, which was the subject of my last post. The reason is that I have my own box of slightly larger vintage postage stamp pieces and a partial quilt top that has been languishing for some time. Before I start work on trimming the squares for the Double-Nine Patch, I should probably finish this strippy top.

I was inspired by a similar quilt I saw on an ebay years ago, because I liked the solid/white strips. This is a great pattern for using chain piecing, so the construction goes fairly quickly. Cutting out the little (1 1/8″) squares (852 for each strip) takes much longer. I have no idea if I have enough to finish the quilt, but I sort of doubt it. The top is currently 30″ x 82″ and I need to make six more strips.





There’s Nothing Better Than . . .

. . . an old box stuffed with vintage quilt pieces. In this case, thousands of 1″ squares purchased on ebay that some nice quilter neatly strung together with double thread. What was she going to make with all these postage stamp sized pieces?








Fortunately, and I love it when this happens, she made one little block so I know that she was planning to make a Scrappy Double Nine-Patch. Unfortunately, she did not use a template to cut out any of the squares, so my blocks will be even smaller after I manage to trim the gazillion tiny pieces. Still . . . thank you, unknown 1930s quilter.










Vintage Embroidery Transfers – Superior 154

This set includes ten different flower designs in two sizes, with duplicates of each. I especially like the marigolds and the sweet peas, because I don’t often see them in old transfers. To browse my vintage transfers, click on “embroidery transfers” category, or type “transfers” in the search box. Click images to enlarge.




More Vintage Embroidery Transfers – Superior 139

The number 52 referenced on the envelope must refer to the number of actual transfers in the set (including duplicates), and not to the number of different designs, but I may be missing a couple as these have been cut.

Twelve additional transfers from this set can be found in an earlier post. To browse my other vintage transfers, click on the “embroidery transfers” category, or type “transfers” in the search box. Click images to enlarge.



Superior-139-20 Superior-139-21















Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Superior 139

I’m not sure if I have a complete set of these 52 Small Designs for Linens, but there are lots in the envelope. Some of the designs would be awfully cute on toddler clothing as well. I’ll continue cleaning and uploading until they are all posted, so more transfers coming tomorrow. To browse my other vintage transfers, click on the “embroidery transfers” category, or type “transfers” in the search box. Click images to enlarge.


Superior-139-12 Superior-139-11 Superior-139-10

Superior-139-4 Superior-139-3


Superior-139-13 Superior-139-14 Superior-139-15 Superior-139-16

Superior-139-17 Superior-139-1



McCall’s Needlework and Decorative Arts, 1928

I love the cover of this book so much that I spent most of a day cleaning up the scanned image. My copy has some tears and stains, but the worst was the brown foxing that covered the entire page. It can be tedious work, but it’s also sort of mesmerizing. While I was working on the image, I was watching a wonderful documentary, Tim’s Vermeer, where Tim painstakingly reproduces a Vermeer painting, which seemed sort of appropriate, although . . . Tim’s Vermeer – 4 years, Martha’s McCall’s Cover – 1 day. When my repair was done, I was so pleased to have restored this wonderful illustration — okay, not a Vermeer, but still pretty adorable.

There are two of these publications in my collection, and both are from 1928 — one is the Spring issue and one is Fall. Although only a few of the interior pages are colored, the Art Deco illustrations are all adorable. I’m always looking for the original patterns contained in these catalogs, but they are rare and difficult to find.



Smock-Top Pattern No. 1640 Has Points and Rambler-Roses




New Smock-Tops For Small and Bigger Girls


The Embroidery Way Smartens These Play Frocks

McCalls-1667 McCalls-1667-Directions


July Apron Winners


The winner of the Theodora apron is commenter #6, Penny (Little Pen Pen).


Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.40.40 PM


And the winner of the Egremont apron is commenter #14, Tina.


Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 11.42.22 PM


Congratulations to Penny and Tina — I will be sending emails to you, and once I receive your addresses, I’ll get these aprons in the mail to you right away. I hope those of you who did not win this month will consider entering the August Apron Thingy — I’m going to change it up a little and make a different style.