Posts Written On May 2015

My Swap Doll Quilt Arrived!

A package arrived from Margaret today, and you can imagine how excited I was to open these cute presents.


First, the adorable quilt — such a great pattern and colors with those little pinwheels and cute striped border, and look at that amazing quilting.


And there was more — cool pins to hold thread spools and bobbins together, and some beautiful note cards by Kim Diehl.


Check out the gorgeous fabric on the back, and the professional label — she made a border for her label and she even mitered the tiny corners!


I feel like I won the doll quilt lottery!


More Nancy Page Hand Quilting Designs

I apologize for the quality of these images — the designs are from 1930s newspapers and were only tiny drawings used as an example of the mail order pattern you could purchase. Unlike the more familiar Nancy Page series quilts that were published full-size in many newspapers, the individual quilt patterns and quilting designs were mail order only.

The images have been cleaned a bit and enlarged, so hopefully you will be able to print and trace the designs. Additional information and a group of more geometric Nancy Page quilting designs is available in an earlier post. Click any image for slideshow.



Vintage Briggs Quilting Transfers

This large paper folder contains more than the stated 3 dozen transfers, but, other than the design on the cover, I’m not sure they are original to this folder. Five of the patterns are identified as English quilting, and one is identified as Italian (the 5th pattern with double lines). They are quite large at 17″ square.

I’m confused by the whole concept of iron-on transfers for quilting.  I never use iron-on transfers for embroidery, because I think the lines are too thick and it’s tricky to cover them with stitching, so I can’t imagine using them for hand quilting, where the ink would be impossible to cover. At first I thought this might be some special kind of transfer ink that would wash out (pretty unlikely since the transfers are so old), but I tested it, and it’s permanent blue ink.

The designs are pretty, but a couple are very elaborate and look more like embroidery patterns to me. That’s not unusual, since I find that quite a few antique embroidery patterns (especially those intended for braiding and beading) make good quilting patterns (see previous post for 5 examples). Click patterns to enlarge.









Album Doll Quilt for Swap

Finally I have finished this little quilt for the swap organized by Lori at Humble Quilts. The quilting is about as close as I can get it, which I think suits the scale of the miniature quilt (block size is 3 1/4″). The blocks are stitched with a diagonal grid, and the sashing is ditch stitched on either side, with a wavy line down the center, following the leaf design in the print. You may be able to make out some of the quilting if you enlarge the last photo.

I’m in the process of embroidering a label, and then I’ll pop it in the mail to my swap partner. I really hope she likes it.

Update:  Two readers asked about the sashing for this little quilt, which was made using a small scrap from a previous quilt project — a remake of an antique Album quilt top. When I took the old top apart, I discovered the original sashing (which was a similar stripe) had rotted, so I replaced it with a reproduction. For the little version, I just used a small section of the repro stripe.

Album Doll Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2015
machine pieced, hand quilted
18 1/2″ square




Photograph Frame Embroidery Patterns

I’ve never embroidered a frame, but I think these would be very pretty. They were designed by Sarah Hale Hunter, whose column appeared in a number of newspapers in the early 1900s. I always enjoy reading the original instructions, so I have included those as well, since they are minimal. Click on the images to enlarge.

An effective photograph frame to be made in colored or white linen, embroidered in this design. The dots and leaves, also the figures at top and bottom, are worked solid. The stems, scrolls and straight lines are done in outline stitch. Mercerized cotton No. 25, or twisted silk, should be used.


This photograph frame may be decorated with the pattern published today. Colored mercerized cotton No. 18 is used on this design with good effect. The leaves and dots are worked solid, with the tendrils in outline stitch. The scrolls are embroidered in the long and short outline stitch. The scalloped design around each corner motif is worked solid, and the interior lines are done in outline stitch.


This design should be worked on heavy linen in white or colors. Work the edge in the long and short stitch, which forms a heavy outline. The scroll inside the edge may be worked solid, also the dots and the veining done in outline stitch. The dotted line indicates where the linen should be cut and pasted back on the foundation. The frame must be mounted on heavy cardboard, and a solid back, covered with linen, is pasted to the frame at the sides and top, leaving the bottom open for the picture to slip in. Mercerized cotton No. 15 or twisted silk may be used for the embroidery.



Meet Sasha

A huge thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes. We had a wonderful girls night out and many karaoke songs were enthusiastically (if not perfectly) sung. My daughter, Emily, is an expert at event organizing, and I look forward every year to what has become a birthday tradition.

Then, on Sunday, we had another Mother’s Day/Birthday dinner here, and I received a special surprise gift from my son, Elliott, and his girlfriend, Cirilia . . . a 3-month old white kitten with strawberry blonde patches, who is about the sweetest little boy I’ve ever met. He’s incredibly affectionate, and would cuddle up and start purring the minute anyone picked him up.

Elliott and Cirilia freaked because they couldn’t locate any shelter kittens — everyone said “call back in a month.” They ended up answering a Craigslist ad, and the owners (who were Russian) claimed their kitten was a Siberian mix. E & C knew I wouldn’t care about the kitten’s breed — they just wanted a young kitten, but they really liked him, of course, because he was so friendly and adorable. As a nod to his alleged lineage, we decided to name him Sasha.

Now I am going through the slow process of introducing him to my 5-year old cat, Elvis, who is currently not very happy about this whole situation.




Happy Birthday To Me!

Tiny Tots Paint Book
Illustrations by Dorothea J. Snow
Whitman Publishing, 1941

It’s a beautiful day in Seattle for the 4th annual Girls Night Out Birthday Dinner followed by singing karaoke at Rock Box until the wee hours of the morning. Tomorrow there’s another Birthday/Mother’s Day party at home with family. Lucky me!