Posts Tagged ‘hand quilting’

McCall’s Monday – More Quilting Motifs From Old Favorites

Here are more quilting designs from my 1936 McCall’s Needlework catalog. I can’t believe they suggest using carbon paper to transfer the pattern to your quilt top. Do not do this! More McCall’s designs are available in an earlier post. Click images to enlarge.

No. 1980. Printed Pattern for Quilting Motifs. Prics, 40 cents. Here are some of the popular old favorites used in quilting that have been handed down from generation to generation. There’s the interesting old Anchor motif, and a design that will fit the squares of the popular Double Wedding Ring patch work quilt. There are also several variations of the old feather design, in a wide and narrow border, and in squares. You can trace them on your quilt by means of carbon paper, or else make a perforated pattern on the sewing machine following directions in the pattern. Women who make patch work quilts will appreciate these interesting old quilting designs.

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McCall’s Monday — Quilting Motifs From Old Favorites

I’m sorry about the quality of these images, but the original illustrations in my 1936 McCall’s Designs for Needlework catalogue are only 1″. They are scanned at a fairly high resolution, so hopefully you will be able to print and trace the designs to fit blocks up to 12 inches. The first block has a nice matching border. Click images to enlarge.









McCall’s Monday — Feather Quilting, Italian Style

Even though it is not even mentioned in this catalog description from 1936, I think these feathers would also look wonderful on a quilt. I haven’t attempted trapunto quilting, but it’s on my bucket list. Click images to enlarge.

No. 306 – Transfer Design for Quilting. Price 30 cents. With scatter motifs in this graceful feather design, you can trim coats, dresses, bed jackets, negligees and boudoir pillow and bags most attractively. The work is Italian quilting. First stamp the design on cheesecloth and baste it on the wrong side of the material to be quilted, then sew along the lines of the design through both lining and material, and for the stuffed effect pull yarn through the paths thus formed. 8 cross feathers, from 3 1/4″ to 8″ to 6″ x 6 1/4″, 12 single motifs, about 2″ x 5″, 24 fronds and 3 1/2 yards of 4″ banding.









Free Pattern Friday — Hand Quilting Patterns for Alternate Blocks

Here are four hand quilting patterns cut from vintage magazine pages — part of a large box of quilting ephemera recently purchased at a thrift shop. The published patterns gave only a portion of the design, but I have put the pieces together so you can get a better idea of how they look. The first three patterns are  15″, while the feather design is 12″.

To print, click on the images to open a full-sized pdf file. Scroll to the bottom and click on the download button. Open the downloaded file in Acrobat Reader, and select “poster” in the print dialog box. This will allow you to tile print the original pattern size on multiple sheets of letter or legal sized paper, which you can then trim and tape or glue together.






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.









Hand Quilting Designs from Vintage Embroidery Transfers

I recently purchased folder of large vintage Briggs transfers which are labeled as quilting patterns. As I was looking at the designs, I realized they looked a lot like the large patterns I’ve seen which were intended to decorate cushions. After looking around online for cushion patterns that might also work for hand quilting. I found a rose design that was perfect as is, and four others that I felt would work, but needed a few changes. Now that I’ve added a few elements to a couple, and subtracted some details from the other two, I think these would look wonderful as alternate blocks. Click images to enlarge.

Next, I will clean up the Briggs transfers to share — no changes will be required for them, as they were designed for hand quilting.

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Nancy Page Hand Quilting Patterns, 1930s

The Nancy Page column was syndicated in many national newspapers during the 1930s. Six of these quilting patterns were published full-size, although with only one quarter of the pattern to save space. I put the pieces together to show you the completed design, but the eight original patterns are below, which might be easier to print if you’re going to need a pattern larger than normal printer paper.

Some of these designs were created for the Nancy Page series quilts, and others were associated with one-block quilts. The group is interesting because, as expected, some of them look traditional, but the Ring-on-Ring and Leaf patterns would also look wonderful on a more modern quilt.

An earlier post contains more Nancy Page quilting patterns — small advertisements for mail-away patterns that I enlarged. Click any image to enlarge.









Quilting the String Star Quilt & a Stencil Giveaway

I wrote about this top several years ago . . .


This top was made with a box full of quilt scraps from the 1940s and 50s. All of the pieces were 1 1/2″ wide in varying lengths, but none longer than about 15″. I thought perhaps the quilter had planned to make a log cabin quilt, but most of the color values were the same. My other thought was a string quilt of some kind, which seemed to work better with the fabrics. 

I didn’t use a foundation, but just eyeballed the strips and cut them to fit my big diamond template. They don’t match up perfectly (and I don’t think they need to), but they are fairly close since all the strips were the same width. I used all of her scraps and had to add a few of my own, some of which were newer fabrics. For the border, I used the little leftover ends of the strips. 

I made this top a long time ago, and I’m not sure why it ended up at the bottom of the pile. I think it will be fun to quilt a nice wreath or something fairly elaborate in those white spaces.

My string star quilt blocks are large at 18 1/2″, which makes my diamond template approximately 10″ x 4″. You can easily make a Lemoyne Star block in any size using a simple drafting technique (Laura at See How We Sew has created a wonderful tutorial here). I had to paste a few sheets of grid paper together to get a big enough piece of paper, and then I traced (adding the seam allowance) and cut the 3 pattern pieces out of template plastic.

Now, many years later, I am finally getting around to the quilting, and I am excited to be partnering with The Stencil Company to offer an assortment of 4 feather stencils — both of the stencils I am using for this quilt (10″ feather square and 5″ feather wreath), plus the 8″ triangular feather for corners, and the 5″ large curved feather for borders. I especially love the 10″ feather square, which would also work well in an alternate plain block.

If you are an experienced hand quilter, you are probably familiar with The Stencil Company products. If you are a beginning hand quilter, I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to transfer a quilting pattern to your top using one of their stencils, especially for complicated designs like feathers. I want to also mention that I am not being paid to advertise these products — I just really like their stencils, and I’m always happy to do anything to encourage quilters to try quilting by hand.

In the photo below, you may notice that I don’t use many safety pins to baste my quilt. Until recently I thread basted all my quilts, but I took Tim Latimer’s advice (who also uses a hoop), and now I just use safety pins (and not very many, either). It’s worked out great — I haven’t had any problems with puckering, and thread basting was such a drag.

A little masking tape holds the stencil in place, while I use a mechanical pencil to transfer the quilting design to my pin basted quilt top. Next I fill in the tiny missing lines where the stencil was connected, and use a fabric eraser on any lines that I feel are a little dark. It’s pretty great to be able to draw just one area at a time. Tracing the entire quilting pattern on the top is a problem for me, because I prefer using a pencil instead of a marking pen, and the pencil lines sometimes disappear before I get to them. I have cut some of my own stencils, and I have some great vintage examples made from cardboard (Thank you, Gina!), but it’s tricky and time-consuming. If you can find a pattern that works, I recommend pre-cut stencils.




For the stars, I repeated the diamond shape three times in each diamond, with quilting lines 1/2″ apart.


Stay tuned for two more updates on this project, because for each post there will be two more winners of the feather assortment stencils. Just leave a comment below if you would like to enter, and I will use a Random Number Generator to select two winners on Monday, February 9.


Nancy Page Hand Quilting Designs

Since I have begun hand quilting my first WIP finish for 2015, I thought it would be appropriate to post some vintage quilting designs. These were published in late 1930s newspapers by Florence LaGanke, using the Nancy Page pseudonym. Unlike the Nancy Page series quilts which were free patterns appearing weekly in a full-sized format, the individual quilt block and quilting patterns were mail order only (3¢ for the pattern, plus a return addressed envelope with a 3¢ stamp).

Because these were actually newspaper ads, the illustrations were tiny and crudely drawn — they were just meant to give you an idea of how the finished product would look. I thought they were unusual, though, so I have tried to clean them up, hoping that someone might actually be able to use these interesting geometric designs. They would be wonderful in an alternate solid color block.

Click any image for slideshow. More Nancy Page quilting patterns are available in this later post.