At Christmas time, I made lap quilts for three of my children but wasn’t sure the older son would want one. Then, I decided he might like to have something to throw over himself and his two dogs when he naps in his recliner. I wanted to use scraps and made his quilt using my 1920s Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt book. I had made a wall hanging back in 2010 when I first received the book, but for this quilt made blocks I hadn’t tried before – all with blue scraps. The blocks were of various sizes and I used borders to make them all the same size and maroon sashing to put them together.
The backing/batting is a pretty blue fleece.
The quilt measures 48 x 60 inches and took on a nautical look without my intending it to be that way. I think it will be a nice 60th birthday gift for my son and his dogs.
This is block 9 in Susan’s Stars and Pinwheels QAL, called Arizona 2 with Flying Geese.
I’m continuing on this QAL to make a different small project with the featured block each month. I reduced the size of the block to 7 inches to make it a good size for my mini quilt rack.
I used scraps from a lace curtain over fabric to make the setting triangles and found some pretty braid to embellish.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I added a vintage mother-of-pearl pin to the center.
This was an easy block and turned out so pretty.
One of my birthday gifts in September was a copy of The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt book plus 20 fat quarters of 1930s reproduction fabric. I had fun picking out blocks that I would like to make at random and using a couple of the pretty fat quarters along with some white fabric to make 6-½ inch unfinished blocks. This is the first one I tried, “Addie”….
Then I tried “Mrs. Smith” …
I did all of the piecing by machine and used the CD provided with the book to print out the patterns. I like to work with small blocks, so the 6-inch finished size was good for me.
The book includes assembly diagrams for piecing the blocks and template cutting instructions with full color pictures. It also includes 99 letters from the 1930s depression era to the magazine, “Farmer’s Wife” with stories of how they were surviving and enjoying life in the middle of the depression. My daughter found my book on eBay about $10 cheaper than the advertised price.
I used 22 different blocks from the book (plus two repeats) to make Christmas lap quilts for my two daughters (36 x 48 inches). I placed the blocks on point and added white fabric to complete the quilt tops.
The borders were made from scraps of the fabric in each quilt.
I pieced together scraps to make the backing for the older daughter who likes batting and a cotton backing.
The younger daughter prefers fleece as batting/backing and I chose a pretty pink fleece with hearts for her quilt. For each quilt, I made a duffel bag of Christmas fabric scraps to use as a gift bag and then later to use as a storage bag.
I love the blocks because of my own memories of the 1930s and because they were made from treasured gifts.
Now, that Christmas is over, I can share some of my holiday quilting projects. I have a large stash of orphan blocks, saved over the years from various projects or sometimes made as a single, difficult block that I would not want to use for a big quilt. I decided to put some of them together as lap quilts for my son in St. Louis, his wife, two daughters and their dog.
In each case the quilts were 36×48 inches (except for the one for the dog) since that’s about as big as I can handle on a domestic sewing machine any more. Also, the quilts were all backed with fleece and included hand-embroidered labels. My son’s quilt was made up of black/white blocks, which included several Judy Martin blocks, an Eleanor Burns block and a 70s style appliqued turkey.
I used sashing and some lively polka-dot fabric as borders to complete the project.
My daughter-in-law’s quilt had a large medallion block in the center that was made as part of Jacquelynne Steves’ Sew Sweet Simplicity quilt-along.
The older granddaughter’s quilt was made using a block I saw on the internet. I added an embroidered panel at the top.
The younger granddaughter’s quilt centered around a block I found online plus three hand-embroidered panels at the top.
The dog’s quilt was made using blocks from a Barbara Brackman Civil War quilt-along and one block I made for a swap about 12 years ago.
The family sent me a picture of Cocoa with her quilt. I’ve never met Cocoa and think the next time I’ll need to add a few more blocks for a bigger quilt.
Click on photos to enlarge.
This is block 3 in Susan’s quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels, called Chunky Star. Once again, Susan has offered two versions – one with half-square triangles as shown in the picture at the beginning of the post ….
…and one with flying geese.
These are both easy blocks with good instructions.
I’m using the blocks from this quilt-along each month to make a small project. I decided to put these two blocks together in a favorite tie bag. I found this pattern online about 15 years ago and have made it in a large variety of sizes and fabrics. Along the way, I adapted it to make better use of the fabric and it took very little to make this nice lined bag which will be a gift for someone later this year.
Jacquelynne Steves is offering another series of free blocks-of-the-month called Cozy Afternoon.
There will be five blocks, each with a pattern to embroider or applique for the center. I have a large hassock with a lid which I’m going to cover, using five blocks – one for the top of the lid and four for the sides.
My version of Block 3 is shown in the top picture. This will be one of the sides of the hassock cover, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the center.
Jacquelynne also provides a pattern for an embroidered or appliqued center and I made another block using the embroidered mug and a different set of fabrics.
The block pattern is generally easy, but I did not get the results I wanted for the four corner patches using the method given. This could be my fault – I don’t do well when I have to sew pieces together and then slice them apart. I’m not always as precise as I should be, but when I tried very hard on the second block and didn’t like the way it turned out, I drew the patch on my Electric Quilt software and got the measurements for a 3-inch finished block. This one turned out perfectly. I’m including the measurements and directions in case someone wants to do it the old-fashioned way.
Cut one “A” 2×2 inches
Cut one “B” 2-3/8×2-3/8 inches (Cut on diagonal and use both patches.)
Cut one “C” 3-7/8 x 3-7/8 inches (Cut on diagonal and use one patch
- Sew one light blue triangle to right side of pink square. There will be 1/4 inch tails on either end.
- Press seam open and sew white triangle across bottom of pink square.
- Press seam and trim tails. Place on blue triangle, right sides together, and stitch across long side.
- Press open and trim tails. Patch should measure 3-1/2 inches square. The pink patch should measure 1-3/4 inches from seam to edge, which will match up perfectly with the other squares in the block.
This is a really nice BOM series and there’s still time to get the patterns and instructions for later use. Jacquelynne does not archive her patterns for long periods of time.
My younger daughter has been a life-long devotee of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books (Little House on the Prairie et al – the TV series, not so much). She has always wanted to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Mansfield, MO, and had a chance to make the trip with her sister last month. Her excellent report on this trip is here.
One of the souvenirs she brought home was a gift for me – a pattern for a wall hanging called Laura in Redwork by Johanna Wilson (Plum Creek Patchwork*).
I like to do simple embroidery and had red-checked gingham on hand, so I made up the original pattern for my daughter.
I made a label that incorporated a picture of my daughter standing in front of Laura’s house in Mansfield.
I gave her the quilt on Mother’s Day and she was very happy with it. It measures 38×38 inches – a big wall hanging or a small lap quilt. Her dog, Daisy, looks anxious to have it on the couch where she can get cuddly with it.
I wanted to make a wall hanging for myself but not that big and I didn’t want to work with the same materials again, so I reduced the pattern by 50% and came up with a wall hanging in blue that is 22×22 inches.
I like both versions very much. It would be a good pattern for a quilter with a bit of experience rather than a beginner since the instructions aren’t too detailed.
*Plum Creek Patchwork – 1410 County Highway #5 – Walnut Grove, MN 56180
I combined some hand-embroidered squares with some paper-pieced hearts to make a runner for Valentine’s Day. Some of the embroidery patterns were found online and I made up some of them using vintage Valentines from my collection as a source.
The boy and girl in the top row of these squares are from a Valentine my mother received from her teacher in 1923.
I added a sleeve to the back so I can also hang this piece.
I like this cheerful addition to my Valentine’s Day decorations. Hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day.
I’ve completed Block 4 of this series with another hand-embroidered vintage bluebird.
I’ve decided to make the two bonus blocks to make a total of six and here is Bonus Block #1.
I have one more Bonus Block to complete and have already finished the bluebird for it. Now, I have to wait until the end of the month to see what finishing instructions are provided and make up my mind how I want to assemble the blocks. It’s been an interesting series.
For free vintage embroidery patterns: https://www.flickr.com/photos/29529717@N04/
I just completed BOM #3 in Jacquelynne Steves’ Sew Sweet Simplicity series.
I’m using vintage bluebird patterns to embroider the center block for these 12-inch finished blocks. I’m using coordinating scraps for the block itself but each one will be a little bit different.
The blocks will be turned into some kind of project for the kitchen. The block is not difficult to piece, yet gives some very pretty results.
Click here for lots of free vintage embroidery patterns.