This is block 4 in Susan’s quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels, called Paper Pinwheel.
I am participating in the quilt-along by making small projects with the monthly blocks. This is an easy block and I made two 12-inch versions which I used to make a favorite hanger cover. I tape together three wire hangers, make a tube to cover the loop portion and a cover. I’ve been making these covers for over 7 years (tutorial here) and find it’s a good way to recycle wire hangers while providing a nice soft surface for clothes. I don’t usually make the cover this long but wanted to take advantage of the pretty blocks.
The second post was using the same block in multiples, creating a secondary pinwheel.
I made the blocks in a 4-inch size and combined them with an embroidered panel I had adapted from a favorite Helan Barrick decorative art pattern.
This made a very nice wall hanging.
The third post was a bonus block …
It was perfect for adding a couple of panels and a backing to create a comfortable cushion for my sewing chair.
I’m enjoying making the blocks and then finding ways to use them.
Whenever my two daughters and I get together, they always pull out some kind of handwork to do – knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting. Since I’ve always done my piecing and quilting by machine, I rarely have something to work on. I decided to try some very simple embroidery using vintage 1930s-40s style patterns. They are easy enough for my limited skills and I like the patterns which remind me of the embroidery all of the women in my family were doing in that era. My daughter and I have a large collection of vintage patterns and I’ve been able to add patterns from some good online sites.
I embroider the panel (usually 8-½ x 8-½ inches) and then use scraps to make up something useful. I don’t want to gather a drawer full of embroidered squares, so unless it’s a seasonal pattern, I make it up quickly. Another goal of mine this year has been to eliminate bags of small scraps – smaller than 4×4 inches – and I’ve managed to do that. The only fabric I’ve bought up to this point is some good off-white fabric for embroidery and to use to assemble the scrap blocks. Here are some of the items I’ve finished this summer:
A cushion set for my vintage folding chair ….
A small wall hanging of an old kitchen stove …
A pillow with a design I adapted from an old postcard …
A wall hanging with a crow and sunflower center. I hand quilted around this design and machine quilted the remainder of the hanging.
A table pad with a Mexican theme …
I still have a stack of completed embroidered panels to use.
Here are some links to free vintage embroidery patterns:
Click on photos to enlarge.
A few months ago, I bought a vintage folding chair at an antique store and made a cushion set for it. I thought it was time to have a change of cushions and looked through my scraps to see what I could come up with. Recently, I’ve been embroidering in the evening while watching TV. My embroidery skills demand simple designs with basic stitches. Actually, I prefer the kind of 1930s-40s embroidery that all of the women in my family did while I was growing up. This design of a swan holding summer flowers seemed just right for summertime cushions.
I used a quilt pattern named Children’s Delight from my EQ6 software to make 5-½ inch blocks. The pillow measures 17×17 inches. When assembling the top cushion, I added a 15 inch piece of 2-½ inch elastic on the back to hold it in place while on the chair.
I made an unquilted fabric seat cushion to keep the focus on the top cushion with the swan.
I had just put the finished set on the chair and left to get my camera. When I came back to the room, I found that Addie loves the new cushions.
Wedding Dress Blue has an interesting quilt-along and tutorial for an easy version of the Lemoyne Star called Super Star that is fun and quick to put together. Click here for her tutorial. I have a large, deep-seated sofa that requires large cushions behind my back if my feet are going to touch the floor. I had salvaged two large foam cushions from a discarded couch and the 16-inch star was perfect when I added some strips and additional half-squares to make the block larger. I made the block for the front and back of each cushion and chose not to quilt the covers which will have to be laundered frequently.
I used only scraps in these two cushion covers, including a large bag of white scraps I had bought last fall in Ohio Amish country.
I made a total of 80 half-squares that were 2-½ inches and for this many pieces, I turned to my Wonder Cut Ruler which made quick work of them.
I also used scraps for the side sections, cutting 6-inch wide strips of various lengths of fabric.
I had salvaged two long zippers from the original cushions and didn’t have to buy anything to complete the project.
My dog, Addie, wondered when I was going to be finished taking pictures so I could fill her dinner bowl and also when I was going to get out of the way so she could get back to her favorite spot on the couch.
Desert Sky Quilts has a great quilting blog which includes tutorials for some blocks she designed. I liked her Indestructible Star and tried it using her instructions for a 12-1/2 inch unfinished block. I added a border and ruffles to make a nice cushion cover.
I thought this would be a good pattern to use with scraps for a springtime mantel cover. For this cover I reduced the blocks to 6-1/2 inches.
For the length I wanted, I made 5 blocks using scraps of a different coordinating color for each.
I added setting and corner triangles along with a border and a plain piece of fabric for the top of the mantel.
I didn’t want to use batting and placed the backing right sides together with the block portion and sewed around the edges, leaving an opening on the back edge. The piece was turned and pressed, then I used a minimum amount of machine stitching to hold the back and front together and top stitched around the edge.
I like the cover very much – cheerful and spring-like.
This cover measures 19-1/2 x 43-1/2 inches.