Mini-Quilts Inspired by a 1940s Tally Card

I have always loved the use of Scotties in 1930s-40s designs and have a large collection of all sorts of things.  Among the items I collect are tally cards from that era and I found a really nice one for only 25 cents at an antique mall recently.  I thought the design would work well as a fused applique for my mini-quilt rack.  The card measures about 3×3 inches and the little spot above the man’s hat is a tiny ink blot on the card.

Update:  I’ve had a few questions about what a tally card is.  In the 1930s-40s, card games in the home were very popular, especially bridge for the ladies (followed by a light lunch and a rich dessert). Hostesses liked to provide cute tally cards which were kept as souvenirs.

I scanned the card and printed it out in a 6×6 inch size, leaving ¼ inch borders for the seam.   I flipped the picture when printing so it would face in the same direction as the original card when appliquéd.  I like Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 sheets for fusing.

On my first version of the piece, I omitted the gentleman and added another tree.  The pieces were fused onto a pale peach 6-½ x 6-½ inch background and secured with a zigzag stitch using invisible thread.  I used a fine line permanent marker to add a few of the features such as the bark on the tree and the dog leash.

Then, I added fabric to finish out the piece and border to measure approximately 12 x 15 inches.

I liked the piece, but it didn’t have the airy spring look that I wanted, so I made another fused center, this time keeping the gentleman and changing the position of the tree.

I used 3-½ inch blocks called Right and Left from my Electric Quilt software  to complete the quilt.  This time, it had the springtime appearance I wanted.

I’ll have to look through my collection to see if there are any more designs I can use for my mini-quilts.

St. Patrick’s Day Decorations

With the help of my daughter, I have a good display of St. Patrick’s Day/Irish items.  She is good at so many things like decorative painting……


She painted a wooden plate with a scene inspired by a photograph taken when we were in Ireland and she added our favorite border collie.

I smile to myself every time I see the plate and remember the farmhouse and those wonderful dogs herding the sheep.

She is also skilled at collages and made this one up using some unusual items.  There is some very nice fine hand quilting on this piece.




I have a quilted wall hanging that I made, also remembering our trip to Ireland.  At a country farmhouse, women were making a huge apple tart.  In this case, I scanned a photograph and printed it on fabric.  The block is Wonderful World from Judy Martin’s Stars & Sets CD.



Many years ago, when my daughter and I had a booth at a craft mall, I designed a scene with an Irish piper, dancers and a small brown dog.  I used the design many times on decorative painting items and tried my hand at using the design in a fusible applique picture. 


Happy St. Patrick’s Day