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.