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.
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 was interested in a new BOM offered by JacquelineSteves.com because I have been doing a lot of embroidering from vintage patterns lately and her BOM has a nice 6-1/2 center block to fill with embroidery or applique. Jacqueline supplies a simple embroidery/applique design but I wanted to use a series of darling bluebird-in-the-kitchen patterns that I found online.
This is the first of the Sew Sweet Simplicty BOM series which finishes at 12-1/2 inches unfinished.
I made this block from scraps using suggested colors except I substituted blue for red to accent the little birds.
This is a fairly easy pattern to sew with a couple of helpful tips from Jacqueline. We can make a four or six-block wall hanging and I haven’t decided yet how I’ll use my blocks, but they will all be scrappy with a bluebird in the center.
The free vintage embroidery pattern (plus many, many more arranged in albums) is available at
Click on pictures to enlarge.
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.
My blogger friend at knitNkwilt posted about an interesting paper-pieced block called Indian Summer. There’s a free downloadable pattern on Craftsy.com. I like paper piecing for small projects and the 12-inch block plus a 2-inch border makes a piece that is perfect for my mini-rack….
….for two separate spots in my kitchen…..
…and for what we used to call a “stand cover” or table mat….
I was able to reduce my bags of black, white and red scraps a bit and have two pieces that will get a lot of use.
My youngest daughter likes to have a quilted wall hanging in her family room and hinted broadly that she’d like one with some spring colors. She didn’t have any other ideas and said something with her kids would be OK. I’ve already made several hangings featuring her kids, so I thought this time it would be nice to feature the pets she has owned since she was married. I scanned the pictures and then printed them on June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet Printers.
I added borders to the pictures to make 6 inch blocks.
The alternate blocks were simple Diamond in a Square to showcase some beautiful 5 inch florals I had along with some pale green gingham.
For the backing, I used some pink fabric that had been a dress for her daughter a few years ago. The quilting is simple straight line and stitch-in-the-ditch. I also made a sleeve (the drapery hooks were used just to take pictures). The wall hanging measures 30×30 inches. The label includes pictures of the animals.
The beagle Bailey in the center was her first dog who passed away a few years ago. The rest of the group is still running amuck in her house – the black dog Frank was adopted after he was found abandoned in the neighborhood; Jimmi the Blue Tick Coon Hound came from a local rescue (Recycled Doggies); the cats showed up at her front door on two successive Halloween nights – their names are appropriately Milky Way and Snickers.
My daughter likes having the rest of her “family” featured on a wall hanging.
When I gave my youngest daughter a mini-quilt and rack for her anniversary in October, I knew I would be making some more mini-quilts for her. I wanted to give her something with a Thanksgiving theme and remembered a pattern I had picked up in Ohio Amish country several years ago. It’s a fused turkey design that I used to make a wall hanging.
Since my daughter is definitely a child of the 70s, I made up a mini-quilt for her with a very cool turkey, using all of the frantic 70s fabrics left over from other projects I’ve done for her.
I used wide black zigzag stitches to give it an even wilder and crazier 70s look.
Of course, she loved it and it’s in her family room along with a big stuffed orange and green owl and some other 70s stuff.
The pattern is by Becky and Me, #T-1044. Address: 5811 Valley Ave. E, Fife WA 98424 – (253) 380-2284.
Last summer, my youngest daughter asked me to make a beach-themed wall hanging for her family room. Now that summer is over, she thought she’d like to have a quilt representing her favorite era – the 1970s – with photos of her two kids in 70s-style clothes. She chose the fabric and pictures, my oldest daughter worked with the pictures to make them suitable for printing on June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric sheets and I set to work to make the quilt.
The centerpiece is a photo she took of David Cassidy in concert – her favorite singer from the 1970s. He’s surrounded by fun pictures of the kids ….
…and even one of their Build-A-Bear cheetah in 70s garb.
I used a block called “Sugarbowl” in the 4 corners …
…and otherwise used 6-½ inch blocks with sashing around the pictures.
I used up all of the fabric to make the backing and binding.
Quilting was very simple machine stitching. It was a fun and easy project.
This wall hanging began life as a pillow in 2007 when it won a blue ribbon at our county fair. Then, it went into the cedar chest to be given as a gift to the proper person. Each time, I hung onto it and gave something else from the chest and decided this year, I would like to have it made into a wall hanging that I could use more than I could a pillow.
It was pretty easy to disassemble the pillow, make the back into top and bottom borders, and add a backing. I omitted binding and simply sewed the wall hanging and backing right sides together, then turned and top-stitched. I used drapery hooks rather than adding a sleeve.
This pattern was adapted from a decorative painting design by my favorite artist, Helan Barrick. I simplified it quite a bit to make it into a fused applique panel and added the pieced blocks in typical Amish colors. The little quilt the girls are working on is also pieced.
I’m enjoying seeing this repurposed item in my kitchen after all these years.