A New Idea: Star Kissed

Years ago Sparkle Jane took a notion and decided to cut 1-1/4″ squares.  1-1/4″?!?  That is REALLY small.  But, they sat in this box and after a while started to hum at me.  Do projects ever do that to you?  Just sort of seem to hum in the back of your mind, “I could be beautiful.  Give me a chance.”

So, I started to piece, a little aimlessly at first.  Just as a leader-ender project.  Before I knew it, I was making 25-patches.  Then, there were 25 of them.

By then there was too much invested to stop.

Next step was a sort of economy block layout.  But, they didn’t feel finished.

Add some star points and fancy corners and you get….

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THIS!

I originally called it “Tiny,”  but now I call it “Star Kissed.”  I am not sure that is its real name, though.

I visualize it with white sashing and tiny colored corner stones.  And probably a really cool border of some kind.

This block is 10″, but it could easily be resized to sensible proportions based on, say, 2″ or 2-1/2″ squares in the center.  What do you think?

 

Butterfly Binding

The only sewing work I have done this week is binding…

and I haven’t even started stitching it down yet!

When the quilt is already large and there are scallops, it will take approximately 500 inches of binding.  And it must be attached very slowly.  Hoping to finish that step in the next two days.  Then trimming and blind stitching the back.  It. Will. Be. Worth. It.

THROWBACK: Hundred Hugs Top

It has been fun to revisit my own tutorials from several years ago.

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And I have a Hundred Hugs top to show for it.

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The colors were chosen to match the proposed back.

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Hopefully it will be a complete quilt soon.  The baby is on the way!

Vintage Project Layout: Applique Butterflies

The past several days brought the Vintage Applique Butterfly quilt started by my Great-grandmother, Mina Opal, to a completed top.

As I picked apart the previous setting, I noticed that there were 6 blocks where the butterflies were straight on the block and 48 blocks where they were angled.  Considering the care and attention to detail in the work generally, I was certain that was not an accident.  But, why?

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Research revealed that that there is a layout for 54 blocks that has a six block center–a medallion!

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After that the process went relatively quickly. I created a six block medallion and surrounded it with three part sashing, placing a nine-patch in the corners.  Most quilts in this style used either a single wide piece of sashing or additional background material, but I liked this look. Around and around we go!

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Three layers plus a wide outer border of muslin as close as I could get to that in the background of the blocks.  It is lighter, but the texture is right and I think after quilting it won’t be too obvious.

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I am preparing to scallop that outer border when it gets back from the quilter and marked a rough draft version to guide her work.  Yes, this quilt is being sent out.  It deserves the best, so I am giving it that chance.

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Won’t my mother be surprised when she sees it again!

 

Another Vintage Project

This year is the year–of Vintage Projects.

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Recently, my mother surrendered two quilts started by HER grandmother, Mina Opal, (my Great-grandmother) in the 1930-40s.  Today we will take a look at the first one.

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Mina Opal created 53 applique butterfly blocks.  My mother added one.  She then added sashing and started to build a top (early-to-mid 1980s).  But she was unhappy with the results and put the whole project away for about 35 years.

ASIDE:  Now that I think about it, my mother quit on the quilt about the time Mina Opal became ill and died (1987). Hmm…I wonder if that had something to do with it?

Anyway, when it came to me I asked if there were restrictions on what I could do, because “It won’t look the same when I bring it back.”

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With my mother’s (blind-faith) blessing, I have gone to work.  First, pick the entire top apart. It took days.

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Clean up and iron each block. This was a tedious but useful process.  It helped me to see the work more closely and to better appreciate the skill and care Mina Opal and my mother, Verna, put into the quilt.  It also gave me clues as to the possible original intent.

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It also gave me a reason to AGAIN use my new lint roller.  WHO KNEW one would be so useful?!  I don’t know how I did without one this long.

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I chose the largest possible size (9″) for the blocks and squared up. This step was the hardest emotionally so far.  Cutting 80 year old fabric…arrgh!  What if I make a mistake?  But, I went slowly and only did a few blocks at a time.  And double-checked.  A lot.

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Time for design decisions….Coming soon!

 

That Is More Than I Expected

As I am preparing the Irish Stars top for quilting, I decided to add a new step to preparation:  use a lint roller on the back to remove the little bits that are so very common when using little pieces.

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Wow!  That is more than I expected.  Hm…maybe I should do this more often.