Sparkle Jane Finish: Blue Bargello

Sparkle Jane has waited a long time for this finish.

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She started the quilt about six years ago (age 13).  The piecing went well, but then it was time for quilting.  She started hand quilting it, got about half way and decided that she didn’t like the way it looked.

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And TORE IT ALL OUT.  Painful!

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And then put the quilt away.

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But now it was time.  The quilting looks a lot like water over stones.  Which is perfect for the pattern.  Finish size is 82″ x 63″.

Throwback Sewing

There is sewing happening.  And it is all throwback sewing…taking the time to revisit and enjoy tutorials I developed years ago.

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These are the hundred patch centers of a Hundred Patch quilt.  All the patches are done and the pieced sashing, too.  Just need to cut the background sashing and stitch it all together.  This quilt is planned as a gift for a colleague at school.

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This is the beginning of a Hundred Hugs quilt just because I found cute backing fabric and babies seem to come along regularly.  That is a good enough reason.

While I do have ideas for some new designs, I have enjoyed revisiting old favorites.  Nice to return to my roots.

Last Hurrah Of Summer

In a burst of celebratory energy after finishing the Irish Stars Quilt, I opened the 2-1/2″ squares box and threw this together.

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It is fun to play with color.

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Finished size is 48″ x 70″.  Just a happy throw.

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With bicycles.

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Class starts today (8/19).  I am ready!  What a great summer it has been!  Thank you for sharing it with me.

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!

 

Lone Star Rescue COMPLETE

While my time spent working on the longarm machine I rent is normally smooth and pleasant due to the assistance and maintenance of the owner, it was not so with this quilt.  The thread kept breaking for reasons unknown.  Just one of those days.

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But, patience and persistence prevailed and it was finished in the end.

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I am really pleased with the freemotion work  in the background,

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less so with the work in the star itself.  I just don’t have good control yet on my points.

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I hope the original maker could be pleased with the results.  They probably aren’t what she had in mind, but we can all relate to the feeling of knowing that our efforts weren’t in vain.

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It goes into the giveaway pile waiting for the “just right” home to come along.