An 1880 Replica and some Thank-you’s

Many thanks to Cheryl who inspired us all through 2011 with patterns to reproduce an 1880 sampler quilt.  They are all still posted and her directions are so clearly written and she provided that  “cut large- square-up perfect” technique that I need.  Have a look at her blog:  http://samplerquiltpatterns.blogspot.com/

I completed  block number 50 in January and then got side-tracked for a while.    Recently I got out my copy of Quilting Traditions by Patricia T. Herr to find the inspiration quilt and determine the correct lay out of the blocks.

50 blocks arranged like the original quilt

I became frustrated that I had missed making some of the blocks.  How could I have missed so much?  I went back to Cheryl’s blog to discover that we did not make all 72 blocks of the original.  Rather we will have a sample of the sampler!  Which is good as one of the five-inch blocks has 144 pieces in it!

All 50 Penn.-Dutch blocks in the order for assembly

I removed the blocks from the right side and the bottom and filled in the gaps.  The story of the original quilt is that Barbara Bucher Snyder made it in 1880 before her wedding.  The book includes a picture of all the female relatives who came to the quilting party to put the quilt together with their loving quilting stitches.  What a family heirloom and story this would have been.  I am currently working on the sashing and am eager to be able to post again.

A hostess thank-you gift

For a simpler project I have worked on a long overdue hospitality thank-you.  I selected  and purchased the fabric very quickly but just could not find the pattern back.  So the fabric has sat for a few months!  Recently, while looking for something else, the pattern appeared stored with the fabric I planned to use with it when I purchased it 5 years ago!   I like the pattern because there is no binding and the place-mats and napkins are reversible.  The back rolls to the front with miters.  The pattern includes a cleaver plastic template to make the miters easy.  I received a very gracious email when the recipient received her package.

Table runner as a hospitality thank-you

The next hostess gift was in the works before I needed it.  I just realized that it would be perfect for the home of the recipient.  You recently saw it as a FMQ practice.  These work great for non-quilters as they do not see the errors!

We have enjoyed a visit from an out-of-state brother and his wife.  Carolyn is also a quilter, so we had much to visit about.  We also got caught up on each others grown children and we reminisced about the past.

May you continue to enjoy spring.  marge

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Free Motion Quilting and more Antique Quilts

Yea, today is the day I get to practice free motion quilting on a piece on muslin!  NOT!  Who wants to practice?  We just want to be good!  A few years ago some blog provided us with a practice everyday of the year.  I did not get snagged. Then there was once a week practice.  It did not catch me either.  But this year there is one practice a month.  Maybe I could do it.  We are now one-fourth of the way through the year and I think I might get with it!

Heart leaves wandering

This is only because I remembered Cotton Theory by Betty Cotton.   Betty’s concept is quilt one block at a time and then put the quilt together.  This is like the potholder quilts of the Civil War Era that I chatted about in my last post.  The only difference is that you leave one inch not batted or quilted all around the outside.  I am not even piecing blocks, rather I am using ready made blocks.  I am practicing quilting!  And it can become a quilt!  SewCalGal.blogspot is where I am getting the lessons.  January Frances Moore did the honors and I learned FMQ of heart leaves.  Yes, I know some stitches are jerky, but I am practicing!

Feathers on a table runner

February the lesson was from Diane Gaudynsti and she did a great job explaining feathers.  They would not fit in my little blocks, but I did have a little table runner begging for quilting.  Yes, all my shadows are not a precise 1/8″ apart and they sometimes run over each other, but I am practicing!

Ann Fahl provided the March lesson, but I missed it as I just got onto this in April. (her lesson was just posted for the month) I did go to her blog and saw her string of hearts.  I did a few of them and then went to Kathy Sandbach’s book on FMQ, Show me How to Machine Quilt, for a few ideas.  I took a class from her years ago, and then I quite practicing.

April has a great lesson on tracing patterns, but I am in the FMQ thing right now.  There was also a video on puzzle quilting so I might try that….on another day.

Hexagon quilt top purchased in Texas

The difference between a Flea Market and an Antique Show:

The above antique quilt top was purchases while I was in Texas.  At the flea market you have to look through a lot of junk and hope to find a real treasure.  If you find one, you are so lucky as the price might also be good.    At an antique show you are looking at a lot of real nice stuff.  When you see the treasure you really want, you might have to pay more than you would like.  The hexagon quilt could have been purchases at either show as I saw one at each that could have been twins.  At the flea market it sold for $15.  At the antique show is was $75.  I was thankful I had bought it for the 15.  Trying to date the quilt is hard for me.  The burgundy looks turn of the century, but the green looks older.  No matter what age, I still enjoy it!  Why didn’t the lady finish it after all that hand piecing?  It lays flat, which is often the issue in tops we find.

Today I made a couple placemats to give as a house warming gift.

Doll Quilts and Round Top, Texas

Thanks to my daughter in-law for making Easter dinner.  I returned from a fun antique trip just in time for a day of rest and then the special day of church and family.

The antique trip took me to Texas and a week of shopping.   No, my husband was not along!  My first stop was Canton, Texas (near Dallas) and a flea market the only way Texas can do it, BIG.  Brother Roger and wife Linda were among the vendors.  I did buy one antique quilt top there and will show it in a later post.  The most I found there was new stuff.  After a day and a half at this small town I moved further south to Round Top, which is a tiny town between Austen and Houston.

This antique show started with 20 some venders and has now grown to 20 some miles of venders.  The small towns on H-237 are full of venders, but along the highway you will find what was once a cattle pasture has now become a city of huge tents and antique venders.  It was my first time there and I was thankful that another brother had advised me just where the best shopping was.

My main mission was antique doll quilts, but I am easily persuaded to pick up other treasures.

A Crazy Postage Stamp

I had only seen one until my last day and then Wow!  We found three at the Red Barn and also got a tip of where there might be more!  The above doll comfort (tied with yarn) is made of wool and the pieces are about stamp size.  The stitches are very common on crazy quilts of the late 1800’s.  The back is silk and reduced to shreds, which makes me think it is the silk weighted with lead.  It makes me so wish the maker had added her name and the year. But I must confess that not all of my quilts are labeled.  The vender had it posted on the foam board and shrink wrap covering it.  The shrink wrap was very dusty which made me very thankful for it.

Flower doll quilt 7 x 7-1/2 inches

The next quilt is a tiny one which has caused my mind to really wonder…could it be something else?  This quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted.  The binding is almost worn more than the quilt which makes me believe it is the original.  It is about the size of a potholder, but it would not have been, as it has no batting.   So this is where the mind began to wonder.  I had recently been reading in the new book, “Civil War Quilts” by Pam Weeks and Don Beld.  In the book the term ‘Potholder Quilts’ was used to describe quilts made by ladies for the soldiers.  At home, a lady would make a block, bat and back it,quilt it, and do the binding.    Then, as a group, the ladies would whip stitch the blocks together.   Could I have found a special part of American history?  As mine has no batting and is not a perfect square, I need to stop day dreaming.  Back to reality, it is more likely a sample or left over block that became a doll quilt and was much treasured and used.

April blocks of Sylvia's Bridal Quilt

Reality also says it is the second Tuesday of the month and my friends are at my house to quilt.  They receive four more blocks that I have cut out for them, but they need to do the ones that cannot be cut with a rotary cutter.  They cut the Grape Basket and the Grandma’s Flower Garden.  They will hand piece those two.

Donna's winter project

Our snow bird, who spent the winter in Arizona, seemed to get more done then the rest of us in a snowy Iowa.  We all loved this one and want to make it.  She had two other projects done but I forgot to get out the camera.  Good job, Donna!

My next post will have more doll quilts as we found some from a lady who was down sizing her collection!  I would love to see her entire collection!