More Penn.-Dutch & American Girl Quilts

Caught up with the teacher:

I have completed the first two borders on the wedding sampler.  My numbers came close to those of Cheryl.  That is always a happy result.  The strings of HST could have been real boring, but I made them at an all day sew and spent about 8 hours getting them done and pieced together.  I could also pay attention to all the chatter as it was such a mundane process.  I carefully pressed each of the HST when they were squared up.  Now the question is do you press the connecting seams when you make a strip of 25?   I remembered making a long strip of flying geese and it became an accordion, so I did not press the connecting seams.  I just assumed that mine were all a perfect 2-1/2″ and went with that measurement.  It worked.  The next border will be 5-1/2 wide strips of the pink.  Then comes another batch of HST and they are ready to go!

first border of HST of Barbara Snyder’s wedding sampler

Primitive Portraits:

While working on the above blocks I got out a kit that I have been curing for a few years.  It is a Primitive Portrait: Berks County 1850.  The designer is and a blog by the designer is  I had set it aside for awhile as I was not liking the face and skin.  The facial features came done in ink so that was not the issue.  I asked friend Carolyn to give the lady a make-up job and it really inhanced the project.  Then I studied the other issue and trimmed the back of all fabric behind the skin and stuffed it to get rid of the shadows. The blue dress was giving the arm bruises!  I now loved the project and did the hand quilting.  It just needs some binding.

Primitive Portrait: Berks County 1850

American Girl Dolls Quilts:

My other Penn.-Dutch project was done some years ago.  I so enjoyed the books of the American Girl Dolls.  They teach little girls American history through the eyes of a nine year old.  I decided to do some textile and quilt research to go with each doll.  I designed a quilt for each one and in addition to writing the patterns, I wrote a textile history lesson.  I used them for a monthly gathering of some ladies at a local quilt shop.  It was lots of fun and motivated me to do research.

Kersten’s first quilt 1854

The above quilt was designed for Kerstin, a Swedish Immigrant settling in Minnesota.  She was taught piecing at her new country school.  Having a complete selection of Penn.-Dutch colors would not have been realistic for a poor immigrant in MN., but the autograph design was very popular at this time period.  Permanent ink came on the market about 1840, so the autograph quilts were very popular.  It was also appropriate for an immigrant who was leaving behind relatives she would never see again and who met new friends along the way and new ones once settled in America.  She could have traced the signatures from letters the family received.

A more realistic quilt for Kersten

I will confess that I just could not resist making her one with the bright colors.  I am sure she would have loved it.  I also made her one that was more scrappy and would have been realistic as the school girls traded scraps with one another.

Now I must move on to preparing for my friends day with 6 more blocks from another time period: Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler.


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