THREE YARDS, PLEASE

When I was growing up in the 50s, three yards of fabric could make about anything, garment wise. I remember standing by my mom at the local Anthony’s store when she would always say, “three yards, please.”

child's skirt from the 50s

child’s skirt from the 50s

This very wrinkled skirt is all I have now of those cotton skirts she would make for me. Later I made them myself. I so wish I had some of the other things she made for me, just as I wish I had kept a few of the things I sewed for my children.

This cotton is still so nice that I am thinking of taking the skirt apart and using it in a quilt!

Speaking of quilts, the first time I bought fabric in a quilt shop, the clerk asked how much would I like her to cut. She was a little startled when I said, “three yards, please.” It was a reproduction of a childs print from the 30s! What was I going to do with three yards of it?

Now that I am a quilt maker for some time, I can say less than three yards, but cannot seem to say more than three yards, like the 5-7 needed for a quilt backing.

Back for a Christmas quilt

Back for a Christmas quilt

Thus my quilt backs look more like the above photo. I just cannot say, “Five yards, please.” However, I will confess that while spending a couple days putting this back together, I kept thinking about all the pretty quilt tops I want to piece. Why am I wasting time piecing a back! I am sure my long arm friends also think, why did she piece this back. Now I have to get it on the frame just right. Then I have to deal with all this extra thread and seams! I will say that when I do this I do try to have the last lap of fabric a print and about 10-12 inches wide so that it is less obvious if it doesn’t quite get on the frame perfectly.

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Here is the front of the quilt and the two pieces went to the long arm yesterday! Yea! It is gone and I can work on something else!

I have already shared the five year quilt with you. I said I was going to tie it rather than invest the money in long arm work. I taped one side of the quilt down to the table. I topped it with batting and then the other side of the quilt. I crawled all around on the table to make the ties of serveral colors of matching yarn to make them inconspicuous. I am sure it was not a pretty sight, but I was alone!

When I untaped the quilt and turned it over I was so disappointed. The bottom side did not lay flat. Apparently I had streached the fabric when I taped the one side down. Now it bunched up. I wanted it to turn out nice so now I was going to quilt it myself. The bobbin was a thinner thread of a neutral that would fade into the quilt. The top thread was a dark color to blend in with the top.

Dark thread on light fabric

Dark thread on light fabric

The dark thread blended in nicely, except for on the light fabrics. Since my quilting pattern is Gig and Jag rather than smooth curves, the dark thread on light fabric had to come out! Hello seam ripper.

Side one

Side one

This also meant knotting every thread as it went back into the dark fabric. If you do not own self threading needles, buy them! There are times they come in handy.

side two

side two

Once I had the reversible quilt all edge to edge quilted in my unique Gig-n-Jag style, I was ready for the binding. No, I am not going to take the time to do a two fabric binding. Surely there is one fabric that will work on both sides.

label

label

It was worth all the time in making the quilt for such a deserving gal. This week-end she placed first in National Talents for Christ. Along with the learning experience comes a nice college scholarship. Congrats to Megan!

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Flag Day and Pineapples

Last week was small group time and one of the gals had a flag for Show-N-Tell. It was perfect for the season. On my next post I will direct you to the pattern source.

Flag another way!

Flag another way!

Yesterday was so fun as I was able to watch a sweet group of quilters make pineapple blocks.

Scrap Pineapple

Scrap Pineapple


It is often thought of as a scrap quilt, but most of these ladies had other plans and they turned out so charming!

batics

batics

batics even work for this vintage block.

Bold

Bold


bold will also do.

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Civil War pinks and browns

Civil War pinks and browns

Two gals were working with Civil War prints. Of course I loved them.

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More modern fabrics choices

More modern fabrics choices


A couple gals were more into the modern fabrics. I enjoyed all the fabrics and creativity of these gals.

It was a fun day for me and I trust the Williamsburg ladies went home as pleased as I was. The technique for this block is not paper pieced and not hard. The squaring up the block is a little tricky to start, but after a few rounds these gals were spinning the block around and trimming it perfectly!

My small group was here and we did several fun things. We tried the Disappearing Pinwheel. It is a u-tube by The Missouri Star.

Carol showed a couple projects she has done using the Missouri Star patterns.

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The one above has some raw edges! It will be interesting to see it when washed.

Seeing what others are doing is what gets us all back into the sewing room, doesn’t it? It is a rainy day here and I look forward to going there very soon!

ROSIE THE RIVETER!

RosieTheRiveter

 

ROSIE represents the women of WWII. They inspired one another to keep the home front going.

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They inspire me.  I have been outside digging holes and moving bushes.  I can do it!

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Another part of WWII was MAKE DO, USE WHAT YOU HAVE, OR DO WITHOUT.  I have made do with a scrap quilt.  Unfortunately I did have to buy all the setting fabric.  I must have cut something in error as the binding is made of 2-1/4 x 18″  strips.  Thats a lot of piecing!

pieced binding

pieced binding

USE WHAT YOU HAVE has also applied to a recent binding issue.  When you do not have enough of the desired fabric, make a two-fabric binding.  You only need 1″ of the front fabric and 2″ of the back fabric.  That gives you 2-1/2″ binding.  I prefer 2-1/4″ binding so I use 7/8″ of front and 1-3/4″ of back.

Two sided binding

Two sided binding

A plus for this technique is that you can match both sides of the quilt!

Women_working_at_Douglas_Aircraft

D-DAY has become a slogan we often use when we are faced with a difficult task or just one we do not enjoy.  Yesterday was a D-day for me.  Bindings got placed on quilts and I began the hand sewing.  Actually it turned out to be a pleasant late afternoon activity after a busy day here on the home front!

 

 

 

 

 

 

D-DAY 70 YEARS LATER

Today is a good day to give pause and thanks to what has become known as the GREATEST GENERATION.  The young adults of 1944 understood what it means to sacrifice for ones country.  Their parents did likewise.

Patriotic Quilt made from a kit.

Patriotic Quilt made from a kit.

The quilt above is one I recently purchased.  It was made from a kit and might have been made in the 1930s rather than the 40s, but it is my way of honoring the families mentioned at the beginning of this article.   Some young women also joined up, but most of them went to work at the jobs left behind by the men.

Molly's WWII quilt

Molly’s WWII quilt

This would change the status of women in America forever.  A lot of women sought comfort during this anxious time by making quilts.  There are a lot of WWII quilts.   Sue Reich has a large collection of them and has written a book about her collection.  I have seen her collection several times and it is worth a drive to have the opportunity.  The above quilt is one I designed and made for the American Girl Doll , Molly.  It is my V is for Victory quilt.

Victory Quilt Book

Victory Quilt Book

Above is Sue’s book, World War II Quilts.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

Today I will celebrate my freedom, in the same way  most of the vetrans did.  They came home, went to work, and went about establishing homes and families.  In so doing we celebrate America!