Teddy the Quilt Model


Teddy is a real character.   Whenever I take the quilt out of the hoop he thinks I am going to take pictures and he gets excited.   If he sees me with the camera he really gets excited and wants to pose.

Last night I started work on hand quilting the wonky nine patch quilt.

Here it is pin basted….I use very few pins…..the hoop holds the layers together the pins just keep it in place until it is in the hoop


I am doing wavy lines for the quilting…no marking , just wavy lines with #8 perle cotton thread and a size 5 embroidery needle.


Today when I took it out of the hoop to move to the next spot Teddy decided it was time for him to pose.  here are the pictures from his photo shoot

He really does model like a pro ;)

Happy Quilting


Clearing the deck with a wonky nine patch


I made a new top today.  I decided it was better to use up the piles of fabric on the work table (which is actually the dining room table…but if you never put away the sewing machine you can call it a studio) than to put them away.  It seems like when I put things away they are gone forever.

Anyway I made a new top with 12 fat quarters.

I started by cutting them all into 9 inch squares (4 per fat quarter)


pick 2 and stack them (right sides up)

then cut them into 9


no measuring!  In fact you want them to be odd and wonky …the more asymmetrical the better (at least for me).

Next you separate them into two nine patch groups (remember there are 2 different fabrics in the pile)


sew them into rows


press the seams in alternating directions


sew the rows together




one block done


repeat for the other block


after all 48 blocks are done arrange them in whatever way you like


sew them all together


I added 2.5″ x 8″ strips (made from the leftovers) on the 2 sides to make it a bit wider….finished size is 50″ x 60″

I found some plaid flannel in my stock pile for the backing.

I think very simple hand quilting is in order

The design is based on one In the new book I posted about, Unconventional & Unexpected American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000, http://timquilts.com/2014/09/15/new-top/

Happy Quilting




Reconstruction has begun on the Indian Summer quilt top.


I posted about it here http://timquilts.com/2014/09/09/indian-summer/  and I started taking it apart last night.

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It is hard to get a good picture of the damaged blocks but some have all the seam allowances totally gone .  They were only about 1/8 inch and several washings has caused them to fray and separate.


most are just frayed.  The looser the weave on the fabric the more likely they are to fall apart.


After carefully removing all the pieces from the backing I spent some time pressing them.  I started with the biggest pieces.  Since the fabric has been washed many times I find that starch helps to add some body and makes re-piecing easier


I kept as many pieces together as I could and after sewing a few together I have this


and here are the other parts that still need pressing and repair before adding


The easy part is done….the rest will take some careful repair and I will post about that soon.

Happy Quilting


Update on snowflake


No new projects today so here are a few pictures of the hand quilting on the snowflake quilt. (click pictures to enlarge)


and since people sometimes ask here is the back


Happy Quilting


New top


I started making a quilt top about a year ago.    I was planning to do it with spiderweb blocks.


I made a few and it just didn’t feel right so in December (while cleaning up to decorate) I packed it away.   I started again on Sunday with a fresh perspective.   Over the course of the year I have expanded my view of quilts.   I still love the very traditional, but I also appreciate the less formal improvisational style.  When an idea strikes I need to go with it right away so that is what I did.

Using the same fabrics I did the piecing like I did in the last quilt.



I incorporated the blocks I had already finished into the top


Now i like it.   I might add a border


without a border it is 58 x 68 inches


Teddy looks good in(on) these colors

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The pictures without Teddy are a truer color ….I took the Teddy pictures without a flash so he eyes wouldn’t get spots.

I was very excited to get a new book today (I have been waiting for months for it to come out) Unconventional & Unexpected  American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe


I have one of his other books “The American Quilt:  A History of Cloth and Comfort 1750-1950″  and this book completes the story.    People often view quilting as nonexistent between the late 40’s and the quilt revival of the 70’s.  This book shows that this was not the case.  The nearly 150 quilts in this book are surprisingly improvisational, much like Jazz is to music .   The notes are the same but they are played differently.    It is a beautiful book and I highly recommend it.

Now that I have satisfied my improvisational desires for a few days I am back to work on some traditional hand quilting.

Happy Quilting


Ohio Quilts

I recently did a lecture/trunk show for the Black Swamp Quilters Guild in Bowling Green Ohio.   One of the members, Louise Kimpel, said that she had 2 quilts that she would like me to have.   I was very happy to accept the offer and they arrived today.

I almost never know who made any of the quilts in my collection so it is a real treat to know about these.

They were made by Ida Mae Dearth Eckhardt, a Lutheran minister’s wife, in the 30’s or 40’s in Lima, Ohio.

and they are wonderful!

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I am not a fabric expert but I suspect that the majority of the fabric is rayon.

Rayon was the first manufactured fiber developed, it made from wood or cotton pulp and was first known as artificial silk.
The Swiss chemist, Georges Audemars invented the first crude artificial silk around 1855, by dipping a needle into liquid mulberry bark pulp and gummy rubber to make threads.
The method was too slow to be practical.

In 1884, a French chemist, Hilaire de Charbonnet, Comte de Chardonnay, patented an artificial silk that was a cellulose-based fabric known as Chardonnay silk.”
Pretty but very flammable, it was removed from the market.

In 1894, British inventors, Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle, patented a safe a practical method of making artificial silk that came to be known as viscose rayon.
Avtex Fibers Incorporated first commercially produced artificial silk or rayon in 1910 in the United States. The term “rayon” was first used in 1924.


I imagine that they were all dress fabrics.

The first one is in great shape

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and has a pale blue backing fabric


The colors go well with Teddy :)


The crazy quilt has applique flowers

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as is often the case with old fabric there is some disintegration , it might be hard to see in the pictures but look for the white spots, that is where the backing is showing through.

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The backing is a pretty floral


It is still a beautiful quilt and fine for display, and use in presentations but this one will not go into the washing machine!   the delicate fabrics would be gone…..I will enjoy it as it is!


Thanks so much Louise for sending them my way, and thanks to Ida Mae for making them

Happy Quilting


Are they trying to tell me something?

Look what came in yesterday’s mail.


Are they trying to tell me something? Am I old?   I sure do feel old sometimes, creaky joints,  bad eyes, easily tired, aches and pains, forgetting everything I don’t write down, etc.

Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”
― Bette Davis

But I’m only 48 so perhaps AARP could stay away for about 17 years.  I’m sure those 17 years will go fast enough!


I haven’t got much progress to show today.   Here is the snowflake quilt…..

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I just took it out of the hoop and you can see how the hoop leaves a mark…that goes away after a bit of time out of the hoop.   I got some huge 48″ wide paper so I can draw up the  pattern for this …it is now on the growing to do list.

Perhaps for now it is time for a nap?

no I think it is time to get to work :)

Happy Quilting