Prep for hand quilting


I said i was going to finish the Basket of Lilies quilt before I started work on the next one….well I lied…I couldn’t wait.  Last night I spent 3 hours pressing the New York Beauty variation.

This is the quilt I wrote about here


It is a top that I really like but it has some real issues with construction.  It is not square, or flat, and it has at some point in its life been machine washed which is never a good idea for an un-quilted top.  Washing causes frayed edges and it causes distortion as it twists around in the machine.

Pressing was a long process and I found that starch was a big help in getting it to cooperate.

I did the pressing from the back so I could try to get the seam allowances to lay the correct direction.  Most quilters follow the 1/4″ rule.  all seams are 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric.   This quilt was anything but that!  in some areas it was over an inch.


My first inclination was to trim off all the extra fabric.  If I leave it I will have to quilt through it so in some areas I will need to be quilting through several layers of fabric.

I didn’t cut it off.  This is hand pieced and if I cut off that fabric I will also cut off the knot at the end of the seam and weaken the whole thing.   I decided it was better to leave it as is and deal with the extra rather than have the entire thing fall apart.

My goal is to finish it not re-make it.  I want it to still look like the original maker envisioned it.

After I got it all pressed I moved on to basting it.  I got the muslin backing down and the cotton batting and laid down the top

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and then I pinned it

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I am torn about the quilting.  I had planned a Baptist Fan quilting but I think I can do better.  A different quilting design might do better to flatten it out.  I am undecided so I need to think about for a day or so before I start.

Meanwhile I hung up one of the new vintage tops to get a picture…here it is


Needs a good pressing but I think it will make a nice little quilt.

back to work for me

Happy Quilting


Fruit Salad


A few weeks ago I made a quilt I called Easter Stripes



I said I would make a quilt like it with some fruit fabric



For this one I used the traditional Roman Stripe block.

roman stropes


And played with the layout until I came up with this


I have the blocks all set on the floor…so I to get them to the sewing machine and not mess up the order….I use masking tape


The tape will hold them enough to get to the sewing area and not mess up the order.  I do one row at a time.  With this layout I do the rows diagonally.


The row comes out and goes to the machine for sewing


Do all the rows, join them and add a border if you want and there you have it…a finished top


A quilter friend called it fruit salad because the fabrics are all fruit so that is the title “fruit Salad”

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This finished at 80″ square.  I used one package of 2.5″ fabric strips.  28 strips in a package. The black strips are from my stash and the orange is new.  I have enough leftovers to make another, I will try out a different color solid fabric…I love the orange, but I can’t make myself do the same quilt twice so maybe I will try a red, or purple, or green.  with these fabrics I think a batik would be great


Now I need to do the hand quilting….as soon as I finish some that are still in progress

Happy Quilting


Happy Quilting



Lily Quilt Update



I am getting close to the end of the Basket of Lilies quilt.  3 more lily blocks and a few setting triangles and the shashing need to be quilted.  When I get to the point where it is over 1/2 done I start to get very anxious to finish!

Periodically spreading it out and looking at it is also a good motivation.  The side benefit of spreading a quilt on the floor is that teddy always thinks it is time to pose!



As soon as a quilt hist the floor he come running to pose for a picture.

Here are some pictures of it without Teddy (click pictures to enlarge)


I posted a few days ago about fixing the bulges and waves that were caused buy the bias edges in the big triangles.  If the original maker had cut the pieces correctly it wouldn’t have been a problem but since they did I had to fix it. You can see how I did that here    The fix virtually disappears .once the quilting is done..after it is washed it will be even more difficult to see.


I am glad it worked because the alternative would have been to take them out and try to find matching fabric (it is surprising how hard it is to find a modern-day match for 80-year-old white muslin) cut them correctly and sew them back in.

I have a few new (old) quilt tops to show off in the next few days…here they are


I have had questions about my quilt hoop so here is a picture of it


I bought it at an AQS quilt show.  the vender is Yoder Department Store.   They do not have them in their online catalog but you might be able to get one if you call them

Back to work for me

Happy Quilting



Something Old Something New


Today I have something old and something new.

The old is this beautiful quilt top from late 1800′s.


Unfortunately It has suffered a bit of damage.  When in storage (where ever that was) it got attacked by mice.  Mice like to chew holes into fabric.  When folded up the way it was originally stored the holes line up…they chewed through all the layers.  Here are the damaged blocks (click to enlarge)

How do I fix them?  The top is large enough that I can take off one row of blocks and use the fabric from them to repair the damage.  when I am done it should look like new.

There are some beautiful fabrics in this top. Each block has matching white and pink, and a different brown/rust  (click pictures to enlarge)

I will post pictures of the repairs as soon as I get going on it…..It might be a while since I have so many projects going already.

The new is a new top I am making.  I love the old rescue vintage and antique tops but sometimes I do enjoy making something new.

The new one is based on the Roman Stripe Block.

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The traditional layout for the roman stripe block is this

roman stripes

But I rarely feel like I can stay totally traditional and follow a pattern.

If you remember back a few weeks I showed some fabrics I was planning to use.


I have to blocks cut and they are ready to be sewn together into a top. Not quite the same as the traditional.


this layout gives me a quilt about 80″ square to which I will add a border.  The bonus for me is that It gives me a lot of room for hand quilting in the orange spaces.

Here are a few more pictures …click pictures to enlarge

I am getting near the end on the basket of Lilies


I will post more pictures of that next time.

For now I need to get back to work!

Happy Quilting


A fix for the Bias Bulge


As you may recall I have a problem with bias bulging or stretching in the vintage Lily quilt I am currently working on, whoever made it didn’t cut the pieces the best way…see the post where I started it here

Those setting triangles on the edges are puckered because there is such a large bias edge. If I were making a new one I wouldn’t have the problem because I know not to cut the pieces this way but It is fun to figure out how to fix the problems on these vintage and antique tops.

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I fixed one of those setting triangles today.  Here is how I did it.

First I had to get the blocks on either side of it quilted so they wouldn’t be distorted as well.  Next I pinned it to the rug with T pins..the idea is that the backing is not on the bias so it won’t stretch.  If I make the backing tight and smooth I can see how much extra fullness I need to deal with.


Next I take out the basting pins and smooth the fullness to the center working from both  sides


Next I pin that extra pleat flat.


Next I baste it and the bottom edge down.



Next I draw in the grid using the pleat as one of the grid lines.


Then quilt it and remove the basting stitches


Can you see it?  here are a few more pictures

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It isn’t hard to do and sure beats trying to quilt it by distributing the fullness across the whole length of the edge.

Back to work for me

Happy quilting




The next challenge


After I finish the Lilly quilt the next challenge will be this quilt top.


It doesn’t belong to me but I love it!  This belongs to Bill Volkening

His collection of New York Beauty quilts has gained much attention and been recently featured in Quiltmania magazine #100  There is a six-page feature called “Collecting New York Beauty Quilts”  The collection was on exhibition last summer at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textile…and there is a book due next year as well as an exhibition in France.

This quilt top fits into the category, not exactly a New York Beauty as you find it in a reference book but a variation made up by the quilter.

To see some more traditional New York Beauty Quilts Visit here



Newer quilts are also often called New York Beauty but are set without the sashing …the common thread is the spikey arcs.  Anyway I am going to hand quilt this so It can be included in the show and book.

Why is it a challenge?

It is NOT flat!  I don’t know if you can see it in the picture but it pretty distorted and “bumpy”.





If you look at the sashing you can see that much of it is very curvy



I have to give it a good pressing and then see how to proceed.  My goal here is not to remake it.  I want to keep it true to the original quilters intent. If I do it right it will look like the quilting was done at the same time as the top.

The last few quilts I did in the Baptist fan pattern also had some real issues of distortion and I was able to hide them by distracting the eye with the curved lines….they make the less than straight lines look straight because of the contrast.



I think that I will do the same for this one.

It has some very cool fabrics in it. (click to enlarge)

Teddy says I have to finish this one first


and as you know he is in charge!

I will post all about it when I get started.

Happy Quilting


Back to work on the Basket of Lilies


I got a Keepsake Quilting catalog a few days ago and a Connecting Threads catalog and The latest AQS American Quilter magazine in the mail today.  I have had a hard time not spending all my time with those but I do want to get this done before Spring is over so back to work. ( I started this one last month, you can see that post here )

Here are some pictures (click pictures to enlarge)

I have a way to go yet, but it is going well.

Happy Quilting