New York Beauty Quilting


I started the quilting on the New York Beauty variation.


This quilt top is beautiful but it is not beautifully made.  The person who made it back in the 30′s did not paper piece it the way a quilter of today would likely do it.  Accuracy in piecing was not what it could be so the overall design is a bit wavy and the “off”.  The result is actually quite pleasing to me.  There is a trend in quilting today for making “liberated” quilts such as this log cabin as seen on craftsy



The blocks are all a bit askew and so are the lines in the New York Beauty quilt so we could call this a liberated New York Beauty.

Given the quality of the piecing I didn’t think very fine stitching would work for the quilting.  That is not to say I want to do a messy job of it.  What I want to do is hand quilt it in a way that looks like the quilting and top were done by the same person and of the period.  If I do it right it will not be obvious that it was quilted by a different person many years after the top was made.

I am using a heavier weight thread and large needle so I get larger stitches which I feel fit the top .  6 stitches per inch is about what I am doing.  I am not marking the quilt I am simply quilting it by eye. Here it is so far.


Here are a few more pictures (click to enlarge)

The Quilting shows better on the back in pictures.

So far I really like the way it looks…I still have a way to go but it wont take long

Happy quilting



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

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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




Easter Stripe Quilt Finished


I finished the Easter Stripe Quilt…finished size is 65″ x 78″. I started it Here

I just took it out of the dryer and I love the crinkling that the shrinkage causes.  To me it makes it look more soft and inviting.  I used Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting and I like it…easy to quilt and has a good  drape when it is done.

Here are some pictures (click to enlarge)

I might just decide to add this to my Etsy store and sell it.  I love how it turned out….but if I sell it I can buy more fabric!…

Happy Quilting


and Teddy says hi


Quick update


I have been working on the border quilting today.  I am doing a floral border that is sort of a combination of a heart and a tulip or crocus.  I wanted something springy and also non linear to contrast with all the straight lines in the quilt.

Here are some pictures of it so far…(click to enlarge)

It is not nearly as fast to do the borders as it is the blocks!  Back to work for me..Teddy got tired and went to bed

Happy Quilting


Easter Stripe Quilt Started

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It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I could not wait to start quilting the Easter Stripe quilt.  Once I got the thread I just had to see what it looked like.

First I had to layer the quilt.  For backing I am using unbleached muslin.  It is 90″ wide so I can use just one piece…no seam.

I tack the backing to the floor using thumb tacks…(masking tape is safer for your floor and also works)

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Many people have commented that there are better ways to do the basting so you don’t have to be on the floor but I find this method works best for me.  I can get the entire job done in about 30 min.

After the backing pinned down I lay out and smooth the batting.  I am trying Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting.

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Next I lay down the top and smooth it out…

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Next I add the safety pins….I used one pin at the intersection of each block and a few more around the border  Very few pins by some peoples standard ( some people will pin every 6″) but I don’t like to use a lot  The layers are held together the backing was very tight and smooth as was the top and batting so I don’t need a million pins, the layers aren’t going to slip apart;

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Ready to quilt!  I found *3 Perle cotton thread on line

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I am using an embroidery needle and the stitches are at about 6 per inch.  I honestly don’t care how many stitches there are per inch…I care how they look.  My goal is for them to be even and neat.  I only count stitches so I can give you and Idea of scale.

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The quilting is going well.  I like the is easy to quilt through.

The quilting is going pretty fast.

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The quilting simply follows the piecing..just inside the seam allowances , this way I don’t have to quilt through any seams.

If I stick to it this quilt won’t take very long to finish.

I might get Teddy to help

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Happy Quilting


I forgot to mention that I added some quilts for sale to my Etsy store

New quilt top finished

I finished the new quilt top today.   The fabrics remind me of spring and Easter and the pattern is based on the traditional Roman Strip block so I am calling this quilt Easter Stripes.

I bought the fabrics at the AQS quilt show in Des Moines last year.  I am glad that I waited until now to start it…I needed to feel like spring!  The Fabric is from

Joy’s Fabric and Quilts Hand Dyed Fabric

I used 20 fat quarters to make this. To see how I made the blocks see yesterdays post. after I finished making the 20 blocks I pieced them together.

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Next I added a 2″ border…using purple fabric (not part of the 20 fat quarters) be careful here…all the edges are on the bias and it is very easy to get it all stretched out of shape.

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then using the leftover strip sets I added a pieced border

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then another wider purple border

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I have enough of the strip sets left to use the pastel fabrics for the binding as well.

I really need to give it a good pressing but I will do that when I am ready to layer it and baste it…..I have a feeling it wont be very long!!

when I finish a top I spend a lot of time looking at it and finding faults….I’m not a perfect machine piecer because I really don’t do it that often, but overall I really like the top.

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I always have a pile of bits when I finish

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these will go outside in a basket in a few weeks….the birds will find them and use them in nest making….cant wait to see some colorfully nests!

Happy Quilting