Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hand Quilting.

 Apart from more packing, I've spent my leisure time watching the cricket on TV and hand quilting a couple of vintage quilt tops. The Sunbonnet Sue is the top I repaired and you can see that originally it had yellow binding and no sashing at the top of the quilt top.
 I repaired the blocks and replaced the black thread button hole stitching which had worn on two of the blocks. The remaining 4 blocks had black button hole stitching but it had pulled out of shape so I couched it back into place with fine black thread.

 Below you can see the blocks which I repaired.

 I decided to honour its history by hand quilting the top using Baptist fans, without a hoop, to avoid stress on the vintage fabrics and without marking a quilting design. I free hand measured with a tape measure as I went and quilted up to where I had placed pins. The label and binding are done and I think it's a lovely little vintage cot sized quilt now and should be good for at least another 70 years. It took me less than a week to hand quilt it and I really enjoyed quilting the Baptist Fans so I can see I will be doing more of them in the future.
 As well as repairing and hand quilting tops, I have been doing some research into some of the vintage tops I own and I'm finding it's a wonderful insight into life in the 1930s and 40s. I am currently hand quilting another quilt fragment and will share its history soon.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Little Things

 As I'm busy packing up my sewing room I have made time to work on some smaller projects which won't leave so much mess. This small wall hanging is 9" by 11" and the blocks are 2.25" finished. It was an easy job to join the blocks and, quilt and bind it and it will hang in our new home. I love Log Cabin quilts as there are so many variations you can make for the block layout.
 This Lemoyne Star is one I bought from an antique dealer and I quilted and bound it so I can hang this one and enjoy its lovely fabric. It was made using Madder fabric in 1870 and measure 8".
 I also bought this remnant of a quilt from 1830-70. It measure 13 inches and it had an extra inch along one side so I removed that and used that fabric for the repairs.


 The back had a hole up on the top left hand side and the bottom part was a bit tattered, which is expected due to the age. Below you can see the repairs in the same place as the photo above.
I bound the piece with reproduction fabric and it will also make a nice little wall hanging.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Top Day.

    In between cleaning, I decided to work on some of my vintage quilt blocks and make them into tops. I bought these 5 Dresden Plate blocks in Houston in 2014. They were from a quilt as I can see the stitching along the blocks but no quilting marks show so it might have been a tied quilt. It looks like it's from the 1930s or 40s and was most likely a gift for someone leaving the district. I plan to use the names to do some research and see if I can find any information.
   Rather than making a square quilt I thought I'd make a long piece which can be a wall hanging or a table runner. The fabric is lovely and soft and the stitched names are still in good condition. Wouldn't you love to know the story behind the quilt? As some of the names are unusual it should be possible to find them on Ancestry.

 If you remember the Sunbonnet Sue blocks I shared last week, I can show they are now finished. I decided not to replace the stained pieces and honour the history instead. These were appliqued onto feedsacks as you can see the stitching on the background. They were unwashed but some had been joined together. The machine stitching was poorly done and the edges would have frayed if left that way and washed so I moved some of the pieces so that the raw edges were covered. It was a fun little project and each block only took an evening to stitch and embroider. I had some vintage fabric from the 1940s so used that for sashing and it's now ready to be quilted.
 Sunbonnet Sue seems to be featuring here lately. This was the other quilt I rescued and I have decided to hand quilt both of them. I started free motion hand quilting a Baptist Fan design on another small piece last night and really enjoyed the process. As it's a piece from the 1860s it was best not to use a hope which would put strain on the fabric. I'll show that one tomorrow.
Time to get back to some stitching and perhaps there will be time to quilt another donation quilt tonight.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, November 11, 2016

Only Two

 It's been a  busy week of going through books to donate, paperwork to throw out and magazines to cull. We have one bedroom ready for painting so we are making progress but there is still a lot to do. I donated a large pile of books and patterns to my quilting group to be used for raffle prizes, gifts etc.
   I've been trying to quilt at night a couple of nights a week so I can get more tops finished and donated for Christmas and it will mean less for us to move later. At our Monday meeting of AQA we donated 20 quilts to Peter Mac Cancer Clinic and I brought home a lot more tops to quilt which should keep me busy.The first quilt top was made by Marg C., of AQA, and it will be going to a child in care.
The second top was another donation and it is a lovely soft and snuggly flannel one which I backed in flannel too. It will be going to Peter Mac as the volunteer I spoke with on Monday said that some children with solid tumours have an anaesthetic daily for 7 weeks while undergoing treatment and a quilt will comfort them as well as the parents who sit with them throughout the treatment. Sorry I can't remember who donated the top but be assured they are all going to be finished and donated on your behalf.
   Now I am back working nights again so I hope to get some more quilts finished after I recover as I have more basted and ready to go .
Hugs, Jan Mac

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Another Sue To Restore.

 I was very lucky to be gifted this cot/doll sized Sunbonnet Sue quilt by someone who knows I love to repair vintage and antique quilts. It's from the 1940s and had been finished as a quilt by turning the backing over to the front. It's been sued and really is a utility quilt which must have been well loved in its day. There was quilting around each of the figures and outlining the sashing, with a flannel batting.
 The button hole stitching on the two centre blocks had worn away and there wasn't a lot of stitching keeping them in place. The button hole stitching was replaced on this block and the next one shown.

 The button hole stitching was intact on the rest of the blocks but had stretched out of shape so I stitched it back into position using thread and working from the back after I took the quilt apart.
 The quilt had sashing between all the blocks and around the outside with the exception of the top of the quilt where the backing had been stitched down over some of the applique. The sashing and blocks varied somewhat in size and I recut them and removed a rust section on one of the sashing pieces.

 I didn't have enough fabric to make complete sashings for all of the top so I cut the sashing in half lengthwise for the top and bottom sashing.

You can see the finished blocks I've repaired here. It's ready for quilting and now I just have to decided whether to hand or machine quilt it. I have decided to use plain white homespun for the backing and save the vintage yellow fabric for more repairs on other quilts. If the fabric is fragile I often machine quilt so I don't add stress to the fabric.
 It's been a fun little project to bring her back to life.
Many thanks for your kind comments on my last post. Jo, I am giving it some more thought as to whether or not to remove the fabric with stains. The pieces all need to be restitched by hand so I will be removing them anyway but will give some thought as to whether or not to keep their history.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, November 4, 2016

Hello Sue.

 As you probably know I love vintage and antique quilts and especially love to repair, replace or resurrect old treasures so they can be enjoyed for many more years. When Leah Zieber gave her weekend seminar on Petite Treasures she also had a pop-up shop at Quilts in the Barn the following weekend and she was selling orphan blocks and some sets of blocks. I bought 6 of these Sunbonnet Sue blocks with the intention of remaking the blocks as the pieces were nicely cut but they had been roughly machine stitched to the background and not all the raw edges were turned under or covered by other applique pieces.
    I am unpicking the stitching and then hand needle turning the applique pieces again. This orange one is the first I've completed. The backings are feedsacks as I can see the stitching marks left around the edges. the bonnets had two rows of machine stitching to shape the brim and I have decided to hand embroider two rows in a contrasting colour using a stem stitch.

 Some of the blocks have brown spots on them and it looks like paint as it hasn't faded with washing. The most obvious blotches are on the plain green and plain yellow dresses. I have some vintage yellow fabric from this era of 1940s and will use that to replace the spoilt yellow dress and I'm looking for a suitable green to replace the green dress.

I'm not sure you can see in this photo but the backing was caught into folds by the machine stitching when the dress was sewn to the background so I will press it flat when I remove the applique pieces and then hand stitch them down. I had thought of hand embroidering flowers over the stains but I think I will replace the fabric instead as I have suitable vintage fabric and the stained pieces can be used for another repair.
  It's a fun little project and it will be a nice little cot or doll sized quilt when I have finished.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

An Old Favourite.

There's been lots of night shifts and lots of sleeping happening over the past week with not much time for any quilting. The remaining time has been spent clearing out the craft bits and pieces I have accumulated over the years. It's time to pass these on to someone else to make and clear the clutter from my shelves. I've even gone through all my quilting books and patterns and have quite a few to donate to my Melbourne quilting group for raffle prizes.
  It's very freeing to declutter the things you'd planned to do and never got around to, although I'm hoping to get more time for quilting soon. This QAYG quilt was made from donated blocks in the small increments of time in between work, sleep and cleaning. It's always good to get a finish and I have a few of my own UFOs I want to finish next - as soon as I catch up on sleep again.
Hugs, Jan Mac