Archive for the ‘quilts’ Category

A Family Treasure

October 2nd, 2011

When my husband’s cousin emailed to ask me if I would like a quilt made by their great-grandmother I was delighted. I love old quilts and cherish the ones with family history.
We had a lovely visit with our cousin this week and picked up the quilt. I had not expected a work of art. The needle work on the quilt is exquisite. I thought that I would share some pictures with you.

The flower applique is applied with a nearly invisible slip-stitch.

Here is a close-up of the flower.
I love the quilting in the solid fabric blocks. I do not know how the quilter was able to reproduce the design so accurately.
Here is a detail of the quilting.


A Cruel Crewel Needle

July 3rd, 2011

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended an annual family reunion. These reunions are always fun. I love all the visiting and catching up with everyone’s life, but I tend to fidget unless I have something to do with my hands. I usually take an embroidery project to work on while I’m talking.
I had received Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray for Christmas and selected a rose motif from the book to embroider. The motif is very dainty. With help from technical support (husband) I made several copies of the rose on a fabric sheet. We divided the designs into quilt blocks. I hope to put the completed blocks into yet another miniature quilt.
Such a small design needs only a single strand of embroidery thread and the smallest size crewel needle, a number 10 crewel needle, to make the small stitches. I don’t always use a needle threader, but I use one when I need a number 10 needle.
I carefully packed up my fancy work before we left. I remembered everything I needed, including my needle threader. I have the traditional type of threader with a piece of light metal holding a thin bent wire to use for threading.
I didn’t expect the tiny needle eye to pull the wire out of its holder the second time I tried to use the threader. I couldn’t easily replace my broken tool. Many times a hotel can provide unprepared travelers with a tooth brush or sewing kit, but the sewing kit’s needles come prethreaded.  It does not contain a needle threader. I guess that needle threaders are old-fashioned. For the rest of the weekend I had to thread my needle without any help. I managed to thread it every time, but I didn’t get as much embroidery done as I had planned, because so much time was taken up threading needles. I’m looking for sturdier needle threaders, but haven’t found any that work well yet.
The moral of my story is: If you are traveling with a needle threader, travel with several.
I will show you my miniature rose quilt when I have completed it. Here are the blocks that I have embroidered  so far.

Coming next week: A free download of the miniature Dutch Doll quilt blocks featured in my June nineteenth blog.
Coming in August: A chance to win the PDF of your choice from my pattern selections.

hand sewing, quilts

Dutch Doll Quilts

June 19th, 2011

I have shown you two of my grandmother’s quilts that I cherish. Today I am going to show you my third quilt.


My grandmother called this a Dutch Doll quilt. I think a more popular name is Sunbonnet Sue. My grandmother’s quilt is a rather simple version of this design. I have seen several elaborate variations.

My technical support has helped me to come up with a miniature version of my grandmother’s Dutch Doll quilt.  We made six quilt blocks of the tiny Dutch Doll and printed them on a sheet of Dritz’s Printed Treasures printable fabric. I substituted the Dutch Doll blocks for the nine-patch blocks in my  quilt instructions for my doll bed pattern.


The quilt used five of my six Dutch Doll blocks. I appliqued the sixth doll on a decorative pillow.


Here are the two quilts for a size comparison.

doll quilts, quilts

My New Doll Bed Pattern with a Nine-Patch Doll Quilt

June 5th, 2011

My newest pattern is a doll bed for dolls nine inches and smaller. The Bonus Sheet gives instructions for a nine-patch quilt.


Last month I blogged about some of my grandmother’s quilts and my attempt to use use the nine-patch design in a doll quilt. I have finally come up with a design that I like.

Of course I used the same size patches as those in my grandmother’s quilt. The patches from my grandmother’s nine-patch quilt scaled to doll size would be impossibly small. I think that the charming size of the original patches are just fine for a small doll quilt. The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted. The quilt top is lined, but I did not add a binding trim around the edge.
Please select the patterns button at the top of the page. Scroll down until you see the doll bed pattern. It is between the shoe pattern and the three small dolls pattern. Click on the pattern image to see a picture of the quilt on the bed.

doll quilts, my patterns, quilts

My Grandmother’s Quilts

May 1st, 2011

My grandmother loved to make quilts. Quilting is still an artistic pleasure for many people, but during most of my grandmother’s life it was one of the few artistic avenues open to her. She could justify spending hours making something beautiful, because it was useful. It was also made of fabric scraps, so that nothing was wasted. Quilting implied thriftiness. The loveliness of the pieces were enjoyed, but she was allowed to make them because they were needed.

When she was older and had more leisure time, she pieced lots of quilt tops; had them quilted; and then gave them to friends. I love the quilt that she pieced as a wedding present for me.

I also inherited her master piece. It is a nine patch that she made while she still had young children. The three inch patches were made from nine tiny one inch squares. The quilt took a very long time to make.

My current pattern project is a bed for small dolls. I am happy with the bed, mattress and pillow that I created, but I am having difficulties with the cover. I am trying to use the pattern of my grandmother’s nine patch quilt and am gaining more respect for her sewing skills with each attempt that I make.

doll quilts, quilts