Thursday, March 25, 2021

Banana Company to the Rescue!

I needed a fabric fix. The problem is, I live in a small town and the nearest fabric dealer is an hour drive or an internet wait. There is a great antique consignment shop in town, the Banana Company. In the back room there is a corner for fabric and notions, placed in a vintage hardware rack. For $10 I found a pretty, vintage, hand pieced quilt. Who doesn't love a bargain? It is a variation on a Singe Wedding Ring. It looks to be from the 1940's by the prints and colors. The fabrics are in very good shape, the piecing thread is still strong, and except for a few tiny rends, it was in perfect shape. I added a soft buttery yellow 3 inch border. The measurements are 68" x 82". I was ready to sandwich it for basting but I kept dragging my heels. It just kept nagging at me, "what are you going to do with this quilt?" As if that really matters. I intend to hand quilt it to go with the hand piecing. What was this quilt trying to tell me? "Feed Me, Seymour." Finally I used my morning writing to figure out the silent messages this flimsy was sending. I read a blog that is a treasure trove of primitive style and hand applique and hand quilting, It inspired me to add my own style of applique design. Previously I have done a humongous amount of circle applique, on a quilt designed by Karen Mcleen, 'Lollipop Trees.' I used acrylic templates called 'Perfect Circles,' designed by Karen Kay Buckley. I highly recommend them for ease of use and quality of results. I am not affiliated with these products in any way. I had a bunch of left over circles, made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics, ready to sew down. They were left over from the Karen Mcleen project (which I named 'Magnum XL.') So I laid them on the quilt and yessss it was just what the flimsy needed. So I began making more circles for the quilt top in earnest. I am enjoying this hand sewing so much. Even watching TV in the evening with DH Mr. Thimblepie is tolerable with this yummy project. Here it is, in progress. I am swooning.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Yes, I Can Make Quilts Bigger

I am back at the keyboard. I spent several years mending and finishing vintage quilts for my etsy business. It may sound strange, but I got an ego boost from the compliments I received for my work. I have always struggled with the inner critic and lack of self esteem for my work. When I repaired old quilts and was told how I had made them cry with joy, or worked miracles, I felt good about myself. Some of the quilts were fabulous. But some were really bad, and needed to be tossed. After some struggles I decided to retire from that work and spend all my time creating my own epic stuff. I had to turn one person away since then, and turns out saying NO isn't so hard after all. A year ago I did a job that seemed impossible. I made a nice quilt bigger. Here is the before:
I was sent a nice full sized quilt, well made with quality fabrics. Nicely machine quilted, well bound. She wanted it to be about 12 inches bigger on each side. So. First I took the binding off. I bought some lovely batik to quilt and attach. I did Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)which I found tedious. My cat helped.
Then I used home made batik bias tape to attach the layers. I sewed the back layers together first. I used a coordinating color.I used quilt as you go techniques.
I continued to get help from my cat.
Then I pressed the bias strips and sewed them down on the front. I chose pink because that was an accent on the main quilt.
Here is the front after I finished. I chose to do machine binding.
And here is the after, cat included. The review was glowing and I think you can see why my ego was fed. "Jane’s work was perfect. She took the quilt my friend made and extended it so it would fit on my bed. It now looks like it was designed that way from the start. I attach a photo from the day it arrived when I immediately threw it on my bed, replaced my cat’s bed, and the cat approved the change. I think you can see the quality of Jane’s work."