Posts Tagged ‘1930s reproduction fabric’

Back to quilts!

A while back, I started a red-white-and-blue quilt. In fact, I began working on two of them: one with a scrappy background, and one with blocks that all had the same pale blue on white background. All the blocks are big bow ties (simplified pattern, without Y seams) that lend a fun double arrow look.

Well, the baby who is the intended recipient has been born, and he’s a cutie! Little Augustine (“Augie”) will be able to cuddle up with these 1930s reproduction prints:

Sept 2014 Nikon 081

I put a cute “quilting words” fabric on the back because Augie’s mom also likes to sew:

Sept 2014 Nikon 066

Sept 2014 Nikon 072

Augie is just three weeks old, so I think this will be his view of the quilt for a while:

Sept 2014 Nikon 071

After piecing the quilt and layering with a 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting, I free-motioned large meandering patterns in pastel variegated thread. Free-wheeling quilting lines are good for a baby’s small hands to trace, and the primary colored arrows are stimulating for little eyes. I hope he likes it!

Here’s a photo showing my scrappier blocks, as yet to be turned into anything. I do like this block arrangement, too:





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I have been busy! Very, very busy, and although most of my busy-ness hasn’t been focused on crafting, I have had a few inspirations and I’d like to share those with you. My theme? Vintage modern patchwork.

I’ve become obsessed with the book Sunday Morning Quilts, which is such a fun, joyful approach to patchwork and quilt-making for those of us who’d like to use modern techniques to make arty, pretty quilts. The authors focus on improvising with scraps, first by dividing them into colors, and then by turning them into “slabs” – blocks of make-your-own patchwork fabric that sort of resemble log cabin block. Really, they could be any sort of rectangle/square creation you could dream up. If you have strips or scraps on hand, and love putting color on top of color, it can be addictive.

Sunday Morning Quilts

I’m now making “slabs” in red and yellow. I am still drawn to 1930s/40s reproduction fabrics and modern fabrics that have a similar feel: tiny prints, polka dots, little florals that are mostly one color, all in very vibrant hues. My local quilt store provides me with both, luckily. For me, it’s a kick to combine old-school fabrics that are just so bright and cheery with modern-style patchwork. This is an example of what I did with strips of bright red.

Jan 2013 Canon Rebel 022 (800x767).

And then I made more:

Jan 2013 Canon Rebel 023 (800x703)

Jan 2013 Canon Rebel 024 (610x800)

Jan 2013 Canon Rebel 026 (800x514)

Next: I will trim these and stay-stitch them around the edges. Then: Orange slabs, and then slabs that are off-white with tiny little prints. I have a plan, believe me, for what to do with these… More on that soon. And stay tuned: in an upcoming post, I’ll show you my progress on the little holiday quilt featuring the tiny “mini” prints from my previous post.

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Do you like bright colors? I was never really sure of that until I started quilting. Then I realized how much I’m inspired by really bright brights, as well as light lights, and dark darks! It’s true that contrast is the name of the game for producing quilts that “pop” with color.

I had a lot of fun with the 1930s reproduction prints in this now-finished quilt, contrasting greens with oranges/yellows:

The pattern is oh-so-simple and graphic, which I quite enjoyed working with. The blocks are quick to make. I think this could be a wall-hanging, or would make a great toddler or baby quilt. But for now it is adorning my plain black desk chair in my home office and really cheering it up.

Here is a closeup of a block, the border, and the binding:

Here is the backing fabric. The orange is brighter in real life- I think of it as an apricot. Yum!

This was wonderfully quilted by Julie Curry. In pale orange thread, rolling swirls dress it up. This quilt will help me capture a little extra sunshine and a few blooming flowers as we head into fall…

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I’m suffering from a summer cold. It just seems unnatural to have so many aches and a stuffed-up head on a beautiful, warm, sunny day.

(I remember one summer when I was studying in Paris, lying in the bed on a hot July day in my “cell” –it was in a former convent on the Left Bank–with the world’s worst sneezing and runny nose. I wondered, “Why do I have to be felled by this blasted cold when I have all of Paris at my doorstep–and it’s not even raining?” Luckily I got over it and thoroughly explored the city, but Paris’ ozone levels were so high in the 1990s that I regularly felt like I was hit by the flu when I spent time there.)

Anyway, before the sniffles made me so very tired, I made some progress on a few of my in-progress projects, the number of which seems to keep multiplying. I am starting to wonder if I have quilting attention deficit disorder. But I know I am not alone: many of my crafting friends work this way, with a range of projects in tandem.

Here’s an update on my 1930s-reproduction orange, yellow and green quilt blocks, the really simple ones that I decided to do scrappy-style and build into a bigger quilt. I’ve made a fair few now. Here is how a sampling of them look on my makeshift design wall (a poster-sized picture frame covered with batting):

I’m waiting for inspiration to strike to make more and figure out what size this quilt will be.

I’ve also made quite a few blocks for my “Nieces and Nephews” bright quilt. It really is a cheerful, fun project that I told you a bit about last time. More on that soon.

And last but not least, I’ve embarked on my second “Schnibbles” quilt. I really loved doing Reveille, by quilt designer Carrie Nelson, and I acquired her Schnibbles book to do more. She takes 5-inch square charm packs and turns them into delightful confections. This one will use Moda’s “Oasis” squares, which are chintzy flowers of aqua, rose, beige, etc., and turn them into a whole flock of flying geese. Each one measures 2 by 3.5 inches.

I think I like the method that Nelson spells out for making these geese better than some I’ve tried before. It involves a big square and four small squares, sewn up like magic and cut apart. Voila, you get four flying geese! I’m sure that Ms. Nelson would like you to purchase her book, and I really recommend it, but to give you a little preview, here is the page I am referring to:

I’m taking the time to mark the backs of the small squares with one of those special rulers that gives you a quarter-inch seam allowance on each side of a dividing line. I think it will give me more accuracy. The proof will be in the quilted pudding, I guess.

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I finished my first Schnibbles quilt, and I really love how it turned out! I call this 1930s-fabric mini-quilt “All Roads Lead to Home.” (Note: clever quilt designer Carrie Nelson’s Schnibbles patterns are made from pre-cut fabrics–in this case, charm squares.) I blogged about it a few weeks ago, when I was layering it up. Now I have quilted it with very large meandering, using variegated pastel thread. I put together a “scrappy” binding to add to the multi-color fun. I think this is truly a case where the less the fabrics match, the better. All these colors smashed together creates a very cheerful feeling. This quilt is hanging in my daughters’ room now. Here are some close-ups:

And just to show how much I’m loving this nine-patch style, I’ve decided to create dozens of them from a lovely jelly roll that a friend gave me last year, from Moda’s Whimsy collection. More to come on that one!

A little teaser: I think I will mingle the nine-patches with snowball blocks made from word-heavy fabric, creating an old-fashioned, simple quilt to showcase these cute prints — and to let my kids practice their reading. I picture this as a giant, cozy lap quilt…but if I have enough patience, maybe it could even fit a bed.

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I’ve churned out some more of these orange-yellow-green “modern” blocks in the past couple of weeks, and I’m still smiling each time I see the contrasting colors. I have a little friend who is helping me do this job quicker and save my shoulder/neck:

It is a “wooden iron,” a triangular-style tool that allows me to fake it in the ironing department. Since these are such simple blocks, simply pressing down the seam to one side with this wooden implement can pretty much do the trick. Then I press them all later.

In other news, I REALLY need to organize my crafting space. As I was sorting through various boxes and containers that I have on hand to help neaten my stash, I found an old Tiffany’s box–I believe my older daughter got a baby gift in it. The box was just too gorgeous to throw out, and I was storing maps in it. I noticed how closely that color matched with some of my new blocks:

Speaking of fun colors, check out the new “stack” of 10-inch-square fabrics I got from Connecting Threads–it’s their “Around Town” line. Fun, huh? I have to think of something cute to make with these this summer! Send me your ideas, please!


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When it comes to fabric, I think I’m in love with the 1930s. These reproduction prints get me every time! Have you heard of a line of fabric called “quilter’s candy”? To me, that’s just what this is. A sweet, delectable treat, one that thankfully doesn’t even add any inches to my waistline… I can’t get enough of these bright greens, oranges, and yellows, so I decided to start making them into a “modern” quilt, using a simple pattern from Cozy Modern Quilts (thanks to Carole for that book recommendation!). I’ve only done a few blocks but it’s super fun. The geometric nature of these blocks lends itself well to tiny prints, I think.

I purchased the bulk of these fabrics at a little shop in Chicago called Quiltology. I love that name, and its subtitle: “Chicago’s Urban Quilt Space.” It was featured on the TV version of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting in its old location. I visited its new shop in late March and took home a bundle of fun stuff. (It was one of my crafty souvenirs, which I now try to substitute for another t-shirt.) A woman shopping there assured me that these colors are “very modern.” That makes sense, since the shop focuses on contemporary designs.

I get easily distracted these days by so many different commitments and projects, so I am not sure when I’ll be able to finish this, but it’s the type of project that could be built slowly, block by block, with scrappy fabric choices as I go along.

I found some cool links on Quiltology’s website that I’m now checking out. One of them is Blue Underground Studios, which produces contemporary quilting patterns. Looks very enticing!

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