Friday, August 23, 2013

1970's Calico Quilts

These quilts were made with fabric given to me by a very dear woman named Dorothea.  She was an accomplished hand quilter ... and made each of her 6 children exquisite quilts in the 70's and 80's. She pieced by hand.  And quilted by hand.

Checkerboard Lap Quilt

But her arthritis got so painful she could no longer quilt.

I dated her son Chris and she was just tickled that I was a quilter.  As none of her children or grandchildren quilted or sewed she gave me all her fabric.

That Christmas I made Dorothea a quilt ... a quilt for the Quilter.  I used at least one piece of every single fabric that she had given me.

There are hourglass blocks, because there are lots of hours in making a quilt.

There are appliqued hearts, because quilters love to quilt.

There are spool blocks, because lots of thread is used.

And there are a few random crazy patch blocks, because quilters have to have a little crazy streak to cut fabric into little pieces just to sew them back together again.

She loved the quilt.  And was very touched.  That made us all very happy.

Chris with the Quilters Quilt for his Mom

Just finished is this little baby quilt ... very country, and very scrappy.  It was made with little unused pieces that Dorothea had already cut ... I just had to cut a few more.

The blocks are sashed with unbleached muslin squares alternating with calico squares ... I don't know what the pattern would be called, but I really like how it turned out.

Scrappy Baby Quilt ...
... with a darling scrappy 'make do' back

 So that is how I came to have all these sweet little calico's from the 1970's.  I made these quilts for my Etsy shop ... I know someone will love the 1970's calico's and the Little House look of these quilts.

I Will Spend the Winter in a Flower Garden

Contrary to my young years, summer is my least favorite season. And August my least favorite month ... I'm weary of the heat, my under-the-eaves sewing room is too hot and everything in the garden is past it's best bloom.  But just on the horizon is autumn ... cool crisp air, bright blue skies ... and the beginning of a new Quilting Season.

This year's TV time project is to finish the Flower Garden quilt that my Grandmother started back in the 60's.  YiaYia got all the flowers pieced.  I joined the flowers together.  And now she's ready to quilt.  Since this is all pieced by hand, I am going to quilt it by hand.

Grandma's template for cutting the hexies.
1960.  3 lbs of hamburger or sausage for $1.00

These hexies were not English paper pieced.
They were just plain ol' hand pieced.
The key is learning to pivot and anchor each of the Y-seams.

After a few, you get the knack.

If I had to bother with templates, this quilt never woulda happened.

Early in my quilt life I pulled all of the flowers with red centers from Grandma's pieced blocks and made a small baby quilt.

 ... and did the quilting by hand.
I think it was my first large hand quilting project.
It was lap quilted without a hoop.
I should have used a hoop.

If I had used a hoop there may be fewer
 globs of fabric where they ought not to be.

The other thing I learned was not to fully quilt each hexie ... there is no definition of the individual flower garden blocks.

So this Flower Garden quilt will be quilted
to follow the blocks, not the hexies.
I am much happier with the look on the back.

I am still finding the hoop a bit awkward
because there is lots of turning as
I quilt around the blocks.
But I'm sure I'll get better at it.

This is a big quilt ... 90 x 95 ... 99 blocks
There is lots of opportunity to hone my craft.