Recreating Antique Quilts Project Highlight #2: Re-interpreting Mrs. Miles’ Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Star Quilt

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Happy Saturday, Friends.  It’s hard for me to believe the week is over!   This was meant to be posted yesterday, but life and work happened.  Today, I am happy to share with you my Oh, Happy Stars! quilt — it is the cover quilt of my book Recreating Antique Quilts.  A special thank you to Mrs. Miles for inspiring Oh, Happy Stars!

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My Oh, Happy Stars! is inspired by a Double Irish Chain with Sawtooth Star quilt, made by Mrs. Frank Miles from New Jersey (circa 1840-1850).

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You can see that Mrs. Miles’ quilt is much scrappier than my Oh, Happy Stars!  I brightened Oh, Happy Stars! with an extensive use of white.  And I used cream to alternate with the white as ground fabric in the star blocks to give the design a little more depth.  You can see my “scrappy” feel is much more controlled compared to Mrs. Miles!

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And to keep the general feel of openness of my quilt, I decided to leave out the swag applique border.  Instead I appliqued a simple bird/swirl at the top right corner of the quilt.  I debated whether to repeat the applique at the bottom left corner of the quilt to balance things out.  In the end, I didn’t because I thought having that applique just on the top right corner keeps things from being too predictable.

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Appplique seems to be confined within certain borders or areas in traditional applique quilt.  I kind of bent that unspoken rule a little bit by letting my applique “spill” over to the pieced portion of the quilt to keep things a bit more interesting.

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Quilting on Oh, Happy Stars!, done with Aurifil Mako 50 thread over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting, is a mix of allover quilting, and dense quilting in the outer border of the quilt.  I did not want the quilting to dominate in the quilt center star blocks.  I wanted the colors of the star to jump out – so I quilted my Jester’s Hat allover quilting in the quilt center…

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… and I left the fancier quilting for the white outer border.

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The quilt design appears busy with all the different colors, and with the dense quilting in the white outer border, I felt like a little rest for the eye and contrast to the dense quilting was in order — so, I quilted straight line 1/4″ apart in portions of the outer border in order to achieve the rest and contrast effect.

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A huge huge thank you goes to the editorial team at Landauer Publishing.  The editorial team work hard in making Recreating Antique Quilts happen, and to reflect my personality! I have heard comments about the book being very “me” — and I couldn’t agree more. You will get full sized templates — color-coded so that you know exactly what piece goes where when you are doing the applique placement.  I really like how the applique templates are presented.

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Oh, Happy Stars! is a stash-busting project.

#1.  You can easily use the scraps in your stash.  Those squares are small, but you can easily increase the size if you wish to.

#2.  I also meant Oh, Happy Stars! to be a friendship quilt in that the scrappy look of the design is conducive for a block exchange among quilting friends.  Using a specific theme or color for the block exchange would be fun: Christmas, Floral, Spring, Batik etc — and how about the ugliest fabric in each quilter’s stash?!

#3.  My quilt finishes at 45″ square.  But the final size can easily be increased by increasing the block size or number of blocks.

#4.  That bird/swirl applique — if you like it but aren’t really wanting to do the piecing required for the quilt. How about just using the bird/swirl applique on a strip pieced vertical banner?

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have liked Oh, Happy Stars!  There was very little doubt that Oh, Happy Stars would be the cover quilt from the very beginning.   Looking at the projects of the book, which would you have picked to be cover quilt? And if you have further ideas on how to use the design, I would love to hear them!

Projects At-A-Glance

Projects At-A-Glance

I will also take this opportunity to announce a blog hop for Recreating Antique Quilts next Tuesday.  So, be sure to come back for details.

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Happy a fanta-bulous weekend, Dear Friends!

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Click here to read about all things Recreating Antique Quilts.

Rescued Treasure

You can imagine the chill (and thrill) when I saw this little tidbit about how this dollhouse came to be in the collection of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.  That contractor who discovered and rescued this 12 foot long dollhouse from the claw of the bulldozer is a hero in my book.

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I shall just let the pictures do the talking for most of the rest of the post.

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I was totally transfixed by this amazing world of small, imagining myself as the lady of the manor… until I heard Miss Baby say, “Mom, could you please stop taking pictures so that I can look at at the rooms?”  [Child, why did you drag me back to reality?]

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Are you a rescuer of treasures from the past?  I would love to hear your story!

[I once purchased an old Duncan Phyfe dining set — because I couldn’t bear the sadness on the face of the original owner parting with her dining set because she was moving to a nursing home.  She had had the set for decades, since she was married.  I told her I would love her dining set to the best of my ability.  Sadly, I too had to part with that dining set when we made the move out east a few years ago. There are days I wonder if that dining set is treated well by its new owner.  My love of history makes me go warm and fuzzy and sentimental over old things — what can I say? Disclaimer – I am most certainly not a pack rat though. That’s possible, right?]

Quilty THIS or THAT #5

Hello Friends, scrappy quilts are always favorites among quilters.  Our This or That question today is: controlled scrappy or random scrappy?

Scattered Leaves

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Color Burst

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Do you like to set out your scrappy patches (or blocks) on a design wall, and arrange to determine the final layout?  Or do you like to just “pick” up the fabric or block and use the “let the chip falls where it is” method to determine the final layout?

I can’t wait to read your choice.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #1. Click here for Vicki’s follow up post.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #2.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #3.

Calm Assurance: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, it sure was nice being able to ship out another quilt — albeit I had 45 minutes to pack the quilt, make a mad dash to the Post Office, and in time to pick up Miss Baby from school. But at least it is on its way to the editor.

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I tried out a new allover quilting motif on Calm Assurance.   It is not my original.  I think it is one done by Patsy Thompson although I am not certain.  This motif has LOTS of movement, and turned out to be perfect for a very geometric quilt.  But it took my little pea brain quite a bit to figure out moving one cluster of  “Palm Tree Leaves in a Monsoon” (that’s what this motif reminds me of) to the next.  And here I am, calling the quilt Calm Assurance.   HA!

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A few weeks ago, Miss Baby music teacher impressed upon her that a teacher should always still be learning and practicing.  It resonated with me because I believe a quilting person is one who keeps on learning as well.  My thoughts on that are sprinkled here in this post.  My Palm Tree Leaves in a Monsoon can use to improve, I think — and I can’t wait to quilt the motif on another quilt to fine tune my stitching path, my swirl curvature etc.  And there’s another thing Miss Baby’s music teacher stresses – to perfect the basics, and THEN one can build on the basics! He cannot be more right than that!

I hope you are doing just that, my dear quilting friends!  Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.

FREE PATTERN: Zoey’s Flowerbed

Hello Friends, I hope you are doing well.  Thank you for visiting again.  A major reason for my demanding schedule is due to a large amount of designing I have been doing since summer last year for upcoming fabric lines.  After all these months I am finally able to share with you many of those designs aimed to feature these new fabric lines!

I was honored to be able to design a quilt for the beloved Eleanor Burns’ new line Zoey!  If you like soft, sweet, romantic, English gardens… you will love ZOEY!

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Click here to view the entire fabric range. [I can definitely see these fabrics used in a girl’s room!]

Click here to download the pattern instructions.

And remember — ask your local quilt shops to carry Eleanor’s newest fabrics just because… we love Elenaor!

Another busy day… so, I’d better run for now!  I hope you have a lovely day!  Hugs to you all.

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[My free to use designs from previous years are listed under “FREE PATTERNS” on the side bar.]

January: A Red Letter Day using Seeing Red (Benartex)

January: Star Struck using Caryl’s Feathers (Benartex)

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

February: Zoey’s Flowerbed using Zoey (Benartex)

Winner of McCall’s Quilting Magazine Giveaway!

Hello Friends, I am happy to announce that Jocelyn (#7) and Nancy (#17) won the McCall’s Quilting Magazine (March/April 2015 issue) giveaway from last Friday!  An email was sent to you, Jocelyn and Nancy — please email me your mailing address. :)  CONGRATS!

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You can find pattern instructions for my Making Valentines quilt in the magazine issue. Click here to read more about Making Valentines.  Click here to purchase the kits.

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Thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway!  If you haven’t checked out McCall’s Quilting magazine – you simply have to!!!

My design, your quilt: Color Burst

Hello Friends,  it’s been quite a week at Ivory Spring - besides running a bit behind on the planned stuff in our schedules, I received some unexpected assignments that demanded my immediate attention.  But it’s okay, some weeks are like that… I re-adjusted my schedule while waiting for Miss Baby get out of school, I think everything that should fall in place will still happen — except getting back to your comments will probably not happen this weekend. Please know I am NOT ignoring you!

Most of you probably know of my Iron Man quilt, more daintily known as Color Burst.   It is a DAR-inspired quilt.  Click here to read more about the quilt.

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Elizabeth of Such A Sew and Sew sent me a picture of her version — absolutely GORGEOUS! Me thinks her color choices are much prettier than mine!!  She beautifully calls her quilt Jardim da Amizade (Friendship Garden).  Seeing Friendship Garden made my day!  Elizabeth has graciously given me the permission to show off her quilt on Ivory Spring. Thank you, Elizabeth! I love that Elizabeth uses the HST units from her stash to make the quilt. We ALL have those HST units stored in boxes and baggies, don’t we? I know I do. :)

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I love how the sun rays kissed Elizabeth’s Friendship Garden quilt because true friendships brings warmth and light into our lives!  Click here to read more about Elizabeth’s Friendship Garden.

And to close out this week, please allow me to say thank you again for YOUR friendship!  Have a great weekend.  I shall catch up with you next week — I would probably be half dead from trying to check everything off my list, but I promise I will check in! :)  Hugs to you all.

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Click here to see other readers’ projects.

FREE PATTERN: Farmville

Hello Friends, when asked if I would like to design something for Benartex’s Green Farms fabrics, the thought of saying no never even crossed my mind!  Resulted is Farmville, an easy row quilt design.

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The Green Farms fabrics are simply adorable.

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Click here to view the entire fabric range.

Click here to download pattern instructions.

Do you have a favorite fabric from the Green Farms collection?  I think mine is the pig in the mud! But wait, I also like the sheep prints, as well as the panel print!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to check out your quilt shops for Green Farms.

Hugs to you all.

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[My free to use designs from previous years are listed under “FREE PATTERNS” on the side bar.]

January: A Red Letter Day using Seeing Red (Benartex)

January: Star Struck using Caryl’s Feathers (Benartex)

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Farmville using Green Farms (Benartex)

Thread Talk from My Sewing Machine #61

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Hello Friends, it’s so good to have you back.  I am passionate about wholecloth quilting when it comes to machine quilting.

However, I am keenly aware not all quilters want to do that kind of quilting — which is PERFECTLY okay!!  I am not in any way getting on to you for not doing wholecloth quilting that oftentimes requires very dense background quilting.  The background quilting you see in the following quilt images is quilted less than 1/8″ apart!

Plus to be honest, that kind of dense background quilting probably is not conducive to be quilted on quilt tops made with printed fabrics.  So, for a while now, I have been thinking about the matter of background fillers to go with feather quilting on “printed” quilt tops that are practical. One of these fillers is my Sand Dunes filler!

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1.  So, first, we have a feather plume “quilted” here.  Click here to read about how I quilt my feathers.

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2.  After the feather is quilted, I picked a spot on the feather to just quilt something curvy, but somewhat graceful looking toward the outer edge of the quilt top.

So you will notice I quilted my first Sand Dune pass (#1) beyond the edge of the quilt top INTO to the batting and quilt backing portion — assuming you baste your quilt sandwich with excess batting and quilt fabric around the quilt top, like I do.

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3.  That’s because… it saved me having to cut my thread and restart on the pass back to the feather plume.  Notice my pass back to the feather plume is only somewhat echoing the first pass. My Sand Dunes are meant to be “liberated” echoes in the sense that they are not exactly echoed.  Another thing is that the Sand Dune passes are quilted far apart, unlike the 1/8″ or less distance in between echoes in my wholecloth quilting.

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Once the back pass (#2) touches the feather plume, I would then follow the quilt feather plume outline for just a little bit, and then, I would quilt toward the outer edge of the quilt top with another Sand Dune pass (#3) and so forth to complete the background quilting around the feather plume(s) on my quilt.

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This quilt back picture might show you exactly I meant.

I like the Sand Dunes for a printed quilted tops because this filler looks open and doesn’t have a suffocating feel on the printed quilt tops.  It is not demanding because it doesn’t require me to echo exactly, and veering off a bit on subsequent echoes actually adds to the overall textured look.

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I would love for you to try out Sand Dunes with your feathers — and let me know what you think.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t checked out my other posts on machine quilting, feel free to do so by clicking here.

I will be sharing with you some exciting machine quilting news in a couple of months – can’t wait!!! But for now, if you haven’t checked out my online Learn to Machine Quilt class (that covers practical motifs for beginning machine quilting) here, I hope you will do so as well.  The class is also available on DVD here.

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Thank you for stopping by, Dear Friends!  Blessings to you all!

Autumn Comfort: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, here is peek of another finished project!

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I have traditionally used quite a bit of neutral (white, cream and gray) in my designs for contrast. For Autumn Comfort, I experimented with not using any white or cream at all!  I have to say it’s nice to get out of one’s box and do something totally different and expected — because the result was (in this case) unexpectedly pleasing as well!

I also experimented with my Sand Dunes background quilting to go with feather quilting in this project.  More about that tomorrow — so remember to come back for a seriously overdue Thread Talk post!

So, what are you working on today?  Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later. Ciao!

Happy Birthday, General Washington!

And that should be a great start for a new week for all of us, eh?

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Those who know me also know that I have a fondness for history, especially the Colonial American history.  Because of that, I never tire of learning about the beloved General’s life.   If we don’t know our history, we won’t know where we are headed.  My belief remains steadfast… generations – ours and upcoming – need to learn real and unbiased history, and the General’s life is a great place to start.

Click here to see how well you know about General Washington quiz.  I scored 93% — so obviously I have more learning to do!

Click here to read some interesting facts on General Washington.

Click here to read about the day set aside to remember the General’s birthday.

Click hereherehere, and here to read about past Washington’s birthday posts on Ivory Spring.

And legend has it Lady Washington had a Japanese Fruit Pie (a staple at the Ivory Spring household) made for the General for one of his birthday.   Click here for the recipe.

Over the years, I have thought about words I would use to describe General Washington.  This year, my words to describe him are understated elegant.  I have been reading up on the General’s life as a designer and architect, and his pursuits of things artistic this past year, and one thing I came away with was that General Washington was a man of details.  His keen interest in details reflect him as a complex man, with lots of depth, but never ostentatious nor tacky — just elegant!

What one word or words would would you use to describe the General in honor of the day set aside to remember his birthday?

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a lovely week ahead.  Those who are stuck in the deep freeze (like me!), do stay warm and safe.

Making Valentines in McCALL’S QUILTING (March/April 2015) & Giveaway!

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Hello Friends, you know how excited I was when my first feature in McCall’s Quilting happened! I thought I had arrived when I saw with my own eyes Spiral Squared in the magazine spread.

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I am so excited I have another feature in McCall’s Quilting this year… meet Making Valentines.

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Making Valentines consists of easily constructed heart blocks, colored differently by different fabrics.  When I make Valentines with Miss Baby, I tend to make variations of the same style after making 5 of the same Valentines.   It just makes making Valentine that much more fun.

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Thus, the differently colored heart blocks in Making Valentines.

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I used Lynette Anderson’s Hearts and Flowers fabrics (released by RJR Fabrics) for a slightly different take on the usual Valentine’s Day colors — slightly muted and darker red paired with beige, gray and taupe.  I used white to offset the gray to give the overall design a Scandinavian feel.  Limited number of kits are available here.

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The simplicity of the 9-patch sashing blocks add whimsical touches to the quilt.  Notice my blocks aren’t wonky — that’s because I have a little trick when piecing small squares.  Click here for my little trick to chase away the wonkiness.

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I quilted allover Jester’s Hat on the quilt – using Aurifil Mako 50 Cotton over Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting.  You can read about my Jester’s Hat motif herehere, and here.

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I hope you have liked seeing (and even making) Making Valentines.

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Now about the Giveaway… McCall’s is having a giveaway of my Recreating Antique Quilts book on their blog.  Read about my book here Click here for more information on the giveaway, and what others thought of Making Valentines.  My heart had gone afluttering reading about some of the sweet comments on my quilt.  Hurry to enter the giveaway – the deadline is Feb 14th.

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And a big(!) thank you to McCall’s Quilting for sending me 2 magazine copies to give away to Ivory Spring readers.  Just leave a comment and tell me what you think of my Making Valentines quilt to enter the giveaway.  Winner will be announced on February 20th.

Thank you for stopping – and I do hope you have a sweet Valentine’s Day weekend!

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My 2015 Line-up

Editorial Features:

American Patchwork & Quilting 2015 Calendar: Get Happy

American Patchwork & Quilting 2015 Calendar: Migration

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2015): Sunny Delight

Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting (January/February 2015): Family Dinner

Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts (Spring 2015): Stars are Brightly Shining

McCall’s Quilting (March/April 2015): Making Valentines

Quilter’s World (Spring 2015): Zigs and Zags

Quilts and More (Spring 2015): Exclamation Point

 

Free-to-use Designs:

January: A Red Letter Day using Seeing Red (Benartex)

January: Star Struck using Caryl’s Feathers (Benartex)

February: Happy Home House Quilt (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Runner (Quilting Treasures)

February: Happy Home Throw Quilt (Quilting Treasures)