Friday, June 23, 2017

Charity Quilting

Last week I dropped off five quilts with the Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
One quilt was this string block quilt I pieced and quilted. No matter how many of these I make I still have scraps. Want to learn about string piecing? Check out Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog for some great tutorials.

2017 Charity Quilt Count: 25

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What is in a Name?

Darling Husband has a quilt made by his grandmother. 
It is old, worn, and well-loved. Sadly, it is beyond time to throw it out. 
But what are these blocks? Blocks made with fabrics from the early 1950s, sewn entirely by hand. What is the name of this block? I wanted to find the answer to this so I set out across the internet in search of some answers. 

It isn't quite a Crown of Thorns, and it isn't quite an Single Wedding Ring or English Wedding Ring. Those blocks are constructed the same. Only color placement is different. In truth, I went down the rabbit hole on this one a couple times. In the end, I picked the story I wanted to tell. 

Marcia, the amazing quilter of Quilter's Cache fame, has this block described twice in her even more amazing collection of quilt blocks. If you are a quilter and have never visited the Quilter's Cache I recommend you stop what you're doing go there right now. This post will be here when you get back. 
Crown of Thorns block

From the Quilter's Cache I found the the Crown of Thorns block. The assembly is the same as my block, just the color placement is different. Second is Wedding Rings 2, again, the same assembly, just different color placement. I looked around the internet for a couple evenings and could not find this block put together with an obvious plus in the middle of the block. 

I did more research and found some wonderful history about this block. I found this block has been around for over 100 years. It has been called Saw Tooth, Odd Scraps Patchwork, Crown of Thorns, Wedding Ring, Single Wedding Ring, and English Wedding Ring. You can read more about this block from Quilt History Tidbits or from The Quilt Index.

It was published in the Chicago Tribune in 1933 by Nancy Cabot. You can learn more about that from Moore About Nancy. And if you want to know who Nancy Cabot was (hint, that isn't her name) I recommend you check out Illinois Quilt History.

There is also a Nancy Cabot made modern group over on Flickr if you want to see what some of her blocks look like in modern fabrics.

There is also a tutorial for this block on Fat Quarter Shop's YouTube. It's really good and you should check it out if you are a visual learner. 
At one point, I made this block from an issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. In that issue the block was called Saving Grace submitted by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew! You can read more about that quilt in my post from 2015. The quilt is made with a single, super-sized block and the effect is perfect for a baby or toddler quilt. 

Ultimately, I was forced to just make the block I wanted to make. I'm not sure what to call it. It isn't a Wedding Ring block but it will make an awesome quilt someday. I'll find a good name for it and I'll let you know what I come up with.

What would you call this block? Do you have a favorite vintage block?

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Mermaid - Part Two

I made the time to get coloring with the Inktense Blocks and Inktense Pencils.
I colored with the blocks directly onto dry fabric and used the pencils to fill in finer lines and areas I wanted especially dark or intense.
When the fabric is dry, blending on fabric isn't that easy so I tried to lay down layers that could be blended when wetting the fabric.
Working with the blocks is messy business. Take this into consideration if you don't want "artist hands". The inks aren't staining on skin and clean up was as simple as soap and water. There is a danger of transferring this ink onto the fabric.
I got way, way carried away with the colors after I had started to wet the fabric and blend the colors. If I do this again, I won't add those background colors, I'll keep the focus on the mermaid, or whatever the subject may be.
The colors blended nicely and I was able to use the white to add highlights after I wet the inks. I really like the effect. This is another reason I'm sorry I colored the background. It just takes away from the mermaid. This image is when the work was still wet.

Keep an eye out for the next segment when I put it all together into a tote bag.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Monkeying Around - A Baby Quilt

I call this colorful quilt Monkeying Around. I had a stack of coordinating prints in fun colors and Darling Husband requested a baby quilt for a friend that just become a new father for the second time. Babies are stressful. Making quilts for them shouldn't be. I cut a stack of 8.5" by 8.5" squares and set them up in a simple diagonal pattern.
The bad news is that the top was wider than 40" so I had to piece the backing. I like to say that I rarely piece a quilt backing, but it isn't as rare as I would like. I used some of the squares from the front and realized I would be cutting it exceptionally close if I didn't add another piece. I had this strip of fabric that was leftover from another quilt that was perfect. I try to always piece long sections like this with the grain going the same direction. It really makes a difference in the finished piece.
I quilted it with the humble but sturdy meander. The stitch density is loose enough for what should become an amazingly snugly quilt when washed.
The binding is this awesome stripe. I like a stripy binding. I also like polka dot binding, and diagonal binding, and scrappy binding. Maybe I have a binding problem.
I machine finished the binding for durability and a quick finish.