Monday, January 31, 2011

January's Gone!

The way time flies so doggone fast just amazes me. It seems absolutely impossible that one whole month of 2011 is behind us already. How does that happen??  In looking back at the month, I surely wish I'd gotten more accomplished, but instead of dwelling on what didn't get done, I prefer to celebrate what I did manage to accomplish!! Always the optimist - that's me!  *grin*

All weekend, whenever I had a few moments to spend in the sewing room, I was working on cutting out these:

That's a ginormous stack of 1 1/2-inch strips of lights and darks for the log cabin blocks that are to border my Dressmaker's Quilt. If you recall, a few weeks back I was having an absolutely terrible time getting the blocks to lay flat and come out square. It was quite discouraging, and when I get that way about a project, I just drop it like a hot potato. (Consequently, we could number several UFOs in my sewing room that have never been finished for this reason!)

But I digress! I questioned some quilter friends, read some quilting books, and did some quilting searches to arm myself with potential remedies. I need 36 of these blocks, and I began with making 6, so those are the ones that were my "tester" blocks. I went ahead and finished those, and have made 2 more this morning, and I am happy to report that they are turning out just fine. My diagnosis: I was pulling too much when pressing, for one thing. The second was my piecing method. Instead of cutting pieces to the exact size and then sewing them together, I am using a chain piecing method (one long strip of fabric, add the centers onto it, one after another,then cut). Does that make sense? I think the seasoned quilters will follow. If not, I will take a pic of what I'm attempting to describe.

In my last post, I shared my finished doll quilt top, Midnight Stars. I mentioned that I had some other doll quilts that I'd never blogged about. Let's take a quick tour, shall we?

Here are 3 doll quilts that I made for my girls back in the late '80s or early '90s. Erin was born in 1985; Emma was born in 1992. I suppose I made them for Erin, and Emma got to play with them as she grew up. They wrapped up lots of dollies over the years.

If memory serves, I think Erin made this. A typical scenario was my finding something to keep her occupied while I got in a little bit of sewing time. The 8  hearts are appliqued with big chunky stitches and raw edges. The binding, too, has big chunky stitches. It's tied, but only in about 4 places. I am so glad I saved this creation. I will have to question the girls to see if indeed, Erin is the maker. I will update with any interesting tidbits I am able to gather.

My grandmother was quite a prolific quilter in her day. She quilted out of necessity for a lot of years, but enjoyed it and continued to quilt up to age 91. She is now 94, and hasn't quilted in 2 or 3 years. She made this little Sunbonnet Sue 2-block doll quilt. Again, I am uncertain if it was given to me for Erin or for Emma. There is some damage on the lower block - no idea what caused it. Grandma made hundreds of quilts and never owned a rotary cutter or mat. She hand-traced and  hand-cut her pieces. Isn't that incredible?!

A quick sidebar, this little wall hanging was in the same bin as the doll quilts. Grandma made each of her great-grandkids either a Sunbonnet Sue or Overall Bill pillow or wall hanging. This is my son's. Grandma made lots of Sues and Bills over the years.

Getting back to doll quilts, this is the one I treasure the most:

My mother made this for me and my sisters when we were girls back in the 60s. It's a whole-cloth, machine quilted treasure, much-loved as you can see from the worn and tattered binding. It hangs in my sewing room.

That concludes my doll quilt history tour.

Have a great February!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I loved your doll quilt tour! What precious quilts!!


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