Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another Trip in the Way-Back Machine

Since it's almost Independence Day, I thought I would show you one of my patriotic quilts. This one is from 1987! Made with muslin, homespun and the ubiquitous pin dot fabric that was available then, it pretty much screams when it was made.

I didn't use a pattern for this quilt, but made it up myself. I researched what dimensions a flag was supposed to be (which is really a proportion of length and width) and came up with the size strips I needed. I really did use 13 stripes in the correct way (starting and ending with the red stripe). I used a cookie cutter for the heart pattern and machine appliqued the hearts on. I did one wonky thing, and that was to piece the blue homespun for the flag field without regard to the plaid.

A few years after that, I knew a little more about folk art. I decided my "flag" was too wide, so I just chopped off the extra, and rebound that edge. Very daring for me at that time!

Sorry this closeup is fuzzy, but my camera didn't like to focus on that plaid. You can see my actual hand quilting!

An even closer closeup! I was pretty good at that machine applique then. Don't know that I could do that well today.

This 'Sunshine and Shadow' Amish quilt is the first one I made, and was made for my Mom. This is from 1985.
I'm really proud of the cable quilting on the border on this quilt. DH and I drafted it ourselves! I used some quilt book that told how to do it. It was really hard to get the cable to go around the corners evenly and then space evenly on the edge. It took us quite awhile to get this right, and I'm not sure it would have been possible on a rectangular quilt. At least not for us. DH is a trained draftsman, and this was tough for him! We just about wore out his fancy drafting eraser on this! I think I still have the paper pattern for this border somewhere. I'm also not that crazy anymore!

Again, more hand quilting. These fabrics for the stripes were cotton, but I think that the black is a cotton-poly blend. And I used a poly batting which is too poofy, but it was easy to quilt through. However, quilting with black thread on black fabric is really hard on the eyes. I needed to do this one only in the daylight!

Another closeup.

And here's a picture of the back, so you can see my lovely hand quilting. I don't hand quilt anymore because of arthritis, so I really treasure the few quilts I have that I hand quilted.
Maybe you can see that I embroidered my name etc. on the back of this quilt. That was the only way I knew to "write" on a quilt at that time. When I chopped off part of the flag quilt, I chopped off most of my embroidery.

Anytime I get the quilts out for photos, the cats must investigate. Shade always wants to get under the quilt. Dunkel always wants to see what Shade is doing. This one was taken while I was trying to photograph the quilt.

Then DH put the quilt over Shade to keep him out of the way while I photographed the Amish quilt.

This, of course, drives Dunkel crazy. He MUST see what's under that quilt, because it's VERY EXCITING! This makes Shade very grumpy. After a session of wappity-wap with the paws and some pouncing by Dunkel, Shade gets disgusted and leaves. Works every time!

The quilt is Dunkel's, and he finds a loose thread on the quilt sleeve to get all worked up about.
Life is hardly ever dull here.
I think I'm about to meet my goal. I'm almost done with this post, just as the sun is coming in the window. It's 90 + degrees today, so I want to go to a cooler room when the sun gets in here. I will spare you my whining.


  1. Hi Sharon,
    I can't believe you were brave enough to make your own pattern and draft the quilting motif, too! Early in my quilting I followed every pattern to the nth degree, afraid to deviate. I can't do much hand quilting any more either but I love what little I do. Blessings, marlene

  2. I was always going to make a patriotic quilt to get out on the 4th of July, but in 51 yrs. of quilting I haven't done it yet. I was making the Amish ones in about the same time period you were. Did you use Roberta Horton's book for inspiration? I love you cat antic pictures.

  3. It looks like the cats help you a lot in your quilting endeavors! Such good helpers they are. I love the Way Back Machine. Are you discovering these quilts as they are unpacked? Are you using your studio yet?

  4. it's all so much easier once you realize you can make things the size you want them, not what they should be. and run motifs right off the edge instead of turning a corner. sorry to hear about the arthritis limiting your quilting - that hurts. great kitty and quilt pics.


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