Q is for Quilter

Vintage Embroidery Patterns — More Nursery Rhymes

by Martha in Patterns

Here’s another cute Mother Goose newspaper series. This group was published in 1941, and was illustrated by Laverne Bartos. Click thumbnails to enlarge.


Vintage Embroidery Patterns — Nursery Rhymes

by Martha in Patterns

Newspaper series of nursery rhyme patterns published in the 1930s. Click for full size.

Chintz Quilts for Baby Girls – One Finish

by Martha in Quilts

So . . . I had this idea to quilt these baby quilts with some vintage linen thread I found at the Goodwill. The thread is heavy-ish — a bit thicker than perle cotton, and it has a nice sheen to it that looks nice against the chintz. However, actually stitching with it was a real challenge. The fabrics in this quilt are thicker than normal quilting cottons, and I had to use pliers to get that fat needle and thick thread through the glazed decorator fabrics. Also there was no way to pull a knot through the fabric, so all ends had to be woven in and out of the seams.

My quilting stitches are pretty big – not really what I’d call “big stitch,” but larger than my normal quilting. The squares are quilted with straight lines (no stitching through those thick intersections), the pink border has a zig-zag, and the chintz border has overlapping half circles. On the second quilt, I’m plan to reverse this, with curved quilting in the squares and straight lines in the border.

The back is half of a large pale pink damask tablecloth, which turned out to be a pretty great idea. The damask design is pretty, the fabric is soft, and it would be very easy to needle if you weren’t using crazy glazed decorator fabric to make your quilt.

Chintz Baby Quilt
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2014
machine pieced, hand quilted
37″ x 45″




Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

by Martha in Patterns

Over the weekend I dove into the giant box of cut and loose transfers.  I suspect these were published by McCall’s, because they are the Disney version. Click images to enlarge.

UPDATE:  I added a new Dopey image below with a few changes to the original that I think make him look a little happier and less deranged.

Snow-White-transfer-Snow-White Snow-White-transfer-BashfulSnow-White-transfer-Doc Snow-White-transfer-Sneezy Snow-White-transfer-Sleepy Snow-White-transfer-Happy Snow-White-transfer-Grumpy Snow-White-transfer-Dopey



Here’s the Dopey design with changes.

August Apron Winner

by Martha in Random Things

Congratulations, Carla! You are the winner of the August apron.

Even though I love the style of this apron, I now realize it was a mistake to make an apron with this type of fit. Going forward, I promise to only make “one size fits all” aprons, so everyone can enter.

I haven’t made a half apron in a long time, so I’ll be constructing one in vintage fabric for the September giveaway. Maybe it will look like one of these cute 1940s McCall’s aprons . . . or maybe not.



Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Sunbonnet Sue

by Martha in Patterns

It’s sad . . . I’ve never embroidered a Sunbonnet Sue pattern, although I have a lot of cute Sue transfers. Here are a couple of designs published by Vogart and Alice Brooks. There is another Sunbonnet pattern by Laura Wheeler on an earlier post. As usual, click images for full size.

Voart 105, Little Susan





Alice Brooks 7078, Sunbonnet Girl

“Easy Stitchery Resembles Applique”

Sabrina Potholder

by Martha in Other Needlework

Tonight I’m going to the Central Cinema to see Sabrina, which is one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies. Central Cinema is a small theater with booths instead of seats, where you can watch a movie while also having drinks and dinner. As a little surprise for my companions (my daughter and my son’s girlfriend), I put together two small gift bags with a homemade potholder and a little bag of a gummi eggs.


This short clip is the egg scene from Sabrina.

In case you would like to make your own Sabrina potholder, I have added my image below. The yoke was machine appliquéd onto a piece of white canvas fabric, and the text was embroidered with 3 strands of black floss using stem stitch and two French knots (Century Gothic is a great font to use for simple embroidered letters). Next, I sandwiched two scraps of batting between the embroidered front and plain canvas back, and machine quilted straight lines between the lines of text. The bias binding is a tiny black/white check. My potholder is 7 1/4″ square — click image to enlarge to full size.


Now I want to make more movie food quote potholders. I’m thinking “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” Any other suggestions?

August Apron Giveaway

by Martha in Other Needlework

PLEASE NOTE:  These monthly apron giveaways are for readers who have taken the time to comment on my blog. If you have left a comment on any non-giveaway post, simply let me know in the comments below if you are interested in this particular apron.

I’m excited because I have a new apron design that I hope you’ll like. Last week I received a special gift in the mail from my friend, Patty, who loves to rescue old tops and blocks which she transforms into beautiful quilts sold in her Etsy shop, Petalier. The gift was a vintage 1920s embroidered apron, probably a stamped design ordered from a Herrschners-type catalog. Once I finished admiring all the elements of the apron, I went right to work making a pattern, because although the design is a simple one-piece full apron in the front, the back is unusual and so cute.

I decided to use another one of my Brunschwig & Fils sample fabrics, but this time it’s not a historical design like I’ve used in the past. This is a contemporary print called Tahiti, and I think it looks refreshing and summery. The straps and bias binding are made with a cotton lawn fabric, which I backed with cotton canvas. The original apron maker used tiny buttons with hand-stitched buttonholes, but I was worried about being able to reach back and fool with trying to fasten those buttons. I ended up using heavy snaps under my buttons, which also have the advantage of being able to swivel, so the apron seems to hang better.

Unfortunately, because of the style of this apron, it won’t fit everyone. It was made to fit my size 10 dress form, and I would call it a medium size.  The easiest way to get into the apron is to undo the middle snap before putting it on — it’s not too difficult to then reach back and snap that one.

A drawing will be held on Friday morning, August 8.





I almost forgot . . . I made a little bonus — a matching 8″ potholder from the scraps and small samples of other colorways in this pattern. Here’s a photo of the front and back.

August-potholder-1 August-potholder-2

Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Bluebirds

by Martha in Patterns

Here are some sweet bluebird designs from two different manufacturers. Click images to enlarge.

Vogart 671 — DOW Bluebirds

Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Sunday Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Monday Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Tuesday Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Wednesday Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Thursday Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Friday Vogart-671-Bluebirds-Saturday



Laura Wheeler 676 — Kitchen Towels

LW-676-Bluebirds-1 LW-676-Bluebirds-2 LW-676-Bluebirds-3 LW-676-Bluebirds-4 LW-676-Bluebirds-5 LW-676-Bluebirds-6


Chintz Quilts for Twin Baby Girls – WIP

by Martha in Work in Progress

Our friends, Jan and Albert, became grandparents (again) when tiny Megan and Eryn were born prematurely in May. The girls are both home from the hospital now and Jan says they are doing wonderfully well. To celebrate their homecoming, I wanted to make a couple of quilts, but I wanted to get them done quickly. I decided to only use stuff I had on hand (no running to the fabric store), which isn’t really that hard because I have a lot of stuff, and I wanted it to be a simple pattern.

The quilts (37″ x 45″) are made with scraps of chintz and other floral fabrics — some vintage and some newer. The squares are leftovers from aprons and my daughter’s wedding pennants, the borders are remnants from the Goodwill. One quilt has a pink stripe for the narrow border, and the other one has a tiny pink check. I plan to use those two pinks for the binding as well.

In these photos, the quilts look incredibly busy. There is a lot going on, but they look much better in person for some reason. I hope I’m not just kidding myself.





Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Elephants

by Martha in Patterns

Who doesn’t love elephants, and these are just so cute. I’ve been organizing and cataloging my transfer collection, and I’m also trying to scan and clean at least some of them at the same time. As usual, click images to enlarge.

Laura Wheeler 740, Kitchen Towels

No instructions with these Laura Wheeler transfers, since they were cut and loose, but there was a cute newspaper clipping from 1934.

Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-3 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephants-2 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephants-1 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-6 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-5 Laura-Wheeler-740-elephant-4

McCall’s 710, Elephant Tea Towels

McCall's-710-Elephants-Sunday McCall's-710-Elephants-Monday McCall's-710-Elephants-Tuesday McCall's-710-Elephants-Wednesday McCall's-710-Elephants-Thursday McCall's-710-Elephants-Friday McCall's-710-Elephants-Saturday

Vintage Embroidery Patterns — Superior 132, Kitchen Motifs

by Martha in Patterns

This could have been a day in my life in 1987, except for the mopping. Click images to enlarge.








Vintage Embroidery Transfers — Superior 127, Kitchen Motifs

by Martha in Patterns

This is one of my favorite Superior patterns — adorable little kitten dishes. I wish I had a real set of china in this pattern. Click images for full size.


Embroidered Circus Quilt Top

by Martha in Quilts, Work in Progress

This quilt was started in September, 2009. I managed to stay with it long enough to finish the blocks and sashing, as well as one border, and then it sat in a shoebox for almost five years. Finishing this top is part of my latest attempt to complete some of these old projects.

The quilt was inspired by two things:  drawings from a vintage coloring book that I saw on Chelsea Ann’s blog, Itty Bitty Birdy, and a cute Japanese circus print fabric (last photo below). Chelsea Ann generously sent me some images from her coloring book, then later I managed to locate a copy of both the original circus coloring book, and another book by the same illustrator with even more circus drawings.

The top measures 39″ x 48″, and was stitched with Danish Flower Thread on a natural cream-colored fabric (my photos don’t display the cream very well). The circus fabric is for the backing, but I can’t decide whether I should make the binding with striped prairie points, cross-grain stripe, or bias diagonal stripe. I just realized I also have enough fabric I could add another border out of the stripe (same size as the sashing).  I’d love to hear what you would do.

Update:  After reading the first 3 comments, I decided to add a photo at the end to help visualize a striped binding and a striped border. Click any of the images to enlarge.








Strippy Postage Stamp Quilt – WIP

by Martha in Work in Progress

There’s a reason I can relate to the 1930s quilter who cut all of those tiny quilt pieces for the Double Nine-Patch quilt, which was the subject of my last post. The reason is that I have my own box of slightly larger vintage postage stamp pieces and a partial quilt top that has been languishing for some time. Before I start work on trimming the squares for the Double-Nine Patch, I should probably finish this strippy top.

I was inspired by a similar quilt I saw on an ebay years ago, because I liked the solid/white strips. This is a great pattern for using chain piecing, so the construction goes fairly quickly. Cutting out the little (1 1/8″) squares (852 for each strip) takes much longer. I have no idea if I have enough to finish the quilt, but I sort of doubt it. The top is currently 30″ x 82″ and I need to make six more strips.