McCall’s Monday — Vegetable Designs for Appliqué and Embroidery

No. 349 — Transfer for Vegetable Tea Towels for Applique and Embroidery. Blue. Price 25¢
These tea towels are guaranteed to chase away the “blues,” with the everyday vegetables in appliqué performing new roles. Reproduce the vegetables in their exact colors, making sure that the materials you use are fast colors. With outline and running stitches the designs are completed. The patch pieces are applied with invisible stitches. Very pleasant work — entirely simple to do. Pattern includes 6 designs, the largest 5 1/2 x 8 7/8; smallest 5 1/2 x 6 3/8. Full Directions.



Appliquéd Denim Coverlet — Edge Stitching

The denim quilt is moving forward slowly, because I’m working on 4 projects at once. They’re all very different, though, which is nice when I want a break from sewing through denim.

It took way longer than I thought to match up each appliquéd block with a back. If I were only using one color of thread for the edging, I wouldn’t have had to coordinate the block and the back. But since I’m using many colors, I wanted the thread to look good on the back as well as the front. I try to have 5 or 6 blocks sewn together on my machine during the day, so I can blanket stitch them in the evening.

For the edging I’m using perle cotton which I wind on craft sticks (tongue depressor size) and store in fishing tackle boxes. It feels good to have all the fabric selected and cut . . . now I just have to get busy getting these blocks ready for the last phase — crocheting them all together.



Free Pattern Friday — Kite Variation Quilt for Hand Piecing

For me, this pattern includes all the things that are enjoyable about hand piecing — curved seams, set-in seams, and an interesting design that works for a scrappy quilt, which is just about the only kind I make.

This pattern was part of a large “quilting ephemera” lot I purchased at a tiny thrift store. I believe these pages were cut from one of the earlier Lady’s Circle Patchwork Quilts magazines, since the patterns at the back of those early issues were on darker paper. Because there’s no photo of the quilt (she seemed to only cut out the patterns), I put four of the blocks together so you can see the secondary design.

Clicking on the first two images below will link to a pdf version of the pattern, which you can view, download, and print on letter-sized paper. The pattern makes an 18″ block, but you could print it at a lower percentage if you prefer a smaller block.

Update:  I’ve added a stitch guide at the bottom of this post. There are many ways this block could be put together, but this is how I would do it.







McCall’s Monday — Grace Snyder’s Flower Basket Petit Pointe Quilt

I came across this small article in a 1947 issue of McCall’s Needlework magazine, which sent me looking for more information about Grace Snyder and better photos of her quilt. These types of grid designs have always fascinated me, and I’m a huge fan of Anne Orr’s pieced quilt patterns. Grace, though, takes the grid idea to a whole new level by adding the “tiny piece” element.

Grace’s Flower Basket quilt, as well as another tiny pieced quilt made with hexagons, were included in the “100 Best 20th-Century Quilts” by Quilters Newsletter Magazine in 1999. There is much more information about Grace and her quilts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the UNL International Quilt Study Center and Museum. You can zoom in on the color photo below the article to see the quilt close up — this image was also on a UNL page, but because the image links in the article are broken, I have included it here.

On a completely different subject, I have had to disable my email sign-up and notifications. The plug-in is having a conflict with my server, and I am working on a fix. Thank you for your patience.




Free Pattern Friday — Quilts, J & P Coats

Sorry I didn’t post anything this week for McCall’s Monday — I was celebrating my birthday!! It’s not over yet, either (more celebrating tomorrow), but I have at least managed to post something for Free Pattern Friday.

Click on the cover image to view, download or print the pdf version of this booklet.



Liberated Basket Medallion Quilt-a-Long WIP

Lori, Wendy, Cynthia, Cathy and Katy are hosting this quilt-a-long inspired by Gwen Marston’s work, and I am excited to join in. I especially love the liberated element of this project, because I’m sure the quilts will all be very different. It’s not too late to join in — just visit Lori’s site (Humble Quilts) for details.

I chose to adapt one of my 1920s Betsy Dean embroidery transfer patterns as my basket design (the same patterns I post every day in my sidebar), and the fabrics I’m using are chambrays, checks and plaids from my collection of antique scraps. The fabrics are very early 19th century, so they’re earlier than my pattern, but what the heck — it’s a liberated quilt!

My basket is a 12″ block, and it’s not needle-turned because I never learned how to do it. I’m an old quilter, and use the techniques I was taught when I was young. My method is to pre-baste all my pieces by rolling the edge in with my left thumb as I stitch — no freezer paper for me, although I did use cardstock circles to make the flower centers. There’s more prep work, but I like being able to pin my pieces down and see exactly how the finished block is going to look, and the final stitching goes really fast.



McCall’s Monday — Outline and Cross Stitch Motifs

No. 65 – Transfer Design for Cross-Stitch and Outline Motifs. Blue. Price, 25¢
Military motifs, outlined in brave colors, and prim little figures in cross-stitch are gay for nursery linens and children’s garments. Simplicity of line and color is the charm of these motifs. Pattern includes 2 or 4 each of the motifs illustrated from 2 x 2 inches (girl) to 2 1/4 x 17 inches (farm scene border); 3 1/2 yards each of 2 bandings. Crosses are 10 to the inch.


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My Humble Quilts Swap Quilt Arrived

Yesterday I received this wonderful little quilt from Marian Edwards, who lives in Australia. Marian is a prolific quilter, who makes tiny quilts as well as great big ones. She is just finishing up a gorgeous Dear Jane, and that is no small feat.

Enlarge the photo to see the adorable prints and the teeny tiny hand quilting stitches in every piece. It now holds the record for the smallest quilt I own. Thank you, Marian (and Lori, for hosting the swap) — I love it!

Nine Patch & Sawtooth Quilt
Marian Edwards, 2016
machine pieced & hand quilted
11″ x 14″


McCall’s Monday — Embroidered Bird Motifs for Kitchen Towels

Does your partner help with household chores? I am lucky to be married to someone who does almost all of the cooking and lots of other things I won’t mention, because you would begin to wonder what I contribute — besides quilts, of course.

Anyway, it’s fairly unusual to see men (even bird men) participating in these days of the week type designs. To make the designs representative of my relationship, the male bird would need to appear alone in some of the motifs.

No. 238 – Transfer Design for Bird Motifs for Kitchen Towels. Blue. Price 25¢.
Perky little birds cheerily decorate this set of “Day of the Week” dish towels. It is to be observed that both members of this delightful pair are efficiently co-operating in their work. The designs are adorable worked in red and blue outline stitch on red or blue bordered towels. Or in any other color combination you wish. The edges of a plain towel are smart when finished with buttonhole stitch of matching color. This set of seven motifs illustrates how a week’s work might be planned. Mottoes are included which may be worked under the designs, such as Monday — Wash, Tuesday — Mend, etc. Includes 1 each of 7 different designs about 3 x 7 inches, also 7 titles.




Tops From the Trunk — Antique Flying Geese

Since I first began using vintage and antique fabrics to make my quilts, my sources have been old tops, blocks and scraps that I carefully pick apart. Most of the tops I purchase have issues related to condition and construction, so I never feel guilty about taking them apart. Until last year, only one top I purchased was kept intact.

Then I got the bug. I like to blame Ann Champion and Tim Latimer, who each have amazing collections of vintage and antique tops. As a result of their inspiration, there are now a dozen old tops in my trunk that I plan to quilt. Of course, you might think that someone who already has a pile of her own tops to quilt would hesitate to go down this path, but when I find a beautiful old top at a reasonable price, I feel like I have to save it.

This top is one of two purchased from the same estate sale. It is all hand stitched using very small flying geese units (2 1/2″ wide) in strips separated by a gorgeous dark blue print (not quite as dark as indigo, but darker than cadet), and it has a chrome yellow design that reminds me of a neon print. It’s crisp and clean, and big at 74″ x 89″.

Anyone have an idea of the decade this top was made? Click on the photos to see the individual prints.





Free Pattern Friday — Embroidery Designs for Baby, Winifred Worth, 1920

Designs-for-Baby's-FrockIt’s unusual to see geometric or “Egyptian” embroidery designs for baby clothing, but I love the way these patterns look in the article’s cute illustration. Here’s what Winifred Worth had to say about her design.

Anything for baby finds a ready response in every needleworker’s heart, and the daintiness of this design should especially appeal to you. The border [the last design] is given in motif so arranged that you can transfer it any length you wish while the collar and body decorations [the first three designs] are shown complete.

The Design is worked out in more or less Egyptian style using outline for the angle lines and solid stitch for the leaves and auxilliary squares. Nothing could be more appropriate for a baby’s birthday gift than a daintily embroidered dress.


Designs-for-Baby's-Frock-design-1 Designs-for-Baby's-Frock-design-2 Designs-for-Baby's-Frock-design-3Designs-for-Baby's-Frock-design-4a


WIP Wednesday — The Last of the Denim Appliquéd Squares

I’m relieved that the creative part of this project is over, because I seriously could not think up one more design.  There’s a replacement sun in this group  —  you might remember that I already made one, but my daughter nixed it. I have one more square to make, but it will be the quilt label, and I’ll probably just appliqué my initials and the date.

I purchased a charm group of 1930s reproduction 6″ squares to back the blocks, because I didn’t want to use my vintage fabric. The appliquéd blocks and backing are sewn right sides together, and turned inside out just like a pillow. I don’t even have to whipstitch the opening because it’ll be sewn up when I blanket stitch the edges with perle cotton in the next step.