Posts Written On January 2009

Kansas Dugout Quilt

I fell in love with this quilt when I first saw it in McCall’s Vintage Quilts (Fall, 2002). It was made with feedsacks and I loved them. Also, since I grew up in Oklahoma and Kansas, the name appealed to me. My older sister gave me a few feedsack scraps, but I wanted more….lots more. Fortunately, there are quite a few collectors who sell assortments of 6″ squares so I started purchasing these at quilt shows, web sites and ebay. The quilt required over 1,000 of the elongated hexagon pieces. I didn’t manage to collect quite that many, and since I am the impatient type, I substituted some other vintage fabrics that I thought suited the quilt. Because of all the set-in pieces, this quilt was hand pieced and then hand quilted inside each piece. I don’t usually copy quilts exactly the way I did here (although my blocks are quite a bit smaller), but I just had to use a purple. It may be my most garish quilt — I didn’t pay too much attention to matching colors or anything — but I like the look.

Kansas Dugout
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2003
hand pieced, hand quilted
70″ x 80″




McCall’s Vintage Quilts
Fall, 2002


Vintage 30’s Fabric Samples – Greens

This is one of the best purchases I’ve made on ebay — an old shoebox packed with over 5,000 vintage 1930’s triangles — and it was so cheap. They were obviously samples because I can’t find a duplicate in the thousands of little pieces. Also, a few had some glue residue or a bit of paper on the short side, but most were pristine. There are 3 different sizes — this is the medium size (2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 4 1/4″) greens. There are also blues, reds, pinks, yellows, lavenders, browns, blacks & a smaller amount of orange and turquoise. All of the pieces are the same elongated triangle.

I agonized over the quilt patterns I would use. I always want to select a pattern that will utilize most of the little scrap so not much is wasted. Many of the large triangle group were used in the Simple Objects Quilt. The medium-sized triangle group has the largest amount of pieces. For these pieces, I chose the Wheel of Fortune pattern and I was able to eek out both of the print pattern pieces and also reverse them (which was tricky because all of these triangles all face the same direction).

The Wheel of Fortune pattern and a 2-block sample appear after the green fabric photos.







Crazy Applique Animal Quilt

I bought these cute vintage applique blocks on ebay. Because the blocks were small, I used some old scraps to make a crazy border around each block to enlarge them — also I thought this would look better since two of the animal blocks would be in the corners. The alternate blocks are also vintage scraps stitched to a muslin foundation. My Bernina 1000 is a mechanical machine that works perfectly well, but it only has a few stitches and blanket stitch is not one of them. I know blanket stitch would have looked much better, but I’m not buying a new sewing machine just for that. I’ve done this type of crazy pattern before, and it’s lots of fun and a good way to use up small scraps. I added an embroidered outline to the animals (to make them stand out a little more) and quilted the top with 2 strands of black DMC which I thought would show up more than quilting thread and would also match the rest of the quilt. This was the first time I tried using embroidery thread for quilting and it was easier than I thought. Just for fun, I made a sort of crazy binding.

Crazy Applique Animals
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2006
machine pieced, hand embroidered, hand quilted
46″ x 54″






Vintage Sailor Dogs Quilt

This darling applique quilt was made for my husband, Gordon, by his maternal grandmother, Anna Mae Kollie. She embroidered a G (for Gordon) on the sail and a small 53 (the year he was born) on the lower left anchor. Gordon’s mother gave me the quilt 26 years ago when my son, Elliott, was born. I never used it because it was pretty fragile from years of use, but I hung it on the wall in Elliott’s room. Now it’s on the wall in my sewing room.

When I opened the October, 2007 Quilter’s Newsletter, I was so excited to see the exact same quilt in an article about vintage crib and doll quilts. I thought it was a kit quilt and there were probably other Sailor Dog quilts out there, but it was surprising to see it in a magazine.

Anna Mae was an accomplished seamstress who also enjoyed knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. She made lovely infant and toddler sweaters for both of my children which I treasure. She was fond of The Workbasket magazine and used the patterns for many of her projects. I wonder if Sailor Dogs is a Workbasket pattern.

Sailor Dogs
Anna Mae Kollie, 1953
hand appliqued, hand quilted
34″ x 48″



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