Saturday, September 11, 2010

Old and New

Yesterday I went with a friend to a small estate sale that had advertised having fabrics and old quilts. There wasn't much fabric I was interested in but I did buy a great antique Irish Wedding Ring quilt. It's lovely, hand-pieced and hand-quilted. We do not have one of these in the quilts made by my grandmother and great aunt. I also came home with several orphan blocks. Two small carpenter's star blocks as well as an appliqued star with hearts, all hand-pieced, and a stack of hand-pieced Dresden plates. Along with the dozen finished Dresden plates there were cut pieces for at least 14 more and even one partially finished block, complete with the mystery quilter's needle still stuck in place.

 I am going to teach my friend to put the unfinished ones together and applique them so she can put them into a quilt. If anybody has any ideas about the age of these fabrics I'd love to hear them, I have no idea how old (or new) they might be.
My hands smell like my grandmother after handling all these blocks and pressing them. Kind of weird. Makes me wonder, does everyone's grandmother smell the same?

The mariner's compass quilt is still in progress. One corner is finished, but I still need to paper-piece the other 3 corner blocks.

You see where this is going? Have a great week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Long Day at the Sewing Machine

I work on sewing projects almost nonstop today. To show for it, the mariner's compass has gained one and a half borders. (I used needle turn applique to attach the medallion to the background last night.) With the geese border on it measures about 54" x 42" I used the speed piecing (method "B") found on this site to make the geese and it worked like a charm. I will need to get over to the quilt store for more of the blue fabric before I can finish that border, hopefully on Sunday. In the meanwhile I can work on making a pattern and paper piecing the final border's cornerstones, which are going to be quarter circle compasses with lots of little points.

I also made this little snowflake wall hanging for Christmas. I made one of these last year for a swap but don't have any pictures of that one. The one last year took a lot longer, but in the meanwhile I've finally mastered a Y-seam so this one was quick. I used my grandmother's carpenter's star quilt for a pattern, literally laying a ruler over her pieces and adding on seam allowance. I like this style of carpenter's star better than the one I usually see where not all of the squares around the inner star are the same size. I think that one is more common because it can be made with no Y-seams? Anyway, here's a close up of the snow-y quilting on the center star. This thing's going in the wash first thing tomorrow to get that nice dryer crinkle.