Friday, December 20, 2013

Block 18-the Rabbit

I want to leave you with one more block for 2013, before all the holiday craziness takes over! I will not be able to post again until the first or second week of January.

In re-reading the column for this block, I was thinking about how Mildred made her templates. She did not make cardboard templates, but used tissue paper patterns, keeping the original newspaper articles intact. I wonder where she got the tissue paper from? It does not have any printing on it, but I wonder if it was left over from a sewing pattern. Maybe you could buy plain tissue for this purpose? It feels a little heavier than sewing pattern tissue.

I told you I had picked out fabric for the borders. Here are my two picks.
For my quilt

For Liz's quilt

The second one is not a 30's reproduction but the colors are perfect. And it's more gender neutral for a boy or girl that the flowers in the first one.

So here you can see my rabbit blocks too. I forgot to add the stitching for the haunches. I will go back and do that (at the same time I fix my queens eyebrow!)

Here is the column. Enjoy reading it. I get a chuckle of how corny they sound, don't you? I want to go back and do some research on some of her other patterns that she wrote for newspapers after this is done. I'll let you know if I find anything interesting!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I will catch up with you in January.

Block 18-the Rabbit

To the children who know a rabbit only as a bunny this block is going to be a puzzle. Bunny begins with a B and here is a block with the letter R. Nancy was glad that she had taught her young niece that the right name for this furry, jumping, hopping creature was rabbit.
Rabbits are white, white and brown, gray, or black. Nancy chose a white print with soft tan polka dots for her rabbit. She might have used any of the other colors except black. This quilt is too soft and quiet in its coloring to include solid black in its patterns. Of course a white material with black polka dots could well be used if the dots are not too large and heavy.
For the tail Nancy used a small piece of Turkish toweling. She might have tufted a tail right on the white block using candle-wicking in white and bringing the tufts so close together that a fuzzy tail would have resulted.
Then the paper pattern was pasted onto a piece of light weight cardboard or tag board and dried under pressure.
One club member wanted to know why Nancy always advised pasting this onto a cardboard backing. “Because newspaper is so flimsy that I am afraid you will lose the correct outline unless you have strengthened the pattern in some way. Of course if you are sure you can cut it without tearing and can keep it flat on the cloth when you cut your pattern you need not bother to paste it to the cardboard. But I advise it. Then, too, you have the pattern for future use. You may want to make another quilt. With cheap news paper as a pattern you are going to find pieces torn off or creased.
After the paper pattern is dry the rabbit is cut out. A separate piece is cut for the tail if you are appliquéing that. IF you se the back ground material and candle-wicking for tufting is not necessary to cut the round pattern.
But all cloth is cut with a quarter inch allowance on all sides. This is turned under, basted in place and then the pieces are pressed.
They are laid over the penciled outline on the white block and pinned in place. Appliquéing is done with fine, invisible hemming stitches.
The outline of the rabbits haunch is as shown on the paper pattern is made by using fast color gray or black in running or outline stitch.
The letter R is embroidered in the same color fast embroidery cotton as used in the previous letters. This letter may be done in fine outline or chain stitch.
Nancy was proud of the “cotton tail” and Joan loved it. She said she just knew that this was Mr. Peter Rabbit.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Block 17 - The Queen

Wow! we are up to block 17 already! This one is a little more work but still not difficult.

Mildred's Block
My Block

As I was photographing the blocks, by ever-helpful 17 year old son pointed out that my queen looks rather angry! Mildred's queen looks much more friendly. I am planning to re-do the embroidery on mine before I put them all together! 

Block 17- The Queen

When the king was appliqued on his block the club members had wondered whether the queen would not appear by the time the letter Q came by, and sure enough she did. Such a perky little queen Joan wanted to know whether she was the queen who ate the bread and honey while the king counted his money. Aunt Nancy said she thought so, for this queen looked as if she had had many a meal of bread and honey.
For this block the choice of materials is wide. Of course all colors and materials chosen must be fast. One member made the queens face pale pink. She made her yellow hair, and a crown of white and yellow.
Another member made the hair soft brown with a crown of yellow.
A third member made crown and hair in one piece. She chose yellow and then worked a star pattern in lazy daisy stitch on the crown itself. This is the easiest method because the hair and crown may be cut in one piece.
The ruff can be any color at all. One member outlined it and made diagonal lines in lavender on the white block itself. But most of the ruffs where made of a separate piece of cloth appliqued and then trimmed with diagonal lines in simple running stitch.
The eye is embroidered in fast color blue and the mouth is pink or soft red. The letter is outlined in fine chain or outline stitch with fast color embroidery cotton similar to that used for all the letters in the previous blocks of the quilt.
The members made the block as follows: the paper pattern was first cut from the paper and held against the window pane.
Over this was laid the fine white gingham square cut 6 ½ by 6 ½ inches. With a sharp pointed lead pencil the letter and queen were drown onto the cloth.
Then the paper was pasted onto light weight card or tag board.
After the paper pattern was dry the pieces were cut. The face and neck was laid on pink material. The hair and crown were laid on yellow or brown. The crown may be cut separately from the hair of course.
The ruff was cut.
In cutting an allowance for turning under was made on all sides of all pieces. The allowance was one quarter inch.
The face was laid in place over the penciled outline on the white block.  When this had been appliquéd with fine, slanting invisible stitches, the ruff was put on. Following this came the hair and the crown, separately or together.
Then the eye was embroidered in satin stitch, as was the mouth. The ruff was stitched with the fine running stitch. The crown was worked with lazy daisy flowers unless a figured print had been chosen for the crown.

When finished the queen was a joy to look at. Joan hugged the block and wrinkled it so that Aunt Nancy had to press it all over again. 

Enjoy! You can download the pattern for the queen HERE.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A little detour....

I had planned on working on some top secret Christmas gifts this afternoon. But I got distracted by a free tutorial I came across as I was blog hopping (always a dangerous pasttime!)

Check out this adorable coffee cup sleeve:

I can't wait to try it out tomorrow!
I got the tutorial from Crafty Staci. She has lots of different coffee cup sleeves.

I'm so easily distracted!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Block 16-The Pail

Happy Thanksgiving to all! It is quite cold in upstate NY this week. I am enjoying a fire in the fireplace tonight while I work on another block. Today I took advantage of a great sale and got my border fabric for this quilt! The local shop, Ivy Thimble, is moving in a couple of weeks so they had a great pre-move sale today-30% off! I still need to take pictures of it, so I will post that soon.  In the meantime, here is block 16.

Mildred's block

Block 16-the Pail   

The alphabet quilt was surely coming on. Here the club members where already at the letter P.

Nancy might have chosen Pansy or Puppet, but she was not sure that little children would know what these things were. Where is there a child that has not played with a pail and shovel? Joan counted this one of her favorites out of all the blocks Aunt Nancy had made for her. Possibly this was because the pail was made out of a blue figured print. So far there had been little blue in the quilt. That made the pail more interesting and noteworthy.

A solid color might be used for the pail and then an entirely different color for the handle of the pail and the shovel.

Nancy’s continued caution was this-be sure the material is fast color. One would hate to do all that work and then have the block fade and run when washed.

**instructions continue here on preparing the cardboard pattern and embroidering the letter**

When the paper pattern was dry the handle of the pail was cut out first. Then the pail was cut and then the shovel handle. The bail of the handle is made with outline stitches later and is disregarded in cutting the pattern.  The three pieces are laid on fast color cloth and used as a pattern to cut the cloth. In cutting, a quarter inch allowance for turning under is made on all sides.

The cloth pail itself is cut so if there were no handle cut out of it. Later the handle is appliquéd right over the pail.

After the quarter inch allowance is turned under, basted and pressed the pail is is laid in place on the penciled out line of the white block.

It is appliquéd in place using fine, slanting invisible hemming stitches. At the top a space is left to slip under the raw edge of the shovel handle. This is appliquéd in place. The pail handle is appliquéd.

Then a fast color embroidery cotton in brown is used to indicate the bail of the handle. Use outline stitch in working this.

Joan began to murmur, “She sells sea shells.” When she had been at the sea shore on her summer outing she had industriously hunted shells to fill her pail. This block brought the whole thing back to mind. 

Happy stitching until next time!

Monday, November 25, 2013

What else I have been working on

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I rarely have just one project going at a time. I just can't resist. Besides the alphabet blocks, here are a few things that I have been working on.

This is the December table runner from a class I take monthly at Ivy Thimble.

I am also doing a Civil War sampler class there. We just had the last class and I am on block 39 out of 50.

I am getting ready to quilt this quilt: Saltbox Sampler. That was a class earlier this year.

I just finished this tote bag to take on our cruise that we are going on at Christmas time. It was a fun pattern and Trish from Ivy Thimble asked me to teach a class on it after the New Year! So exciting!

This is a lap sized civil war quilt that my daughter and I are making (more me than her!) for her history teacher who is a BIG Civil War buff.
A couple things I can't show, as certain eyes may see Christmas gifts! I will have to post about them after Christmas, because I tried something new there.

OH, and I had great ambitions of making cloth napkins for Thanksgiving dinner with this great Fox fabric I found at Joanns , but it's not going to happen. Maybe for next year!

Happy thanksgiving to all of you! We are supposed to be getting bad weather starting tomorrow night. I hope it does not affect anyones travels!

I will have another alphabet block coming up soon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Block 15 - The Orange

Now for a REALLY simple one!

ooops I forgot to add the column the first time:)

Mildred's Block
My Block

One of my blogger friends made a comment about my blocks a couple days ago, and I realized I am BEHIND here ! Sorry about that. It has been a busy couple of weeks. As those of you who are quilters know, we rarely work on just one project at a time! I should show you what else I have been up to. I will take some pics.

This block is the easiest of the entire quilt. I put a little embroidered star for the stem area of my blocks. It doesn't show on the pattern at all, but Nancy calls for a satin stitched circle.

Block 15-the Orange

When the time came for the letter O the members were all sure that it would be used for an orange. They were right. In these days of food information what else could it stand for? Oranges are so vital a part of the diet of every child that Nancy knew each youngster would recognize the block at a glance.
While the quilt club members waited for the last arrival they discussed various ways in which they used oranges. One mother gave her child a glass of orange juice just before going to bed. She said she found the little girl had more appetite for breakfast when she did that. Another mother made an orange gelatin and dressed it up with small pieces of orange sections freed from tough tissues.
Orange toast was served that afternoon after the members finished making the quilt. Later Nancy told how she made it.
Now they were ready to start. They cut the square from the newspaper, held it against a window pane, with the 6 ½ inch square of white gingham over it and with a sharp pointed , hard lead pencil outlined the pattern. They did not try to draw the cross lines within the pattern. That represents the pattern of the cloth.
** continued instructions here on making the cardboard template and embroidering the letter**
Some members used soft orange fast color gingham. One woman had a polka dotted material in soft yellow and brown. She used that, saying that her orange was russet.
One woman had some soft orange colored crepe. She used this to five the crinkly appearance of an orange skin.
In cutting the material a quarter inch allowance was made all around. This was later turned under, basted in place. The orange was then pressed.
Laying it over the penciled outline on the block, it was pinned in place and appliquéd with fine, slanting, invisible hemming stitches.
The stem end of the orange was shown by working a solid spot of dark brown. For this the satin stitch was used.
As they say and admired their handiwork and sipped their tea, Nancy told them how she made orange toast. “I toasted bread lightly, buttered it generously and then covered the top with a mixture of sugar and grated fresh orange rind. A few drops of orange juice were sprinkled on each slice. I put these slices under the broiler and let them toast until the sugar bubbled. And that’s all there is to that. Do have some more Orange Pekoe tea,” said she.

Orange toast? I have never hear of this, but it actually sounds pretty good! Thanks for the recipe Nancy.

We are over half way done with our blocks now. I have to start thinking about how I’m going to put it together and looking for a background fabric. Nancy used white as part of the sashing and background, so I guess it must have been different from the white in her blocks. I think I am going to look for a very light print to use.

Click HERE for the pattern.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Block 14 -Numbers

Block 14 in the Alphabet quilt is numbers! Who would have thought. I love them!

Mildred's Block

My Block

Block 14- Numbers
When the alphabet quilt club members were leaving Nancy’s house on the day they made the M or music block for the quilt they begged to know what the next letter N would stand for. Nancy chuckled, “Oh, a number of things,” said she.
They guessed words like nuts, narcissus, North Pole. One poor speller suggested Knives and then wondered why everyone hooted. She was gently led to the dictionary where she found that a knife begins with a K. but there had been sense in Nancy’s answer. “OH a number of things,” because the block held – numbers.
She chose this because it gave members a chance to use any kind or variety of fast colored material they might have on hand. Some chose solid colors for the letters, others used figured prints. One woman had a striped pattern for the 7 and a figured print for the 3.
First the block was cut from the paper. A 6 ½ inch square of white gingham was laid over this as it was held flat on the window pane.
With a sharp pointed lead pencil the outline of letter N and the figures was made.
Then the paper was pasted onto a light weight tag or cardboard. This was dried under pressure.
While it was drying the members embroidered the initial in the corner. To do this they used past color embroidery cotton in the same shade as had been used for all the other letters thus far embroidered on the quilt.
Some women used a fine outline stitch while others made the letter effective with a close chain stitch. The work needs to be heavy in order to make the letter stand out well.
After the letter was done the patterns for the numbers were cut out. To do this the patterns were cut from the stiff square of paper. They were then laid on the cloth and this was cut with a quarter inch allowance on all sides.
This allowance was turned under and basted in place. Then the numbers were pressed. IN cutting and turning the curves of the number 3 it was found wise to make a few slits along the edges. In this way the edge could be turned under without stretching or making the material round and bulge.
After the letters had been pressed they were laid in place over the pencil outlines and basted in place.
The appliquéing was done with a fine, slanting invisible hemming stitch. Joan said that number 7 looked like a candy cane with striped of red and white going round it. That was because the number was made of a fine fast color red and white striped material.

Have fun! Download the pattern HERE .

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Block 13- Music

I love this one! Very creative I think.  Also very easy, which I like too!

Mildred's block

Yikes-I didn't press these very well did I?

Let's see what Nancy has to say this week.

Block 13- Music
Aunt Nancy was not sure that Joan would know what the letter M stood for. With radio and victrolas it is so easy to hear and absorb music and never get acquainted with music reading or writing.
But the youngster looked on with interest when Aunt Nancy went over to the piano and showed Joan how the sheet of printed music told her what to play or sing.
Some of the other club members who were making quilts for older children were delighted that Nancy had chosen music instead of mouse or muskrat for the letter M.
As they discussed the number of words which began with M they followed the usual procedure of work.
**instructions repeat here from making the cardboard template and tracing the pattern**
Once woman made hers of purple, another of green, and third chose a soft henna color. One member tried black but decided she did not like the striking contrast that resulted. There was no other black in the quilt and she believed that this would make too strong a note or notes of black. After the pattern was dry the body of the note was cut out. The two notes are exactly the same shape and size, so one pattern did for both.
In cutting the pieces an allowance of one-quarter inch was made on all around.
After the two notes were cut the edge was turned under one-quarter inch. This was basted and pressed.
The notes were pinned and basted in place on the white block. Then the pieces were appliquéd in fine, slanting invisible hemming stitch. The stems of the notes and the letter were embroidered in fast colored embroidery cotton.
For the stems of notes embroidery cotton of the same shade as the note was used. A fine outline stitch seemed best for the stems.
The letter M was embroidered in the same color of fast color cotton as had been used for the twelve previous letters. This of course depended upon the color chosen for the connecting strips

The finished block was laid aside to wait a later time when it would be joined to the “I” block which comes directly above it. Between the two of course, is the connecting band of white and colored gingham.

Can you guess what "N" will be?
Happy stitching until next time!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Block 12-The Lamp

Ahhhh....a nice easy one this week! I love this one too. I hope you do too. Enjoy.

Mildred's block

My block

Block 12- the Lamp        

When the lamp block was made the quilt club members had finished twelve, or just half, of the alphabet quilt blocks. Nancy had omitted X and Z. this gave her exactly 24 blocks for the child’s quilt. Joan thought that the quilt was a long time in the making, but Aunt Nancy explained that one block a week was all most mothers had time to make. Sometimes Nancy feared that Joan would wear out the finished blocks because she handled them so often and patted them and told stories about them.

The lamp which Nancy had chosen was like th round and chunky lamp which Joan had in her own bedroom. It had a familiar look to the child. She appreciated the lamp with bed-time stories and Aunt Nancy had to suspend all work on the quilt until she had taken Joan into her arms and told her a story about a wonderful lamp owned by a man named Aladdin.

When the story was done Joan ran away contentedly and Aunt Nancy started on the block.
She cut the newspaper square and also a square of white cloth. This soft white gingham was exactly one-quarter inch larger on all sides than the paper square. By placing the cloth on the paper pattern and holding the two of them flat against the window pane, Nancy was able to outline the letter and the lamp with a sharp pointed hard lead pencil.

When this was done she pasted the paper square onto a sheet of lightweight cardboard or tag board.
This was dried under pressure. Then when thoroughly dry the shade and base were cut from the paper.
These were laid on fast color cloth. Nancy used a small flower print for the shade. The base was of plain material. She chose the same shade of green as she was using for her connecting strips.

In cutting the cloth she allowed one-quarter inch on all sides for turning under. After turning the edges under, she basted and pressed them. Then she pinned them in place over the outlines on the square of white cloth. She basted them and then appliquéd them with fine slanting, invisible hemming stitches. The base went on first. Then the shade was appliquéd.

The chain was put in next. French knots made the chain and a small round in satin stitch the little ball at the end of the chain. She used yellow for this.

The letter “L” was next worked. Nancy had been using a fine outline stitch, although some of the members chose a close chain stitch. Whichever one is used must be close and heavy.

This completed the twelfth block. Now the members joined the L to A and E strip. The J was joined to  the B and F strip, the K to the C and G strip and the L to the D and H strip. They used the strip of color, 1 ½ inch by 6 ½ seamed between two white strips of equal size. This large strip was them seamed between two large white blocks with the appliqué figures on them.

No attempt was made to put in the long strips which extend in an unbroken line from top to bottom of the pieced part of the quilt. They were put in when the 24 blocks were completed  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Block 11- The King

Here we are up to block 11 already. This is a cute one . It does involve a little embroidery like Jack , but the next one is SUPER easy I promise!
Mildred's Block

My block

Block 11-The King
There was some question in the midst of all the quilt club members when they saw the eleventh block in the alphabet quilt. “Was this a king, or was it Humpty Dumpty himself?” Nancy pointed to the crown on his head and said “It’s the king himself, make obeisance to your ruler.” She told them that they were really quite unobserving since no egg had as round a face as this king. Joan wanted to know whether this was the king who counted out his money and she asked for the queen who ate bread and honey. Nancy told her the queen might come in to the picture later.
The newspaper square was cut from the paper. A square of soft, white gingham was cut one-quarter inch larger on all sides than paper square. The cloth was laid on top of the paper and the two were held flat against the window pane. With a sharp pointed, hard lead pencil the letter and the pattern was outlined.
Nancy did not draw the features of the face nor the diagonal lines on the ruff, since they would be covered up anyway by the appliquéd pieces of material. She planned to use the paper picture to show her where to put these stitches later.
The paper square was pasted onto a piece of lightweight cardboard or tag board and dried under pressure.
Nancy, who was using pale green soft gingham to join the various blocks, was also using pale green fast color embroidery cotton to outline the letter “K”.
She used a fine outline stitch, although some of the members chose a fine chain stitch instead. They felt it gave more solidity to the letter.
She chose brilliant yellow for the crown, pale lavender for the ruff and pale pink gingham for the face and ears. Of course these pieces were all of fast color, washable material.
She might have used a figured material for the ruff, but them the diagonal stitching would not have shown up plainly. It really needed she felt, that stitchery to give the effect of a ruff.
The paper square when thoroughly dry was used as a pattern. In cutting the pieces of cloth she allowed one-quarter inch extra on all sides for turning under. The ears were cut apart from the face. This gave her five pieces, a crown, a ruff, and face and two ears.
After turning under the edges, she basted them down and pressed the pieces. Then she laid them in place, pinning them, and later basting them. She put the ears on first then the crown, then the face and last the ruff.
The hair was worked in brown using a running stitch. The eye brows were in outline stitch n the same shade of brown. The nose and mouth were in pink embroidery cotton. She used a fine outline stitch.
He was a brave and gallant king when finished.

Have fun with the King! Click here to download the pattern.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Block 10- Jack in the Box

Sorry I got a little behind in posting!! Time flies as they say.  I have to say this block creeps me out a little bit! But he's starting to grow on me more and more.  This is another one with a little bit more embroidery, but still not hard at all. So enjoy Jack!
Mildred's Block

My Block

Block 10- The Jack-in-the-Box
The surprised expression on Jack’s face as he popped out of his box was mirrored on the faces of the quilt club members when they saw the pattern for the tenth block on the alphabet quilt.
They began to tell stories of the Jack’s they had had in childhood. One member recalled other toys with springs with which she had played. There was the reptile concealed in a simulated pot of jam. This snake uncoiled itself with frightened suddenness when the top of the ham pot was lifted.
This particular Jack was not difficult to appliqué since the spring and the face were expressed in stitchery. The the rest of the toy was done in appliqué.
The first step was the cutting of the square from the newspaper. **instructions for template making and embroidering the letter are repeated again here**
While Nancy was waiting for the pattern to dry she chose her other embroidery cottons. She was sure to use only fast color, washable ones. For the hair she chose yellow, for the mouth rose. And for the eyes she used brown. The same brown was used to make the spring.
Now that the pattern was dry she cut it, having the round pattern for the head, the two long pieces for arms. The box was cut all in one piece. Where the arm expended over the edge she acted as if it were not there and did not cut the indentation left by its overlapping.
In cutting all the pieces she allowed one=quarter inch on all sides for turning under. She cut the face from pale pink, fast color soft gingham. The arms were from a figured green print. The box was a pink and white material with pink dots sprinkled over its surface.
After the edges were turned under and basted down the pieces were pressed
She laid the box in place on the lead pencil outline of the white block. The box was appliquéd with fine, slanting invisible hemming stitches. Then she appliquéd the arms. The head went on last.
To get the effect of the box she used her brown fast color embroidery cotton and outlined the lines of the box as shown. It was the line on the front toward the right and the hinge line which needed to be stitched. The spiral spring was done in fine running stitch.

The eyes were outlined and the pupils worked in fine satin stitch. The mouth was done in sating stitch. The eyebrows were in running stitch. The hair was done with double strands of brown.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Block 9-The Ice Cream Cone

Mildred's Block

Such a simple block-but don't you just love it? This one is really fast. I loved that I could use this brown checkered fabric for the cone. It was perfect. Here is Nancy's story continued:

Block 9- The Ice Cream Cone

Before the club members started working the “I” block they discussed the progress of the quilt thus far. Eight blocks had been made. Since the lengthwise strips which would hold them together were cut in full strips the length of the quilt it was impossible at this stage to piece the quilt. But certain piecing could be done. The crosswise strips in white and color could be put in place. The A and E blocks were joined, so were the B and F, the C and G, and the D and H. In putting them together the strips of white and of color cut 1 ½ inches by 6 ½ inches were joined. Two white ones were separated by the one strip of color. This band of three strips now made into a wide strip 2 ½ inches was sewed between the white blocks. This made the finished strip exactly 3 inches wide since the quarter inch taken off at each side for seam allowance reduced the 3 ½ inches to 3 inches.
Nancy did not know where the “I” block was most pleasing to girl, boy or grown-up. Judging by the popularity of ice cream cones it was pleasing to all.
The club talked over the kind of ice cream they would put in the cone. The cone itself was made of yellow or buff fast color gingham. One bright member chose a yellow and white plaid. By butting it on the bias she had a cone which looked exceedingly natural.
In choosing the ice cream the group considered pink for strawberry or raspberry, yellow for French vanilla or brown for chocolate. They believed, after considering it at length that the pink or brown would afford a greater contrast to the buff or yellow cone.
Some of the members put a cherry at the peak of the cream and some did not. It was decided to embroider the cherry, in any case, rather than to appliqué it.
**instructions for tracing pattern, making the templates and embroidering the letter here**
The pattern having dried, the outlines of the ice cream and of the cone were cut out. The pieces were laid on cloth and after allowing one-quarter inch on all sides for turning under were cut. The edges were turned under and the pieces were basted and then pressed.
The ice cream was pinned in place and appliquéd with fine, slanting invisible hemming stitches. Then the cone was put in its place and appliquéd in the same fashion.

The cherry was embroidered with fast color embroidery cotton. Another black was ready for the alphabet quilt.

Have a great weekend everyone! Until next time.....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Block 8-The House

Mildred's Block
My Block

This is one of the cutest blocks! Its a bit more work, with more embroidery that the others in the windows and flowers but not difficult. I opted for appliquing the windows and doors on top of the house-white for the windows and pink for the door.  This completes the second row of the quilt! The next one is VERY simple-another one of my favorites (I think I'm saying that about them all!)

Block 8-The House         

When the quilt club members saw the pattern for the “H” block in the alphabet house they burst out laughing. “Of all things, Nancy.  We might have known you would remember that nursery rhyme: ‘There was a crooked little man and he lived in a crooked little house’ It’s a crooked one, all right.”
It may have been crooked, but it went straight to the heart of Joan. She could hardly wait until Aunt Nancy finished it.
The first thing Nancy did was to cut the pattern square from the newspaper. **repeat of instructions for tracing and making templates, and embroidering the letter H here **
She used dark brown embroidery cotton to outline the window panes and to represent the earth upon which the crooked house stood. But before she was ready to make those outlines she had other things to do. She chose a fast color print in blue and white for the house itself. The chimney was a soft terra cotta or brown. The sun was yellow and the same shade as was used in making the beak of the goose last week.
When the newspaper square was dry she cut out the outlines, separating the sum and the chimney from the house. She paid no attention to the door and windows at this time.
In cutting these pieces she allowed one-quarter inch on all sides for turning under.
After edges were turned under and basted she pressed the pieces and then pinned them in place on the white block. First the sun went on and was appliquéd with slanting, invisible hemming stitch. Then the chimney was put in place.
When it came time for the house Nancy had a number of choices. She could cut out the openings for door and windows, allowing the white of the background to show through. She could appliqué white pieces in place for door and windows or she could keep the windows white and have a door of a solid color.
Some of the club members did one thing, and some did another. It seemed as if each scheme was as effective as the other.
The window panes were indicated by running stitch in fast color embroidery cotton. The door knob was embroidered with a large French knot.
The little upstanding flowers were done in lazy daisy stitch. These were done in various colors to suit the fancy of the workers. Most of the members felt that this was the prettiest block made thus far.

Click HERE for pattern

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Loosy Goosy

Here's a nice simple and easy block for the letter "G". A little embroidery to finish it off, but not much. Very sweet, don't you think? I did realize after re-reading the column,that it was intended to have appliqued legs, but I embroidered them before I realized. You could easily go either way.
Mildred's block
My block

Block 7-The Goose
Joan was fond of a story in rhyme which aunt Nancy told her. It started “An old gray goose walked forth with pride, with goslings seven at her side.” The members of the quilt club had heard Nancy tell the story so many tines that they were quite sure the G block in the alphabet quilt would be a goose. Sure enough it was, and a gray one too. The gray was particularly effective with the soft green  used to connect the blocks of white on which the figures were appliquéd, This white material was a soft gingham. The gray was a color fast gingham. The stitching for the water, eye, nostrils and wing was done in fast color embroidery cotton. The letter G was embroidered in fast color green, the same shade as had been used for the preceding letters in the earlier blocks.
** Instructions for tracing and making templates follow here **
When thoroughly dry the outline of goose was vut. The bill was separated from body. This was laid on a small piece of fast color yellow gingham allowing a quarter inch for turning under on all sides the piece was cut and edge basted under.
The body was cut from gray gingham. Here also, the allowance of one-quarter inch on all sides was made. The small piece for legs was cut from yellow.
After the edges were turned under, basted and pressed the material was pinned in place on the white block. The bill and legs were appliquéd first, using a fine white cotton. A slanting invisible hemming stitch was used. The body was stitched in place. Deep gray embroidery cotton outlined the wing, using blanket stitch.
The eye, nostril were worked in solid satin stitch in red. The letter was done in the outline or chain stitch. The water in the wavy line at the bottom was done in blue embroidery cotton, using a fine running stitch.
One member of the club took her finished block home and showed it to her young daughter. She immediately said, “Mummie, that’s the goosey, goosey gander, isn’t it?”
Another youngster looked all over the block for the golden egg that the goose was supposed to have laid.

But the mothers who were making the alphabet quilt were too intent upon the various blocks they were fashioning to think of golden eggs, Mother Goose rhymes or nursery jingles. They were impatient and hated to wait for the next block. “H” comes next,” said one of them, “what do you suppose Nancy has planned for that letter?” “I can think of hurry, horse, hound, hops and hay,” said one well read mother. But Nancy told them it was none of these.

Friday, August 30, 2013

F is for Flower

Mildred's Block

 Isn't this the sweetest little flower? I just love it. I did Mildred's block with a running stitch applique again and mine with regular needle-turn. I wonder what these ladies would have made of fusible webbing??
I am enjoying reading the stories about Nancy's Quilt Club-so different from how we would write today isn't it?
If you are doing these blocks, think about where they will fall so you don't have two colors the same next to each other. For instance, this block will be directly below the Bird block. I am really enjoying these sweet simple blocks. I hope you are too!

Block 6-The Flower
When Nancy started this alphabet quilt she had planned a story which would go with each one of the alphabet blocks. But she found that her little niece could make up her own stories. She would take out the block “A” with its letter and apple and chant a little song as she looked at it.  With the blue bird of the second block she was enraptured and kept running to the window to see whether she could find a blue bird. One evening Aunt Nancy told her of the blue bird and the happiness for which it stood.
The cat block made Joan chuckle. When the doll block was finished she begged Aunt Nancy to dress one of her dolls, Martha Ann, just like the quilt one.
And she quite upset Uncle Peter by telling the world at large when he took her to the circus that the elephant was just like the one on her quilt. And now Aunt Nancy wondered what she would do with the flower. As soon as the block was finished Joan ran for some perfume which she put on the flower to make it smell sweet. “What children don’t think of, “exclaimed her aunt.
The flower block was done in lavender and purple. Nancy had had a print dress which gave her scraps she needed for the flower.
She chose a pale green for stem and flower center and used the same shade of green for the leaves as she had appliquéd for the apple leaf.
**repeat of instructions for tracing the pattern and making the template **
When the paper pattern was dry she cut out the leaves, the stem and the whole rose She laid the whole rose on the piece of print and cut the pattern allowing one-quarter inch on all sides for turning under.
Then she cut the second circle from the pattern and cut her cloth from that, again allowing the quarter inch.
The innermost circle was cut last from the same green as used in the stem. The stem itself was cut from a bias piece of material, two times as wide as the pattern given. The raw edges were folded back until they net in the center of the wrong side and basted in place.
After all edges on all pieces were turned under, basted in place and pressed, Nancy laid them on the white block. She used the penciled outlines as a guide.
She laid on the large circle fist and appliquéd that with fine, slanting invisible hemming stitches.
Then over that she laid the second circle. When that was sewed in place she appliquéd the small one on top of the other two.
The leaves and stem were put in place and the sixth of the 24 alphabet blocks was done.
“G” comes next”, mused one club member. ‘What do you suppose will be used for that?”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Block 5-The Elephant

The elephant is just adorable don't you think? It took me a while to find a grey 30's print but I think this was perfect.  I really love this one.
My Block

Mildred's Block

Block 5-The Elephant
What child was ever known who did not like the elephant? Because of the universal fondness for the beast, Aunt Nancy chose the gray elephant for the fifth or E block in the alphabet quilt.
Joan squealed with delight when she saw the pattern. “Oh, I did want an elephant, Aunt Nancy, I am so glad you put one in.”
It must be confessed that the club members expressed their doubts about the shape and anatomy of this elephant, but Nancy told them that her creature was a modern one, low slung and somewhat shapeless. “But you will thank me for making the beast this shape when you come to appliqué it. I tell you it’s no fun to appliqué a curved and crooked piece of goods.” They agreed with her, so they withdrew their objections and started work.
**repeated instructions here for tracing the block and creating the templates, and embroidering the letter R**
For the elephant they all agreed in choosing gray. One member had two shades of fast color gray gingham in her piece bag so she made the ear a deeper shade. Most of the members used only one color. Sometimes they chose figured prints, but since the elephant is a huge animal with a hide of neutral, inconspicuous gray they felt that they could not better Nature.
While they embroidered the letters they discussed women who were large and who had failed to profit from the lesson of the elephant. “Imagine,” said one of the members “what a monster the elephant would look if she were clothed in splashy pink and green or even orange.”
After the paper pattern had dried, the pattern was cut out. In cutting it from the cloth a quarter inch allowance was make for turning under. The whole elephant was cut first.
Then the ear was cut out and later laid on top of the elephant’s body. Then the tusk was cut. Yellow was used for the tusk. The quarter inch edge was turned under on all three pieces, basted and pressed in place.  Then the pieces were laid on the white block according to the penciled outline. After the body was appliquéd with fine, invisible, slanting hemming stitches, the ear was laid on, basted and appliquéd.
Then the tusk was put in place. The eye was worked in yellow outline stitch and the tail was done in gray, fast color embroidery cotton.

In cutting pieces for the tusk, Nancy discovered that a tiny square tip at the end was easier to turn under to a point than a piece cut pointed at the start.