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.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Small Diversion.....

I just wanted to share with you my newest minor quilting obsession. I recently had the opportunity to take a class with Bonnie Hunter. As many of you may know she is the queen of scrap quilting. We were in Hershey PA, for the Quilt Odyssey show. I also met up with some of my online quilting buddies from Pat Sloan's Quilt Mash-up, and we attended a Tea with Bonnie. She showed a bunch of her quilts. Check out her site at Quiltville. Anyway, some of her quilts were from her latest book, String Fling. I fell in love with this one,  called Pineapple crazy.

OH, and here I am with my Quilt Mash-up buddies with Bonnie!

So I decided to try just one of these little paper-pieced pineapple blocks

They're just so darned cute! And use up all the tiny scraps too! I have made 6 so far. I'm sure I'll get tired of them before I have enough for a full size quilt like Bonnie's but I figured one here and there, and they'll add up.

Stay tuned for the next alphabet block coming very soon-The Elephant!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Block 4-The Doll

Block four is so cute. Nancy used a flesh colored fabric for her arms and legs, according to the column, but in Mildred's quilt she had embroidered them and I liked that, so that's what I did too. This completes the first row of the quilt. There are instructions for doing some sashing between the blocks now too. I'm not sure how I'm going to put mine together yet. I think I'll see how they all look together before deciding.
Block 4- The Doll

What else could the fourth block of the alphabet quilt be but a doll? Doll begins with D and children all know dolls, so a cunning sun-bonneted dolly it was.
The members of the neighborhood quilt club asked Nancy what colors she was going to use. She said, “I am asking Joan to pick out the material she likes best. I spread the contents of the piece bag before her and let her choose.”
Joan chose a fine checked lavender gingham for the dress and white gingham dotted with tiny pink spots for the sunbonnet. Nancy had some pale pink, almost flesh color, Peter Pan gingham which she used for legs and arms. Charlotte used a green and white for the dress and a plain yellow for the bonnet. The colors depend, after all, on the scraps one has on hand. Since most was materials these days come in fast colors one does not need to fear the running of colors. But if you are in doubt, at all, be sure to wash a piece of the material first. This was Nancy’s invariable rule.

* Once again, a repeat of the tracing and template instructions follows here **

While waiting for the paste to dry one can embroider the letter D. This is what the club members always did. It was hard to tell whether tongues or needles worked faster.
Nancy did hers in outline stitch using four strands of fast color embroidery cotton. Some of the club members chose chain stitch. They learned to use close fine stitches to give the letter enough body.  After the pattern had dried the legs, arms, head and body were cut apart and laid on materials. In cutting the cloth, a quarter inch allowance was made on all sides. This was later turned down and basted in place. After basting the pieces were pressed.

Then each piece was laid on the quilt block according to the penciled outline. After basting the pieces in place they were sewed with fine invisible, slanting hemming stitches to the white block.
Now four blocks were done, the first row across the top.
Before the next pattern came out the members had pieced four blocks. Each one was 6 ½ inches long and made up of two strips of white with a color strip between. All these strips were 1 ½ inches wide. When pieced they gave a block that was 6 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches/

A block was pieced to the bottom of each alphabet block. The lengthwise strips were not put in until all of the blocks were finished. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another version of the alphabet quilt

My quilty friend Sarah Vee, of  Sew Joy Creations, blogged about her version of the Alphabet blocks today! Aren't they cute? This will be awesome. I can't wait to see the rest of the blocks.  

The letter D coming up soon!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"C" is for Cat

Isn't this the cutest little kitty? There aren't too many brown 1930's prints but this one seems to be perfect. Nancy used "buff" for hers-would that be beige do you think?


Nancy's Column:

Block 3-the Cat
     The women in Nancy’s neighborhood had formed a quilt club. Each week they met and appliquéd a block in the series of alphabet blocks for the crib or small bed quilt.
      When the pattern appeared in their newspaper each week there was great excitement. “I wondered what would be used for the letter C” Or “ Isn’t the  pattern cunning this week! What color are you going to use, Nancy, for this one?”
       Nancy usually chose her own colors according to her scrap bag. She was using bits of material left over from summer clothes.
       She avoided harsh red or brilliant orange, keeping the colors more pastel-like and softer.
       When she was in doubt as to the fast color of material she always washed it first, because she realized what havoc could be wrought by a piece of a material whole colors run.
        Joan’s quilt was to be white with bands of soft green connecting the blocks. Martha was making a quilt with lavender connecting strips. Dorothy chose pale blue and Jennie had soft yellow. Christine used pink, and Charlotte considered a print in a small pattern for the connecting bands.  But they all chose white for the body of the quilt and all patterns were appliqued on white blocks cut 6 ½ inches square. These blocks were 6 inches when finished for a quarter inch seam allowance was made on all sides.
        The cat in Joan’s quilt was buff with a blue bow. It might have been made of a figured print in buff or yellow with a bow of pink or blue.
**Once again the instructions are repeated for tracing the pattern and making templates. Also the embroidery instructions are repeated.
         The members  learned that is was best to cut the cat in one piece and later to appliqué the bow on top of the cat. In this way the pattern was not so apt to go askew.
         After the cat was cut, then the bow was cut out of the pattern and lad on the blue material. A quarter inch allowance was made her e also. Nancy put the cross piece of the bow on top of the bow itself.
         The edges were basted down and the pieces where pressed. Then they were basted in place on the cloth over the penciled outline and sewed down with fine, slanting, invisible hemming stitches.
         Three blocks, the apple, the bird and the cat were now ready. What would the fourth block be?