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Sunday, January 30, 2011

$4 Quilt Treasure!

Well, what do you think!  As mentioned previously, my husband and I like to check out thrift stores when the opportunity presents itself.  Yesterday we went to a small town about 30 miles from here to do some grocery shopping and Vern spied a Salvation Army Store.  The last 2 dozen trips or so we have made to various thrift stores hasn't turned up anything.  That is the way it is - more often than not, no treasures are to be had.  Yesterday we walked in and Vern said quietly to me: "There's a quilt on the counter."  I was over there in a flash.  Usually an item on the counter means that someone wants it and it is spoken for, but what the heck, I thought I would ask the clerk.  "Oh, she said, I am just pricing this and putting it out."  I said, "Well, if you don't mind, I will just wait here for it."  She took her time and priced it, folded it up and handed it to me.  I thanked her and wondered what in the world the price would be.  Hidden in the folds was an $8 price tag.  Yippee.  Then Vern said:  "They are having a sale and everything is 50% off.  Ha, the total came to $4.28.  It was my lucky day!  So, here are the statistics for all you quilters:  12 blocks, 16" square, 3.5" wide sashings, 9" borders to make a 73" x 92.5" quilt.  It is hand quilted.  It is not a masterpiece of quiltdom, but it is so representative of the 1930's and it is in really good condition for what I consider an everyday quilt, that it fits my definition of a super bargain.  The last small photo shows the backing which is striped and appears to be one full piece. The colors on the large photo are a bit washed out.  The small photos were taken inside and the colors show up a bit better.  Wish my camera skills were a bit better.
Till next time..........

Monday, January 24, 2011


Here is Brackman Block 3 of the Civil War BOTW
A version of this block was in my previous post. I finished it and watched it pretty much fall apart when I tried to remove the paper I had used  - the stars were formed around a piece of paper.  The fabric was too fragile for all that silliness.  So, I made another. This is not really very good, but to be honest, I am pretty tired of this block, after making it twice. The brown fabric was a bit too thick for a good star - there's the quandary - thin fabric is too fragile and sturdy fabric is too thick.  Big sigh.   Maybe I will make another one,  but think I need a vacation from it for awhile!
Here is Block 4:

It went much better than the previous block.  Thank goodness.  Looks like I got it a bit crooked in the photo.  Oh well, it is hard to scan the little guys and keep them all neat and tidy.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Works in Progress

I gathered up the things in progress and put them on my scanner.  They are: 
  • 1. A little leaf quilt out of 1930's fabrics that I am quilting. 
  • 2.  Some 1 inch spool blocks for a quilt that I am designing for a possible workshop.
  • 3.  The Brackman block for this week.  It is challenging in a 2" size.
  • 4.  The Mariner's Compass blocks, set in a square that will be trimmed later.
  • 5.  A little hexagon/star quilt.
Everything is antique fabrics except the spool blocks.  Those are 1930's reproductions.  I put a quarter in the mix so that you can get a sense of the size.  I am currently working on the spool quilt design and  workshop things, so everything else is on hold.  Oops, not the Brackman block.  I would like to get that done and trimmed!
Till next time, happy quilting to you all......

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Civil War BOTW Block 2

Well, as promised, Barbara Brackman posted Block No. 2  here:
Above is my miniature version.  I decided to put up a tape measure so the viewer can get a sense of the size.  It will be 2" finished.  One of the biggest problems with miniatures is finding a fabric print that is scaled small enough for tiny blocks.  I was very pleased to find several antique quilt blocks with center pieces of the fabric I used for the background  in the above block.  You can imagine how small the scale is.  One of the star points appears to be a bit off, but it is actually o.k., as the seam is open at the end and the fabric moved a bit when I scanned it.  The common practice when hand piecing is not to cross any seam lines.  For clarity, think of it this way - mark a dot in each corner of the triangle and only sew dot to dot.  That means that all the seam allowances are free, unlike the way pieces are sewn together on a machine.
So far, so good.  We will see what next week brings in the way of a block from this series.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 brings a new blog from B. Brackman!

Can you believe it is 2011?
Did you see that Barbara Brackman has a new blog for the new year?  What a wonderful asset she has been to the quilting  world.  Her work has been invaluable to me when dating antique fabrics and matching them to  corresponding quilt styles.  My Portfolio Series would be at a loss without her books.  Now she has started a blog about the Civil War and will feature an 8" block a week for quilters to make.  Visit it here:
I thought I might follow along, but make it in miniature.  Here is my first 2" block:

This will be a different type project than my Portfolio Series - a bit bigger block and I'm not going to worry about dating the fabrics as much as I normally do.  This is going to be just for fun.  I don't know right now if I will have the fortitude to do all 52 blocks, but will give it a go.  We'll just have to see what next week brings.
Till next time...............
Sheila H.
Post script:  I had a question from Jill or Susan (I couldn't figure out how to tell which one) from the NW PA Quilt Study Group in the comments.  She asked if the 2" block above was really pieced by hand.  Yes, it was.  I actually find hand piecing to be the best way to do little blocks.  The antique fabric is nearly always fragile - some fabrics more than others - and the pieces are so small, not to mention I use a 1/8" seam allowance, that all things taken together, hand piecing is by far the easiest method.  Or at least, it is the easiest method for me.  While I am commenting on comments ...I was really thrilled to see that Barbara Brackman left a comment.  It was certainly nice of her to drop by and take the time to comment.  I am a huge admirer of her work and refer to her books all the time, so believe me when I say it was a thrill.