Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Dog Ate My Quilt

Destroyin’ Norman, the Labrador Retriever is one lucky dog. When his owner brought me the product of his labor (1st photo), I wasn’t sure I could put Humpty Dumpty together again. The Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt was over 70 years old and fragile. Now a dog had taken a big bite out of it. How is one supposed to age gracefully with a chunk missing?

The first thing I did was look at it for a day, hoping some magic power would come through my eyeballs and fix it. When that didn’t work, I got busy. One of the half flowers at the border needed replacing as did a 2 foot section of the border itself. The batting, back and binding for the section also had to be replaced (next 3 pictures). Then the new section would have to be hand quilted, matching the stitches of the original quilter (“Good luck with that,” Norman chuckled). Two big challenges were finding fabric that matched the old border fabric, and trying to attach the new section to old fragile material. Finding the fabric was easier than I thought it would be; thank goodness Depression era colors are popular right now. Getting everyone to play together nicely was another matter.

The old border fabric and the background hexagons are very delicate, and fell apart in places when machine sewing was attempted. After more than a few Diva Moments (“This looks like trash, and trash is not allowed to exist in my presence!”), trying the Magic Eyeball trick again, and walking away a couple of times to mutter to myself, everything finally came together and stayed together. I wondered if there was a place I could take the quilt to have all the negative energy removed, but decided a good airing would do just as well.

Norman is out of the dog house for now...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Americans Helping Americans

Get some good priced Quilted Lovelies items and help out a great cause at the same time. Americans Helping Americans is featuring some donated items from QL in their online store. All profits go to AHA!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Time For A New Look

At last, renovations have started on my aunt's Flower Garden quilt.  It's a little sad covering up an old flower, but at least it's still part of the quilt.  Now the old flower is protected, and the new flower makes the quilt more stable.

The first picture shows an old flower that has seen better days (see the far left blue flower in the middle).  Good-bye old flower!  The new flower is then basted over the old to hold it in place (picture 2), then hand appliqued to the quilt (picture 3).  Finally, the quilt stitching on the rest of the quilt is repeated in the new flower (picture 4).  My grandmother made some of the tiniest stitches I've seen; it's going to be challenging to match her standard.  Only 11 more flowers to go, and it's finished - I may be writing from the looney bin next time (ha)!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt, Part VI

Yay!  The last two flowers are done, and they are as different as night and day.  The flower on the left is a coral beauty made with a modern fabric in a scallop design, and matching solids.  The look isn't too much for the quilt though because of the medium scale print (believe me, I checked!).  The second flower is a typical small scale floral in pretty pinks and greens.  The middle ring has another floral in cream and pink, while the center is a tiny cream-on-cream floral.  Lots of flowery goodness!

Up next, the new flowers will be appliqued over the damaged flowers, providing more stability and less stress to the surrounding fabrics.  Stay tuned!    

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two New Product Lines For Quilted Lovelies

Two new product lines have been added to the Quilted Lovelies line-up: doll quilts and hot pads.

The doll quilts come in two designs, checkerboard and diagonally striped.  The checkerboard doll quilts feature bright fabrics in carnival inspired colors of turquoise, red, yellow and chartreuse, just to name a few.  They come in two sizes, 10" x 14" and 12" x 14".  The diagonally striped doll quilt is made up of triangles pieced together to seemingly form rows of flowers on a solid yellow background.  Both designs are perfect for 18" dolls.

Two of the hot pads designs are primary colored quilt block patterns in 2 sizes, 8 1/2" square and 9 1/2" square.  The third is a whopping 16" x 14 1/2" (that's big enough for a lasagna pan).  I made them because I couldn't find a hot pad big enough to fit under the crock pot.  I made a "guinea pig special" for me, then my mom wanted one, and a neighbor, so I made a dozen of the smaller ones and 4 of the larger ones.  The big hot pads are pieced squares and rectangles in spring colors of lime, yellow and turquoise, and can also be used as a table topper or a wall hanging.  

Not a new line, but 7 new coasters designs have been added as well.  Coming soon: placemats and quilt block kits!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt, Part V

I've been a busy bee in the flower making department, but kind of slack in the picture taking area.  Four more flowers are done.  Hooray!  There are two more left to do, then the fun really begins - actually restoring the quilt.  I talked to my aunt yesterday, and she kept telling me to "take my time."  That's code for "don't rush and screw up."  Just kidding, Auntie!  Before I get myself into trouble, let me describe the fabrics used.

The flower on the left in the first picture is made with a small yellow floral print accented by solid mint and a white-on-white fern print center.  Like my grandmother, I had to make do with what was on hand for the second flower.  The darker pink floral is a 30s repro, and I thought I had enough scraps to make 12 hexagons, but I think I was just wishing there was enough.  The other pink is also a 30s repro.  Not an exact match, but it gives the flower character.  The other fabrics are solid yellow and a tiny white-on-white floral center.

In the second picture, the flower on the left is also a 30s repro of yellow roses and green leaves.  It's complemented by solid nile green and a dragonfly white-on-white print in the center.  Last but not least, something a little different.  The red and cream hexagons are made with an Art Nouveau style print.  It is highlighted by solid blue and cream-on-cream stars in the middle.  A patriotic flower amid all the flowery ones. 

Flower #11 is in production, so it won't be long until "real" quilt work begins.  Stay tuned!