Saturday, May 26, 2012

Decoration Day Quilt

When I'm Gone
By Mrs. Lyman Hancock

When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile.

Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I've had loads of fun.

Forget that I've stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day.

Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,

And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.

My inspiration was a Feedsack Flags small quilt in the book Patriotic Little Quilts, by Alice Berg, Sylvia Johnson, and Mary Ellen VonHolt, page 43:

Memorial Day, which used to be called Decoration Day,  is a day of remembrance in the United States for those who have died in service to our country.  My Decoration Day Quilt is 25 inches wide and 23 inches long, and is machine pieced and machine quilted.   Everything was from my stash, even the binding was left over from a quilt I made for a granddaughter.  I have memories of going with the whole town to the cemetery for a ceremony including a 21 gun salute, taps, and prayers, when I was a child.  My father wore his WWII uniform, and I waved a small flag, as did all the other children.

Here's a picture of the front of the quilt without the vase of flowers, and another picture of the back, showing the hanging corner triangles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Plain and Simple is Best

After looking at my books, and looking at vintage quilts online, I decided not to add any borders to the postage stamp quilt.  Simplicity is best.  I did add more thirties fabrics from my stash  - I added one more column and one more row and it finishes at 14.5 by 16 inches, with 110 squares.  Each square is 1.5 inches and it is machine pieced and machine quilted.

Back of my doll quilt

Front of my doll quilt

These are 2 vintage postage stamp quilts that are for sale at auction houses.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Postage Stamp Quilt - In Progress

I cleaned out the quilt room closet this past week, and found these squares all cut, ready for ?........I don't remember.  So I sewed them together, and am looking for inspiration on what to add next.  I have lots of thirties fat quarters.  The squares are 1.5 inches.  I may just cut some more and make it a little bigger.  I sewed without looking at any color - just picked up the next one and added it to the strip.  It's an exercise in non-control for someone who likes to over-manage.

When I want inspiration, I usually look at antique quilts online or in some of my books. My "go-to" books for inspiration are the following:

Great Little Quilts, by Eleanor Levie

Childhood Treasures:  Doll Quilts by and for Children, by Merikay Waldvogel

Small Endearments: 19th Century Quilts for Children and Dolls, by Sandi Fox

Crib Quilts and Other Small Wonders, by Thos. K. Woodward and Blanche Greenstein

Little Quilts All Through the House by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen Von Holt and Sylvia Johnson

Patriotic Little Quilts by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen Von Holt and Sylvia Johnson

Celebrate with Little Quilts by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen VonHolt and Sylvia Johnson

American Doll Quilts by Kathleen Tracy

Big Book of Small Quilts by Mary Hickey

I'm heading to bed with two of these books, hoping to get inspired.   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake

My best friend is graduating from college this weekend and I decided to make her a cake.  Her family celebrates birthdays and special occasions with a white cake with strawberries and whipped cream filling and topping.  Yummy!

As a gift, I made her this wall hanging:

Now she can have her cake whenever she wants to, and with no calories!!  This is my first attempt at a no pattern sort of "quilt".  I did it freehand, and used polka dots which she likes, and used a bit of my crocheted lace and some old lace.  I traced around a spool to get the circle shape in the cake plate.

There's a story about my handmade lace (the heart-shaped lace on the cake stand).  Many years ago, this same friend and I were standing in a long line which snaked around a long block in Chicago, waiting to get into the Oprah show.  I was crocheting this lace while we were standing and slowly moving, as I'm one of those people who likes to keep a project with me.  Anyway, when we finally got inside the building, the security people confiscated my crochet hook!  It was kept by them until after the show and then they gave it back to me.  As if anyone.....especially me.....would hurt Oprah......with a crochet hook?  I used most of the lace on some pillows, and this was a little left-over piece that fit nicely here, and it has a special memory for the two of us.

There are four hanging triangles on the four corners on the back, and it's 9.5 by 16.5 inches.  The backing is more of the brown stripe print on the cake stand.  Hand blanket stitched appliqued and machine quilted.

I discovered a problem with a quilt that you design yourself - you never know when you are done!  I thought about adding strawberry stems....or maybe french knot strawberry "seeds"....but decided to stop right where I did. 

I had fun picking out "strawberry" fabric from my stash.  Here's a closeup: 

Happy Mother's Day and enjoy a piece of cake on me!   

Monday, May 7, 2012

AAQI Quilt Made from Dear Jane Retreat Scraps

At a recent Dear Jane retreat in Shipshewana, IN, a friend sitting next to me was throwing away the little corners she snipped off.  I collected them, and she started giving them to me when she saw I was rescuing them from the trash.  I'm such a sucker for plaids!  She told us her father-in-law was suffering from Alzheimer's and I made this little quilt to help in a small way with the AAQI's fund raising efforts.

After I made the half square triangles and put them together, I was thinking about a plaid border, and went to the website to see what size quilts they wanted.  The quilts must be 9 x 12 or smaller in size.  Since it measured 9 inches square before adding a border, it didn't get a border!  I used the plaid that I was thinking about using for a border for the binding and the back.  The AAQI's instructions have cute little triangles on the back for hanging purposes. Instructions:

I think I'll add these to all of my doll quilts from now on, and then if I want to hang them up, they will be good to go!  Here's the back:

I will let you know when it is for sale at the AAQI site, as there is an application and waiting period.  But right now, little bunny is enjoying it at my house!

9 inches x 9 inches, machine stitched and machine quilted.  Hanging triangles on all four corners on the back.