As the needle bends

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New York Beauties?

I recently joined another Yahoo Group, called Quilters’ Corner Club, because of the allure of a monthly program called International New York Beauty Block of the Month. I’ve always loved the intricate appearance of these blocks – no matter how few pieces the block in question has, the dreaded curved piecing always made them "impossible" to me, but one day while surfing the net, I stumbled across the QCC website, and read the instructions placed there by Christina, and could not resist trying one.

Christina’s directions are marvelous. She breaks the steps down into little tiny bites (you know – how do you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time!) which work marvelously, as long as you follow the directions. The first practice block I made went together so unbelievably easily, that I just had to make another – and didn’t turn the pages of the printed out directions, one step at a time, on the second… It did NOT go together so smoothly and as I was heading for my computer, to post a question to the list to ask if it made a difference whether the block piece or the background piece was on top when sewing that last seam, I glanced through Christina’s directions again. I felt truly silly, when I saw the picture, and read the words:

I’m going to do the same thing now, pinning on the Unit C (face down) onto the Pieced A/B unit – Lining up the Right edges, pinning down, then the left edges, then the center and in between the center and the edges on both sides…as shown…

So, if you’ve ever been fascinated by blocks that you thought you dare not try, because of the evil curved seams, check out Christina’s directions, and a couple of the practice blocks. I believe that you will find these are very "do-able," using her instructions, but need to post one warning – sorting through your scraps for those "wonderful, precious scraps" that were just to marvelous to toss out, but might be big enough for a "significant role" in one of these beauties, and stitching them up to see if the next turns out just as well as the last, IS like potato chips. Nobody can do JUST one (but maybe "just one MORE!)

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Thanks Christina – you’ve made me a believer in my piecing capabilities/capabilities to follow instructions – and, after 10 years, it’s opened up a whole new realm of quilted possibilities! Now, I must get back to the scrap bag and put together more combinations… Where did I put those batik scraps? How about more of the black for the background…….

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May 28, 2007 Posted by | Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | Leave a comment

Project Quilt Resuscitation

As you may have read in my previous post, a friend and I are considering rescuing a 60 year old quilt given to her parents as a wedding gift, in 1947. One of the Dutch Doll’s dresses is almost gone. I am posting a picture, in hopes that someone out there in the quilting blogdom will recognize this fabric and have a scrap in their stash that we can beg, borrow or buy.

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I know that it is very hard to see – because it IS very hard to see. The background is a soft buttery yellow (may have been more intense at some point in its life) with one visible spray of tiny white flowers (appear to be lilys of the valley) outlined in dark pink/purple/maroon, and some other larger flower – maybe a thistle, of the maroon-ish color. I will need about a 5″x6.5″ piece – and, as the dress is not full width – it need not be a whole rectangle – it’s more of a polygon or triangle – 6″ at the widest (so I added a half inch to cover the 1/4″ seam allowance), and is about 4.5″ tall. If you have something that resembles this, or is even vaguely similar, please let me know, and maybe we can work a trade, or something.

Thanks in advance for thinking of helping me make Sue a new dress ;0}

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May 12, 2007 Posted by | Life and Ramblings, Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | 1 Comment

Dutch Dolls and Sunbonnet Sues From the Past

After a friend saw the quilts on my blog (all both of them… tee hee…), she asked if I would look at a quilt gifted to her parents on the occasion of their marriage and see if it had the potential to be salvaged. The quilt has been well loved by many members of the family over the years since their wedding, and this year, her parents will celebrate their 60th anniversary.

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That question, and being granted temporary custody of this quilt to evaluate its life-potential has raised more questions than I (and she) imagined. So I thought I’d see if I could compile some of those questions here, and share the thoughts, in case some of your friends have a well loved quilt that has great sentimental value, and asks you to give it a look, and see if it can be resuscitated.

The consensus of opinion about this charming quilt, known variously as "Dutch Doll" or "Sunbonnet Sue," is that it definitely has life left in it. The main decision that has to be made is similar to the quality of life question that many of us in healthcare encounter. It would seem that many of the things that lent it the charm that cause my friend to love this quilt (aside from the fact that it has been in her family since before she was born) are part of what led to its current condition. What kind of life will it have in the future? That of a pampered decoration, languishing across the foot of a guest bed, to be ohhhhed and ahhhed over as it’s being refolded, or will it be used by visiting grand or great-grandchildren, when they need a special cover – perhaps when they are feeling ill, or homesick, being tugged and pulled and hugged for many years to come?

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May 9, 2007 Posted by | Quilting and Hobbies (wishing I had 'spare' time) | 21 Comments