I’ve Been Away Too Long!

This was the view of  orange trees from my shady

terrace in Panama last winter – my current view is

much colder – I have moved to a small town in Prince

Edward Island and my view is across a bay  on

the Gulf of St.Lawrence.

My move was not without excitement – among medical

emergencies and house renovations my old computer

crashed and I lost my complete stored inventory list

at the worst of times. I have just now gotten the list reworked so I now am ready

to do business again.

I am still at my old email address:

janet@novascotaquilts.com and still offer the largest inventory of vintage quilt kits in North America –  check my archives, stay tuned for bew postingsa coming soon and contact me for specific info about your wishist

I’m here again and ready to do business again!

Stay Warm! from Janet

Last Chance to order vintage quilt kits before next May!

I want to thank all my loyal customers who have placed so mny orders for vintage quilt kits during September. It seems there is going to be a whole lot of quilting going on this fall. And what a glorious fall it is turning out to be after a humid, sweltering and uninspiring summer!!


This stay at home quilting lady is going to turn into a snowbird – and I will be spending the wintert, starting later in November in the lovely hills and mountains of Panama, above the Pacific coastal plain. Here it is rarely over 80 degrees and it is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers in general.

SO – I need to tell you that my online business will be on hiatus for the six months starting with November 15th!

What this means to you:

1) I will accept no new orders for my vintage quilt kits after the second week in November, and ALL payments must be received by the 15th November as that is the final shipping day

2) I will continue to answer emails with questions and will put holds on your wanted items, but no payment or delivery until the third week in May please.

3) I am available for advice and help anytime by email or by comments through my http://www.novascotiaquilts.com – my email remains the same janet@novascotiaquilts.com

4) ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Starting right now – if you buy more than one item from me, shipping will be free and in addition I will offer 10% off all merchandise purchased.


ABOVE is a waterfall on a river near where I have rented a small house – a birdlover’s paradise and great for outdoor enthusiasts in general.

I’m hoping to start a few workshops on handquilting, handpiecing and needleturn applique using small group instruction wih a maximum of 6 people per group.

Below are two pictures of a selection of cushion sized wholecloth  squares I have chosen to take along with me – I will be kitting these up with backing, binding, Quilters’ Dream batting and YLI thread, along with a selection of Piecemakers quilting needles. Sound like fun?

Perhaps you’d like to order one of these kits and quilt along by email with the group on whichever day we end up meetimg?

Contact me: janet@novascotiaquilts.com –     the other workshop I’m thinking of is one I have always called barefoot quilting – no sewing machines,  no rotary cutters no glues or embellishments and minimal cost through tips on savvy shopping and internet use.  Just a needle, thread, a ruler and a pencil and scissors! Sound interesting? Lets talk about it – maybe a series of tutorials this winter on http://www.novascotiaquilts.com ?

BEST NEWS OF ALL!!! I had attemped to order this lovely kit which makes up into either a  40 inch in diameter tablecloth or which can be used as a tree skirt. It was back ordered and I recently tried to contact the supplier to see how things were shaping up – their site is disconnected and I fear they are toes up! That triggered a flurry of searching and I finally found a supplier who has, it appears, processed my order – so I am expecting two only of these lovely kits – preprinted quilt top, backing and binding to whch I can add batting and thread – and even a needle too! Contact me quickly – these two won’t last!

PRICE: CHRISTMAS WHOLECLOTH KIT _ YOUR CHOICE OF ANTIQUE WHITE OR NATURAL 40inches complete w backing and bimding $150USD + $25USD shipping = $175USD – specoify if you want thread batting and needle to get going right away on this beauty!



ABOVE is the gloriously retro “Snowflower” kit in double size and this time I lucked out – the floss kit comes with this one – in the beautiful aqua and lighter olive green that is so Mid Century. This kit will make a wonderfyl statement with your sleek Scandinavian and Eames style furniture and you’ll so enjoy working the embroidery and then handquilting it to make it truly your own heirloom!

PRICE “Snowflower” by Paragon in double/queen size complete with original Peri Lusta floss kit   $290USD + $35USD shipping w insurance and tracking = $325USD

And BELOW: I finally found another Bucilla Imari – this is a classic that has become very hard to find and is just the thing if you have a bedroom that is in a traditional style – can’t you see it offset by one or two pieces of lovely Imari export Japanese or English porcelain? Traditional and very lovely colours are listed for you to supply. No floss kit.

PRICE: Bucilla IMARI double/queen in 100% cotton percale  $225USD + 30USD postage, insurance and tracking/

CONRTACT ME: janet@novascotiaquilts.com to put a hold on these items and arrange for purchase. I am happy to accept personal cheques in USD, International Postal MoneyOrders. again inUSD; or will send you a Paypal invoice on your request.

REMEMBER!! I will not be shipping or accepting payments during the winter months, but if an item is in stock I will put a hold on it for payment and shipping after May 15/14




More Hard-to-Source Vintage Applique Quilt kits and the Shaker Tree of Life quilt kit from Hancock Shaker Village!


The computer seems to be working right today and I was able to load all the rest of the pictures, so this is a continuation of the post published a day or two ago. I have some very special treats for you to look at and a couple of very special prices too!

So pull up a chair and get a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy! And remember, these lovely kits are not going to last long, so contact me: janet@novascotiaquilts.com to get me to place a hold on your choice and arrange for payment and shipping it out to you.

Contact me with “Sign Me Up!” in the title line to arrange to add your address to those who receive my monthly newsletter – August, due to heavy work load and also the computer issues I’ve been having, hasn’t gone out yet – so act fast and you’ll get on the list for some nice special offers that only newsletter recipients are eligible to receive.





A quilt kit made up from a pattern purchased in 1990 at the Hancock Shaker Village in Hancock New Hampshire – the first block has been done by a capable needlewoman and will serve as a guide for you as you use this wonderful full sized pattern and the templates this quiltmaker cut from lighgtweight template plastic. The prints are the lovely small florals and tone on tones so popular during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s – pure cotton and it looks like there is more than enough fabric to complete a double/queen quilt.

There is also some embroidery floss to complete the finishing touches to each block!

 And here is a shot of the full sized placement  diagram for a complete block – very clear instructions here….. and a lovely hand-quilting pattern too!

It was a dull day when I took these shots – the colours are much clearer and brighter in real life.

And here is a shot of the finished block which will be so helpful in completing this gorgeous kit.

I bought this kit with the intention of completing it – it was in the estate of an elderly person who was no longer quilting, and although my intentions were good – I’d still love to do it – my time hasn’t permitted as I am still accepting new custom quilt commissions. Rather than have it sit in a storage tote I’ve decided to part with it – if it doesn’t sell here I know it will at the upcoming Quilts at the Harbour 15th Annual  Show and Sale next month – if you are in  the area – drop by – you’ll have a great time.

PRICE: Vintage Shaker Tree of Life Quilt Kit double/queen with vintage fabrics and easy to follow pattern – $150USD + $40USD shipping with tracking and insurance – this will be a heavy package!


BUCILLA #3375  MISS WILDFLOWER – an Applique quilt in double/queen size (84×100)

This is a kit I have been waiting for years to acquire! The fact that it is already started is not an issue as the work has been very nicely done. The design is stunning!

Poppies and cornflowers, and could that be buttercups? So sweet!

As you can see, there are several tiny stains of what looks like pink lemonade! The quiltmaker must have been working at it in summer – these pale pink stains should come out nicely with a gentle wash in oxyclean after the quilt is finished.

Another closeup of  the lovely cornflower, plus an overview of a real mare’s nest of threads and applique pieces. This sort of ‘mess’ is familiar to me as many years ago this was the way my mother worked, and she would give me the mess to salvage embroidery threads for my next project , as she preferred to start fresh each time. So therefore, if you wish me to sort this out before I send it on to you I know how to do it!! (Big smile!) If you’d rather play with it yourself, I’ll understand too!

Looking at the completed posy below I think the yellow flower must be an ox eyed daisy – pretty isn’t it?

PRICE: BUCILLA #3375 Miss Wildflower double/queen started but complete several small stains that should wash out  $395USD + $30 shipping includes insurance and tracking. Contact me to secure your purchase: janet@novascotiaquilts.com


PROGRESS #1438 APPLIQUE : THE APPLE BLOSSOM size 81×07                                                

This lovely kit is an early one! Open, it is intact and has been carefully stored since it was bought in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. It’s ready to start and comes complete with all instructions needed to complete it.

The colours are lovely clear and bright hades of lighter and darker rose, along with some yellow and green and brown.

As you can see the white background fabric is spotless – no yellowing or foxing.

PRICE: make this beautiful heirloom – The Apple Blossom - yours today email me ro complete purchase – $395USD + $30USD shipping includes tracking and insurance. janet@novascotiaquilts.com



LEE WARDS ‘Perky Pansies”  08-91028 81×100

Another elusive one! I’ve tried for years and finally hit lucky this last month! This is the most beautiful of the many lovely ansy creations of the fifties and sixties.

As is often the case, this one has been started and has been carefully stored so that the rest of the appliques, the instructions and the white stencilled top are all spotlss. It is in its o0wn clear project bag with airtight zip closure.  A remarkably lovely piece of America’s past this kit woill make a statement in your home no matter where or how it is displayed.

PRICE: LEE WARDS “PERKY PANSIES”  81×100 double bed size $425USD + $35USD shipping includes tracking and insurance. Contact me to put a hold on this treasure for you!

                                 AND………………ARE YOU UP FOR A CHALLENGE, DO YOU WANT TO SAVE $ too?

As if I weren’t lucky enough to find one Perky Pansies another showed up a day or two later – I couldn’t turn this waif away and fell for it too! It has been started, in fact quite a bit was done – and then it fell on hard times – it has a very dirty face – I think some of it will clean up but maybe not al, but an oxyclean soak or two should lighten the marks a lot……..and it has lost all its unattached appliques – a few are pinned on but you are going to have to match, butwith all the possibilities that Kona solids offer I think you’ll be able to do this. You may also have to make templates but this isn’t too challenging either! I can sens along a full colour picture of the finished quilt and also photocopies of the instructions too.

PRICE: ARE YOU GAME? YOU CAN ADOPT THIS ORPHAN FOR $200USD plus shipping, tracking and insurance of $35 – contact me – this great deal isn’t going to last long.


AND MY LAST OFFERING TODAY:  PARAGON”S ROSE WREATH  #01057 (80×100) from the mid 1940’s or perhaps early 1940’s – this is a real treasure – it reflects the care with which women looked after their projects, and their frugality – the whole thing is boxed up in an old Christmas gift box and is filled with every possible item the needlewoman was going to need to complete this lovely kit. Sadly, she didn’t get to finish oit – will you do it for her?

 This is a study in social history as well as a peep into great grammies sewing box!

I’m including several clos up shots so you can see the care with which the needlework was done and the very precise attention to detail the manufacturer put into this design – truly a work of art in progress!

This kit clearly dates back to the time before even numbers were used to indicate what sorting station mail was to be addressed to – truly early .

The box the kit was packaged in has disappeared, but the owner saved the illustration on the front of the box. Boxes were no longer used after the US entered the Second World WArt in 1942  as resources were being conserved for war effort – brown paper envelopes took their place. So you can draw your own conclusions about age.

Clearly the quilt is approaching finished but has a great deal of detailing and embroidery to be done before handquilting starts – are you the one who will finish this heirloom and pass it down to your daughter? I’d love to do it myself but you know the saying: too many quilts, too little time

PRICE TO OWN THIS BEAUTY: $260USD + 435USD shipping, tracking and insurance. Contact me to arrange payment.


Goodbye until the next time and be sure to watch for the August newsletter coming out in a day or two!

Stay Cool – drink lots of lemonade and iced tea!!

Hugs!  Janet


RARE, HARD-TO-SOURCE VINTAGE APPLIQUE QUILT KITS (and an unusual Shaker Tree of Life Kit from 1990)

I was hoping to do a rather long and picture heavy post, but it’s either me, wordpress or a reluctant computer which is preventing me posting the number of pictures I have loaded in my gallery for you. So, I’ve decided to do this post –  only one lovely early Paragon kit I’ve been holding on to hoping to finish it myself.   If I can I will make several more posts to accomplish what I had originally planned.

Here is the package picture for Rose of Sharon (Paragon 01130). This was, I suspect, manufactured in the mid to late 50’s because at that time, most of the cover pictures were shown in black and white.

The kit has ben started and then carefully stored and as far as I can see all pieces are intact and the fabric is claen and strong. The handwork has been done by an experienced needlewoman.

The prints are a very nice reproduction of prints seen in applique quilts of the nineteenth century – Paragon used this same pattern in several other kits of that period – namely the American Glory kit, which I also have in stock.

The colours are indeed olvely, aren’t they? Looking at this, I am wanting still to finish it for myself, but I can’t do every quilt I want to do! The quilt is based on historic precedence – many of this type are seen in museum collections.

I have decided to put a very attractive price on this beauty – I’m trying to reduce my inventory of what I call orphans and waifs – started quilt tops that need someone to take them in and love them and finish them as a future heirloom. And so, I am ready to send this beauty out to you carefully packed, mailed with a tracking number and suitable insurance:

PRICE: PARAGON ROSE OF SHARON #01130, size 80×100 100% cotton circa 1955, already started

$275USD + shipping $30USD = $305USD in total


Contact: janet@novascotiaquilts.com to secure this beauty – payment is easily accomplished and the kit ships on receipt of payment – no waiting for your cheque to clear!


Getting Started on Your First Vintage Cross Stitch Quilt Kit: A tutorial

In case you haven’t seen a picture of me -  at Quilts at the Harbour a few years ago, complete with some last minute handwork, as always.

Make sure you attend our 15th Annual Quilts at the Harbour this fall!

Read about it here: http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/04/quilt-show-and-sale-halls-harbour-ns-sept-28-29-2013.html


In addition, today I’m going to reward all you folks who read right through to the very bottom of this post – SPOILER ALERT!! – you’ll find a nice offer to help you save on your purchase – this is good ’til my next post goes up, at which time it will disappear, so act now!



First some words about getting started with your vintage quilt kit:

FOLD LINES AND WRINKLES, SPOTS AND FOXING:most of these kits have been in storage some 25 or more years – in some cases more like 60 years. If storage was not under optimal condition, there may be some staining, age lines and ‘foxing’ – if I feel this is a significsnt issue I will always include that information in the description, so that you know before you buy.

If you feel your vintage kit is less than pristine – do not wash before comnpletely finishing the kit – washing will in most cases destroy the blue pre-stencilled lines for stitching and for quilting, leaving you with nothing to go by – there are ways, after the kit is finished to wash out or reduce marks and soil and this is covered here:


When you take your vintage kit out of the package you may be  dismayed by all the fold lines: DO NOT IRON OR PRESS THE QUILT TOP – this will set the blue washout markings and you’ll never get them out! Instead, arrange the panels over a door,hanging down in strips; or if the kit is one large piece of cloth as all wholecloths are, and some applique, then arrange the fabric laying flat on your spare room’s bed leaving curtains drawn or blinds down to keep off sunlight.

You will find that the fabrics ‘relax’ sufficiently to start work. When ready to sandwich try the same thing with the batting and backing fabric – it works nicely for me! In addition – a TIP -  Quilters’ Dream, Request weight batting does not creep and bunch up once it has been basted or pinned – the three layers adhere nicely and don’t move around like many other battings do – in addition there is no dealing with hard little knobs you can’t get the needle  through – love that Quilters’ Dream!!!


JOINING THE PANELS OF YOUR CROSS STITCH QUILT KIT: Are you going to  stitch all the panels together first or embroider one panel at a time?

This is your choice and I’ll go into factors influencing the choice later……. lets talk now about joining the panels…..


Pardon the look of this sketch – I’m a quilt artist, not a pencil and paper artist! You will see similar diagrams on all the instructions that come with your cross stitch quilt kit. Read the instructions carefully and use the floor,  a very large worktable or your bed to lay out the panels and to be sure you are placing them in the right order. THIS IS ESSENTIAL – go away for a while, have a cup of tea or something and come back with a fresh eye.  Some kits will have two, some have three and some more than three depending on the size of the finished quilt. Some kits have border edges printed as a cut-apart pair on onhe panel – so watch for this possibility.

When you are convinced you have the correct layout it’s time to act!! Start at one edge of the quilt kit and take it and the panel to which it will be joined and work with them. Again – no using an iron to press – no heat please – finger press the edge panel so that you can just barely see the dotted lines – stitch lines – pinning as you go and then basting with a large running stitch – use only white thread so that no coloured fibres rub off on the top.

When the panel has been basted it’s time to start lining up the two panels you’re working on – start at the top – pin securely, and then go to the bottom and pin securely again. Now go to about midway, and watch the stamped stitches or ‘x’s while referring to the stitch graph so that you are abutting the right x’s – work very slowly and check often – take a break and come back if that helps. When the whole panel is pinned together – the eureka moment has arrived.

Lay out the two joined pieces on a flat surface – the larger the better – I use a folding banquet table – this works well.  Arrange the panels so that the edge panel – which is the one folded under is toward the back of the table and the panel to which it will be attached is closer to you – NOW HERE COMES THE TIP!!!! – slide your biggest omnigrid ruler – mine is 6×24 under the joined fabric panels.

Thread your needle with a nice strong white piecing thread – can’t beat Star piecing cotton for that – and carefully starting at the midpoint and working to the end  blindstitch the two panels together. TIP!Keep the fabric pieces flat not fed through your hand – your omnigrid ruler will deflect the needle and you’ll find the two pieces of fabric are easier to keep matched with the work flat.

Work slowly and ease a bit here and there to line up the x’s. Work to the end, tie off your thread securely and go back to the  other end – which is an edge – the topmost edge, I think, and work towards the middle until you are there, easing as you go. Tie off your thread. NOW ANOTHER TIP  – DON”T FINGER PRESS THE SEAM OPEN _KEEP IT TO ONE SIDE AS YOU ORIGINALLY PRESSED IT .

Continue as per above until all the panels are joined, keeping the seams to the side as you go. ANOTHER TIP – NEVER EMBROIDER THROUGH THOSE SEAMS – with your spare hand move the seam out of the way each time rather than embroidering through a seam. Trim off excess fabric on the underside to a quarter inch seam allowance, making sure the selvedge is trimmed off as if it’s left it may shrink unevenly at washing and cause puckering.

Now you are ready to start embroidering, or if you alreadyembroidered the whole set of joined panels you are ready to check it all over and then sandwich it.

First though. MORE TIPS!

Start by organizing your colours seperately from one another. You may wish to thread an embroidery needle with a length of each colour as this may speed you up as you work. 

Start your embroidery in the centre of your quilt top, or in the case of embroidering panel by panel, wherever you choose to start – I tend to start everything I do in the middle and work outwards, but it’s your choice when doing the panels one  at a time.

Use a good sharp embroidery needle with a large eye – if using three strands of floss,  make a very small waste knot, leaving about six inches of loose thread below it – you will late come back and thread up that loose long end and weave it through the stitches you’ve made and clip it close after doing so. If using two strands you may find it handy to thread the  doubled single strand, leaving the loop at the end farthest from your needle and then make a teeny tiny stitch through the fabric and put your needle through the loop to secure rather than using  a knot – I find this a very neat and tidy way to keep the back from getting lumpy. Again – works for me – mightn’t for you – your choice.

Remember you are embroidering on very fine percale that has a ’see through’ tendency – never, never make huge messy knots and never never carry your thread over portions of fabric that won’t be covered by embroidery later. After having once faced this sort of mess on the back of an embroidered quilt I had contracted to custom quilt for a lady I never again accepted an embroidered quilt to quilt without looking at it first – arghhh!


A FEW WORDS ABOUT EMBROIDERING A PRE-QUILTED KIT – these are usually made in baby size and need you to be very careful or your work will show through on the completed back side of the quilt.

Make a very small and tight knot at the end of your floss. Next slip your needle through ONLY THE TOP OR THE PRE-PRINTED FABRIC OF THE THREE PART SANDWICH coming up at the precise point where you want to start.

If you keep your finger on the back of the quilt as you needle, you wil feel whether or not you ae coming through on the back and slip your needle out and try again if you do come through.

When the knot is tight against the fabric, using your thumbnail to exert pressure, and pulling on the thread you should be able to “pop” the knot through to the underside of the top layer – the pre-printed fabric.  Now, if you ae used to ’stab’ stitching when cross stitching, comes the harder part – you will need to change your technique so that you enter and come out at the points you want to in one stitch – keep doing this and when you are finished with that colour, make a knot in the end, about a half inch from where you will put your needle in and pull the knot through to the underside of the fabric and clip. Keep doing this until finished and you will have an unblemished and pristine underside on your quilt.

This darling Beatrix Potter quilt kit by JCA is in my inventory at present, and comes complete with floss to finish - read about it here and contact me if you wish to order it: janet@novascotiaquilts.com so I can put a hold on it for you.



There is a basic rule of thumb I use about whether or not to sew the panels of a vintage quilt kit together before or after embroidery. BRIEFLY: IF THE CENTRAL PORTION OF THE QUILT KIT IS HIGHLY DETAILED AND WILL NEED CAREFUL AND EXACT LINING UP – SEAM THIS TYPE OF KIT FIRST! Then if there are little inaccuracies you can fudge a bit on the stitches making one or two longer or shorter won’t be noticed in the overall scheme of things.

Below, I show you a few examples from vintage kits that are in my inventory at the moment – if any of them interest you, use the link below each one to check on details and prices. Contact me: janet@novascotiaquilts.com if you wish to purchase or clarify any details.








Below are some quilt kits which are clearly ’strippy’ or made to look like blocks – with this type of vintage quilt top you can choose to embroider after seaming, or if you want a more portable project to work on, then by all means do your embroidery first – your choice!





 Have you signed up yet for my monthly newsletter? You won’t be sorry you did! Send me an email – janet@novascotiaquilts.com with “Sign me up!” in the title line and you’ll start receiving the newsletter right away. Lots of pictures, info on vintage quilts and quilt kits and often a special offer.


And speaking of SPECIAL OFFERS – for a limited time only I’m offering 10% off the first item in my current inventory you buy and if you buy more than one item you’ll get a reduction of 15% off your purchase before cost of shipping is added.

 This  SPECIAL OFFER will be withdrawn as soon as my next post is published – which is usually no more than a week later – I like to talk to my friends regularly – but if I have some special news to post I sometimes post again in a day or two – you never know, so check out my inventory by searching for your wish list items or run back through the posts for 6 months or so and see what strikes your fancy. Remember, I have a pretty extensive inventory of floss klits for cross stitch kits and at $65 for each one that is a big saving over price at local needlework and craft stores where $1 a skein is the usual price.


Enjoy this great summer we’re having! Hugs from Janet



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