Archive for the ‘quilting books’ Category

FINDING THE VINTAGE QUILT KIT OF YOUR DREAMS

 

I am often called upon to help quiltmakers and collectors source specific vintage kits. Usually the request is quite detailed, with maker, title and call number of the kit. Today I’m posting this for Beryl, who is not at all used to using a computer and although she knows she saw what she wants online, she can’t tell me where – it may have been on my site – or elsewhere. So I’ve done a little legwork and come up with several possibilities. I’m hoping it’s one of these Beryl, because if it is, I am in a positiion to help you out!

I’m often able to do this, and usually haven’t discussed this customer service much online, but in the last year or so I’ve helped a customer find a replacement kit for an heirloom that was stolen in a burglary; and found baby quilt kits in the Beatrix Potter series for the proud grandma of twin boys and provided customers with instruction packages for some of the lovely vintage cross stitch kits on the market.

So if you have a request you think I can help with, don’t be shy – I’m often able to help!

Now to show Beryl and other interested quiltmakers – here’s what I’ve found.

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This is a lovely classic I am fortunate to have in stock, complete with the floss kit in two neutral shades, a medium beige and a darker beige, plus some gold blending filament to add sparkle.

This is Bucilla #3376 “Regency” in the double bed size – a lovely allover design that looks like a snowflake to me.

PRICE: $290USD + $25USD Shipping with insurance and tracking = $315USD contact me: janet@novascotiaquilts.com

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The kit shown below I currently have in stock in your choice of either a double or a king size. I have no floss kit for this but can definitely supply you with sufficient vintage floss from my own stash to wrk the colour version shown; and am likely also to have enough floss to supply other personal colour choices – this kit would look lovely in many colour choices.

Paragon 01142 “Snowflower”

PRICE: double at $225USD and king at $250 – your choice: add $25USD for shipping – contact me: janet@novascotiaquilts.com to arrange purchase using personal cheque, international postal money order or Paypal invoice.

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Beryl specified that her wished for quilt is cross stitch – just to be certain though, I am including this picture of an applique quilt even though I don’t think it’s the one she is looking for – this is a quilt that at one time was available in kit form put out by an unknown company. I have never seen the kit offered anywhere and was lucky to garner a colour picture and a quilting design for it and templates with a placement diagram, so if this one is your heart’s desire – you just might be able to get copies from me and make your own – I believe it came in blue and off white,. and am unsure whether there were other colour choices. Contact me for details if you wish to order copies from me.

I hope the quilts I’ve shown you today pique your interest. Does anyone have any suggestions for other snowflake quilts made from kits that I might follow up on?  I need to find this lady’s dream quilt!

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Enjoy this lovely summer day! Bye for now! Janet

QUILT SHOW AND SALE, Hall’s Harbour, NS, Sept 28 & 29, 2013

  

QUILTS AT THE HARBOUR is 15 THIS YEAR!!! 

It hardly seems possible that what we started as an experiment so long ago has prospered and grown year by year to a two day show that has brought people from all over North America and from Europe too! Below are some pictures taken mainly at last year’s show, but one or two taken from  previous years too. All profits from commission on sales, free will offerings and bake table go to this lovely small heritage church and last year we cleared just over a thousand dollars. 

 

A photo of the lovely heritage church, dating from first settlement of the area – after a few years of worshipping in local homes, the church was built circa 1840 

 

The Sunday School/Fellowship room was built on about 25 years ago, providing a meeting room and washroom facilities. We sell smaller quilted items, knitwear, baked goods and quilters’ gently used items here, and have seating for enjoying chat, light refreshments and a little rest. The sale is staffed by myself, a couple of fellow quilters from the community and several members of the church who run the bake table, serve refreshments and talk about the history of the church and cemetery, and families in the harbour and surrounding area.  We are fortunate to have keen historians available during the show, as well as dedicated quiltmakers! 

 

Another view of the Fellowship Room, me watching a customer trying on one of the sweaters for sale last year. Her husband provided several of the photos used in this post – thanks. 

 

A still functioning and very ornate kerosene chandelier at the front of the church. Note too the beautifully handcrafted pews, painted and faux woodgrained with the original numbers. The beautiful wainscotting matches the pews and similar wainscotting is seen in some of the homes in the community that date to first settlement.  

The church also preserves the collection box which was sent along the pews on a stick by one of the church officers. Note the original wide plank floors under the carpet runner. The windows are unadorned by stained glass. 

 

An overview of the pews, covered in lovely quilts.  The Minister, Mike is checking one of them out. A wonderful assortment, mainly one of a kind, and there were several antique quilts and many vintage quilts  for sale too. Also quilts in all sizes from wallhanging, tabletopper, crib and youth bed quilts right up through twin, double/queen and king sized – something for everyone and at reasonable prices with 20% going to the church – a win/win situation. 

 

Mark your calendar now and be sure to attend, and hopefully show some quilts or consign us some of your unused quilting gizmos and goodies. We’re waiting to welcome you and you’ll have a wonderful day out among friendly people in an area of fabulous natural scenery. Visit us!!  

To find out more or arrange to enter your quilts and goodies, contact me janet@novascotiaquilts.com 

   

Making Your First Wholecloth Quilt

Judging from the number of inquiries I’ve had re cently about making a wholecloth quilt from a kit, there are a lot of people out there who are thinking about giving it a try but are a little hesitant. They ask questions like – how can I learn to quilt by hand; is making this type of quilt time consuming; how can I be sure the quality is top notch; and how do I go about it in general?

A long time ago, the only thing to do when you were contemplating making a wholecloth quilt was to start from scratch and this meant drafting your own pattern, or buying a paper pattern and using a lightbox to transfer it to the cloth.  So a great deal of time, and trial and error, was invested  before you even started to sandwich the quilt and handquilt it.  The skills required were those of a much more experienced quilter and often women with such skills were approached to help to do this. A few years ago I made a “boutis” style*  quilt on special order which was a whole cloth cranberry and cream toile on one side and plain muslin on the other – I transferred the pattern to the muslin – not without a lot of freewheeling where errors had been made in drafting the original pattern – and the finished quilt was exquisite.

 * boutis   refers to the old french tradition of making reversible wholecloth quilts and quilted clothing using the “indiennes” fabrics so popular from the time of their first importation from India in the 1600’s

Before you go any farther, take a look at this beautiful quilt below and see more pictures and read the story about it here:http://pilgrimgirl.blogspot.ca/2009/04/pilgrim-classic-wedding-quilt.html 

There are many lessons to be learned in this story, not the least of which is that fine quilts are made to be used, loved and become soft and worn, not tucked away safely out of sight. I tell prospective customers that the kits available now in the secondary market are at least twenty and often more than thirty years old and that they were made with pride and care out of 100% North American cotton grown, spun and loomed, in the USA and will only improve with use and washing. Off white and ecru can be washed frequently, and air dried under shelter outside or damp dried in a machine on warm,  or close to a woodstove in winter. They are, if not quite immune to babies and pets, a lot better wearing than brightly coloured quilts which will fade and become dull with repeated washings, while the piecing starts to come apart as the thread used cuts through the softened fabric.

The writer of this account understood that this would be very time consuming but worked in tandem with her mothre who clearly was a skilled handquilter – they finished the job in eleven months but I’m sure  mom had other projects on the go too, and Jana was away at university a lot of the time - I have made full sized quilts of a similar size working at least 5 hours a day in about 6 months, Smaller quilts proportionately take far less time, of course.

She describes pricking her finger constantly in an effort to be certain her needle was passing through all layers  – this is not gdesirable because of staining the quilt and doesn’t have to happen – I quickly grew to understand by ‘feel’ alone if I was going through all layers – if you don’t, no harm done, just use a thimble – you can find them made of pliable leather with a dimpled metal plate where you can push the needle back up through.

Jana describes the opportunity to let her thoughts run free with this type of quilting – I’ve described it as a zen-like feeling where you become relaxed but alert and thoughtful – I find it a welcome change from the constant problem solving of my normal quilt designing – and like to keep one on the go as a companion – a little reward and also to use as a ‘problem-solving’ time – I do my best thinking when relaxing like this!

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Above is a basic standard work on quiltmaking which was written by two women who are still going strong today with their own quilting magazine and many fabric lines and quilt patterns on the market. Marianne Fons and Liz Porter wrote this book in the early 1980’s before the technical revolution swept many more traditional skills before it and the knowledge has become nearly lost as to how to cut and mark for piecing, how to handquilt, how to do applique without thehelp of glues, solvents and a sewing machine. A copy of this book is never far from my work table as it contains, as well as basic instruction, loads of tips and ready reckoners to design your own quilt and come up with the right size, and the right colour values.  I have a small supply of this book, long out of print, as I used it in classes, and will sell you a copy for $20USD – these books are very hard to replace, so may only last until my supply is exhausted.

They are in extremely good second hand condition.

PRICE: $20USD + $10USD shipping = $30USD

If you are planning to jump right in to a full queen sized quilt, you will need to buy your backing extra – the full sized kit comes complete with the ready to start quilt top and matching bias binding, but no backing. At the moment, I have two 92×117 100% cotton backings in antique tea dye – this gives the effect of unbleached muslin – and these are extremely rare in the secondary market, coming as they do still sealed from the factory.

PRICE: Doublestencil 100% cotton antique tea dye quilt back 92×117   $75USD + $20USD postage =                                                    $95USD

You will also need a strong glazed thread for handquilting – I’ve pictured my favourite YLI  100% glazed cotton quilting thread which comes in 1000 yard spools – one should be sufficient for a large quilt and will probably do you for two or three smaller quilts. Again, now harder to find since handquilting is a rare pastime today, I can source this thread for you in natural which is a good coice for anything from ecru to creamy white.

PRICE: $12.50 for the 1000 yard spool and no chsrge for postage in a parcel with other purchases.

Finally, if you want the very best quality of quilt batting go for Quilter’s Dream in the Request weight.  it comes in a variety of sizes and by the roll. If you are doing a lot of quilting you can’t beat the price if you buy the roll.  I can either point you in the direction of a good source for this batting in the USA,  or can supply my Canadian buyers who might have trouble sourcing.

I have not used poly batting since 100% cotton became readily available – you can’t beat the feel and drape of the request weight cotton, and you can’t beat the fact that after washing it adds a slightly puckered effect so charming in vintage quilts. More practically, it relaxes out of the packaging very easily and makes sandwiching and pinning or basting a dream. Once you start to quilt you’ll note there is no ‘creeping’ and hence no unpleasant surprises to be straightened out as you go along. And finally this material needles like a dream – you never run up against those funny little nodules you can’t get your needle through! Quilters’ Dream indeed!!

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ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR OWN WHOLECLOTH QUILT NOW?

Well, start you engines!!

I suggest to quiltmakers doing their first quilt to start small – choose from any of  the patterns available among the smaller wholecloth kits listed here

:http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/01/wholecloth-quilt-kits-wallhanging-crib-and-throw-size.html       

Note: I found another Anchors Aweigh to replace the one I have on hold for a customer, so can offer it again.

All these kits come with backing and binding included in the package and you will need to discuss with me how to arrange things so that you can easily cut the binding when the time comes for that step. So – the only other supplies you will need will be batting, pins, needles and a good quilting thread. You’re good to go after you cut off the extra provided for binding.  Check with me – each kit brand is slightly different so I will look at the kit and guide you through mking the binding.

Once you’ve done that, then lay out your quilt top, batting and backing starting with the backing on the bottom  on a large table – your dining table should be great for this or one of those folding banquet tables so many people have. I’ve  even heard of ping pong tables being pressed into service – whatever works for you!

Spread the surfaces evenly together, working out from the middle and smoothing out any bumps and lumps.  When you are happy there are no wrinkles and that there is complete coverage under the quilt top with perhaps a little to spare of both batting and backing - then you can begin at the centre and pin or baste outwards to the edges, continuaslly checking there are no foldovers or bumps on the back and batting. If you find some, unpin or unbaste and start over.

Carefully roll or fold the quilt sandwich and transfer to where you’ll be working  on it. It’s your choice whether you use a frame or not and what kind of frame to use. I have never been happy working in a frame and have used several different kinds, but that is just me – whatever is best for you is best in the long run.

You’re ready to begin! Choose what ever size of ‘betweens’ needles is currently good for you – try buying an assortment package and go with the goal of using a nine or ten needle – you may start larger, I know I did, but you’ll soon want to try the smaller, more flexible ones. I find Piecemakers is my choice – many needle brands offer the same sizes but often you’ll find the thickness of the needle and thus its flexibility varies – Piecemakers seems thin enough to be flexible but I’ve never broken one either. I can help you source these.

START AT THE VERY CENTRE OF THE QUILT _ NOWHERE ELSE!!!    If you do nothing else, follow this instruction carefully. Work everything outwards from there and equally on one side and then the other. If there is a lot of crosshatching involved try to break it up into small segments in terms of working outwards and keep it going that way. Try not to wander far from the centre in any direction.

Keep going steadily even if you feel you’re not making much progress – a little every day will eventually start to look like a lot!! Don’t be tempted to skip out to do the borders, you’ll get lumpy results that way. Just a slow gradual spreading out from the centre.

Once you’ve done the last quilted lines around the periphery of the quilt you’re almost done. One last step – about 3/8 inch out from this ;ast quilting, use a ruler to draw straight lines around each edge and starting at the middle of each side pin carefully through all three layers working from one side to the other of each centre pin until you have all edges carefully pinned. Then following those pinned lines you will sew a largish running stitch completely around the quilt sandwich – this will be your line to pin and machine stitch the binding to the right side - bind the long sides first and then the shorter top and bottom sides, trimming as you complete each edge. Any good quilt text or the ‘Schoolhouse’ section of most quilt magazines will show you how to finish your binding so no rough edges show – you will have made french binding which is simply a double fold binding  which is blindstitched on the back. if there are any of your basting running stitches showing, carefully clip them and pull them out.

I think the above instructions will be enough to get a confident beginner on the way to being an experienced quilter and remember, part of my customer service is always being available to help with troubleshooting and assisting the learning curve.

Best of luck – you can do it!!

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I am contemplating putting together a choice of 18 inch blocks complete with thread, pins, needles batting and backing and selling these kits complete with instructions to those of you who feel they need more of an introduction to the skill – let me know if you are interested and we can talk – and maybe start a small group – who knows?

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And do sign up to receive  my Nova Scotia Quilts Newsletter on a monthly basis – I’m getting February’s ready to go and as well as a couple of early bird new items before they go up on the website, I’ll be offering special promotions only available to newsletter recipients – this month will feature very special prices on some “orphan” items I have paired up with instructions or patterns from my files – don’t miss it                  

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Until next time, keep busy and keep warm – winter is having another kick at the can here today despite what our little Shubenacadie Sam had to say on Groundhog Day!!  Warm hugs from Janet in chilly Hall’s Harbour.

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NOVA SCOTIA PATCHWORK

Pictured on the left is the front cover of a great quilting book by Carter Houck; it has long been out of print. I have collected several copies of this 1981 Dover first edition. Included are 12 traditional quilting patterns with full sized templates and instructions, including layout sketches. There is an interesting history section and if you have seen others of Ms. Houck’s books you know you are in for a treat.
I am offering these collector’s items for sale at the price of $22.95 plus postage but cannot guarantee their availability past September 29, at which time I will offer them for sale at our upcoming Quilt Show and Sale – check out another recent posting for info on this show.
I had collected these books to use in a planned quilting retreat and workshop that did not happen for lack of participants – if any of you are still interested contact me soon as once these books are gone, so is the opportunity for the workshop.
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