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

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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!

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NOW ON TO THE TUTORIAL SO MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN ASKING ME ABOUT!:

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:

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/01/removing-the-stamped-markings-from-quilts-made-from-kits.html

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!!!

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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!

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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.

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/03/beatrix-potter-holly-hobbie-and-walt-disneys-bambi-quilt-kits-and-more.html

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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.

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/04/vintage-cross-stitch-qult-kits-with-floss.html

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http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/06/new-acquisitions-of-vintage-quilt-kits-june-2013.html

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http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/04/vintage-cross-stitch-qult-kits-with-floss.html

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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!

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/06/new-acquisitions-of-vintage-quilt-kits-june-2013.html

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http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/04/vintage-cross-stitch-qult-kits-with-floss.html

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 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.

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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.

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

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Wholecloth quilt kits: Up to the moment listing of wholecloth quilt kits

A group of quilters has contacted me for a complete list of my current inventory as they are hoping their next project will be a wholecloth quilt. What a fabulous idea for a small group and what a way to improve your handquilting skills with all the support a group can give.  In addition, I already have a handy tutorial here: http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/02/making-your-first-wholecloth-quilt.html and I discuss washing your finished pre-stencilled quilt so as to remove the markings here:http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/01/removing-the-stamped-markings-from-quilts-made-from-kits.html In addition I offre ongoing personalised mentoring for quilters who purchase any of my stock. There really is a sisterhood among quilters!!

So, below, if you and your friends are thinking of a similar project soon, you’ll find something for every skill level – with this variety you’ll be able to choose enough of a challenge, but not too much. I’m happy to put together a group order, and can offer 10% off each individual’s order; and a larger shipment makes sense too in terms of there being less cost overall than if each parcel went out one by one. Shipping, as always, will include insurance and tracking.

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WHOLECLOTH PILLOW TOP KITS:

There are two design families from which to choose – above is Welsh Beauty and below is Garden Bouquet – both by Benartex, these kits come complete with binding and backing and are in antique white – a lovely creamy colour! You can purchase one or the pair of these lovely projects which are sized at 18 inches. A lovely way to introduce yourself to handquilting a wholecloth and you have a nice finished item very quickly. When ordering specify which pair or which single you wish.

PRICES:  ONE PILLOW TOP with binding and backing 18inches in white: $37.50USD

PAIR TOPS  w binding and backing 18inches in white: $75USD shipping extra let me quote

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CHRISTMAS TREE SKIRT or TABLECLOTH:

Sorry – just a teaser here – I’m hoping to have several of these lovely items – 45inches in diameter – in stock soon in both white and natural – contact me janet@novascotiaquilts.com if you wish me to put a hold on one for you…..

OCT 8/13!!!GREAT NEWS!!!!

I have been able to source these enchanting kits just in time for you to complete one before christmas!!  I will have one in antique white and one in natural and they come complete with backing and binding – all you need are the batting and the quilting thread, which I also carry. Can go out to you as soon as they arrive if you secure yours now!

PRICE: tablecloth or Christmas tree skirt complete approx 40 inches in diameter  - $150USD + $20USD postage

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CRIB or WALLHANGING or TABLECLOTH  WHOLECLOTH KITS:

Doublestencil’s Cana Lily in natural 40×40 inches  SOLD

Doublestencil’s American Heritage Collection: Medallion Star 42×42 in natural

Above: Benartex Anchors Aweigh 40×54 available in both natural and antique white

Another Benartex wholecloth kit is shown above: This is Floral Fantasy which also is sized at 40×54, which is a perfect size to grow with baby into early childhood. This kit is available in natural.

Another Holice Turnbow design is featured by Penn Prints, and Doublestencil – this is Ba Bear – a darling kit that will be a classic – available in both antique white oe natural, another view is shown on this post:

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/07/update-vintage-wholecloth-quilt-kits-added-to-inventory.html BOTH BA BEAR KITS ARE NOW SOLD (APRIL 14/14)

A very traditional wholecloth, design based on a museum collection 19th century quilt – this is National Star by Penn Prints – which is another trade name of Doublestencil/Spartex. This bewautiful kit is in natural and sized at 40×40.  SOLD

Above is an all time favourite – my friend June, who has bought two other kits from me was in last night and was very tempted – as I am but I keep reminding myself I have too much on my plate already! This one is the small size shown hanging on the wall above the bed.; You have a choice here – the nice vintasge prints to do the applique are in the package, which is factory sealed. You can also choose a differnt colour scheme using your own fabrics or you can choose to go for a more suvtle look and dispense with the applique altogether.

And finally, this lovely and very traditional American Star in the American Heritage series by Doublestencil this wholecloth  kit is sized at 42×42 and is shown as the wall hanging in the above picture – comes in natural – wouldn’t this make a lovely tabletopper in a bedroom that has a wholecloth quilt on the bed? Such a versatile size, this would also make a lovely floor blanket for a crawling baby – either indoors or out – this quilt is so washable!

PRICE: Specify which kit is your choice – they are all priced at $150USD and are complete with binding and backing to match. Shipping to include insurance and tracking is extra – I will quote. Contact me janet@novascotiaquilts.com

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It’s rare to find this mid size in a wholecloth kit – this is only the second one I’ve had and I waited a long time to find it! This is Grape Wreath, again from Doublestencil’s American Heritage Collection and such a bargain as it comes complete with the backing and binding – just add your batting, needle and thread and you are on your way: 53×70 it is available in natural.

PRICE: GRAPE WREATH: 53×70 with backing and binding in natural $200USD, shipping will be qyoted

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QUEEN SIZED WHOLECLOTH KITS: Pictured below are the queen sized wholecloth kits I currently have in stck – some are available in both antique white or natural. These kits do not come with the backing but the matching binding is always supplied.

Above is Penn Prints Hagerstown Feather – this is a classic and very formal quilt in a design based on a heritage quilt from the nineteenth century – size given as ‘queen’ which I assume is roughly 90x 108. Available in natural.

American Star 90×113 in natural from Doublestencil’s American Heritage Collection – another classic!  SOLD

Above, a  Holice Turnbow design by Benartex – Garden Bouquet 90×108 available in natural

Holice Turnbow hjas been the tp ranking designer of wholecloth quilts, working for both Benartex and Doublestencil. This is his lovely deign Welsh Beauty in a choice of antique white or natural. sized at 86×106 – a double/queen

And finally, another Holice Turnbow put out by Benartex, Feathered Pineapple,  and measuring 90×108, this is in natural

PRICE: Each of the above queen sized kits comes complerte with binding – no backing is supplied: $250USD and I will quote you shipping, including insurance and tracking

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QUILTING SUPPLIES

For some time now, I have been offering the supplies to finish these lovely kits – I keep a few factory sealed backs, and the thread and batting that I have found to work well with these kits in stock – this is as a service to quilters who, like me, may live far from a well stocked quilt shop and wish to purcyhase everything they need at once. Contact me janet@novascotiaquilts.com should you wish to make use of this extra in customer service.

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For those of you whose interest lies more along the lines of the lovely vintage applique and cross stitch kits I carry, regular posts about those beauties are coming next and my monthly newsletter for August will be going out shortly – please sign up to receive it – send me an email: janet@novascotiaquilts.com – and tell me “Sign me Up!”

UPDATE: VINTAGE WHOLECLOTH QUILT KITS ADDED TO INVENTORY

   

Today I’m happy to tell you that I’ve been able to replenish my inventory of lovely wholecloth quilt kits. In fact, I’ve also been able to acquire several of these kits in the very desirable and harder to find antique white. This is a soft creamy white that is so appropriate for babies and for brides.  

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 Above is Holice Turnbow’s design – Feathered Pineapple – at 90×108 this is a queen sized quilt top that is complete with matching binding – this is available in natural. A classic! 

 PRICE: FEATHERED PINEAPPLE by BENARTEX 90×108, in natural and complete with binding $250USD + $30USD SHIPPING, INSURANCE and TRACKING 

  

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Above is shown Welsh Beauty, also designed by Holice Turnbow for Benartex  – 86×106 – a double/queen, comes complete with matching binding. At the moment I have this in both WHITE and NATURAL. PRICE: WELSH BEAUTY by BENARTEX, 86×106 in YOUR CHOICE OF WHITE or NATURAL $250USD + $30USD SHIPPING, INSURANCE AND TRACKING. 

  

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And finally – this is Garden Bouquet by Benartex  – back in stock!  90×108 – queen sized, and a lovely soft, feminine design without being over-the-top girly – suitable for a master bedroom and available in natural colour. PRICE: GARDEN BOUQUET by BENARTEX 90×108 complete with binding in a natural shade. $250USD + $30USD SHIPPING< INSURANCE AND TRACKING 

  

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To purchase contact me: janet@nova scotiaquilts.com and I will put an immediate hold on your item(s) and arrange payment with you.  

                                   ******************************************************************** And now for some smaller wholecloth quilt kits, suitable for a baby, small child, as a suggle quilt in the living room or as a lovely covering for a teatable: these kits are a fantastic bargain as they come complete with backing, binding and stamped top – all you do is add thread and batting! 

These kits sell out so quickly, but today I am happy to be able to offer you several in a choice of the lovely antique white or the classic ecru or natural…… act now to secure the one you love! 

 I have “Ba Bear” a Holice Turnbow design that was marketed under both the Penn Prints and the Doublestencil brand – both were brands owned by Spartex/Doublestencil. I am shoeing you both versions of the cover picture. Above is the natural coloured kit , 40×50 and BELOW is the antique white version, also 40×50. Both in factory sealed packages. 

 PRICE: BA BEAR – 40×50 in your choice of antique white or natural – backing and binding included for $150USD + $30USD SHIPPING, TRACKING AND INSURANCE 

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 Another sweet kit, this is Pennsylvania Folk Art II by Doublestencil – also factory sealed, this kit comes with optional applique fabric which you can choose to use in making up the kit or you can omit for a more subtle quilt.  This kit is 43×47 and again comes factory sealed. 

PRICE: Pennsylvania Folk Art II by DOUBLESTENCIL $150USD + $30USD SHIPPING, INSURANCE AND TRACKING 

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 And finally, back in stock and now in your choice of antique white or natural, this is a classic nautical themed wholecloth quilt kit that will look great no matter where or how it is used – this one comes complete with matching binding and backing, so is  ready for you to start! Size: 40×54 – very versatile! 

PRICE: ANCHORS AWEIGH by BENARTEX complete and factory fresh your choice of WHITE or NATURAL $150USD + $30USD SHIPPING, TRACKING AND INSURANCE 

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To secure any of the above kits, contact me janet@novascotiaquilts.com and I will put a hold on them while we complete purchse – you can pay by Paypal, Internationl Postal Money Order or your Personal Cheque using USD or if you are Canadian, using CDN funds. 

My customer service, including after purchase advice is second to none – try me and you’ll find out why I hae so many return customers! 

And finally if you want to start receiving my monthly newsletter featuring interesting short articles, new inventory and special offers, be sure to send me an emal with “SIGN ME UP!” in the title line. 

Unril next post – enjoy your summer!!    Janet 

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Colonial and Post Colonial Quilt Kits: Americana

 

The two North American nations of Canada and  the United States of America celebrate their national holidays this week. In honour of this fact, and because there appears to be some confusion about “Colonial” style or “Americana”  as it relates to quilts and quiltmaking, my post will be on that topic today.

In the twenty or so years leading up to the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776, Great Britain had emerged as the major player in North America; Spain had been restricted to some of the Caribbean Islands, Central America (and part of the present state of Texas) and parts of South America; while France’s claim to control a large part of North America from Quebec running down through Detroit and the Mississipi  Valley to the Gulf of Mexico ended on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City in 1758.

At that time, Britain controlled all 14 (note there were 14, not 13)colonies primarily on the eastern seaboard or very close to it and accessible by major rivers. Trade and the political and social influences were slanted in favour of Britain and the ruling classes regarded England as their home, and the source of all good things.

Since communication was mainly by sea, it was no problem to have a contact in London or another major port in Britain, who acted as a personal buyer – sending out house furnishings, decorative items, books, ladies fashions and men’s tailored items, periodicals and so on; and who looked out for young people sent “home” to study. Britain also controlled the amount of and quality of North American manufacture to protect their own manufacturers,  who sent goods into the ‘colonies’ and in return Britain imported raw materials: salt fish, lumber, indigo, rice, cotton, tobacco etc.

During this period of time the “Age of Enlightenment” had dawned in Europe and shone the light of knowledge on all sorts of areas : the classical period, Greek and Roman democracy, art and architecture, science and religion. One of the major side effects of this movement was  the unification of smaller principalities into larger national entities, and the rise of somewhat more democratic states  - the stage was set for the transfer of these ideas to North America.

A note: prior to the outbreak of the revolutionary war  in 1776 decorartive arts were firmly based in European traditions – you will see later how this affected bed coverings – quilts, if you will - but now to finish the brief history of an event which shaped the future of the North American continent.

The major issues at the root of the revolutionary war were the issues of taxation and a political system imposed from outside by outsiders to govern a people who were beginning to have little in common with those who governed them…..  A factor in the outbreak was the fact that as settlers came, they were at first drawn from the most oppressed and disenfranchised of Europeans – the landless, those who were of the wrong religion and the people uprooted by generations of war. Those who survived the first few years of hardship, malnutrition and cold in North America were the strongest and most able to learn from their new environment – thus a new national group was developing who had little attachment to anything other than their North American homes, land and families as they fought to govern themselves.

I noted earlier, there was a 14th colony -  the most northerly of them all – this was Nova Scotia, my home. Since 1710, mainland Nova Scotia (which is strategically located on a large peninsula jutting into the North Atlantic)  had been ruled by England but many of her settlers came directly fromNew England to exploit the fisheries, settle the cleared and fertile lands emptied by the expulsion of French Acadian settlers who had been here since the mid 1600’s, and to act as merchants at the naval and army outpost of halifax.

These people happily settled in here, but maintaned their contacts with the colonies to the south of us, and when the revolutionary war broke out there were more than a few people  favourable to the cause of the young would-be nation. Nova Scotia was asked to send a delegate to the Convention in Phiadelphia and it was a near thing we didn’t revolt  too – the main reason seeming to be the cheery willingness of New Englanders to range along our coasts coming into small ports and stealing all that wasn’t nailed down – that jinxed things and gave the British time to regain control and stamp out  the movement here.

To make a long story much shorter, Nova Scotia remained a British colony which took in many of the United Empire Loyalists (as they were called this side of the border),   and Canada remained  British: North American Provinces after the dust settled – much later, we saw fit to become a nation as late as 1867 when Britain, faced with monstrous debts incurred by Ontario and Quebec due to railroads forced the entry of Ontario and Quebec, and the districts to the north and west of those provinces into what was at that point simply a planned atlantic provinces  union – the rest as they say, is history…. but our arm was certainly twisted to help Britain avoid responsibility for these huge debts.

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What then, of bed coverings during the “colonial” period in North America? Basically there were two kinds – one kind was bedhangings and spreads to enhance the homes of the wealthy; and the other was blankets or quilts made of whatever materials might be found at hand, by and for the less wealthy. Usually these were bits and pieces – good sections from worn out dresses and shirts, pieces left over from dressmaking , ‘domestic’ cotton or homespun made of a blend of linen and wool; and at first scraps of heavier woolen fabrics padded with wool carded by hand or at a local water turned carding mill. Cottons were too costly and scarce to be used in “utility quilts” merely to keep warm.

Formal quilting styles reflected those being made at the time in England by the well-to-do - wholecloth quilts, and palampores or bed coverings printed in India with wood block on fine cotton in brilliant colours. The quilted bed covers of the poorer country folk didn’t usuallysurvive  =- they were worn until they couldn’t be used again and then finished out their life protecting an ox or a horse from bad weather when out on the road or working in the woods.

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When war broke out in 1776 in the 13 colonies, the normal trade lines were abruptly broken; and it became both an issue of pride and a matter of necessity to develop domestic manufacture of necessary items, and to seek trade with other parts of the world than those under the influence of Britain.

Coupled with this was the rising trend to industrializaton and the more efficient machines being invented.Since cotton was grown in North America and would no longer be sent to Britain’s large mills for spinning and weaving,, it resulted in a surge of interest in water powered mills for spinning and weaving and the slow but steady increase in local production of finished yard goods. This heavily influenced a reduction in the use of home processed wool and linen in preference for the easier to work cheaper and less labour intensive  cotton which began to appear. References to slave production of both cotton thread and woven cloth, usually of a rough type that we now call osnaburg are made in documents from both the George Washington and the Thomas Jefferson estates, along with nail making, furniture building and distilling – this effort by both early presidents, as well as setting an example to be followed was necessary to keep their estates self-sustaining and in the profit zone, and were emulated by many landholders.

By very early in the 19th century, there were many efficient factories using American raw materials to add value and trade within the nation rather than by importing finished products and American productivity continued to increase by fine tuning of machinery and more efficient use of waterpower to run mills.

The small remnant of British North America left to the north of the Unted States benefitted by an influx of population and know- how from loyalists and as well from increasing trade with the United States that formal peace legitimized and so we began to grow at a faster pace as well.

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  Below, a selection of quilt kits that would reflect fairly accurately the quilts of the pre-revolutionary period, although they were produced and marketed in the  mid 20th century.

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Above: Feathered Pineapple – a design re-interpreted from traditional  quilts by Holice Turnbow

and Below, the same designer interprets the traditional Welsh Beauty pattern. These lovely kits are currently in stock and are both queen sized

 PRICED at: $250USD each plus $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking.

Below: AMERICAN STAR from a quilt in the Smithsonian Institution – this another queen sized kit and is also PRICED AT $250USD + $30USD shipping, tracking and insurance.

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And shown below, quilt kits that reflected quilts that were being made as  part of the patriotism of the early years of the New Republic:

Above and below: two kits marketed by Paragon – both these kits are based on museum collections of earlier quilts from both the Federal period – late 1700’s and the centennial period – 1876.

 Above Paragon 01147 American Glory: read more about this lovely kit here – it is available in both a started kit and also in a sealed fresh from the factory version.

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/04/vintage-paragon-applique-quilt-kits.html

PRICE: $395USD + $30USD for shipping, tracking and insurance for ether kit

  

And below -the same quilt worked in cross stitch rather than applique:this kit is for a double bed size and comes with the floss kit of Peri Lusta threads put out at the same time

PRICE; kit and floss $290USD + $30 USD for shipping, tracking and insurance

  

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The above pictured kit was made by Bucilla and marketed by them as American Eagle. The exact same kit was available through the premium catalogue of 20 Mule Team Borax and called “Liberty”  – I have this it in stock again and can also offer the vintage floss for the blue/red colour choice. More details here: http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2009/08/some-vintage-cross-stitch-quilt-kits.html

CURRENT PRICE: $225USD + $65USD floss + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking

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The two kits directly below are more modern representations of quilts that were popular during the colonial period and still seen frequently after Independence was declared – these kits were marketed in 1950 and later, and reflect the long lasting love for the patterns first seen when the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company began shipping fine handprinted cottons from India starting in the 1600’s. These luxury items took Europe by storm and as access to cotton and to weaving and printing became widespread, began to be copied first in France, and then in Holland and Britain.  I have several other kits resembling these two – ask if you are interested.

These ones are:

Directly below: Paragon’s American Herutage in double bed size – I have the floss kit (Peri Lusta, of course) for the kit as well….

PRICE: $290USD complete kit with floss + $30USD shipping, tracking and insurance

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And below: Progress 1492 Tree of Life 79×97 back in stock now after an absence, ask about the ‘orphan kit of appliques and embroidery floss without the background fabric – I can provide placement diagrams to put this little bundle on a piece of widecloth white muslin! A heritage quilt at a fraction of the price!

PRICE: complete factory sealed Tree of Life kit: $395USD + $30USD shipping, tracking and insurance  

                             OR

Buy the ‘orphan kit’ with instructions, applique pieces and floss PRICE: $65USD shipping included

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And above, the cross stitch version of Tree of Life also put out by Progress. I am not able at the moment to supply the floss kit for this, if one was ever marketed, but it should not be hard to source good floss.

PRICE: CS Progress Tree of Life kit 79×97 $225USD + $30USD shipping, tracking and insurance

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Below are another group of kits marketed from 1950 onwards: Paragon’s Whig Rose a cross stitch interpretation of  the classic applique on white in red and green – the swag round the border in particular is reminiscent of the federal period in design – around 1800. I have this kit in stock.  I may have floss but not the original floss kit.

PRICE for double bed size $225USD + $30 USD shipping, tracking and insurance

 

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Below: during the 1850’s a regional type of elaborately appliqued albumstyle quilt developed in the Batimore Maryland area – Mary Simon appears to have designed many blocks but little is known of her. You can find pictures of many museum quilts by googling Baltimore Album quilts. This is another lovely interpretation made by Paragon and meant to be finished in cross stitch embroidery. I just recently sold the one floss kit I had so am selling the stamped top alone:

PRICE:double bed size Baltimore Brides Quilt $225USD + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking

 

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Yet again, a lovely interpretation of a medallion style quilt of the late 1700’s – this is called “Country Gardens” and is shown in shades of red and rose with apparently an alternate floss kit being available in yellow. I have neither floss kit and have not seen any out there, so offer the kit of the quilt top in double bed size – you find the floss. Not hard these days with Michaels and Hobby Lobby everywhere.

PRICE: Paragon Country Garden double bed size $225USD + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking

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The above kit was put out by Franklin Mint to commemorate the bicentennial of American Independence. This is a kit that was available only in a very limited number and I sold the one I had long ago. Before I did, since Franklin Mint was totally unforthcoming about supplying instructions from their records, I made a copy of the manual and all the templates and placement patterns, and can provide you with this set should you decide to make your version of the kit.

Called 13 Colonies it has a block commemorating each of those original colonies along with an alternate block so that the total number of blocks you’ll applique before making the appliqued border will be 25 – this is a stunning quilt when finished and would be a lovely heirloom! Contact me janet@novascotiaquilts.com to arrange to purchase instructions.

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Regency was the British name for the Federal period – Regency refers to the Pribce of Wales regency in Britain after George III finally became totally mentally incompetent – this was in the same time frame as the early years of the American Republic. This lovely kit reflects the quiet restraint and elegance of design during this period and would beautifully enhance a bedroom containing furniture reflecting the Federal period, as shown in the illustration. I have this lovely double bed sized kit back in stock now, including the beautiful factory sealed floss kit.

PRICE: BUCILLA “REGENCY” double bed size complete with floss $290USD + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking

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Beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century, there was a trend away from the heavily decorated, sombre and overblown victorian decorating style, as the Arts and Crafts Movement began to sweep through the western world. Simply stated, this was a turning away from factory made items to a cleaner, simpler style that emphasised the work of skilled artists and craftsmen as opp[osed to mass production.  William Morris, of course, was in the forefront of this movement. What it signified for our interest – quilts – was a return to hand made, clean and simple bedcoverings. A re-surgence in quiltmaking began primarily in Norh America that continues to this day.

At the same time, the Centennial of the USA was being observed and a whole new group of artists and craftspeople were celebrating their homegrown design talents and encouraging the general public to come on board – this period of time was called the ‘colonial revival’ and much authenticity was sacrificed for the sake of the quaint and picturesque. Wallace Nutting was at the forefront of the movement, setting up a small regional furniture manufactory of first period (1650 onwards) furnishings and publishing scores of posed and historically less than accurate hand coloured photos – these items are still much in demand today and are now antiques in their own right.

All through the early part of the last century, houses were being built in the colonial revival style, and restorations such as colonial Williamsburg were going forward on a major scale.

Small needlecraft houses, not to be outdone were offering patterns, stamped goods and magazine articles, and a generation of North Americans fell asleep each night on pillowcases with southern crinoline ladies, looking at needlework pictures of bell skirted ladies at garden gates. Tea was taken from china with the same motif.

The quilt kit manufacturers came on board with kits like those shown below – not necessarily accurate in design, but reflecting the mood of quaint and historic and later in the 1970’s as american country style became popular producing kits with an americana theme.

These kits too are a legitimate part of our quilt kit heritage and make lovely period statements in rooms today.

Above is a kit I have recently acquired, Paragon American Calico – the name says it all! Published in 1944 this is a lovely kit in double ved size to be worked in cross stitch in the traditional 19th c colours of red green and yellow on white.

PRICE :  PARAGON AMERICAN CALICO double bed size: $250USD + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking

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Above is the ever-popular Paragon American Sampler quilt kit – I have this kit in stock in two sizes double and queen/king  and can supply the sealed floss kits (Peri Lusta)for both in the colourway shown.

PRICES: PARAGON AMERICAN SAMPLER complete with floss kit – double bed size $290USD, or queen/king size $325 USD and shipping for either choice $30USD includes tracking and insurance.

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The kit shown below is stunning – I have two of these which I will sell singly or as a pair. Both are double bed sized, one is complete in the original package and rthe other has been started and is missing fabric to complete it.   Got to this link to see more photos and a full description, including prices.

Contact me if you are ready to take on this challenge!

http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2012/12/bucilla-applique-quilt-kit-8525-colonial-bouquet.html

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And abovew is my final offering for today: this is a kit that reflects the ‘quaintness’ and ‘americana’ feel I was talking about – fun! and it comes complete with all floss and instructions to complete. Paragon Colonial America is dated 1978 and is in double bed size. Check it out in more deatil in this post: http://www.novascotiaquilts.com/2013/01/vintage-quilt-kits-new-listings.html

PRICE: PARAGON “COLONIAL AMERICA” double with floss kit $290USD + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking

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THANKS FOR FOLLOWING THROUGH TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS LENGTHY POST.

Enjoy your national hliday and remember to contact me: janet@novascotiaquilts.com and put SIGN ME UP! in the title line in order to start receiving my newsletter – the July issue will be going out soon and will contain some new acquisitions and perhaps some real treasures among my older rarer inventory. There will be some special offers as well – get on the list!

Hugs! Have a great day!  Janet

New Acquisitions of Vintage Quilt Kits June 2013

Nova Scotia Quilts June 2013 Newsletter finally went out last week after some frustrating technical difficulties. I had found many vintage qult kits to add to my current inventory and also have managed to re-stock several favourites for you.

As you know, I hold back on listing my new acquisitions until the newsletter subscribers have had the first shot at picking them up, and now I am posting them here for you to consider for purchase. Why not send me an email asking  to “Sign Me Up!”  to start receiving these great monthly updates? janet@novascotiaquilts.com

I’m also hopeful that I can soon announce some new stock in the wholecloth quilt kit department – my stock has dwindled and it has been difficult to source these popular kits the last few months…..

Now to list some lovely vintage quilt kits – enjoy!!

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After a long, long wait I again have this beautiful vintage applique quilt kit by Bucilla in stock again – #3128 – a rarer trellis design – all is  present and is in immaculate condition – the applique pieces have all been cut out but the quilt itself has not been started.

PRICE: BUCILLA 3128 DOGWOOD 79×97 to applique $395USD + $30USD shipping, tracking and insurance = $425USD

In addition to this vintage, unstarted quilt kit, I also have the same kit on hand in a started condition – some pieces are sewn on, some are pinned, some are loose and I know there are pieces missing that will need to be matched. With all the lovely solids put out by Moda and the huge range of Kona solids featured on http://www.equilter.com you will have no problem, I’m sure.

Another solution  wuld be to redo the finished parts using the hoffman 1895 line of hand dye batiks – my choice, not necessarily historically correct but I think it would make a lovely quilt.

Are you up for this challenge? If so I can offer this work in progress at a great saving:

PRICE: BUCILLA #3128 DOGWOOD  - WORK IN PROGRESS – yours for  $200USD + $30USD shipping – what a wonderful idea for a summr project!!

TO SECURE EITHER VINTAGE KIT< CONTACT janet@novascotiaquilts.com and we will work out your choice of payment method.

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Above is a treasure from Bucilla – this is one of their early ones. The picture on the front of the package is in black and white indicating along with the printing and the style of the instruction leaflet a date in the late 1940’s or early 50’s. This is a double bed size and is to be cross stitched on a central block design area of beautiful mid blue percale with a traditional border in white around te edge. Quantities of floss required are  given  and the bias binding in the same mid blue is included so that you have a perfect match.

PRICE: BUCILLA’S AMERICAN PROVINCIAL # 2868 90×103 complete with binding $250USD + $30 Shipping, insurance and tracking = $280USD

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Above is Bucilla’s Springtime to be cross stitched. – this vintage kit is double bed sized and comes complete with the factory sealed floss kit to complete it. What a lovely gift this would make for a treasured daughter or granddaughter – very feminine but not over the top in girliness!

PRICE: this beautiful vintage kit comes complete with the original floss kit at $290USD + $30USD to ship, insure and track = $320USD

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Above is another winner – this time from Paragon – this is Tulip Time, a king sized quilt kit to be completed in your choice of colours – you provide the floss. This is a lovely retro 60’s look and would make a classic statement in your master bedroom or guest suite.

PRICE: PARAGON TULIP TIME – king sized quilt kit to cross stitch !08x 103  $250USD + $30USD for shipping, tracking and insurance = $290USD

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I have the very lovely Regency double bed sized quilt kit by Bucilla, to be cross stitched using the factory sealed floss kit that comes with this kit. The “Regency” period in British History roughly corresponds to the Federal Period in post revolutionary America – and reflected a return to classical design and understated elegance. Your home wll be enhanced by this restrained, delicate style.

PRICE: BUCILLA’S double/queen sized vintage quilt kit Regency, with floss (including the rare blending filament in gold) $290USD  includes floss kit + $30USD postage, insurance and tracking = $320USD

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 Above is a very old vintage kit – this is Paragon’s 1944 original Gingham Rose in double bed size. This popular kit design was revived in a king size in the late 50’s to suit the new rage of king sized beds sweeping North America, but this one is the original – hard to find these days!

PRICE: PARAGON GINGHAM ROSE 1944  80×100 stamped for embroidery  $250USD + $30USD postage, insurance and tracking

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Another very early and hard to find quilt kit – I had despaired of finding this one – I have one in my collection which although complete is stained and therefore an unknown quantity – the stained kit must be worked and then handquilted before it can be washed and treated for the staining – my hunch is that although this will not completely wash out it will be so much lessened as to be aceptable in a vintage quilt.

So…………..your choice – take a risk and a challenge for a lesser price, or buy the factory fresh new kit also dating to the 1940’s…..

PRICES: FACTORY FRESH! Paragon’s American Calico – 1940’s double bed size $250USD + $30 Shipping, insurance and tracking = $280

OR

Paragon’s American Calico 1940’s double bed size with noticeable stain, instruictions included – as is condition $85USD + $30USD shipping, insurance and tracking – sorry folks – this one has SOLD!

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And finally, this beautiful treasure! Another vintage   Paragon cross stitch quilt kit “American Heritage”  factory sealed in double bed size and complete with the floss kit (Peri Lusta threads, of course) also factory sealed – the rich colours reflect the original designs that started coming out of India in the early 1600’s and swept Europe with the luxury of colour, lightweight cotton and oriental design.

The design reflects the “Indian Tree” or Tree of Life pattern and the rich vivid colourings of the new woodblock printed indiennes textiles =- a natural with antique furnishings, this one is a must have!

In addition to the factory sealed items, I also have a kit that has been started and is complete with the floss to carry it to completion. Again – your choice!

PRICES: Paragon’s American Heritage, sealed kit, double size, complete with sealed floss kit $290USD +$30USD shipping, insurance and tracking = $320USD

OR

Paragon’s American Heritage, double bed size started and with floss to complete $200 + $30USD shipping, ionsurance and tracking = $230USD

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These beautiful vintage quilt kits won’t last long, so be sure to contact me to put a hold on your choice: janet@novascotiaquilts.com

I ship as soon as payment is received – no waiting for your cheque to clear through the bank. You can choose instant pay through paypal with the added advantage of using your credit card; or you can mail me a personal cheque or a USPS International Postal Money Order – your choice

My customer service and my reputation is second to none and I’ve been here online doing business with the largest vintage quilt kit inventory in North America for over 10 years.

Have a wonderful day, enjoy the summer and stay safe!

Warm hugs to all my friends – Janet!!

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