Latest ‘Acquisition’!!

My Own Quilts, Vintage Quilt | March 19, 2020 | By

I’m so tickled to have found this amazing, super quirky quilt top!! Most sewists might have left this as a dresden plate only top, but the maker added these red and blue circles that make no sense. I LIKE IT!! I am so drawn to the craziest quilts and often think, ‘what was she thinking’? If only we knew! So, I make up lots of good stories! I like to think she might have been a Jayhawk fan (University of KS, located 3 blocks from me) and that possessed her to make those bold circles. HAHAHAHA!

Sadly, the year has ended with no March madness. I’ve slowly worked this out, grieved and I’m back to sewing. Tough for all the basketball fans out there, but worth it to stay safe and healthy.

I’m really excited to get this one on the frame. I have no idea how it will be quilted, but quilts usually start talking to me the minute they are on the long arm. Time will tell!

The fabrics in this one are 1930’s and 40’s and it’s been completely handpieced and embroidered with a buttonhole stitch around all the circles. It was fairly clean when I got it, but I’m giving it a day in the sunshine to brighten and freshen up. Did you know that the chlorophyll from grass mixed with sunshine will actually brighten fabric??!!! It really works!

I’ve often had my neighbors tell me they want to snatch up whatever they see on the yard. So far, no one has, but I do check out the window every now and then.

I give it about half a day on the front and then half a day on the back. The back of a top really tells the story. LOTS of hand stitching on this one!

I’m always on the lookout for a quirky quilt. Where do I find them?? Online, antique stores, thrift stores, estate and garage sales. Right now, online is probably the only way to shop. It can be done 24 hours a day, which can be a little scary when it’s 3 am and I can’t sleep! 😉

Have a great rest of your week! I hope if you are self isolated, there is some sewing in your day. I’m just now headed to my machine, but I really wanted to share what I think is a happy quilt. Since I won’t be teaching or traveling for awhile, I’ll try to do some more show and tell here when I can. QUILT ON everyone!!

Home with kids? Try this melted crayon project!

kids craft fun | March 16, 2020 | By

I’ve done this melted crayon project a few times with kids and even for just myself as an art quilt. If you are home with kids for the next few weeks, give this a try! You can choose to quilt it or make it into something else, like a pillow, journal cover, tote bag, etc. Let your kids decide what it might be. Have fun!

Melted Crayons Put to Fabric, GREAT KIDS PROJECT!

kids craft fun | February 22, 2020 | By

Are you looking for a quick and fun project for your kids or grandkids this weekend? Here is a fun idea with supplies you probably already have in your art stash and kitchen. The video will show you what you need and give you the quick directions. Have fun!!!

Quilting a Bow Tie, Vintage Quilt Top

Beautiful, bow tie quilt top, 3′ x 7′

I’ve had this top for awhile, maybe 2-3 years, but the mood to quilt it finally hit me early this week and it went on the frame! The appeal is the 2″ bow ties. Can you even imagine piecing this one, by hand?!!

YES, the back of a hand pieced top can be overwhelming. How would you ever press this? Well, I don’t do it from the back, that’s for sure. However, this one has been precisely pieced and was done well. Each one of those little pieces is about 1″ in size, finished. Honestly, I can’t imagine!!

I never press these from the back. I gave this a good press from the top, not concerning myself about direction of seams because there really is no way to properly press those from the backside. I do give it some starch and try to make it as flat as possible.

I ‘float’ all my quilts, which means I don’t attach them to the bar that is sitting on the top. Many times, people will pin their top to that leader and bar, but I like the ability to manipulate my tops, especially the hand pieced ones. I am constantly tugging gently, spraying some starch and steaming here and there to shrink the excess fabric. I find I can get the best results by keeping the top free. You can see the starch and steam trick on my YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/In79vxH-IyY

Fabrics are mostly 1930’s and 1940’s

I’ve chosen to put a swirl in the white spaces and simply ditch stitch around the bow ties, hoping to pop those shapes and fabrics without interruption. Small stitching will create the best curves, so I am stitching at 14 stitches per inch. This is also a continuous line of stitching. No need to break thread if you don’t need to. I try to get through most quilts without cutting threads, unless of course, there is a color change. It saves LOTS of time and thread burying, which I do with all thread tails.

I did a quick video on how I travel through these pieces. It’s all about looking ahead, getting a quilt path figured out. This always reminds me of the puzzle mazes on paper that I loved as a kid!

The rulers (for domestic OR long arm) can be found in my shop online. I use different lengths and shapes, depending on the work I’m doing. https://kellyclinequilting.bigcartel.com/products

I decided to only ditch stitch the blue and white squares, hoping they would create a frame around the bow tie blocks. I really want those bow ties to pop out and be the stars. I think they are!

You may ask what those red things are in the top of the photo. I use Red Snappers (https://quiltsonthecorner.com/red-snapper-12/ ) from Renae Haddidin. I actually ordered them way before I even had my long arm set up, 8 years ago. I knew I would never be a pin girl, so snappers are a clamp type set up. I can pull a quilt off and put it back on in a matter of minutes.

This is the look of a finished row. Walking away from the quilt at night really has a great look. I only have a few squares left to finish and then I can do the big TA DA!!! I always look forward to that!

Feel free to ask questions. I post daily on my Facebook page, so follow me there for progress. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Quilting Vintage Class!

Lectures and teaching | January 29, 2020 | By

Join me for a FUN, full day workshop of quilting vintage linens, near my home in Lawrence, KS! We’ll spend the morning getting ideas and learning how to collage those vintage pieces you’ve collected or inherited. After lunch, we’ll dive into a short lesson on how to quilt on your domestic machine. A supply list will be emailed after registration. (sewing machine, variety of linens and the ability NOT to follow a pattern is needed) This is improvisational piecing at it’s finest! The event will be held at the Keller Williams office in Lawrence, KS. Follow the link below to see the location and purchase your ticket.

***The class is non-refundable, unless there is a wait list and I can fill the spot or you have a friend who would like to join us. Thanks!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/quilting-vintage-on-your-domestic-machine-tickets-91532039795

You may create something like this!

Pincushions!

pincushions | December 19, 2019 | By

I have become ADDICTED to making pincushions! It all started this summer when I was homebound (well, not traveling anyway) to undergo radiation treatments for breast cancer. This is where I scream, GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS!! Seriously folks, mine was found on a 3D, annual screening. It was extremely small and easily treatable. SOOO, back to pincushions. They exist in my world because I was home and looking for a distraction I believe. A pincushion is the perfect small project! Fun to make, uses scraps, and it’s hugely satisfying to finish a project in a few hours.

They also were an accidental beginning because I had bought a cute little used, Hello Kitty sewing machine for my granddaughter. I started pulling out scraps to sew on that machine and had so much fun, that it never left my dining room table!

The first pincushion, made from tiny half square triangles

Honestly, the last few months have gone by SO fast! I’m not very good at keeping up my posts here, but check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kellycline.quilting/ for almost daily pincushion ideas. They’ve grown into vintage focused pieces. All I need to do is look around my studio and I find inspiration. My stash is probably on the ridiculous side of LARGE!

This pincushion started with a piece of vintage embroidery

Each pincushion has a personality of its own. Depending on what machine I’m working at, the Hello Kitty, mom’s Singer 401A, the Bernina 440, or even my longarm, they all look different! I’ve enjoyed free motion quilting on some, ruler work on others and sometimes I’ve used the computer on my longarm machine. It’s pure fun just trying so many techniques and playing on different machines.

Free motion quilting on a hankie corner

The smallest pincushion is probably 3″ square and the size is only determined by the original embroidery or handwork. Some are large, going up to 5 or 6″. I find it’s difficult to cut into really beautiful embroidery, so I try to keep intact what I can.

Sweet vintage bird embroidery with 1930’s prints

I’ve also tried to keep the fabrics I use in line with the era of embroidery. I’ve been gifted so many beautiful feed sacks recently, so those have been my choice when they fit the embroidery. I also love to use Dupioni silks with some of the fancier cut work and drawn thread handwork. They show off nicely with the sheen of the silk.

Beautiful crocheted butterfly, hankie corner

Where do I find all of these beautiful vintage pieces? Mostly antique and thrift stores. I’m also gifted so many fabulous hankies, embroideries, tablecloths, you name it! Most people don’t know what to do with their generations of linens. It’s become my passion to teach, share and inspire, to get those wonderful pieces out of their drawers and made into something usable. (I keep a class schedule in the tab above of where I’ll be teaching, 2020 added soon!)

Always one-of-a-kind, never duplicated

I’ll be spending my winter mostly holed up in my studio, quilting and probably making pincushions, along with a few other projects. I don’t travel during winter months and leave that my time to really create. When I have a group of pincushions, I will sell them in my online shop https://kellyclinequilting.bigcartel.com/ . I never know when that will be, but I usually post on Facebook when it happens.

Thank you all for following my quilting journey. The adventure is ever-changing and I love to see what happens next. Creating is like breathing for me! Happy holidays to you all and I hope there will be some sewing in your winter months!

Schmetz Ballpoint Needles…. AMAZING in a Long Arm Machine!

Schmetz long arm needles | December 11, 2019 | By

If you know me or have heard me speak, you know I am passionate about the needles I use in my Handi Quilter long arm. They are labeled as an embroidery ballpoint FOR THE LONGARM. Schmetz needles, to be specific, a light ballpoint. System 134 SES is generally used in single needle lockstitch industrial sewing machines. It is also known as 135×5 SES, 135×7 SES, 135×25 SES, 1901 SES, DPx5 SES, and DPx7 SES, and these are the reasons why I love them………

  1. The ballpoint tip spreads fibers instead of cutting them,
    preventing holes in the fabric. Forget what you think about
    ballpoint needles only being for jersey knits. These are
    not for sewing, they are for quilting purposes. Batiks? Never have a hole again if you must unsew!
    2. Reduces and almost always eliminates thread breaks and shredding when a moving machine goes from right to left.
    3. Round shank needles, for multi-directional use
    4. For use with most machines HandiQuilter, Gammill,
    Prodigy, Nolting, Tin Lizzie and Innova.
    ***** (these are a ROUND shank top, with a thread groove
    in the front and scarf in the back) I don’t believe these
    will work on an APQS, A1 or a Bernina
    longarm. They will work on an HQ Infinity at a lower speed.
    5. Prevents skipped stitches
    6. High stability and prevents deflection.
    7. Precise stitches
    8. Reduces wear on machine parts
    9. Long-lasting, no need to change the needle after every quilt.

You can find them here on my website in sizes 14, 16 or 18, at $10 for a package of 10 needles. You can add as many packs as you like for one shipping cost of $3. I am NOT a machine expert, so I can’t tell you if these will absolutely work with your machine or not, but have listed above the machines I know that will use them, according to customers who have purchased and used the needles. They compare to a Groz-Beckert 134 needle in the green package. Give them a try! You’ll never look back!

What is Society Silk Embroidery?

I speak often about the embroidery termed, Society Silk. What is it and what does it refer to? I’ve collected quite a treasure trove of linens, but I always come back to these, delicate and finely stitched by women of a by gone era. I’ll share a few of my favorites. Beware, they are not pressed and lovely, YET! Shown as found, usually in antique stores or many times, gifted to me by dear friends.

The Society Silk style of embroidery began as a past time in England long before it came to America.  For some women, it eventually became a way to earn a living from home. Perhaps the original American cottage industry, fine silk embroideries could be produced at home and then sold as lots to linen houses for sale in a wider market.  “Society silk” is a popular reference to the Royal Society of Embroidery that produced the silk floss, embroidery patterns and promoted the cottage embroidery of finer pieces. Additionally, they promoted embroidery “clubs” that brought friendly competition between members to produce the finest work.   This beautiful piece of embroidery came from that period and represents the very best of technique, materials and design.

A basket of Roses, my most prized piece of Society Silk

Royal Society was not a company, it was a trademarked brand name for needlework patterns and supplies owned by the H.E. Verran Company of New York. The company was incorporated in October of 1912, shortly after the silk art embroidery craze fell out of popularity. The company ceased operations in 1930.

Roses and flowers were popular subject matter

Also termed, Art Embroidery, Art Needlework, Kensington Embroidery and Silk Embroidery, Society Silk was also known as “Fancy Work”. In the nineteenth century, any decorative work created for ornament had these names, since they were the opposite of “plain sewing”.

Strawberries were another popular subject

A common myth is that this beautiful type of embroidery was only done by wealthy, society women. Those that could afford the silk and linen, with servants doing their housework. Actually, what seems more the reality, is that silk embroidery was introduced in America to help those women who had an economic need. Imagine, at the end of the Civil War, how many women were left without husbands, fathers, brothers and sons to support them. The upper and middle class Victorian ladies were thrown into a difficult situation–no income, no skills, no options for training. It was an unwritten rule that these women did not work outside the home.

Finely stitched holly and berries

Enter Candace Wheeler, who in 1877, formed the Society of Decorative Art, in New York City. She began this cottage industry to help these women learn an art form that could be created without leaving their homes. Mrs. Wheeler also began numerous auxiliary Societies all over America and Canada.

Look at those butterflies!

At this time, instruction books became popular and embroidery clubs were popular places for women to meet and socialize. Women who excelled in embroidery, often became traveling embroidery teachers.

Now, not all pieces with silk floss are considered Society Silk. The Art Embroidery phenomenon is only present in the years 1877-1912 in America.

There is often a ‘sheen’ to the silk work

Personally, the best part of this story, is that women could be trained to use artistic needlework to make a respectable living. Exactly what many of us have accomplished in this career of quilting, sewing, crafting and creating.

More strawberries, these are padded!

I have made it my mission to take the beauty of a long ago makers’ handwork and bring it into the 21st century. Can you even imagine what she would think of this world and our fancy machines? Most of my Society Silk pieces will eventually be framed for everyone to enjoy. I like being part of a 100+ year old story!

Free motion quilted on a long arm

This last piece was free motion quilted onto Dupioni red silk. The doily measures about 10″ round. The framed piece is about 17″ square. It now resides in the home of a dear friend.

The next question is usually, do you sell these? The answer is, not yet! I’ve given them for silent auctions, given them to friends, and carry them with me on my speaking travels and trunk shows. I like them to be seen and enjoyed, as well as an inspiration to those of you who have these types of linens. Bring them out of their drawers and hiding places. Let everyone enjoy the amazing handwork of women!

**********

To read more about Silk Embroidery, check out the book, “Silk Art Embroidery: A Women’s History of Ornament & Empowerment”, by Donna Cardwell. Much of my information comes from this book, as not much is written about this needle art form.

Coming Soon to Morgantown, West Virginia!

I’ll be visiting Morgantown, WV, April 12 & 13, for the West Virginia Quilters, Inc. We will be meeting at the Hampton Inn for 2 days of quilt fun! The workshop on Friday, “Quilting Vintage on your Domestic Machine”, is full, but they are taking names on a wait list. On Saturday, all are welcome for my talk, trunk show and demo on the long arm, “Quilting Vintage!” See their website https://www.wvquilters.org/Meeting.html for more information. I’m super excited to visit that area of the country!



Why I LOVE Ballpoint Needles for the Longarm

Today’s quick video about ballpoint needles on my Facebook page today.

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