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Kelly Cline Quilting

Make a Tote Bag with Vintage Doilies

While teaching and traveling in Australia this last February, I was given quite a few lovely pieces of handwork and Aussie fabrics. I have them all hanging in my studio and a few weeks ago I was inspired to create something special with two of the pieces.

On my longarm I have a backing, then Hobbs 80/20 batting, then the super cute, Koala background fabric. At this point, I ran an edge to edge design over the background fabric, THEN, laid the two doilies on top of the fabric.

Let’s start at the beginning and I’ll take you through the process. Under each linen I added a single layer of Hobbs 80/20 batting to give an extra loft. It also hides the print that is under the doily. I cut the batting larger than the doily and trim it away after I have quilted the linen.

I stabilize the piece by “ditch” stitching around the inside edge of the crocheted trim. I leave that scant 1/8″ so that I can trim away the batting later. You’ll see what happens when I finish quilting. I quilt on a Handi Quilter Fusion and here I am using the “Glide” foot. It is almost a necessity when stitching lace and embroideries. You can see it glides right over all the thickness.

At this point I will stitch around ALL the embroidery. I never stitch over the handwork, but around everything! It gives the piece great definition and pops it right out of the linen. Deciding on the design usually comes as I am outlining all of the embroidery.  You can see the spine I have created for the eventual feathers. I like to use a blue, water soluble pen for marking. (TIP: to remove blue marks completely and seemingly forever, mix 1 t baking soda to 1 cup of water, place in a spray bottle. This mix must be fresh each day it is used.)

I trimmed the batting to the inside edge of the trim crochet, using a curved pair tiny, sharp scissors. My favorites are a simple pair of cuticle scissors!

After the batting is trimmed, I lay down the crochet and stitch the outside edge to cover any of the batting that might have not been precisely trimmed. It always covers that raw edge of batting.

You can see here how much stitching I put into the embroidery.

The full piece was taken off the frame and split in half, therefore, creating both sides for the tote bag. I made both sides a bit different. I also TEA stained the pieces once I had the quilting done to make the fabric match the age of the linen. This really made the whole thing come together!

Next, I sewed the halves together and also made a lining WITH a pocket for the inside.

Handles were added, also tea stained.

And there you have it! A new tote bag made by repurposing an antique linen. It’s also a fabulous reminder of the great friends I made in Australia! (Special thanks to Lynne for the handwork and Caroline for the fabric!)

I hope this post helped to see the process for some of the bits of handwork we all have hiding in our drawers. Try it, you’ll become a lover of vintage repurposing!

Quilted “Society Silk” Pansies!

Society Silk Embroidery | February 3, 2015 | By

OH, how I love this piece!!  I found it recently on Ebay, from a seller named Melanie….THANK YOU MELANIE!!!  I asked for the history and she said it was from an Italian area of western New York.  I always like to know where a vintage piece originates!  

I have oodles of vintage, embroidered pieces just waiting for me, but this one spoke especially LOUD and made it’s way to the machine over the weekend.  I’m so glad it did!
What is Silk Society embroidery?  “Society Silk” or “Silk Society” refers to the Royal Society of Embroidery.  The Silk Society produced the silk thread and the embroidery patterns.  The Silk Society also promoted the cottage industry of producing fine embroidered pieces.  Favored by the “Society” women of the early 1900’s, these are some of the finest examples of embroidery.  Strawberries and roses were some of the most popular patterns.  I have collected quite a few rose patterns, but have not seen anything to date as beautiful as these pansies!
Even in its original state I found it breathtaking!  This is how it began, straight out of the package.
The magic begins…..
There is some staining, but once I get it all stitched it’s very hard to notice.  I am still toying with a “Retro Clean” gentle bath.  
I pressed it very gently, but once I baste all the edges it becomes very smooth.
I don’t do any drawing or sketching on these, I just let them speak and work my way through or around the embroidery.  I outlined all of the flowers and then did a beautiful, whimsical feather in the center.  I try not to overuse feathers, but these elegant linens SAY they want feathers.  Crazy linens!
There you have it!  The rest was easy, a few more feathers, fill, and outlining the embroidery.
The handwork is stunning!  The ladies of yesteryear BLOW ME AWAY!  I mean seriously, their embroidery skills were amazing.  
Here are a few close up of the corners.  I may put a few beads on this one and I’ve chosen a burgundy, satin binding.
Finished size is 21″ square and I will proudly hang it on my wall when finished.  I’m SO lucky to have found this beauty!

Kit Quilt “Tree Of Life”

Customer Quilts | May 12, 2014 | By

I recently finished and delivered this beautiful appliqued quilt, created from a 1950’s kit titled “Tree of Life”.  It was produced under the brand Progress.

You can see it has the original blue dot pattern lines still intact.  I struggled in the beginning to remove the lines, so that I might quilt it as I wished.  After much research and talking with a number of quilt historians, I decided to quilt as the top outlined and to keep the dots as a piece of history.

It was probably one of the more difficult quilts to quilt, mostly because I’m not a fan of following the lines and being “told what to do”.

The end result is beautiful.  I’m guessing there are about 30 hours in this one.

The owner is in an assisted living home and was thrilled when it was delivered.  She told me her aunt had made it in the early 1990’s, which I had noted and labeled on the back.  FYI, her family had not wanted it :-0  It fit her bed like it was meant to be there.  Maybe it was!