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! ūüėČ

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!!

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!

Update on Quilted, Cut Work Tablecloth

My Own Quilts, Vintage Linen | February 27, 2019 | By

I attended QuiltCon last week, so my quilting was suspended! I’m back on this beautiful, wholecloth quilt. You can see the beginnings on my post from Jan. 28 if you scroll down. It’s a slow process, especially filling all the backgrounds that I decided to fill. Sometimes I wonder WHY I did something, not thinking about how many times I might have to repeat the process. That’s usually when I get bored! I love the challenge of new projects and figuring things out, but once I’ve done that and the first stitching, the rest may be monotonous. Do you feel this way when you create? The morning light across a quilt does get me excited though, so you’ll find me in my studio all day today!! Have a great Wednesday!

Quilting a Cutwork Tablecloth

I’ve got a new project on the frame, it’s a vintage¬†cutwork tablecloth. I actually went at this a little backwards because I saw a fabulous design by Telene Jeffrey, AKA¬†Lady Jane Quilting. Telene is a phenomenal quilter and designer and has just published a few of her designs that can be purchased in PDF form. I knew I had to have one immediately when I saw her post these on her¬†Facebook page. This is the one I chose. When you purchase them, they come to you in a PDF file (these are not digitized designs) and you have the freedom to enlarge or reduce as you wish. Telene gives very specific directions, once purchased, on how to do this.

I didn’t want to spend time changing the size of the design, so in my lazy way I picked a tablecloth that would fit the print out! Yup, that’s how I roll!! If I wasn’t so anxious to start quilting, I might have taken that time, but I didn’t. I printed out the quadrant that she provides and decided my best light box would be my glass kitchen table. If you don’t have a glass table, tape your design to a window or door, it works great too! I put a lamp, without the shade, under my table and voila, a very large light box!

 

 

I spent the afternoon tracing the design, a quadrant at a time. Once I had half of the design traced, I flipped the entire half over and then traced the other half. I used a blue water soluble pen for the marking. Any brand will do. To remove when finished, I use a mix of 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup of ice cold water. I’ve been told that this mix changes the PH of the pen and it’s always worked for me. Do NOT let an iron or heat touch this until you have removed the markings. Heat will permanently set the markings, yikes!!

I printed out one detailed section and one with just the base lines, this way I could get an idea of the spacial relationships AND I wouldn’t need to refer back to her drawings when I started quilting. Telene said feel free to change fills, etc., but I really want it just like she designed.

This may be the biggest ‘chore’ for me. I’m always so anxious to get started that planning and drawing are not my strong suits. Many times I will load right on the frame and start stitching a drawing there and then while I work, letting the design come as it may. This time, it’s all about the planning!

I put the tablecloth (roughly 36″ square) on top of a piece of Antique Gold, Dupioni silk. I buy my silk on Etsy from¬†Fabric Supplier. They have great colors and it’s $15 a yard with free shipping. You can’t beat that! They usually ship within a day or two of ordering.

The first thing I do on the longarm is use my channel locks to square the tablecloth. This gives me a great frame to work within and I know it’s square. Linen fabric has a loose weave, so I can manipulate the fabric to make it square. Sometimes, I spritz some water to make it more manageable, but since that would remove my blue line work, I couldn’t do that. I was able to square it up very easily without the water.

At this point, I use my Notched Ruler to help stabilize areas of the linen. It nests nicely in my hopping foot for precision stitching around all the cutwork. You can see how this ruler works here in a YouTube video.

This gives you an idea of the kind of exacting work I can do with that ruler. I love the way the Dupioni silk shows through the cutwork!

I’m using one of my smallest¬†rulers¬†that I call the 1/2 Slim (1 1/2″ x 5″) to do most of the line work. It fits in my hand easily and I can move it quickly. Yes, my stitches are tiny too, 16 SPI (stitches per inch). When doing these tiny feathers and curves, small is best. I’m filling the areas with a scribble stitch to make the open areas really pop!

I couldn’t wait to see how this looked without the blue line, so I use a Q-tip dipped in my removal mix, to take away just a bit of the design. LOVE how this looks! My thread colors, you ask? Glide 40 weight thread, in colors Coffee and Cleopatra. I love the gold because it looks like metallic, but I don’t need to fight with that. Admittedly, I have struggled with using metallic threads, therefore, I don’t! ūüėČ

This is what I have so far. I’ll post again at some point, but wanted to get the beginnings put to words so I could inspire you all to do this as well. Honestly, it’s not difficult, it’s just a process. As I tell folks, it just takes practice, as does riding a bicycle, learning cursive, playing an instrument, or anything we do well. It’s a habit that takes time and you can’t expect it overnight. If you want to be good at something, practice. Quilting is just that for me, something I love and want to do well!

You can also follow me on my Facebook page for daily posts. Enjoy your day folks, whatever you are doing!

 

 

 

Use a Vintage Tablecloth for a Quilt Backing

I am frugal and I rarely buy fabric. I collect vintage,¬† mid-century tablecloths and they have stacked up. A few years ago, I was at a loss for a quick backing, so I thought ‘why not use one of these tablecloths”? I did and it’s now my favorite backing! Last week in that, IT’S AFTER CHRISTMAS AND I GOTTA ORGANIZE SOMETHING mood, I started in on my vintage tablecloths to put some order to the mess. When I saw these beautiful colors, I HAD to create a top to go with it, of course! I set out to quickly cut some appropriate blocks from my stash and thought I’d whip up a simple 4 patch quilt. Well, the top grew, then I had to add borders to the tablecloth, then border the top. Each kept growing and finally I was ready to quilt the whole thing.

 

 

 

I sure didn’t mean for this to be a week long project, but it quickly “asked” for more! I never know what a quilt will be until it goes on the longarm frame. They start talking back once they arrive!

 

I further complicated my quilting life by adding this flange. Super cute I thought when I was sewing, but a bit of a pain in the you-know-what once I started quilting! This required lots of ditch stitching and ruler work. Thankful for my favorite¬†9″ Slim Ruler¬†to make this job enjoyable! Honestly, I do love ruler work.

This quilt is a mix and match of a computer digitized motif and free motion quilting. The white blocks are done with the Handi Quilter Pro-Stitcher computer. The 4 patch blocks and outer borders were done with rulers and free motion quilting.

 

 

I love this double sided curvy ruler by Jane Hauprich. You can order it on her website.

 

 

A quilted top begins to take on a personality, if you can call it that, very quickly. At the end of a day I stand back and take it all in. Something about that texture is just exciting to me!

 

 

Probably the best part of the adventure is the end! I flip it over my back rail to get a good look at my stitching. I’ve learned over time to take a moment and study it all. There is nothing worse than taking a whole quilt off the frame and then realizing you missed a spot and have to put it back on, UGGGHHHH!!! Isn’t she a beauty!!!

 

 

Much better to see in natural light! I always take my photos in front of my front door, snapping the photo TOWARD the light. You get incredible shadowing over your quilt this way and don’t we want to show that off?!!

 

 

 

Details on this quilt…….55″ square, Hobbs 80/20 batting, and Glide thread. I quilt on a Handi Quilter Forte with Pro-Stitcher, new to me this year. Before that, I quilted on a Handi Quilter Fusion. I love this new machine with all it’s bells and whistles! The digitized design is called Serenity, by Christy Dillon, My Creative Stitches is her website.

The question I keep getting most on my¬†Facebook page page is, “how did you center the back to the front?” The real answer is, I don’t know!! Really, I did a quick eye ball and then winged it! I know, not very helpful, but I figured it would end up as a kids’ quilt and they really aren’t too picky.¬† Where WILL this go, you ask? I’ve added it to my¬†trunk show¬†collection for a great, ‘use a tablecloth’ example. I hope you’ve enjoyed this quilt as much as I have! Enjoy your day folks!

 

 

Create a New Pillow from Vintage Fabrics and Doily

I sometimes get so busy making ‘stuff’, that I forget to either take photos or talk about it. I’m SOOO not a writer, but love my right brain, artistic tendencies! I could make things all day, all night, and really never sleep. Except, I love sleep!! ūüėČ

I recently made this pillow for a class sample, using a random vintage block that I’m sure I picked up in a pile of other things at an antique shop. I did a quick sew on my domestic machine, just to put on an extra border and some rick-rack. The rest was done directly on the longarm.

I’ll take you through my steps and we’ll start from laying it out on the longarm.¬† I’ve used a piece of muslin for the backing since it really won’t be seen when finished.

I used a tatted coaster for the middle. I had recently picked up a set of these and just LOVE the tatted edges. I start by using channel locks to square the piece on the longarm, horizontally and vertically. Makes for a great square ‘canvas’ to work inside. ***If you spritz a bit of regular water on your small piece, it can easily be manipulated and directed where to stretch!***

I use my favorite¬†rulers¬†for stitching lines. It’s also a great ditch stitching ruler, due to its length and slim width. Fits my hand great, as do my other rulers you can see on the¬†order page.

I like the grid stencils that¬†Dorie Hruska¬†sells and I always use a blue, water soluble pen to make my marks.*** Don’t let these get heat set or “sunshine” set before you remove them. My favorite mix is 1 cup of ice cold water with 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda. Put this in a spray bottle and remove marks. They shouldn’t reappear.***

Once I had the quilting done on the front, I needed to quilt a backing. I like to use vintage tea towels or tablecloths for backing. Uses them up and they keep the piece in the era.

From this, to that!

I made my life easy and used a digitized computer design for an all over pattern. Stitched up in less than 5 minutes! I have a new, Handi Quilter Forte with Prostitcher computer, an upgrade from my 5 year old Fusion. Loved my Fusion, but maybe love the Forte more!

My favorite type of pillow is an envelope pillow. I’ll pop along the photos for a brief look at the process. Try looking for a YouTube video, I’m sure there are many!

I split the piece in half (it began about 4-5″ wider than my pillow top)

I turned under both edges for a finished edge, machine stitched.

Then overlap these two edges about 2-3″.

At this point you simply lay the right sides together, adjusting your backing to be the same size as your pillow top.

Take this sandwich of pillow top and back, pin the two halves together, and sew around the entire perimeter. You’ll be able to turn the pillow inside out by using the opening in the middle.

I also stitched 1″ inside the perimeter to have a nice flange around the pillow.

Here’s a flat look at the finished product! I usually make a stuffed muslin pillow specifically for the inside, using leftover batting scraps. Each pillow finishes in different sizes, so makes me not conform to specific pillow forms. This pillow is about 20″ square.

Here is the super cute backing!

So there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help or guide you. I just love making things like this from forgotten or tossed out vintage parts and pieces. I always think someone is looking down and smiling over my shoulder. Have a great week folks!

 

 

 

Common Threads Regional Quilt Show, Wichita, KS, June 21-23

I’ve worked my tail off to get to this week and finally I’m finished! My collection of vintage pillow covers from the early 1900’s, will hang at the¬†Common Threads Regional Quilt Show, June 21-23, in Wichita, KS. I have a total of 21 in the collection, with many more to complete in the future. This is only the beginning! My husband asked me the other day how many I had. Really, you think a girl counts a collection!!? LOL!

My dear friend, Marla, helped me stitch tabs on each piece for pinning and hanging at the show. Here are a couple of my recent finishes.

 

Scroll through my website to see more in progress pieces. These are so dear to me. When I quilt them, I can almost feel the original maker working the original embroidery. Hope to see you in Wichita. Holler if you see me walking the aisles!

Pillow Covers!!! Display Coming Soon!

I’m always asked at a trunk show, “Kelly, what do you plan to do with your pillow covers?” The answer is, show them and share them! I’m obsessed by these beauties! I’ve been collecting them since I found my first Kansas pillow cover about 5 years ago. I can’t really tell you how many I have now because honestly, I don’t know! I’m guessing somewhere between 50-100, ready to be quilted.

They will be seen for the first time in their entirety at the Common Threads Quilt Show, in Wichita, KS, June 21-23, 2018. I’m hoping to have 20-25 in the collection. I’m madly working on them until that show, so we’ll see how far into the stash I can get. This is what the banner looks like that I ordered on Vistaprint. I love how it turned out! But………..

Apparently, they are sending this gentleman to hold the sign at the show!! I’m totally excited about that! Isn’t that kind? Unfortunately, he didn’t show up in the banner shipment. Maybe I need to make a call?

Here are a few more I’ve finished this year and I’ll continue to stitch until they need to travel to Wichita. I’ll be there hanging out with friends, so look me up if you attend the show. They will have 750 hanging quilts!!! I can hardly wait to go. It’ll take me 2 days just to get through those quilts. Enjoy!!

 

 

Latest Quilted Hankie–Up for Auction at the Kaw Valley Quilters Guild Show, Lawrence KS

This weekend, Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8, is my guilds quilt show,¬†Kaw Valley Quilters Guild. I’ve finished a fabulous hankie to put in the silent auction. I’ll share a few pictures from the process, beginning to end result. I’ll admit these pieces are hard to give up once they are finished!

This beautiful hankie is bordered with exquisite lace. I couldn’t resist re-purposing this one!

I started with my backing, then 2 layers of Hobbs 80/20 Heirloom, and a piece of satin on top, about 20″ square.

My first order of stitching is to “ditch stitch” on the inside edge of the lace. This gives me a ‘frame’ to work with.

I use this Kelly Bean, notched ruler, to work around any shape or embroidery. Only on a longarm, just nest your hopping foot in the notch. Use one hand on your handle and the other to move around the ruler and hopping foot, magic!!

I love to use Cindy Needham’s¬†Ultimate Stencils¬†for designs in negative spaces. She has a fabulous E-book to go along with the stencils which I highly recommend. You can start to see the design take shape in the following photos.

At this point I have finished all of the inside quilting. I leave the lace loose and will use beads to tack down where needed. Lace lends itself nicely for embellishment!

I usually choose a simple piano key border. It calms your eye and doesn’t take away from the focus of the lace.

I love handwork of any kind and can spend countless evenings, watching TV and stitching. This piece required 3 solid nights of handwork. I used glass beads, pearls from a broken vintage necklace (my preference), and the tiniest of Hotfix Swarovski crystals. I like the glimmer, but I also want it to be subtle.

I love to frame these pieces or make into a pillow. With the heavy amount of beading, I decided a frame was in order!

You can find this on the silent auction block, this weekend, in Lawrence, KS. Here’s the flyer. It doesn’t say Lawrence, but it tells you everything else. Hope you can make it if you live in the area!

Labels for your quilts!

My Own Quilts, Quilt tools | March 1, 2018 | By

I’ve recently found some new cloth labels that I REALLY like! I will admit to being lazy, but also know that I need a label on every piece I make. These iron-on labels by¬†Dutch Label Shop¬†are the bomb! They take all of 15 seconds to put on a quilt.

As you can see, I had 3 different styles custom made. I think when I run out of 2018 (if I get to quilt as much as I hope!), I will be able to write 2018 with a Micron pen if needed.¬† You can see, there’s a perfect label for any purpose!

They arrived in the mail the day before I was leaving for an overseas teaching event. I was so glad to spend an afternoon putting on labels since I had neglected this task for quite awhile. Really, I should never travel without a labeled quilt!

Information is in the flyer, but you can also click on¬†Dutch Label Shop¬†to go to their website and shop. Even better, they’ve given me a discount code for my readers to use! Just enter kellyclinequilting15 when prompted during the purchase process for a 15% discount. I hope you like them as much as I do. Have a great weekend!!

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