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!

The “Ladies Dream” Quilt!

Customer Quilts | September 10, 2015 | By

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This is quite a quilt! It all began when my cousin, Bonnie, showed me this lovely appliqued top she had gotten from an auctioneer. She had helped with an auction and he gave it to her for helping! I love a story behind a quilt! I just wish we had known who the maker might have been. She asked if I would quilt this for her upcoming grandsons’ wedding. It has recently been gifted, so I feel it can be talked about now!

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I kept this quilt hanging for awhile when I first received it. I wanted to study the shapes and really figure out what type of quilting it needed. I wanted to keep in the era as much as possible. The workmanship was exquisite and I made sure to take photos of the back because even I didn’t want to cover it all!

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YES! This is the back. Meticulous! Such perfect, tiny stitches. The back looked as good as the front!

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I was more than excited to find this catalog on Ebay! It gives some history, but you can also find information on the¬†Mrs. Danner’s Quilts¬†website. Mrs. Danner created a mail order business for her patterns out of her home in El Dorado, Kansas. Founded in 1930 and later sold to Helen Ericson in 1970. Unfortunately, the owner has retired, so finding a pattern may be difficult. I’m guessing this top was made in the 1930’s or 40’s, due to the cotton prints.

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This is a fabulous vintage photo from the catalog, showing Scioto Imhoff Danner stitching on the very likeness of the quilt I was quilting! I know I squealed when I opened the small catalog and saw this.

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I started the quilting with the computer, something never imaginable back in the 1930’s! I wanted something big and beautiful in the negative spaces. I knew I should do some traditional cross hatching, which became somewhat of a nightmare across this large quilt!

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Once I started the crosshatching, the quilt came to life! This may sound crazy, but I needed some vintage inspiration, so this quilt started my marathon watching of “Downton Abbey”. I bet I watched two full seasons during the quilting, which gave me a sense of the time period and put me in the zone. Hey, whatever it takes to keep going!

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I used one layer of 80/20 Hobbs Heirloom batting and Glide white thread. I also only ditch stitched the applique as I didn’t want to go into the shapes and take away from the makers handwork.

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I hope you enjoyed this quilt as much as I have. I quilted this a year ago, so it was fun to take a look at it again. It resides with a young couple now and I hope they will appreciate the history and enjoy it as much as their grandma and myself!

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