I love postage stamp quilts. I love every one that I see and years ago bought a postage stamp top on EBay that I quilted. Then I though it would be a good idea to make one for myself.
I saw this pattern and my postage stamp quilt was born.
In fact, it was born in 1998 right after we moved to this house! This pattern is based in a 1" finished square and I cut and sewed, cut and sewed......
and actually finished the top. Or so I though.
You can see that I changed the pattern a lot and once I got it done I realized 2 things. First, it's only 78" square which makes it pretty useless as a bed or wall quilt. It's too small for one and too big for the other. Rats!
The other problem is this edge. That cut off diamond annoyed me no end. I think it looks like I got lazy and gave up and apparently that's exactly what I did.
Then apparently I got interested again in 2009 and spent a lot of time in EQ drafting up border ideas. They all make a huge quilt and I like each version. I seem to remember posting this on the old blog and soliciting opinions.
Apparently we all selected one because I printed it and made some notes. I also dated it or otherwise I'd never have found the old layout images!
Now we will fast forward to Friday. I took this to CSQ sewing and within about a hour I was able to interpret my notes, verify everything, do some block calculations, change the borders a little and get started. The first border will add a row of 9-patches all around to close off the edge diamonds. Then I'm going to add a 2" black border, then 2 rows of postage stamps and then a 4" black border.
Of course I don't have enough black fabric but I do have enough to finish the first and second borders. I'll buy more for the outer border and binding. I feel confident that I can get something close enough to work for this. How it will look after 20 years and some fading is going to be someone else's problem.
I seem to have plenty of pre-cut squares to finish this quilt off. I started sewing but quickly remembered to test the seam allowance. The quilt was sewn completely on my Juki machine and I use my little Janome Jem Gold at sewing. The seam allowance was way off! I spent another half hour fiddling with shims to get that set correctly and then I was on my way.
By the time I left Saturday (and I was the last to leave) I had all of the blocks done for the first border! Next month I can get that border sewn on and maybe also the 1st black border. I guess I need to get busy shopping for solid black fabric.
Even though this quilt is almost 20 years old I still love it. I think using the black fabric kept it looking modern and the dated fabrics in the postage stamps just look like sparkling jewels. It's going to be about 98" square when it's done which is a little too big but I'll try to use a cotton batting and maybe it will shrink up to the perfect size for my bed.
But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Maybe I should just focus on finishing the top for now.
This is the third, and supposedly last, quilt from the rainbow quilt fabrics. It used the last of the blocks and a bunch of 1.5" strips for the border. I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the black stop border but I think it will look fine with a black binding. I have this on FloMo right now for lots of ruler work. It will be the class sample for the class I'm teaching at The Longarm Network.
After I finished the small quilt I decided to sort through the scraps and see what I had. There are tiny scraps, medium chunks, some triangle shapes and some large chunks. The intention was to make some placemats. Simple right?
The easy place to start was to sew all the small pieces together into scrappy blocks. I think I ended up with about 20 of these which is a great starting place for placemats. Then I started looking at the other piles of scraps to see what they might want to be.
I pulled the odd triangle shapes next and that was the end of the placemat idea. This is heading in the same direction as this quilt from leftovers. I'm possessed, just like with Fractured Fragments.
Here's one possibility but probably not the final layout. I'm going to work on wonky pinwheel blocks next and see where that goes. Unlike all of the rainbow quilts, this one will be set in white so that I'll have a lot of fun quilting space.
Like I said, it wasn't my intention to make another quilt but sometimes you've just got to go where the fabric leads you.
More updates to come.
Just in time for end of the month accounting I’ve finished a project! The King Sized Rainbow Quilt is officially done except for the label. But I’m counting it for this month and I know I’ll have the label done by May 20 because that’s when I deliver it to Ashley and James. As the newest member of our family I wanted Ashley to have this quilt as her own and that’s why it’s called Ashley’s Rainbow.
This quilt is HUGE but it came together pretty quickly. The quilting was fast and the binding is done all by machine. I expect this quilt to be a “blanket” for them so I’m not at all concerned about a machine stitched binding. For the quilting I did ruler work but I used a 6” circle ruler and traveled quickly across the rows in a continuous curves path. Just Google continuous curves longarm quilting and you’ll find lots of tutorials to see what I’m talking about.
For the border I did some CC in the triangles using a couple of different ovals and I did straight line chevrons in the black areas ¾” apart. The thread is Rainbows on top and So Fine in the bottom.
I’m really happy about the back. I had dyed this back for another project but it didn’t work out. It’s been waiting for a home for a long time and was just barely big enough for this quilt.
I took the time to center it and you can tell by the quilting motifs that I got it pretty darned close to perfect. I have a lap quilt version and a baby quilt version of this pattern left to quilt…someday.
My Mom has 2 sisters and each of them had one daughter. Then my Mother decided to overachieve and add 3 boys to the mix. But that's another story for another day. Of the 3 cousins, I'm the middle one and I'm fortunate to live in the same city as my oldest cousin. The youngest lives in Florida as we don't get to see her often. But Debra and I have lunch each month. Since neither or our mothers are very gossipy we use that time to try to put together any tidbits of information that we've heard into some sort of logical narrative about family happenings. Lately, though, we are mostly talking about wedding plans for her son, Clay.
Mom and I decided that we would make Clay and Lydia a quilt for their wedding gift and, as with tradition, it will not be done by their wedding in May. We'll shoot for the Fall when they will be working in Virginia.
Lydia likes the colors of iris and this is the color palette that I came up with for the quilt. This is very ironic because Clay's Great-Grandmother LOVED iris and had an iris flower bed that was about 20 feet long and 4 foot deep. She would have loved these colors too.
Clay and Lydia are performers. He's a drummer and she's a dancer so they will be spending their time traveling all over the country living a nomadic life for a while. We do not want to make them a quilt that's "special" and required special care. We really want to make them a "blanket". So I designed a very simple pattern made up of 6" half square triangles. I picked 6" as the block size because I have the GO! die for the 6" HST. We'll let the fabrics do all of the heavy lifting in this quilt. The wide lavender border in the pattern will be the gradient.
It only took about 2 hours to starch and cut all of the fabric. I packed it all up and it should arrive in Mom's mailbox today for sewing. When she's done I'll dye a quilt back and quickly quilt with a very light custom treatment like continuous curves.
While Mom's sewing the top together I can play with these .
I am loving how the quilting is looking on this Rainbow Quilt. I might even quilt the second one the same way. It's going so fast! I know that from an artistic point of view this is nothing to get excited about. But this is a bed quilt and I like for bed quilts to stay soft. I have one on my bed now that I over quilted and even after a few years of use and several washings it's still not cuddly. I've learned my lesson on quilting bed quilts.
I only have 3 rows left! I won't finish it today because it's dyeing day but it will be off the frame Thursday and then it will be time for binding. You can bet that this king size quilt will not have a hand stitched binding. I do need to get started on the Zentangle label also. I ahead of schedule for a May 21 delivery date! That doesn't often happen.
I worked on Rainbow Quilts all weekend.
This image will show you the very simple quilting that I'm doing on the king size quilt. It's all ruler work but you know that I love ruler work even more than free motion. The blocks are 6" square finished so I'm using a 6" circle ruler to make a half circle on all 4 sides of each block. Simple chevron lines in the outer triangles are helping me tame a little bit of stretching that happened in some of the black edge blocks.
I like how the grayed purple thread is working. Black would have been way to stark. Patty commented about the "magic" of grayed purple thread in Saturday's post comments. I think there are 2 magical colors of thread and those are grayed purple and a sage or mossy green. They seem to work with everything. It took me years to get up the nerve to use any sort of contrasting thread. I used to make sure my quilting disappeared but I felt this quilt really did need a little extra focus.
What I didn't need was a giant pin caught in the quilt. Last night I reached the halfway point and as I was quilting the next row I stitched over this pin. Fortunately I stitched over the shaft and not the pin head. It only took a few minutes to open the seam, get the pin out and restitch the seam but that seemed like a good place to stop for the night. I'm very please to have this half quilted.
I spent Friday and Saturday sewing with my Country School Quilters buddies and I got the second Rainbow Quilt top together. This one will be a large lap quilt. I had 20 blocks left plus a bag of scraps so I started a baby quilt with a 3" border made of 1" strips. I'll finish that and decide what to do with the scraps (placemats, scrappy blocks, give them away) next month.
If you want to make a Rainbow Quilt for yourself my free pattern is here. I used Stash Packs of fat eighths to make mine but this would also be a great scrap quilt from your stash.
The good thing about having several projects underway at all times is that when your energy/space/time is limited there's always something you can work on. The Rainbow quilt has been good for me this week because I could work on it in bits of time when I had the energy. Eventually I got it done!
It's king sized and for the moment I have it draped over the guest bed. I seriously love this quilt.
Finding that this quilt back will fit was a stroke of good luck.. This is folded in quarters and the lime area is the center. The motif of squares works great with the front. I dyed this for another project and it didn't work out. I'm glad it's going to work out for this one.
When I started making the Rainbow quilt I picked a lot of fabric and cut it all out. I got so carried away that I have enough blocks for a lap quilt! I laid this out on the floor last night so I wouldn't have to plan it at the next sewing with my quilt club.
I have all of the rows clipped and read to sew next month.
There are even more blocks left over! I'll plan a baby quilt or something with these and the scraps from all the cutting after I finish the lap quilt.
2017 got off to a very slow start for me. I had big plans to have so many things done by now but my immune system had other ideas. Maybe a late start makes the first finish more enjoyable because this feels like a big accomplishment.
This should have been my 3rd QOV for 2016 because all that was left was the binding. But I'm not delivering it to a QOV coordinator until next month so it matters not whether it was a 2016 or 2017 finish. It was just another pile in the sewing room needing attention.
This quilt is made with the leftovers of my first 2016 QOV. I also made a veteran's size coins quilt. By the time I was done with those I was completely fatigued by these fabrics and gave them to a friend in my quilt club and she made 2 more veteran's tops. I think those fabrics are truly done now.
My patched binding looks just fine. If the recipient notices they will just think that they discovered a secret and will proudly point out their astute discovery to their friends.
The quilting is a simple double stipple or ribbon. This goes so quickly, keeps the quilt soft and is great for masculine or feminine quilts.
Of course I had to add a little of myself with a hand dyed quilt back. I love this mottled blue. You can see there there are some very dark areas and I cut those from my scraps for the binding patch.
This one is washed and ready for a label and then I can deliver it and my other QOV next month.
Time to start thinking about another QOV quilt to do.
Yesterday I sewed!
I need to start putting the vintage flower top together since the cleaning lady pointed out that it's been on the living room floor since Christmas. But before I set up the machine for that one I thought I'd get my first finish for 2017 and sew on the binding of a QOV.
It should have been done last night but then this happened. I'm short anout 20" of binding! This quilt was made with the leftovers of another QOV quilt and I gave all of the leftovers to this to a friend and she's made 2 veteran's quilts with them. So I don't have one extra inch of this fabric.
My first inclination was to search the web to find more of this blue. It's a older collection and the solids are not available anymore. Plus, with shipping, a half yard would probably cost about $20 and would delay me at least another week.
I decided that I needed to make do. Real quilters make do. Fabric dyers could actually dye a matching fabric. But that would take a few days and I want to get this done.
The back of this quilt is a hand dyed mottled fabric on dark navy blue and turquoise. I'e got lots of that leftover and I found this piece that is mostly dark blue.
It's not perfect but I think it will do just fine. This might be done today!
Tomorrow and Saturday are sewing days with Country School Quilters so I'll be working on my rainbow quilt for as long as I can last. This cold is still beating me up pretty thoroughly. I have heard from so many people who have had the same thing so I know it's just going to take time. I'm feeling a little better every day so that's all that matters.
All of the snow has melted and I'm drying all of the snow dyed fabric. It's so nice outside today that we will be able to open the windows for a few hours. The fresh air will probably help my cold more than anything.
The Rainbow quilt is my "travel" project. I mostly work on it once a month when I sew with my quilt club. Since I last posted an update I was able to work on it at the river over Thanksgiving and this past weekend. The Rainbow Quilt is a free pattern you can download on the website.
I've made great progress. Over Thanksgiving I got all of the main blocks made and this past weekend I made all of the border blocks. I actually have enough for a king quilt and a lap quilt. There's also enough leftovers that I might end up with a baby quilt or another Fractured Fragments-type quilt.
When I got home from sewing Saturday night I just had to put some blocks on the wall and see how it's going to look.....and it's going to look awesome! I can't wait to start putting it all together in January.
Today I'm going to be desperately trying to figure out how to fix the lights on the Christmas tree. It's a pre-lit LED tree that we bought last year and we think there's something wrong with the plug. Fingers crossed that I can find a replacement and that it will fix it. A tree without lights is kind of depressing.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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