Monday, 21 March 2011

1940's Quilt Love


Way back in the new year, I was faced with one of my most favourite things: the opportunity to start a new quilt. There's little more exciting, I'm sure other quilters out there will know what I'm nattering on about. Oooh, which pattern, which fabrics, what size, how to quilt it, how to bind it. So many decisions, each one entirely delicious.






I had a look through my quilting files for inspiration. These house photos I've taken from various sources, extracts from books or mags which my quilty partner-in-crime (my sister) has sent to me, print-outs of free patterns from the 'net and so on. My favourite quilting mag is the American Mc Calls Quilting (this can waiver each month, of course!) and I am always keen to see which vintage design takes up the last page of each issue. You are able to go onto their website and download the pattern for free which indeedy I had done and filed away, when this 1940's beauty had caught my eye.






And so off I went, on a project I've picked up now and then between other things. I'm pleased to say I finally finished it just last week (come on, two and a half months is a long time for me). Sunny day? Must be a ta-dah then!






The bright sun is really making the colours POP!






It's enjoying a little flutter in the breeze! It's quite a large quilt, 56 blocks which are about 9" square each. It only just fitted across my quilting table. The floral fabrics are entirely vintage from the 1940s-'50s and the chevrons are in modern plain cottons (Moda's Bella Solids, vintage inspired colours) and dots, some vintage and some new.







It was a pretty easy design to execute, made up of the ever-versatile half square triangle. I used every feedsack design I own, some have much brighter and zany patterns than the vintage cottons I normally sew with, so it was good to be able to use them. Whilst I love the designs on feedsacks and so do give in to temptation sometimes to buy them, they are a bit trickier to sew with than modern cottons because they are more loosely woven which gives more room for movement (which you don't want, you want your blocks nice and square), particularly here where triangles have bias edges and are more likely to distort. Sellers love to describe them as "tight weave" but I can say from experience, a feedsack is always going to be loosely woven compared with a modern cotton. I used plenty of spray starch to try to get them to keep their shape.



The back is a modern polka dot cotton which I think captures the spirit of the era, and the binding is a solid red quilting weight cotton from The Cotton Patch (nice weight but frayed a lot along the edges, I found).













I quilted each block simply in the ditch with a walking foot but then felt the quilt needed more. So I quilted within each "diamond" created by the intersecting spaces between the chevrons. This was not the easiest task as I was working from the middle of the quilt, stopping and starting often, and having to rotate the quilt constantly which is a bit of a pain with a quilt this size. But in the end, it was done of course, the frazzled nerves soothed by getting up from the quilting table and having frequent breaks, and I was pleased I had done it!






Finally, the little name patch was sewn on so that wherever this quilt should one day end up, somebody will know it was made by me in good old Blighty in the year 2011. My sister thinks up whacky names for all her quilts but I am more boring and so I just went with the straight forward "1940's Chevron Quilt"!





Now all that remains is to enjoy it...











...and move onto the next project, of course!


(The design was featured in the July/August 2010 issue of Mc Call's Quilting, the free downloadable pattern is available here.)

31 comments:

  1. Hen, If you love quilts, you should try and get to Lampeter in Wlaes and visit The Jen Jones Quilting centre. It's fabulous!

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  2. WOW! WOW! WOW! Its absolutely wonderful, I lovely it.
    Julie xxxxxx

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  3. Another lovely quilt! Looks lovely enjoying its airing in the spring sunshine, under a blue sky! Hooray for Spring and well done to you!

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  4. Love the quilt...it is beautiful!! Quilting is something I have always wanted to learn..maybe someday! In the mean time, I will just enjoy the talents of others...great job!

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  5. I like this one - it looks very traditional. x

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  6. In a word "WOW" - your quilt is truly stunning (LOVE your blog) x

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  7. it really is a work of art!
    the colours as you say do pop..they are so vibrant and cheery.. gorgeous

    you must feel really proud of yourself when you've made somthing as beautiful as this.. i know i would!
    charl
    x

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  8. You are so very talented - this is delightful!

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  9. Another lovely quilt. I collect feedsack fabrics too and I just love them!! The hardest part is that still have labels on them and I am reluctant to cut them as it is a bit of history.

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  10. Another masterpiece! It looks stunning. I too like the very beginning of a project, choosing what to make,the colours, material etc.
    Isabelle x

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  11. Hello Hen! I'm always amazed at the way you manage to create, yet run a house and look after a small boy at the same time, I wish I had your capacity to fit in what you do. I know I've said this before, but I do love your quilts, and the things you make associated with quilts, you make it look easy, and I know it's not easy. You put all the shapes and colours together so well, you really come into your own in this area. I know you like to try different things, but in this quilting area you are superb, I always want to see more and more and more. I could see a bag like the bags you made with blankets, looking fantastic with a hexagon quilt pattern all over, or any of your quilt patterns. I don't think Cath K's done that idea yet, and I'm always amazed she hasn't, because I offer that they would be stunning. I would love to own one. Am I being purely selfish by suggesting this?! I suspect I might be!!!!!!! Love Vanessa xxx

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  12. I love the fact that you've included those gorgeous 40s and 50s florals in the design. Those photos really do it justice too, especially in the spring sunlight.

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  13. Lovely Hen, the red really makes it pop out at you, and the garden loves lovely and spring like. Your quilts are wonderful and so fresh and charming..........what's next?

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  14. If there was Olympic quilitng I'm sure you'd carry home a Gold for Britain Hen! What a triupmh, as fellow 40s fan I adore the style and nostagia it inspires. Such chirpy colours, a real Spring tonic.

    I'm so in awe of your never ending talents and how different and amazing each design is.

    Bet the capital looks stunning in this very welcome sunshine. Have a smashing week.
    Stephx

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  15. It really is stunning. You have such an eye for putting everything together.

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  16. I love it Hen - it may almost be my favourite and I don't say that lightly because I love all of your quilts. I love the contrast of the plain (not that amazing colours could ever be plain) and patterned - it makes the pattern stand out and take a bow. Lots of love, Kate (from greedy for colour) xxooxx.

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  17. love your quilt! I would like to make one....one day x

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  18. Wow, what a fun quilt! Love all the polka-dot fabrics and cheerful colors!!

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  19. fantastic as always.....can i ask hen....do you wash all fabric before you use it? am building up to embarking on my first machine effort.

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  20. Another beautiful quilt, amazing.
    Carol xx

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  21. Oooooooh la la la la la la LA!

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  22. Nice one.
    I have also been sewing the same pattern!

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  23. In a word..A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! :0)

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  24. It's gorgeous. I love the colour combinations - so much to look at! I'm also impressed with your nice neat quilting files! Enjoy the spring sunshine,
    Tessa x

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  25. It's excellent Hen! I love that you have and use so many vintage fabrics! :)

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  26. Hi Hen! I'm a new reader, and I really love your blog. This quilt is super-cool. I might do a lap quilt like it when I am done with the one I am working on (my first-ever quilt!)

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  27. That is so beautiful - how creative you are...love all the colours and fabrics. Just wonderful!

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  28. Making me want a sewing machine (and lessons on how to use it...) so that I can try quilting....these are so lovely.

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  29. What a wonderful start to a "quilting year"!

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  30. You are SO talented! LOVE the polka dot and the peach and mint colours...beautiful! Must say I love your blog! Keep up the lovely work!

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