Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:

May 2013 - Posts

Mini Quilt Auction

Our local guild holds an annual mini quilt auction in May, to raise money for bringing in speakers. Tuesday was the event and I came home with a 14" X 14" candle rug. I expected to pay more, but there were only two other bids, so I paid only $20 for it. Usually we have a live auction, but the board was unable to acquire an auctioneer for the event. I was disappointed, since it's much more fun to bid against someone. Items were sold through a silent auction bid. Likely we did not raise as much money for our speaker fund, but the total hasn't been revealed yet. Here is the mini quilt I purchased.

The little wool flowers drew me to this quilt. Green beads decorate the flower centers. The colors work well in my living room, where I plan to hang it on the wall.

Although, this is an annual guild auction, I see that I haven't blogged about this event before today. I have purchased a few mini quilts over the years, and also donated a few. My favorite purchase is from the 2011 auction.

The quilt measures only 12" X 12" with a mitered border, using an edge printed fabric. The two bluebirds are hand appliqued on a cherry branch. The cherries are about 1/2-inch across. The quilt maker echo quilted around the shapes at quarter inch intervals. I really wanted this quilt and paid $60 for it.

The weather has been warm and breezy today. My irises are in bloom and the rose bush has lots & lots of buds. Because of my surgery, I haven't been able to do much in the gardening arena. I hope to enlist my husband to loosen up the soil in two of the flower beds, so that I can plant some annuals this week-end.


Posted Fri, May 31 2013 8:59 PM by Pamela | with no comments

Saturday Sewing with My Sisters


Saturday was another sewing day with my sisters. We haven't gotten together for several months, so we were all ready to spend a day together. We gathered at my oldest sister's house for the afternoon. She worked on sewing some baby items - boppy covers, blanket & burp cloths - for her soon to be granddaughter. My younger sister worked on a baby quilt for her soon to be granddaughter. It's a lovely design that incorporates block piecing and embroidery.

I'm not expecting any grandchildren, but I worked on a baby quilt for one of my soon to be great-nieces. I have planned a fused applique quilt with farm animals and hearts alternating with scrappy nine patches. I am using thirties reproduction fabrics. I was only able to do a little, since I am still recovering from my shoulder surgery,  spending most of the time chatting about family. A few weeks ago, I traced the applique shapes onto fusible web. I followed that up by fusing them onto the fabrics. Saturday, I cut out the shapes and fused them onto 6-1/2" muslin squares. I was able to finish all but three of the blocks during the after. That was about all that my right arm & shoulder could tolerate. The next step is to complete blanket stitching around the shapes and add embroidered features.

As usual, the day ended far too soon. My brother-in-law returned home, which signaled it was time to pack up. I was expected home for supper by my own DH. Until the next Sister's Sewing Day, working on my projects at home will have to suffice. Having sisters to share your hobby and spend time sharing our lives, is one of the joys we share. My sisters are my greatest advocates and my much needed critics. We can share honestly and know that we are still loved. I do not take the relationships lightly, knowing how blessed we are to have each other.

Posted Sun, May 26 2013 8:29 PM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)

Designing an Applique Border

I began designing an applique border for a guild raffle quilt. Another member & I are planning the next raffle quilt for our biennial quilt show. We've decided to make a simple nine patch with alternating plain squares. The Applique Club has been asked to make borders for the quilt, so I have gotten involved. The pizzazz in the quilt will come from the small inner and outer borders.

Since the quilt show is in the spring, we are looking for bright, crayon colored blocks that members will be asked to make. The light fabric is purchased, providing continuity throughout the quilt top. Several ideas came to mind for the applique shapes - vines with flowers, hearts, birds. I planned an initial design to present at the show committee meeting and everyone liked the idea of flowers and the bluebirds I had drawn. Springy colors and designs were suggested from my original darker shades, additional ideas came to mind. The final draft of the applique design has tulips, stylized roses, leaves and berries, two bluebirds with a tulip between them and a heart beneath them. The quilt top should be fresh and colorful, just like a spring garden in bloom. My fellow guild member and I are excited about the final results.

The plan is to have four guild members take borders to work on at home or in a small group. Therefore, the design will only run along the sides of the quilt, and not turn the corners. Here are line drawings of my design. The two photos connect together and they create only one half of the image, as the other half will be a mirror image. The border will be twelve inches wide and is drawn full size onto freezer paper, which will be used for a placement guide. The central design motif is the three flowers, which will not repeat. This design will run along the side borders, while the top and bottom borders will have the bluebirds as the central image and mirror only the stylized rose and tulips.


Next, I will need to prepare templates and guidelines for the Applique Club members to use while stitching their borders. How exciting that after just two years with our guild club, we are beginning to do more than just make our own projects. I am honored that our group was asked to participate in this guild project.

Happy Designing!

Posted Sat, May 18 2013 9:01 PM by Pamela | 1 comment(s)

Vintage Wool Throw

A few weeks ago, I posted pictures of some vintage quilts that I own. Someone asked to see the wool throw laid out. When I wrote the post, I didn't have any pictures of the full quilt. So, I laid out the quilt and snapped several shots. It wasn't easy, since I am not able to use my right arm yet. And, it took another week to get the photos posted, because I have been so exhausted. Recovering from surgery is a long process, and takes even longer the older that I get. I'm back to working pretty much full time, only leaving work early on days that I have physical therapy. The one hundred mile round trip to & from work is especially tiring, driving with only my left arm. Using my left arm & hand to do all tasks takes a lot of brain power, contrary to the second nature of my right-handedness. I am progressing, though, and hope the surgeon will up the physical therapy after I visit him again next week. So far, it's been just electric muscle stimulation and massage therapy.

Now, to what you all came for. This wool throw is circa 1935. As I indicated in the previous post, the fabrics are wool, some cottons (possibly scraps from men's shirts), some home dec fabrics, and maybe some silk ties. The fabrics may have come from a salesman's sample book of fabrics. The throw is tied, which typically indicates it was made for utilitarian purposes. The backing is cotton, providing an interesting binding as the striped fabric was turned to the front for stitching down. Two sides have a candy cane like affect, while the other two sides have the full length of the stripe along the edge.

The blocks appear to be octagons and squares stitched together. However, some of the small squares are hand stitched on top of the corners of the larger rectangles, while other squares appear to have set in seams. Below is a closeup of one corner of the quilt.

The binding treatment is clearly visible from this shot. The edging has half square triangles stitched at the block corners. The quilt is in fairly good condition, but I do plan to do a few repairs. There are some loose squares that just need a few stitches, while a fine netting in a matching color will be stitched over corners where the fabric has frayed.



Posted Sat, May 11 2013 3:17 PM by Pamela | 3 comment(s)