Thursday, April 19, 2018

Island Batik Ambassadors: Looking Back, Vintage Challenge

After I finished my march Island Batik challenge, I started working on ideas for the next one.  For April, we were tasked to do something a little different this time.  The goal was to dig into history and take a block from the past and bring it back to life with a bit of modern twist. The quilt is to measure 36" x 36" when finished.

So when I read the task, I thought about some patterns that my mom gave me that belonged to my Great Grandmas.  She ordered patterns that she saw from ads in the newspaper.  Many of the envelopes that I have were labeled that they came from The Washington Farmer Needlecraft Services, and list a PO Box at Old Chelsea Station in New York, New York.  By the date stamped on the envelope, I would say she ordered them in the late 1950's.

I have several of her patterns and a lot of pattern pieces that don't have the designs to go with them.  My Great Grandma made a lot of her templates from old cereal boxes, and a few were made from sandpaper.  My mom tells me she would use old clothing for the fabric for the quilts.

The pattern I chose for making my vintage quilt was called Design #907, and Great Grandma wrote "Pinwheel" below the picture of the quilt.  So I redesigned the pattern in my EQ8 program and started working on designs to modernize it.

Once I had the basic pattern, I decided to use the rest of my Northern Woods Collection to make it.  I only twelve Fat Eights left over, and a yard of the coordinating fabric left over from the March project.

I decided to start with the blocks cutting out the blocks first.  Now my Great Grandma would be tracing out all the template pieces and cutting them out with scissors and stitching them all by hand.  I would be cutting them out with my rotary cutter and using my sewing machine.

The blocks were reasonably easy to make.  I just need to be careful and not to make a mistake due to the lack of fabric I had.

I finished four blocks, now I need to figure out how to get this quilt to measure the 36" x 36" that was required for the challenge.

So after looking through my fabric left over, I had enough to make sashing around the blocks made out of strip sets. So after a lot of playing with the layout, I assembled the quilt.

I then add 3" borders from the Coordinating fabric, I finished the quilt top to 36" x 36", now it was time to get it quilted.  For this one, I went back quilted this one on my sewing machine instead of my longarm.  It was a lot of fun, but I could tell that I was out of practice.

My project is now complete!  I was quite pleased with how this one turned out.  Looking forward to the next Island Batik Project.

You may want to check out the new techniques projects that the other Island Batik Ambassador have made this month. 

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  1. Turned out wonderfully, I bet it was very nostalgic for you.

  2. Love it! I remember seeing those cereal box pieces too :)

  3. What a great design, and the inspiration from your grandmother. Awesome. I have some clothing patterns my mom ordered from the newspaper, too. Great quilt and post.

  4. Thank you for sharing this great story and showing off your great quilt!

  5. What a wonderful collection to have. Love your blocks too:)