Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 Rewind

As 2014 comes to a close, I was looking back at some of my favorite projects and blog posts from the past year.  It’s kind of fun to remember everything I made, found, did, etc.  All in all I would say it’s been a pretty successful year.

In case you missed any of them, I thought I would share a quick recap of some fun posts from 2014.

2014 Recap

The Purple + Teal quilt, which turned out differently than I planned, but also turned out to be one of my favorites from the year.

The month two of my quilts were in Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine.  Huzzah!

The Sunday I attended the Rooftop Crafting event with Heather Ross.  My love of her and her fabric designs has only grown stronger, and I mean that in the least stalkerish kind of way possible.

The day I went to the Brooklyn Flea and found my favorite vintage tablecloth.

The wonky block Spring Fling quilt.  There’s nothing particularly special about it except that I like it, and that’s good enough for me.

The antique dishes my aunt surprised me with that, sadly, are stored at my parents’ house because my small Brooklyn apartment doesn’t have room for them.  Someday they will join me…after I hit the New York real estate jackpot and find a huge apartment at an affordable price.  (This seems like the least likely thing to ever happen.)

The Signature Series collection of baby quilts that I plan to expand in 2015.

And last but not least, my trip to Wyoming over the Fourth of July, where I found some new fabric and saw lots of wildlife in Yellowstone.

Thanks to everyone for reading this year.  I have so many things planned for 2015 and can’t wait to get started.  You’ll find me right here, in 2015, chronicling it all.  Happy New Year!

Feed Sack Quilts

In the many hours I’ve spent rummaging through antique stores and flea markets, I’ve often come across old feed sack fabric for sale that I’ve been tempted to buy, but I’ve always managed to hold back because I’ve figured it is one less fabric collection I need in my life.  That is until last week.  I finally pulled the trigger and bought my first feed sack fabric.

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If you don’t know the history of feed sacks, a quick Google search will provide loads of background information, but the brief overview is that in the mid- to late-1800s textile mills were producing cotton feed sacks for transportation of grains and other bulk goods.  The feed sacks were often made with colorful prints, and thrifty farmers’ wives took advantage of the printed fabric and re-used the material for dressmaking, aprons, quilting, you name it.  Craftsy has a pretty good overview of feed sack quilting you can read here.

Today, many quilters are still using vintage feed sack fabric for quilt making.  I’ve thought about making a feed sack quilt for quite some time, but like I mentioned before, I’ve been holding off on buying the fabric.  I could go online and buy pre-cut fat quarter assortments, but I think it will be more fun to slowly collect my own pieces.  Although, I do see the value and convenience of buying from an online seller, because buying piece-by-piece is not the most affordable way to go.

The feed sacks come in pretty good sized pieces, but that leaves for a lot of extra fabric if you want to use a variety of prints in one quilt, which I do.  Plus, the fabric I’ve seen has been priced from about $10 for up to about $15 a piece.  That gets a little pricey if you want to use a lot of prints.  So for now I plan to slowly build my collection and only buy pieces that I really like.  And when I say slowly, I mean this is going to take years to collect enough fabric for a quilt, but I’m in it for the long haul!

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This also gives me lots of time to plan a quilt design or, in this case, I would consider actually using a pattern.  In the Craftsy story, it mentions the book Sugar Sack Quilts by Glenna Hailey who has designed quilt patterns to showcase feedsack fabric.  I might have to check that out.

Have any of you ever made a feed sack quilt?  Or have you ever used feed sacks in your quilting?  I would love to hear about it!

Three Cheers for Antique Quilts

Greetings from Northwest Iowa.  I’m out of Brooklyn and into Iowa visiting my parents for the holidays.  And while I’m here visiting, my mom and I hit up a few of the local antiques stores yesterday.  Whenever I’m back home, we usually take an afternoon to stop by a few of our favorite spots in search of any hidden gems buried somewhere in a box or in a long forgotten corner of a store.  Sometimes our visits are successful, and sometimes they are a bust.  Yesterday was one of those successful days.

Now I didn’t go in search of antique quilts yesterday, but oh did I find them.  Seriously.  We saw so many old quilts.  Lots of different patterns, colors, sizes, you name it.  Some were in better shape than others, and the prices ranged from reasonable to lots of dollar bills.  Although, as those of us who quilt know, the time and effort put into hand making a quilt justifies the higher prices.

We saw finished quilts, quilt tops that needed to be finished, quilt blocks that needed to be made into quilt tops, and even a couple of quilted pillows.  I snapped a few pics of some of my favorite ones that I thought I would share.

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I thought they were all pretty great.

And now here is where the day turned successful.  Stuck between a bunch of old dishes and some other random items was an antique quilt top looking to be finished.  At first I didn’t think it was much of anything, but as I looked more closely I realized it had potential.  Oh did it ever have potential, and this beauty is now mine.

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The pattern is a version of Snail Trail and the quilt measures approximately 84” x 64”.  The fabric is definitely aged and there are a few spots that need a little mending, but all in all I think it has a lot of potential.  I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do for the back, so if anyone has any ideas I’m all ears.

There’s more to this story, though.  I bet you thought that was my big score of the day.  No, no, no.  At the second antiques store I spotted a pile of quilts, and in that pile I found an old Bowtie quilt priced at only $20.  Whaaaat?!?!?  I couldn’t believe it.  How could that be?

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Upon closer inspection, it looks to me that the quilt top is older but someone made it into a quilt more recently.  I say that because it is machine quilted.  The fabrics in the bowties are old, but the machine quilting looks more recent.  I’m also wondering if the pink sashing was added when the machine quilting was done.  Maybe someone discovered old bowtie blocks and put the whole thing together???

Now I don’t think the quilt was finished in the last five years, but I would guess in the last 10-20 years, maybe?  That is a total guess, though.  I would need someone that is an expert in these sorts of things to give me a better idea.  Regardless, I really love it and I can’t believe I got it for only $20.  Christmas came early around here!

Have any of you ever bought an old quilt?  Or do you have any quilts that have been passed down to you?

Reverie – In Progress

This lazy Sunday morning I’m sharing my latest quilt top with you, Reverie.  Reverie is kind of like version 2.0 of the Purple + Teal quilt: very, very similar but with some new updates.

The truth is Reverie is actually what I originally planned to do with Purple + Teal.  But my plan didn’t work out because I started piecing the quilt together without really thinking about how little scrap fabric I had to make it.  That’s why Purple + Teal ended up with some solid negative space in it, which I ended up really loving.

I was, however, determined to still make the quilt I originally planned and I had a bunch of purple and gray fabrics that I thought would pair really well together.  I hesitated for a bit making it because I usually try to change things up around here and not make the same quilt over and over again, but I had a vision of using the purple and grays and I was sticking with it!

Here are a few photos, with shadows from the trees included!

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This quilt is still in progress but I’m liking what I see so far.  I know exactly what I’m going to do for the back but that has not been started yet.  My very ambitious plan for today is to make the back and baste the quilt.  We’ll see if all of that happens!  Anyone else doing some Sunday sewing today?

Brooklyn Quilting Co.’s Holiday Wish List

Today was supposed to be a post about a finished quit top, but unfortunately we’ve had a lot of rain around here and I haven’t had a chance to photograph it.  So in the meantime, I thought I would share what’s on my holiday wish list.  Maybe it will spark some ideas for you; either to add to your own list or to gift to someone else.  It includes both sewing/quilty and non-quilty items.

Now granted, these gifts probably fit a specific demographic, i.e. mine: female, early 30s, lives in Brooklyn and has a penchant for handmade or vintage items, but I think they work for a lot of people!  That’s my very biased opinion, of course.  Here we go!

Holiday Wish List 2

Any fabric from Cotton & Steel.  Any.

Some new rotary blades so I have clean fabric cuts every time.

A clutch purse to hold my metro card, loose change and iPhone from Etsy shop octopurse.

A Field Day embroidery pattern from Allison Glass, so I can try my hand at a new craft this winter.

Some vintage clip-on earrings like these, these or these, for those of us that don’t have pierced ears.

Any pink Pyrex pieces, especially these casseroles and these mixing bowls, to add to my antique dishes collection.

This bear shirt from my favorite store, Anthropologie, because who doesn’t like a beautiful bear shirt?

The lovely smelling lychee rose perfume from Mistral, so that everyone wants to stand just a little bit closer.

And finally, a pair of moccasins to wear to casual Sunday brunches in Brooklyn.

So there you have it!  What’s on your holiday wish list?  Any quilting supplies or fabric?  By the way, weather permitting, I hope to post the new quilt top on Sunday, so check back in then.

2015 PANTONE Color of the Year

Have you heard the news?  Did you see the announcement? Today PANTONE named 18-1438 Marsala as the 2015 Color of the Year.

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Image Credit: PANTONE

In the words of PANTONE, “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

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Image Credit: PANTONE

What do you think?  Will it influence any of the fabric choices you make in the next year?

I was looking through my fabric stash and I have nothing that comes even close to Marsala.  I do think it’s beautiful and I might have to come up with something using the Color of the Year.  If you remember, earlier this year I made a quilt inspired by the 2014 color trends and I really liked how it turned out.  I’m feeling a 2015 color trends quilt coming on!

You can read more about Marsala on PANTONE’S website here.  You can also check out what the Wall Street Journal has to say about it here.