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Handstitcher/IL's Blog (13)

Christmas Hankies

I’ve been wanting to make a vintage hankie quilt for awhile now. Last December, I bought 5 vintage Christmas hankies from a friend’s antique shop. The hankies are hand appliquéd on the background fabric. It’s machine pieced and hand quilted and is 55” square. …


Added by handstitcher/IL on August 28, 2020 at 4:19am — 8 Comments

From start to finish....

Here’s the before and after pictures of my newly finished fan quilt. I bought 15 hand pieced fan arcs last year at a flea market for a few dollars. You can see that the size varied. I ended up…


Added by handstitcher/IL on May 3, 2020 at 9:27am — 10 Comments

Latest Vintage Save

I bought these four 1940s Colonial Ladies blocks at a flea market last summer. They were hand appliquéd, just lovely. I machine pieced the setting and hand quilted it. A cheery project for these difficult times.

Added by handstitcher/IL on April 20, 2020 at 5:01am — 12 Comments

Quilting with Grandma Coonley

I’ve spent the last four months hand quilting this quilt top, made by my great-great grandmother, Anne Powell Coonley (1820-1916). This is third of Grandma Coonley’s quilt tops I’ve completed, with three more to go. I would estimate it was sewn between 1880-1900 and it’s pretty fragile. Grandma Coonley was quite the proper lady and not one you messed with. Her granddaughter, my maternal grandmother, was scared to death of her! But because she was so revered (or feared), many of her…


Added by handstitcher/IL on June 7, 2019 at 1:38pm — 11 Comments

Vintage Baby Bunting

This wall hanging was made from 9 Dresden plate blocks from the 1940s. I bought them from a friend with an antique store. Each block was made of 4 smaller fan blocks, so I took the big blocks apart and rearranged the fans into the baby bunting pattern. The fans were appliquéd on muslin and looked a little drab, so I appliquéd the blue quarter circles on each fan to perk them up a bit. It’s machine pieced, hand appliquéd and hand quilted and measures about 31” square. …


Added by handstitcher/IL on January 31, 2019 at 12:41pm — 10 Comments

My first finish of the year!

I finished this baby quilt on New Year’s Day, so I’m hoping it’s a good omen for quilts to come. I purchased this vintage top at a white elephant sale last summer for $4. What a buy! It was long and skinny and needed some pep. After taking it apart and handwashing the embroidered blocks, I saw, very faintly, some background printing on block 9. Turns out that the maker used bleached flour sacks from the Great American Pacific Tea Company (otherwise know as the A & P) for her fabric. I…


Added by handstitcher/IL on January 6, 2019 at 1:42pm — 9 Comments

Is anyone familiar with this pattern?

I purchased this vintage quilt top at an antique mall two years ago. It has 36 blocks in various colors. The stitching is excellent! I've been unsuccessfully trying to find the name of the pattern or see other examples. Any ideas?

Added by handstitcher/IL on June 13, 2018 at 7:11am — 5 Comments

18 Mountain Road

In the early 1920s, my grandmother Virginia bought the house on 18 Mountain Road, with her mother and sister. She was teaching nearby while the others cared for the house. In 1924, Virginia married a widower named Benjamin. He moved into the house, along with his young son and his father. Virginia and Benjamin had three more children, one dying in infancy. Their…


Added by handstitcher/IL on January 10, 2016 at 6:55pm — 11 Comments

The Taylor Children

I made this small crazy quilt to honor the memory of my grandmother and her siblings. Their mother died in Dec. 1904, and their father immediately took the children to his family’s farm in New York, before leaving them and returning to Wisconsin a month later. The children were split up and taken in by four families in different towns. What was unusual was that the…


Added by handstitcher/IL on September 13, 2013 at 6:01pm — 9 Comments

Return of the International Quilt Festival to the Chicago area!

For all of you in the Chicagoland area, the International Quilt Festival will be returning to Rosemont next June. The dates are June 21-23, 2013, with a preview night of June 20th. This show will be in addition to the one in Ohio. Here's the link with the details. Welcome back, IQF! We've missed you!!

Added by handstitcher/IL on August 9, 2012 at 1:04pm — 2 Comments

Dilemma solved -- old block, new block

Last month, I posted a picture of one of 11 blocks I'd bought at a flea market. None would lay flat since they all flared out, measuring over an inch longer at the outer edges than across the middle. I was looking for suggestions on how to make the blocks workable. I ended up carefully handwashing two of the blocks, unsewing them from the pieced (and very filthy) background, and hand appliqueing them to a new background. I'm not sure how large I'll want the final blocks to be, so I left lots of… Continue

Added by handstitcher/IL on August 22, 2010 at 4:35pm — 16 Comments

Suggestions welcome!

Hello ladies,

I know how you all love to help. I bought 11 blocks at a fund-raising white elephant sale today. They are hand pieced tulips, vintage 1930s. When I got them home, however, I discovered that not a single block would lie flat. I got out my trusty ruler and found they measured 15" across at the center, but 16-16.25" at the edges. Any ideas as to how to fix this problem? Since the background fabric has spots on some of the blocks, I am thinking of unsewing the background… Continue

Added by handstitcher/IL on July 11, 2010 at 4:05pm — 11 Comments

Thanks for the kind words.....

Thank you to all who wished me a happy birthday today. It's actually been a rough week here, since my siblings and I are in the process of moving my father from his home in Arkansas where he's been living independently, to my house in preparation for assisted living. It breaks my heart that he has to give up his friends and lifestyle, but unfortunately, it is time. In the midst of a sad birthday (and no quilting time in sight for awhile), your kind words were appreciated.

Added by handstitcher/IL on September 2, 2009 at 6:47pm — 1 Comment

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