Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reproducing My Great Grandmother's Quilt

My great grandmother was Anna Beukelman De Groot. She was born on July 4, 1865 in Holland. When she was one year old her family emigrated to the United States. She lived to her nineties and passed away in 1956. She grew up on a farm in South Dakota. My father remembers her telling of hiding in the cellar when the local Native American Indians would come to their farm. She married a farmer and lived near Orange City, Iowa (a very Dutch community to this day) raising nine children. This is a four generation picture of Anna taken in 1953. Anna is pictured in the single picture and on the far right of the family picture. My grandmother, Jennie De Groot Schiebout (who also was a farmer's wife and had twelve children of her own) is next, then my father Herman Schiebout Jr. holding me, Cheryl Schiebout Walker.

Last year my Aunt contacted me and said she had a quilt made by Great Grandma De Groot. She wanted me to take a look at it to see if there was anything that could be saved on it as it was quite worn. The quilt was sent to me and the study began.

I believe this butterfly quilt was made in the 1930s. There were kit quilts made like this about that time. Some of the butterflies look like feed sack fabric. My great grandmother hand embroidered the butterflies. Her embroidery held up better than the butterfly fabric.

 


The fabric in this butterfly looks very similar to some Aunt Gracie reproduction fabric in my fabric stash.

This was the most well preserved butterfly. My Aunt was thinking she might like to use the good parts of the quilt to make throw pillows or maybe a smaller wall hanging. Unfortunately this was the only whole butterfly block in the quilt.

Anna quilted her quilt with the same black embroidery floss that she used on the butterflies. A simple fleur-de-lis in the opposing blocks

and outline quilting around all the blocks.

In some of the worn seams you could tell the opposing blocks were a bright bubblegum pink.

All in all the quilt was quite worn. The batting in the quilt was a layer of flannel and the back of the quilt was a very sturdy cotton broadcloth.

As a matter of fact the back of the quilt was in the best shape with most of Anna's quilting stitches still visible. I really wanted the back of this quilt, worn soft with age, to be saved. I came up with the idea of making a new quilt top with reproduction fabrics and quilting it to Anna's original quilt. I was able to trace the butterfly from Anna's quilt and did most the the embroidery on my sewing machine using a 12 weight black Sulky thread.

The running stitch inside the butterflies was done with my machine's mock hand quilting stitch using invisible nylon thread on the top and the black thread in the bobbin.

I layered the new quilt top onto Anna's quilt but did decide to add a layer of batting to give the whole quilt a little more stability.

I also made the reproduction top slightly smaller so I could completely cut away the very worn bulky binding on Anna's quilt. I quilted it very simply much like my great grandmother did. I outlined the butterflies, the blocks and borders and used the 12 weight black thread to quilt the fluer-de-leis in the pink blocks. I used cream thread in the bobbin so my quilting stitches would not be competing with Anna's black quilted stitches on the back.

There is a little heart quilted in each corner of the quilt because this was a labor of love for me.

I get to keep the quilt in the spare bedroom for the summer as my Aunt is traveling but it will be sent to her this fall.

Happy Stitching All,

Cheri

 

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Beekeeper Block

The first day of summer is still a couple days away but it feels like the dog days of summer here in Nebraska. Hot and humid with nothing but high 90s and even a couple 100s degree forecast days on my phone's weather app. However, these are great stay indoors and quilt days. I finished the second block of the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt mystery BOM. This was a fun block with hexagons ,

lots of little bees,

the queen bee at the top,

and even a place for my initials at the bottom of the block.

The mystery calls for 5 blocks with a pink toile fabric in the center and the toile I used in the first two blocks was just not quite my favorite.

It seemed a little blurry. After I finished both blocks I came across the same toile fabric in blue and white.

I liked this fabric way better and switched the centers out of both of the completed blocks. I did not notice until after I took this picture that I had the first block, on the left, upside down AND had stitched the new center in sideways. So, if you are counting, I have now stitched the centers in these two blocks five times.I finished up the block by inking in the legs and antennae with a Pigma pen. I was going to embroider them but made the mistake of counting how many I would have to do.

Happy Stitching All,Cheri

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Caswell Quilt block and other applique prep

I have completed another block for the Caswell Quilt (Corliss Searcey pattern from threadbear.com.au). I used a back basting technique for this block. I was not sure about the colors I had picked for the flowers

but as I finished each layer it came together in the end.

I have a few applique projects going on this summer and I seem to be doing a lot of different prep work involving insects. A swarm of little bees that are all prepped for an upcoming block on the Rowdy Flat Library quilt. Since these were small I prepped them off block with freezer paper and starch and glued their teeny tiny little wings to their teeny tiny little bodies and now I just have to applique them to the block.

And for a completely different project I have a swarm of butterflies ( do butterflies swarm???) cut out with steam a seam on the back and ready to be put on background blocks with blanket stitch.

This is why I love applique so much, there are so many different techniques to keep it interesting, back basting, needle turn, raw edge blanket stitch, off block prep, tracing, cutting, glueing etc etc etc.

Happy Stitching All,

Cheri

 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

From Treasured Linens to a Quilt

I am one of those lucky quilter's who come from a long line of quilter's and stitchers. My Mom was very crafty. She knit, quilted, cross stitched, and sewed all of my sister's and my clothing including wedding dresses and veils when the time came. My sister, Dawn, recently visited from out of state and brought some embroidered tablecloths,

dresser scarfs,

handkerchiefs, and doilies that my Mom had done years ago and were just sitting as keepsakes in her cedar chest. She wanted to use these linens in a wall hanging or quilt or something. We searched through Pinterest and the internet and saw pictures of embroidered linens used in crazy quilt blocks.

With the beginnings of an idea I took my sister to her very first quilt shop visit to start looking for fabric (a very funny process as I had to explain to her that the wall samples were not for sale, they are to give you ideas of quilts to make yourself- put them back).

Two jelly rolls ( a collection of 42 coordinating 2 1/2 inch wide fabric strips) and a couple yards of a coordinating fabric later we had the start of our quilt.

My sister traveled home and I started the crazy quilt blocks. I found this ruler

which was very helpful getting me started with the blocks but I still had to make those first difficult cuts in my Mom's linens and handkerchiefs.

The blocks kept growing with their precious centers

and have become a beautiful quilt top.

Next step will be the quilting but first another trip to the quilt shop for backing fabric. Come back to Nebraska, Dawn, I miss you. We will drink coffee together in the sewing room, you with your iPad and me at the sewing machine, and share in this happy labor of love.

Happy stitching,

Cheri