Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Apron Challenge

Four of the aprons - Chicken Scratch Embroidery
Hmmm....It wasn't a hard decision, I immediately said YES!

Last month I was invited to join extraordinary quilters Allison Aller and Rhonda Cox Dort making quilts from aprons.  I added a caveat I would also make some sewing smalls.

The aprons are from Deborah Turner Ursell's fantastic selection.

Aprons embroidered with rick rack

The first step was to checkout the aprons and start developing some inspirational thoughts.

The colors, rick rack the soft feel of the woven gingham made me think of a stash of men's shirts I had left from a previous project.

Maybe I could use them together - like "his and hers"?  Her aprons and his shirts - together....and so it began....

As I thought about my project, I examined the construction of the aprons.
So much hand stitching!
Not just the embroidery, the construction too.  Hand mitered corners included.

I took the aprons apart so I had all the pieces available for my projects - separating the waist bands, ties, pockets and main body.

I discovered other interesting features.
The pink gingham was hand gathered with a double strand of thread.

Chain Stitch

The green gingham was stitched with a machine chain stitch.

Anyone still stitching on a chain stitch machine?


With everything dis-assembled I sorted ties, waistbands, pockets etc into separate piles.

Each apron is about 1 yard of fabric.  However, being cut into ties and smaller pieces I wanted to use the small pieces for piecing, maximize the decorative portions and have plenty of fabric for larger areas I might appliqué.

To selective cut or not?

I had to decide if I would selective cut the woven gingham on the thread lines.

I decided not to - I then decided to do the same on the men's shirting.

One hexagon has a chicken scratch center

I love hexagons and decided to make a few and see how the gingham worked.  I used floral hankies for the hexagon centers.

Then I placed a few of the completed hexagons on the men's shirt pieces.

I liked the look!

Next, I made a few pieced blocks.

The chicken scratch embroidery is rather bulky - usually stitched in pearl cotton.  I featured it in the larger pieces of the quilt.

The crochet rosette's are off the edge of a sheer white batiste apron.

I added to some of the blocks, layered and off center.

The green is a pocket.
The pink is a man's pinpoint oxford dress shirt.
The center of the hexagon is a lace hankie.

I left plenty of pink space for some quilting fun.

It was time to play on the design wall.

 Move things around.

Think about the "story" I was working with.

Make more blocks.

Leave some open space for quilting fun.

Feather Stitch around Gingham Heart

I mixed some hand and machine work.

In the finished quilt, I hand quilted this block and a few others.

While the design wall rested and I considered my options - I made some sewing smalls.

Velma approved of them.

Sewing rolls, pinch purses, pin cushions and more.

So pretty to work with!

These are some lace examples from pillow cases and hankies.

Seems appropriate to use vintage embroidered linens to make sewing smalls for our needlework!

Some embellishment from the original linens, some added by me.

This sewing roll uses pockets from aprons as pockets for the roll.  Love the needle pierced strawberry.  The binding is quilters cotton.

The hexagon pin cushion sides are gingham apron pieces and the top is an embroidered doily.

What about the pieces that are hard to use?

Two dye lots of embroidery thread

This waistband was embroidered after the apron
was made.
The embroidery went through all of the layers.

Taking the band apart would have ruined the embroidery.

Needle Roll

I finished the ends and added a tie.  I embroidered the wool and scalloped the edges.
The finished wool was invisible stitched by hand to the waist band.

Wa-La  A Needle Roll!

Then... It was back to the quilt.

All this time Allison and Rhonda are zipping ahead on their masterpieces!

I ended up with this layout with a few changes as I went.

I moved a few pieces around as I assembled it in sections.

All the while I kept to my his and hers - opposites attract theme.

With the top assembled, I started machine quilting.

I did all of the ditch sewing to get the pins out of the way.  Then I added some free motion quilting.  Last, but not least - I also added some had quilting.

This is my finished quilt.
Scrappy binding.

I think of it as a child's quilt or adult's lap quilt.  Family fabrics - aprons, shirts and hankies - all filled with memories.

It was great fun to step out of my normal project line up and join such talented quilters in this challenge!

This is Allison Aller's Finished quilt.

The center is beautiful chicken scratch embroidery.  The white round is a Quaker Lace table cloth.  Allie followed the lace design in her machine quilting.

The more you look, the more you see in this beauty.

Pattern, texture and color!

Back of Allie's Quilt

Rhonda's quilt features the apron in the center medallion.

She made the nine patch blocks and added vintage Dresden plate blocks to the corners.

She did the long arm quilting herself.

Beautiful, isn't it?

I told you they are extraordinary quilters!!
I am thankful for the opportunity to play - Thanks Deborah, Rhonda and Allie!

Happy Stitching!

Rhonda's Blog HERE
Deborah's Sale Pages
      Click HERE
      Click HERE
Also see the Facebook Group Quilting Vintage!  HERE

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Projects From Stitching Friends

Ferns and Berries - Florence Block 1
Checking in with my stitching friends!
Wishing you all the best, thinking of you.

A couple stitching friends sent me photos of their current work and gave me permission to share with you.

Florence shared her Ferns and Berries project.  She's using a small reproduction indigo print with red berries and reverse applique.

For the berry stems, she's using an embroidered chain stitch.

Antique Quilt from our collection

This is our original - from our pattern cover.

The antique quilt is very heavily hand quilted with detailed motifs.

The original had embroidered stems that connect the berries to the foliage.

Florence shared her berries in process.

There is no one best way to do berries.

She is enjoying the berries - and the project!

Just like that... she has a pile of berries ready to applique.

I often find repetition relaxing for a portion of my day.  The Mary Witherwax quilt had many berries.  Doing a few each day, broke it down and before I knew it - they were done!

Ferns and Berries In Process

This is the block before the vase, berries and stems.

It's pretty as is - but completed - it's a stunning block.

Looking forward to seeing the next block!

Blackbird Designs

My friend D is a quilter and does embroidery.

She's enjoying a lot or red these days!

I've shared her work here before, so I think your will like
seeing what she's up to this month.

Part of D's Stitching Stash

More from her stitching stash
I don't have to worry about D running out of things to do.  She's a prolific and talented stitcher.

WIP - Close to a finish
Ready for framing
I bought this chart and antique ivory linen
This sampler is so sweet - Check the name - then the sampler motifs!
Little Red Chair Sampler

And - there's more!  I told you she's a prolific stitcher!
Will Update with Chart Source

Will update with chart source
Thanks to D & Florence for sharing their work!
I've been busy too!  How about you?
In my next post I'll show you several of my projects...The apron challenge, some embroidery and more.

Stay Home and Keep Stitching!!
Stitchville USA currently taking mail orders by phone and email. HERE
Pattern:  Ferns & Berries HERE

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