Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sew Crafty Friday - Bear Paw Quilt, Vintage Dress

After having so much to post about last week, I thought I wouldn't have much this week. But thanks to a big snow, I was able to sew quite a bit this week. Last week I showed you the following photo of a tiny pile of little quilt blocks that had been languishing away on a shelf.

Well, on Sunday when I looked at my sewing options, I remembered the advice of my watercolor teacher. Start where you think you can succeed. I knew that the tiny bright blocks of my daughters quilt would really challenge me, and I didn't want to start a new project, so I grabbed the bear paw blocks. And I'm excited to say that it didn't take me that long to turn them into a queen sized quilt top!I got the pattern out of an Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine, Volume 8, Number 4, dated from 2001. So I think that I must have started this quilt in about 2002 or 2003. I thought up the inner border of rust and green blocks myself so I could use up the remaining rust and green fabric. I love how the middle border of the background fabric really makes the pieced border stand out. I also like the contrast of the wide outer border of the dark rusty red leaf fabric, hanging off the side of the bed.

Now comes the challenge of how to finish it. I don't even know how many quilt tops I have that aren't finished. Paying for machine quilting in my area is way too expensive. I've heard there are less expensive places in other places, but don't know where they are, or if they are trust worthy. I would never finish hand quilting a queen sized quilt. I resist tying quilts. For some reason it just doesn't seem as nice. It seems that it lowers the artist level to more utilitarian and practical, but this quilt may just have to be tied, so it can be used. I do long to snuggle down under it's cozy warmth before I'm too old. I'd be open to suggestions if anyone had any for me.

The second project I'm going to show you is one that I haven't done yet, but I'm excited about. It looks rather shapeless on the hanger, but seems that it must have had an interesting past. At the same estate sale where I got the partially complete green and blue plaid skirt, I found this vintage dress. It has only 2 of it's twelve buttons, but other then that it is in good repair. The dress has really cute sleeves. The is lace trim on the sleeves and collar. The fabric feels lovely in my hand. It is a light silky smooth cotton. I am going to replace the buttons with some white pearl ones of similar shape and style, then I think it can take it in just a little on the sides to make it fit well. I think this would be really fun to wear at home in the summer when the temperatures soar and I want to be cool and comfortable. I am wondering if any of you might have any ideas of the time period of the dress, and if it really is a dress or night wear or something else.

7 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

La Tea Dah said...

I love your bear paw quilt! The colors, the design, everything. . .very lovely!


Terri said...

Oh my, that quilt is gorgeous! I would love to be able to quilt like that.

The dress is going to be lovely too.


Mom2fur said...

I like the advice from your watercolor teacher...words to live by! I love the quilt! And the dress...hmmm...I'm thinking 1920s or 30s? It wouldn't be the 40s--there seems to be a lot of fabric in it, and I think buttons might have been at a premium then because of the war. 1950s dresses are tighter around the bodice with fuller skirts. It could also be 1960s, although the fabric doesn't seem to 'fit' that era.
There is a blog called "A Dress a Day" where the author writes about different fashions of yesteryear. Maybe you could check that out.

Mrs.T said...

The quilt is just gorgeous. I can't imagine producing something so beautiful. The colors just go so well.

I think the dress may be some sort of nightwear. And I think I might guess the 1930s as well.. I have some lace from my great-grandmother that looks sort of like the lace on the sleeves.

Gina said...

Awesome job on the quilt!

Ginny said...

I absolutely love the quilt. I wish I could creat fabric magic like you did. I love the way you have layed it all out and bordered it. Reminds me of a beautiful autumn day. As for the dress, I have no idea, but I think it would make a cute sun dress.

Shady Gardener said...

You have done a beautiful job on the quilt top. Do you have any friends that quilt? I wonder if you could get a group together that would help work on each others' quilts?

I also have a Queen-sized quilt waiting to be finished. It's "sandwiched" and on the frame. I began hand-quilting about 4 years ago... I think I'm going to look for help. :-)

The dress is very pretty. You will enjoy it!