Fabric postcards galore

22 11 2013

The postcard project is producing some very nice works, and I thought it was time to showcase some of the wonderful EBHQ fabric postcard artists, including Sonia Callahan, Meg Nixon, Rosemary Corbin, Susan Peck, Claire Sherman, and me.  I have remembered a few names of the names, and I’m sure I have forgotten others.  Please let me know if I need to include your name here.

It’s so much fun to see the variety of fabrics and techniques that we all have used for these small pieces.

The various themes include . . . . .   Christmas






Other characters


Free form designs


These little gems are lots of fun to do, once you have made a few to get yourself familiar with the techniques.  Let me know it you want to make some, too.

More hexagons

15 11 2013

Since I love the hexagons so much, and, in particular, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden setting, a fellow EBHQ member (and blog subscriber!) was kind enough to let me see one of her quilts.  The story is fun:  this quilt top was made by the mother of her mother’s freshman year college roommate during the early 30’s.  According to Marty, her mother was not interested in this in the least, so it sat for years, until Marty took over.  She hand quilted this beauty and now gets to sleep under in regularly.  Gorgeous.

Vintage quilt top, circa 1931 Quilted by Marty Suess

Vintage quilt top, circa 1931
Quilted by Marty Suess

A Grandmother’s Flower Garden variation that I had not seen before, this pattern has, I feel, a better depiction of a “stepping stone”, and these little groups of 4 hexagons, placed in this way,  make the hexagon “flowers” line up into rows, both across and down.  Very nice.

(The left side of the above pic is the left side of the quilt, where the maker put two rows of the “stones”.)

hexagon blocks

I was recently fortunate enough to receive some vintage pieces from the estate of a friend, so I thought I would show this, too.  When you see a pile like this in a flea market or other antique venue, grab it.  Could be a fun project.


I know I sound like someone who was born at the turn of the century, but I want to explain this picture, just in case there are those of you out there who do not recognize these.

Included in the pile of vintage items were these two pieces of fabric, and a set of three metal templates, all representing a part of my past.

Shocking fact:  the rotary cutter was introduced by Olfa in 1979, and now, none of us can imagine how we could have worked without it.  This picture shows how we would make templates out of sturdy materials and draw around the templates onto the fabric with a pencil.  The squares have the seam allowance included in the template;  the hexagons do not.  These shapes were then cut out individually with scissors.   I try to remind myself of all this labor when I look at vintage quilts with more respect.

My first quilts were made using templates, and some of the first classes I taught included techniques for making accurate templates.   We quilters have come a long way.

One more garden

8 11 2013

I recently fell into the abyss that is Pinterest.  I searched “hexagon quilt” and lost an hour looking at all the fabulous pictures of vintage as well as modern quilts using hexagons.  Very, very inspiring . . . almost as much fun as the paper pieced diamonds.

This fall inspired me to post another from my vintage collection, this variation on the traditional Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt pattern.

I could not resist this top when I found it in Houston.  The quilter has done a great job of distributing the colors within the diamonds, and I love the bold use of the orange and royal blue hexagons for emphasis.  I’m even having trouble imagining this quilt without them.  (But I have no trouble seeing this with light blue in place of the pink.  Too boring???)

Flower Garden in Diamonds, date unknown 75" x 80"

Flower Garden in Diamonds, date unknown
75″ x 80″

This detail shows the wide variety of 30’s fabrics used, as well as the nice hand quilting by Quilting Plus.

Flower Garden in Diamonds, detail

Flower Garden in Diamonds, detail

I remembered hearing that the hexagons that separate the “flowers” or “diamonds” in a Grandmother’s Flower Garden were called stepping stones, but I cannot find that fact through quick research.  Perhaps the “stepping stone” label is used when these motifs are separated by diamonds instead of solid hexagons.  I’ll continue my research and update as necessary.

In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy using these fun quilts.

Grandmother’s Flower Garden

1 11 2013

Here’s another of the “vintage” fabric quilts, but this one was not a top that I purchased;  it started as a small pile of finished blocks and scraps found at an antique store.  By the time I came across these beauties, I also had a small collection of vintage fabrics, so I hand pieced many more, enough to make a quilt.

This quilt was hand quilted by Quilting Plus and they did a wonderful job.

Grandmother's Flower Garden, 1993 72" x 79.5"

Grandmother’s Flower Garden, 1993
72″ x 79.5″

I can identify the blocks that I made from the different yellow in the centers.  I could not find an exact match, and had to settle for a duller, paler hue.  Most of the other solids are vintage.

The red block was in the original set I purchased.  Even though it stands out so dominantly, I just had to include it.  Love the scrappy look!!

Grandmother's Flower Garden, detail

Grandmother’s Flower Garden, detail

I remember piecing them together into the top while on vacation at a friend’s cabin in Tahoe, along with very young children.  It was a relaxing time.