Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby I Spy with Setting Squares

I came across this tutorial for an I Spy baby quilt just the other day.

The instructions are clear, fabric quanities included, and there are lots of photos for each step of the quilt.   I only have one fabric in my stash that is the same as one of the charms pictured.  There must be a lot of different fabrics in the world....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stars and Square in a Square

Each year my real time patchwork group makes a monthly block challenge, which we keep for ourselves or make for each other.  This year we given a monthly set of instructions for two 12 inch blocks which we construct from our own stashes.  At the next meeting all 48 blocks are collected and sorted into two quilts' worth.  At our Christmas breakup we will each receive a package with 24 quilts blocks to make into a quilt (or perhaps a UFO).
Last month's pattern was for a star block and a square in a square.  We were given the feature fabric and a guideline for colours.  Here are my two blocks:

I thought, 6.5 inch square of feature fabric? Another I Spy idea!  I made two more blocks for myself.

I decided to use some animal prints.  The little fish on the left have ocean corners, and the koalas on the right have wattle flower corners. 

The two different blocks make a great secondary pattern.  I better make some more.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Too Early To Spy

I found this quilt pattern on eBay.  Nice retro pattern, don't you think? Actually, the lovely 1930s feedsack prints on the front were brand new when the pattern was printed, not replicas.  This McCall pattern is dated 1937 and it was surprisingly easy to confirm the date.

The date stamp inside the pattern flap is Oct 1937, and the cardboard template is made from a calender dated 1937.  How easy was that - not much detective work needed!  One transfer has been cut from the sheet, all the rest are intact.  Someone spent her 25 cents on the pattern but then was too busy to make a start - does that sound familiar?

If I ever decide to make this quilt I will have to brush up on my embroidery skills.  Fortunately I have a section on embroidering transfers in my "Needlework and Crafts: Every Woman's Book on the Arts of Plain Sewing, Embroidery, Dressmaking, and Home Crafts".  Unfortunately the News Chronicle publishers neglected to put a publishing date in the book.  Detective work needed here.

If you like looking at old patterns here's a great blog -  Lots of old pattern and fashion plates with an amusing commentary.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Australian I Spy Quilt Pattern

I purchased this pattern not so long ago from Rosemount The Patchwork Shop in Canberra, ACT.  The pattern is simpled titled, "I Spy Quilt" and is a design by Dianne Neumann and Tracey Scougall.  The Australian pattern is copyright 1998.
I think this must be one of the earliest uses of the term "I Spy" for a child's quilt. I often wonder who was the first person to call a quilt an I Spy (or Eye Spy), and if he or she realised that it would became a much loved genre of patchworkers.
Anyway, back to the pattern.  It's quite easy to make as long as you have a large supply of fabrics.  There are three different size pieces - 6.5 inch square, 3.5 inch square and 3.2 by 2 inch rectangle.  I decided to make a rainbow coloured quilt instead of the pictured colourwash.  There are 24 blocks in total, so I thought I would make each block in one colour (until I got bored and moved onto something else...)

I decided to start with orange.  I went through my orange scraps and cut them into one of the three sizes.  I never worry about cutting too many, the spares go into my Scrap User's boxes.  The block was very easy to piece.

I found another quilter who is keen on this pattern.  Have a look at Helen Gammon's list of quilts here, she's listed 73 quilts she's made and at least 26 are "I Spy Quilt"!  Wow, very impressive!