Category: quilting

Some time ago, the Quilt in a Day forum had a contest. Simply put, you had to name and describe an ice cream flavor, using quilting terms. The quotes in the body are for quilt terms and quilt block names. I let imagination take over and this result was my entry:

In honor of talented ‘sewing’ instructor, author, ‘quilter’, and owner of “‘Quilt’ in a Day”, Eleanor Burns, we would like to introduce, “Sunbonnet Sue ‘Light'” our newest ice cream. So much like ‘hand made’, you won’t believe a ‘machine’ was involved! A perfect new ‘angle’ for a sweet treat.

We all ‘cotton’ up to something good and this new reduced calorie flavor is sure to go around the ‘block’. Just a bit will prove our brand is a ‘cut’ above the rest. It will beome a real ‘star’ when served at your ‘log cabin’!

‘Double’ delicious, with reduced fat and calories, a ‘delectable mountain’ of “Sunbonnet Sue Light”,’fabric’ated of creamy ‘traditional’ fresh vanilla, ‘bound’ together with succulent ‘strips’ of chocolate, ‘charmed’ with ‘bright’ cherries, ‘soft’ marshmellow, and ‘pieces’ of almond will not cause any guilt in your day.

From ‘king’ to those in the ‘crib’, all will agree to our tasteful ‘blend’.

Don’t go to the ‘mat’ for a great snack or dessert idea, just ‘pick out’ our new “Sunbonnet Sue Light” at your favorite store, for a simple but elegant ‘finish’! It will become a ‘top’ choice in your freezer.

This was a lot of fun to enter and the prize of a quilt book from Quilt in a Day was a great added bonus

For the backstory, please go here:

Since that post was written, I have discovered some ‘history’ regarding some of the quilting treasure. Part of it belonged to the great-great-great grandmother of a young girl who attends my church.
At the request of this young ladies great-great grandmother, I have made a collage of some of the ‘treasure’ to present her and written the accompanying letter:
Dear Morgan,

Right now, perhaps, you are too young to understand this treasure.
Years ago, ladies made quilts to keep their families warm. People could not go to the store and buy things, like we do now, so every scrap was used for something.
In winter, when things were slow and there was not so much work to do, quilts were made. Often this had to be done at night after the rest of the family was in bed, using a coal oil lamp for light. It was very hard work.
In this frame is a quilt block, in the pattern called Dresden plate. This one is made with old feed sack fabric, some of what is called ‘shirting’, possibly dress fabric and cotton broadcloth.
The pattern pieces with it were cut from cardboard.
They would be traced on the fabric, then it was cut out in shapes and sewed together by hand to make blocks.
These would finally be sewed to make a quilt top, layered with a batting and back and stitched together to make a warm quilt.
The strips are for a quilt called ‘Double Wedding Ring’, quite often made years ago by a mother, aunt or grandmother as a wedding gift for a bride and groom. A treasure for all their lives.
This one seems to have pieces cut from clothing, possibly that of the bride or groom’s family. I left one upside down so the hand stitching would show.
Now I know, you are asking, why is this a treasure for me?
This Dresden Plate block and the pieces for the Double Wedding Ring were made by your great-great-great- grandmother. The fabric is old and valued in quilt making today, a rare and wonderful find.
I received it as a gift and now I am giving it back to you.

Yes, it’s coming! Here is an easy project that you can use for yourself a gift or a sewing lesson for a beginner. It’s a simple quilted potholder. And who can’t use one of those? You will need:

2 – 9 /2 inch squares of fabric

1 – 9 1/2 inch square of Insulbright heat resistant material. It is available at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s and Wal-Mart. ( three layers of cotton batting can be used. That is how Granny made them back in the day.)

A small piece or ribbon or bias tape (approximately 4 inches)

Scissors or rotary cutter and mat


Sewing machine

Knitting needle or wooden spoon

Step 1.  Two pieces of fabric and one of Insulbright Step 2. Place fabric pieces right sides together on top of Insulbright.

Step 3. Mark a 3 inch gap along one side, stitch around the piece using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Trim the corners diagonally to cut down bulk on the finished potholder.

Step 4.  Gently  push  and turn the piece, until the batting is in the center and both fabric pieces are turned right side out on the top and bottom. Step 5. Using knitting needle or wooden spoon handle, push out the corners of your potholder.

Step 6.  Center the ribbon or bias tape hanger in the gap, fold in seam allowance and top stitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Step 7. Quilt your potholder. You can use straight lines or any design you can think up.  I stitched along the seams of the pieces in the top block.Step 8. Trim threads.

You now have a potholder to use or give as a gift.

I want to send a big shout out of thanks to the fine men and women who donate their time and talent to the Quilts of Valor Foundation. This organization makes and donates quilts to combat veterans.   

March is National Craft Month and National Quilt Day is coming up this weekend. I thought it might be appropriate to share these two links about this worthy and wonderful cause.  includes some lovely pictures of some of their quilts. General information regarding Quilts of Valor. The site includes a request form for to ask for a quilt for a veteran and information for donations.

Yesterday the mail lady stopped at my dad’s house with a package for him…

Dad with his Quilt of Valor

I try not to get caught up in challenges.   It seems every time I commit to something like this, ‘life’ gets in there and turns me around. I get lost in the project and never finish. This one, however, is an individual endeavor. All you need to do is make one block a day, from June 21 to September 21 and you will have plenty to make a quilt top.

The goal, 95 6 inch blocks, appears to be quite ‘do-able’, for a bed size quilt. Better yet, I am nearly half way there! Of course, you can make fewer for a smaller quilt, or larger blocks and it will take less to complete. Pretty simple!

The blocks are easy and go together fast. In a matter of 2 – 3 days, I had made 40, so got ahead of the program for a change. The fabric I found laying around reminded me of summer sunrises, one of my favorite times of day. What, I asked myself, could be nicer than snuggling up in a sunrise?

Hot summer days can be very conducive to making quilt blocks. While canning is going on, there is some down time, waiting for things to be done and this seems a good way to use it while things cook. I used the pattern for ’10 minute blocks’, which I wrote about here earlier.

If you want to join in, the first link listed is the place to go, as well as take a look at a lot of nice blocks that others have made.  Great Eye candy and lots of inspiration there!

I am posting this link for two reasons, 1, my good friend and prayer partner, Chris Wheeler, has an entry in the contest and 2, these are just incredible!

I an astounded and awed by the imagination and skill to make quilted postcards. I look at them and just wonder ‘how’!

Such delicate and painstaking work, and SO beautiful!

My friend Bonnie Hunter has a give away going on her Quiltville blog. Entry open til Sunday. That is not far off.

A chance to win requires a comment posted on HER blog. Here is the link

Her blog is quite interesting, whether you win or not. Please check it out.

Thanks Bonnie! Have fun in Florida…

I was looking through a box of ‘gifted’ fabrics and hand-made quilt blocks the other day. Many of the blocks are made of polyester and double knits. Fabrics of the 1960’s and 70’s. Few  quilt makers today would even consider using these as we have returned to traditional cottons. It doesn’t mater if I never use them, I will hang on to them, at least for now.

The effort and care put in to them by the maker is enough reason to keep them, if only to look at from time to time.

I had, at one time, a lovingly appliqued “Sunbonnet Sue” top made by my maternal grandmother from the beloved feedsack fabrics of the 1930’s and ’40’s.  The  hand stitched blocks arrived and I put it together after her death. A good friend hand quilted it. Sadly, it was lost when our house burned. A treasure that can never be replaced – but always remembered.

There have been others, made from sewing  scraps, old clothing cut into pieces and these days fresh fabrics bought just for the purpose of making a special quilt. Not just in my world; I happened onto this blog post from Tipper Pressley this morning. Like the quilts she mentions and refers to Vintage Vera’s remarks, most of the quilts I have loved were more for use than show.

Testimonies of someone’s love and the frugality that ‘used to be’ .

Yesterday, I was honored to have guests from afar.

Two of my nieces from Oklahoma came over for a ‘quilting bee’.  Over the course of the day, we had a mini-quilt show here as they displayed some of their quilts  and I some of mine.

Later, out came equipment and sewing supplies. One quilt was completed for the new ownerand another is now ready to finish the binding.

As a quilt is more than the sum of its parts, so was our afternoon. We shared family news, laughter, and a lot of fun as the afternoon waned away.

 As with the quilters who came  before us, the time spent had many benefits. Not the least of which were the quilts themselves.

 We hope to finish up some more while they are here visiting.


 Monday night I went to a quilt guild meeting. Our program was about making these very nice 10 minute blocks.

I had to make some, because I liked the patters you can come up with and I just had to test it out.

 The first four went together pretty quick, but after I got them done, I wanted to make more. There is a quilt in yellow, due to someone this weekend, so I took that practice block apart, sent through the fabric and came up with several yellows, blues and some interseting prints that would go well with them.

In about 5 hours I had all the blocks done. They averaged 12.5 minutes instead of 10, but who is counting? I only did the math to see if I was close, and I was!

The resulting top is going together nicely, in a great old fashioned scrappy way. Tomorrow should see it completed and bordered.