Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Garden Bouquet Quilt- Month 1

Hello Readers! I have a great new project that I would love for you to join me in creating. This project and pattern comes from the Kansas City Kansan newspaper. A while ago I’d been looking at sewing books in the library and came along a series of books that had this and similar projects compiled. They are articles from the early 1920’s to the 1950’s from the Kansas City Star newspaper and the Kansas City Kansan newspaper. These are just a wonderful piece of history! Needless to say, I borrowed the books from the library and copied every single page. I chose the Garden Bouquet Quilt (24 designs) from 1931 to begin with and for this particular project. Each article has a little story to go along with the pattern. I have re-typed these because they are a little hard to read from the scanned page. This project, once finished, will be a beautiful appliquéd quilt. I have chosen to hand appliqué but you can machine appliqué if you’d like. I also have posted a method of appliqué in my tutorials here. Alright, let’s get started!
A Fascinating… Exciting… New Nancy Page Quilt Pattern

Isn’t this a precious new pattern? It combines all the traditional quaintness of grandmothers’ quilts, with a crisp modern cleverness- for the delight of all women who love to do charming things with their fingers.

The Nancy Page Quilt club members were so anxious to see what kind of a quilt Nancy had designed for them that they came to her house almost an hour early.

“Please Nancy, show it to us!” “Please Nancy, tell us what it’s like.” “Oh, have a heart, Nancy don’t make us wait any longer.” But Nancy was adamant. As the clock struck two she opened the meeting.

“The quilt I have designed this time ought to please those of you who like flowers. It ought to please the garden lovers. I think it will please those who enjoy birds. I hope it will please all of you who like to sew and to make the kind of appliqué that grandmother did. This quilt which I will now show you is called-“ but as she unrolled the quilt there were so many exclamations of delight the she had no chance to give its name.

“Oh look at that quaint urn in which the flowers are put. My grandmother had one just like that.” “Will you see that cunning bird?” “Won’t it be fun to have a quilt with birds and flowers?” “Oh, I want to start right away. I can see the very bed in my house that is going to have a quilt like that.”

When the voices died down Nancy continued, “I am calling this new quilt ‘Garden Bouquet.’ By the time we have finished we will have a collection of flowers that would please any gardener and would call the birds from far and near. In fact, as you can see, they have already gathered and are standing, paired and filled with admiration on the edge of each urn. Some birds choose the wild rose, others the tulip or pansy. But each urn has its flowers and its birds, making- when gathered together- a delightful garden bouquet. Let’s look at the pattern closely.”

The Nancy Page Quilt club was suddenly devoted to arithmetic and a study of the direction leaflet. By sending for this leaflet, you too will get a diagram of the finished quilt and will understand just how to put the blocks together.

There are border strips, small and large triangles that are a fourth and a half the size of large diamond blocks. These diamond blocks are cut or torn 12 ½ inches by 12 ½ inches. For them use soft white gingham. There are 12 of them. But club members prepared 18 more which were later cut in half diagonally. These gave 36 large triangles. Two of these were cut into halves again diagonally, making four small triangles. These were corner pieces. The remaining large triangles were the pieces next to the border strips and the pieces on to which the birds and flowers were appliquéd.

The finished quilt has 32 large diamond-shaped blocks. In 20 of these the lower half is made up of the pieced urn as shown in today’s paper. The upper half is the white triangle which is seamed to the pieced block. The combination of the two makes a diamond block which is the same size as the diamond block of solid white, of which there are 12. The border strips can wait a later description.

Now for the urn. Keep this pattern for you will need to use it 20 times. Nancy suggests pasting it into your Nancy Page Quilt Scrap Book after you have made a tracing of it on light-weight cardboard. This tracing is cut into pieces and these are used for patterns.

In using them, allow one-quarter inch on all sides for seaming. Not the pieces are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. These numbers correspond to placement of blocks in urn as shown in small drawing.

Note that only one-half of urn is shaded in that small drawing. This has been done to show how pieces are put together. The whole urn, is of course, of one color with background of white.

Note that on each piece there is further printing telling how many pieces of each size to cut. Just because it says “dark” it is not necessary, or wise, to choose a dark color for the urn. Pale yellow, ecru, tan or soft green are suggested. Choose color-fast, soft material like gingham.

Note that piece number 3 shows a dotted line. Lay this piece with the dotted line on a fold of the material, for only half of it is shown. This is because of lack of space in the drawing.

Use fine stitches and put the pieces together as indicated in the small drawing. Then seam the larger white triangle along the upper edge. Now you are ready for your first appliqué which appears next week and is a tulip.


*For fabric choices, I have been collecting reproduction fabrics from the 1930’s era that I plan to use in this quilt which you can see below in the box. I also chose to use unbleached muslin for my background/main fabric. I didn’t really want plain white and I like the feel & look of the unbleached muslin. Choose whatever colors/patterns draw you to them.

* I began by cutting out the appropriate number of squares and triangles from my background fabric. I found a big mistake in the math and messed up a lot of my fabric, so that will save you all some headache! Here is the correct number of squares and triangles you’ll need to cut with the corrected measurements…

*Cut (12) 12 and a half in squares. These will be saved for when the appliquéd blocks are completed. Put a little note on them or stick them in a plastic baggie to keep clean… just clearly mark them so you don’t forget what they are supposed to be used for!

* Cut (18) 12 and ¾ inch squares. Cut them in half diagonally to create 36 triangles. 20 of these triangles will be used for the appliqué basket blocks. The others will be stored away for later use. Mark them clearly as stated above.

* Cut (1) 13 inch square. Cut it diagonally from both sides to create 4 smaller triangles. These will be used later, so again, mark them & put them away as stated above.

*Below is a photo of the urn pattern. I believe you can save the image to your computer & print it out. I have drawn a 1 inch square for size comparison… you may need to adjust your image size to make the square be 1 inch.

* Below is an urn that I completed. I, personally, think this block is way too difficult, complicated, and involved. I decided to make a basket block instead of an urn. You are welcome to make the urn or the basket. I will give directions on how to make the basket below.

*Below is the basket pattern that I redesigned using AutoCAD. Nothing fancy here. Fabrics will give it the flair needed.

*Below are the cutting measurements and basic information needed for making the basket. Below this are step by step photos.

For 1 basket

Background Fabric: (Cut 1) 4 and 7/8 inch square- cut it in half diagonally; (Cut 2) 2 and a half inches by 9 inches rectangle- from 1 corner cut diagonally at a 45 degree angle.

Basket Fabric: (Cut 1) 4 and 7/8 inch square- cut it in half diagonally; (Cut 2) 2 and a half inches by 7 inches rectangle- from 1 corner cut diagonally at a 45 degree angle.
* For both 4 and 7/8 inch squares- cut them in half diagonally. You now have 2 triangles. You will need both triangles from the basket fabric but only 1 triangle from the background fabric. Save the 2nd background fabric triangle for another block.

*Cut out your rectangles from the measurements stated above.

*From 1 corner cut off a triangle at a 45 degree angle, make sure you do this on the opposite angle for the basket. The small triangles are not needed.

* You can cut and sew 1 basket block at a time or you can cut everything out at once and then sew them later. There will be a total of 20 basket blocks. Below are all the basket pieces that I have cut. I used a variety of browns and tans. If you cut them out all at once you will need the following:

Basket Fabric: (20) 4 and 7/8 inch squares- cut in half diagonally to create 40 triangles

(20) 2 and a half by 7 inch rectangles- one edge trimmed off at a 45 degree angle (see above)

(20) 2 and a half by 7 inch rectangles- the opposite edge trimmed off at a 45 degree angle (see above)

Background Fabric: (10) 4 and 7/8 inch squares- cut in half diagonally to create 20 triangles

(20) 2 and a half by 9 inch rectangles- one edge trimmed off at a 45 degree angle (see above)

(20) 2 and a half by 9 inch rectangles- the opposite edge trimmed off at a 45 degree angle (see above)

* Now we begin piecing together the basket blocks! Below you can see how I pieced the blocks together. Once all the pieces are sewn together, sew a straight line all the way around the square/block 1/8 inch from the edge. This will help keep the edges from unraveling or fraying too badly while you appliqué the block. I don’t think I need to explain it but if you need help please ask!


Your assignment this month is to cut out all the pieces needed and sew the baskets together (or, if you choose, do the urns).

I will post a new pattern on the first Wednesday of each month.

If you are sewing along with me, please send me photos that I can post to my blog to show everyone! My email is

I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Journey to Healing

I am ready to speak out, or at least type out. lol This is my personal journey to healing.
I am a survivor! I have survived. I will survive. I will not be controlled. I will not be controlled by another man, ever! I will not let my thoughts and emotions control me ever again. I do not understand why some people on this green earth seek to hurt, control, or destroy you. That is not in my nature to understand and I thank the Divine! I was created by the Divine. The Divine gave me life for a reason. I may not know that reason but that gives me no excuse to not be my true self. I am ready to heal my damaged heart. My life is now. I have been given a great gift and I thank the Blessed Divine for giving me the capacity to forgive. I will never forget. Actually, I hope I will never forget because maybe my life experiences will help another soul heal. In the past I have dwelt too much on what happened, wishing I could change it or make it go away. It’s time to take my finger off the replay button and push the play button. What happened, happened. It’s time to move on. I have finally found the ladder that I can climb to get out of my own whole I dug- my own personal hell. There is such a thing as heaven on earth after all.
I am a victim- no I mean a survivor!- of sexual abuse. I was abused by a close relative. I was between the ages of 10 and 13 during this time. That is the time frame in my life that I was turning from a child into a woman. I am no bigger now than I was when I finished 6th grade. I became sort of a recluse because of what happened. I still tend to keep to myself. I lost myself in my art. Art and a close friend in high school, who also suffered the same fate as I, were the only things that kept me alive during that time.

I am also a survivor of mental and psychological abuse. I was 17 when we met. I was inexperienced but he was. One thing led to another and I became pregnant soon after I turned 18. This man constantly tried to control me. He was a pathological liar. He had anger issues. I left him when I was 5 months pregnant. I went into hiding after that. I had my life threatened and my unborn sons life threatened. I had planned to give my son up for adoption because I didn’t think I’d be able to care for him. Ian’s birth father refused to sign his rights away and I knew that if I didn’t keep my son then his birth father would have full control over him. I have spent many years attempting to disentangle this man’s claws from me. At first he refused to let go and then when I went after him for financial support he all but disappeared. Throughout this time I’d met my future husband, Justin. Ian was a month old when we started dating. We dated for a year and a half, we were engaged for a year, and now we’ve been married for 3 and a half years. My husband was brave enough to become my son’s true father. He’s been the only constant male figure in my son’s life. In March of 2006, Justin adopted Ian after a short battle with the birth father. I succeeded in disentangling this man from my life- loosening his grasp for good. He will never control me or hurt me again! My son and husband are what got me through this rough time in my life. I thank the Divine!

These life circumstances have dictated how I lived my life. I have lived in fear, hate, hurt, depression, negativity and more. I am just now realizing that I can control how I view and live my life. I am just beginning my life of healing, light, happiness, joy, hope and more. I was always afraid to open that next door in my life and freely walk through myself. I’ve always been pushed, pulled or carried through kicking and screaming. These things are not who I am but just something that happened to me.

Hello. My name is Heather. I am 24 years old. I live. I am.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kansas City Star- Apron Article

My mom was reading the sunday Kansas City Star paper a few weeks ago and came across this neat article. She saved it for me so I could share it with all of you! I own the book mentioned in the article and it is a wonderful book full of all things about aprons (even a pattern to make your own!). You can find it at or Enjoy!

Aprons Once Again Welcome In The Kitchen

Aprons are suddenly back.

They were popular in the ‘50s when women were sewing aprons with fun fabrics and flounces. But in the ‘60s they went away- for decades, says EllynAnne Geisel, author of The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort (Andrews McMeel, $17).

“They didn’t just go away, they were thrown away,” Geisel said in a phone interview from her Colorado home. “They were considered symbols of holding working women back.”

Enter the 1990s, when celeb chefs on the Food Network sort of brought back aprons. They were in solid colors, often white, and looked like professional bibs.

But hit the stores today and you’ll see that the frills are back.

“They’ve made the transition from domestic armor to domestic couture,” Geisel said. “Aprons have emerged as smart wear, making that transition from work to home and saving your good clothes again in the process.”

Geisel thinks the popularity of the apron is on the rise. An apron symbolizes a simpler time of doing more with less, therefore eating at home more, which resonates with people in this current economy.

And aprons tug on the heart strings. They remind us of the women in our lives who are now gone but prepared special recipes and made family get-togethers special.

Stacy Downs, The Kansas City Star; Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hearts and Bellies

Fall has quickly come upon us here in central Missouri. The wind blows cold with a slight bite to it. The leaves are changing brilliant colors then floating down to the ground to be crunched underfoot. Stacks of wood grow higher and higher and fires have begun to be lit in fireplaces keeping fingers and toes toasty warm. And through all this is the smell of quickly approaching snow. We must keep our hearts and bellies warm through the changing of the seasons! Here are a few yummy recipes to at least keep your bellies warm and full…

Pumpkin Puree (to be used in Pumpkin Pie)

· Sugar or baking pumpkin
· Water
1. Halve pumpkin, scoop out seeds and membranes (save seeds)
2. Place face down in a deep baking pan with 1” of water
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 60-90 minutes or until shell puckers and is fork tender
4. Let cool
5. Scoop out flesh
6. Puree and use as needed

Flakey Pie Crust

· 1.5 cups flour
· 1/3 cup cold water
· ¾ to 1 cup shortening
1. Cut flour and shortening together with a pastry blender, until pea sized lumps form
2. Sprinkle the mixture with water a tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until dough sticks together
3. Roll out the dough between 2 tea towels or wax paper pieces until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick and 1 or 2 inches wider than your pie pan
4. Place the dough in the pie pan, shape and seal any broken pieces

Pumpkin Pie (makes two 9 inch pies)

· Fresh pie crust (see recipe above)
· 1 cup brown sugar
· 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon ground cloves
· 1 teaspoon ground allspice
· ½ teaspoon ground ginger
· ½ teaspoon salt (optional, I don’t use any)
· 3 large eggs
· 3 cups pumpkin puree
· 1.5 cans (12 oz each) evaporated milk
1. Mix all ingredients well with a hand mixer or blender
2. Pour into the pie crust
3. Bake the pies at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Cool and enjoy!


· Any number and type of apples
· Cinnamon
· Sugar
1. Peel, core and cut apples into slices/chunks
2. Place apples in a slow cooker on medium heat
3. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
4. Cook until tender
5. Mash apples to desired consistency

Baked Apples

· Any number and type of apples
· Brown sugar
· Cinnamon
· Butter
1. Core apples ¾ of the way through, leaving the bottom closed
2. Mix enough brown sugar and cinnamon together and fill each apple center
3. Place a dab of butter on top of each apple
4. Place in a deep baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finishing the Edge- Binding Tutorial

This is the final addition to my binding tutorials! I hope you've all enjoyed them & learned something!! :)

Have you ever wondered how to finish off the edging of your binding? Finishing off the edge will reduce the bulk & hide your beginning and ending points. These directions will show you how! (Some sewing knowledge needed.)

When applying your binding leave a tail of 5 or so inches at the beginning and ending and a portion unsewn.

Make sure you leave enough tail at each end that they overlap at least the width of your binding.

With a pencil or other marking pen that doesn’t bleed, overlap your binding tails & mark each tail, one on top of the other.

With the top binding tail fold back at the pencil mark, creating a 45 degree angle. Finger press. With the bottom edge fold down at the pencil mark, creating a 45 degree angle that matches up with the other one. Finger press.

Carefully open the folds & pick up the binding, keeping the pressed angles together. The right sides of the binding will be together & the pencil markings will be matched up at the corner. Pin in place.

Sew down the center of angles where you finger pressed. Unpin & lay the binding down to make sure it fits nicely.

Once you know it’ll fit properly trim the edges to ¼ inch & iron open.

Pin into place & complete your binding as usual. Congratulations, check out your handiwork!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How to Turn a Corner with Binding Tutorial

Here is the 3rd addition to my 'how-to apply binding series'! The first one shows you how to apply binding to a curved edge and the second one shows you how to apply binding to a straight edge. Don't forget to check out how to make your own biased binding. Some basic sewing knowledge is needed! :)

When applying binding to a project, have you ever wondered how to turn a corner? Did you even know it was possible? Turning a corner is very easy once you get the hang of it! It’s great as you don’t have to cut & fold your binding at the corners & you have less bulk & a beautifully finished corner!

Begin by pinning on your binding.

Pin so your binding goes off the corner. I am sewing on ¼ inch binding, so I will mark ¼ an inch from my corner with a pin. If you are sewing on a different width, say ½ inch binding, then place a pin ½ inch from the corner.

Begin sewing up to but not past your marking pin. Back stitch to keep your thread from pulling out.

Fold back the binding. The binding will create a 45 degree angle from the corner. Finger press (create a crease with your finger).

Fold the binding forward to be even with edge of your project. Don’t unfold your previous fold. Finger press.

Pin your binding in place.

Sew on the binding, for my ¼ inch binding I will sew just inside ¼ inch. Sew all the way off the corner, backstitching. Remove the pins.

Fold the binding back & iron flat. Notice how the corner has a neat fold.

Turn your project back over, wrong side facing up. Begin folding & pinning the binding over along the edges, working towards the corner.

When you get to the corner, fold one edge over & pin.

Fold the other edge over & pin. It will naturally create a 45 degree angle & sort of mimic the one on the right side.

Turn your project right side up & sew on the binding close to the inner edge on the binding trying not to sew off the edge. Remove the pins & iron flat. Congratulations, admire your handiwork!


If you have any questions, just ask! :)


Friday, October 17, 2008

Applying Binding to a Straight Edge Tutorial

This is the follow-up post to my previous post about applying binding to a curved edge. This will complete the edging on my apron pockets. :) Some basic knowledge of sewing is needed. You can see how to make biased binding here.

Applying binding to straight edges is even easier then applying it to curved edges! You don’t need biased binding for straight edges.

Begin by pinning a length of binding to the straight edge leaving plenty of overlap on each edge. I am applying ¼ inch binding so I will sew just under ¼ inch. After the binding is sewn on, unpin, flip the binding up & iron flat.

Fold each tail end back over the binding & iron flat.

Trim off the lower corner to reduce the bulk. Fold the outside raw binding edge toward the other raw edges, fold over again making sure it covers the stitching line & pin. You can see step by step directions on fold back the binding here.

On the right side of the fabric begin sewing on the binding as close to the inner edge as possible without going off the edge & on to your main fabric.

Remove your pins, flip your project around & sew along the binding as close to the edge as possible without going off the edge. This double stitching, along the top & bottom of the binding, gives your binding a finished look.

Iron flat & Viola, admire your handiwork!

If you need any help, just ask!


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