68. It is done! Stained Glass Window, an Irish Dress Creation.

Finished 1st Irish dance wall quilt

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The journey to finish this wall quilt was a long one, and took me just over a year to finish. Even though this was a very busy year for my family, I am pleased with the results and I’m eager to get started on the second and now that I know all of the twist and turns of the first one I’ll be able to bypass a lot of problems I ran into.

What’s on the back of the quilt

There is an Irish blessing and prayer. I’ve sewn a small pocket for special letters from a mother to a daughter.

Prayer

May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true. And the kindness you spread keep returning to you.

Blessing

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you. And God enfold you in the mantle of his love.

From Beginning to End in pictures

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Next week after I finish up a dress I started a long time age, I’ll start work on the second quilt. I also have to say that my friend who I’ve been sewing this quilt for her daughters, has been very patient and when I showed her what the final result was she was over joyed. This has made me very happy and I can’t wait to get started on the next one, which will be the last one for me to make.

Question: What is the longest time you worked on a project and finished?

God Bless & Keep on SEWING

Jennifer

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66. Wall Quilt made out of Celtic Dancing Dresses

On the last Lap

quilt

Last night I finished the sandwiching of all the layers together. Now all I have to do is a bit of touching up and the binding, and I’ll use a white satin for the binding. An Irish quote still has to be chosen for the back of the quilt but that can be done later. To give you an understanding of the size of this wall quilt the diameter is 1.6 m. I’ll put 5 tabs evenly across the top half of the quilt and we’ll find some ornamental hooks to hang on my friends wall. Looking at the quilt now I believe I succeeded in creating the stained glass window look, to be sure it was a big job but very satisfying. The next one will go much faster because I now know what to expect and how to deal with all the problems I ran into with the first quilt.

Question: Do you quilt?

God Bless & Sew On

 

Thank you

Jennifer

 

 

61. Weekend Sewing: Sewing the Fabric Glass Shards to Celtic Dress Quilt

61. Weekend Sewing: Sewing the Fabric Glass Shards to Celtic Dress Quilt

Glass Shards

Placing the fabric glass shards, now the arduous task of stitching down the pieces in preparation of the zigzag top stitch and as I’m finding out that’s not so easy.

glass quilt

I’m in the last lap of the race to finish this quilt. It’s been a long haul with many bumps along the way. This weekend I’ll be practicing and perfecting this technique of zigzag top stitching at very tight and pointy corners. I’ll be adding these fabric shards of glass around the center celtic knot.

Practice Fabric Shards of Glass

Perfecting the sewing.

quilt

Not bad for the first time but next practice piece I’ll start midway between the points, so my points will be cleaner.

Second Practice Piece

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Well, I like my points much better. Now the fun part begins. Cutting out the bright coloured fabric and sewing it down for the zigzag top stitching, in different colours. I am going to have to slow up the sewing from the feed dogs to keep the zigzag thicker and not so sparse looking, but other than that I am pleased with my efforts.

One sewn and 14 more to go.

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It was a picky but I managed it in the end. This week I’ll spend sewing these pieces of fabric to the quilt. Then it’s just a matter o sandwiching the whole thing together.

Just to remind everyone with what I started out with, two Irish dancing dresses. I can’t believe I’m so close to the end of the first wall quilt and I’m going to have to meet with my friend to discuss what she’d like on the back of the quilt, maybe an Irish limerick. Now that I know all the problems I’ll be running into I’ll have an easier time sewing the next quilt. 

 

God Bless & Sew On

Jennifer

Question: Has anyone tried to sew a quilt from Irish dresses before and how did it turn out?

 

56. The Odds & Ends: A Busy Weekend

56. The Odds & Ends: A Busy Weekend

The End is in Sight

Whether it is knitting or sewing I always find one weekend where I spend my time finishing up those projects that are so close to being finished. This weekend I spend my time starting the last phase of a wall quilt and knitting I-cords for a shoes-lace and a bracelet.

The I-Cord Bracelet

The Bracelet I have yet to jazz up with some charms and beads, and the last shoelace was completed at last.

bracelet

I-cord Shoelaces

I ran across this I-cord pattern years ago that I couldn’t even tell you what magazine I found it in. This is the first time I’ve tried them out and I have to say I like the results and it’s a great way to use up scrap yarn.

Celtic Wall Quilt

I’m so very close to finishing this lovely quilt that I’m almost overwhelmed. It has been an epic journey, and I have learned so much along the way.

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What I have left to do: Because I have endeavored to make this quilt look like a stained glass window. My next job is to sew on the shards of glass that will surround the middle celtic knot. The problem is with the top stitching at the points. I’ll be using a different colour thread that will compliment the coloured fabric and will be using a zigzag top stitch with a shortened stitch length. For the next couple of day I’ll be sitting at my sewing machine attacking this problem from different direction to see what works best. Then I can sandwich the whole thing together, top stitch and bind, I think a binding in white. After that there is another one to come, and that quilt should go faster because I’ve ironed out all the wrinkles.

I have to say I love the feeling when I finish up a project, such satisfaction!

Question: What charms should I put on my Bracelet? Need to go shopping.

God Bless & Sew, Knit On

Jennifer

P.S.

I will post pictures of the finished wall quilt.

 

 

40. Vintage Sewing Advertisements & More

40. Vintage Sewing Advertisements & More

 Vintage Sewing

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For an item to be truly vintage it must be well used and passed down at least one generation, a different era! Do you agree? Anything vintage has always attracted my eye and so I dedicate this post to all things vintage. From notions, books, sewing machines, patterns and advertisements. I’ve also added my own vintage items that have been passed down to my family & myself.

I ran across this article about the history of Butterick patterns. I thought I’d share it with you. I enjoyed this history on Butterick because it took his wife to point out her wish while working at her dinning room table with a sewing pattern, that’s all I’ll say!

https://butterick.mccall.com/our-company/butterick-history

Patterns from 1890s to 1900s, and only .15 cents

I can imagine these might have been quite expensive in their day and the pattern would have made the rounds in a community.

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Dress Forms

I’ve come across some truly horrifying contraptions that were used a long time ago to create the perfect womanly silhouette.

Notions & More

Buttons, spools, wicker sewing baket & WWII sewing kit. While on vacation this summer I found an industrial sewing machines that sew sails and a wooden ironing board.

&

Dressmaker French Curves

Simply elegant rulers to look at but practical for every day jobs in a seamstress work shop.

Tailors Rulers

Vintage sewing machines

I myself do not have the honor of owning a beautiful vintage sewing machine but I have a cousin who has two that were passed down through family. These two sewing machines came from two Grandmothers and will be passed on to their granddaughters, lucky girls.

2 sewingmachines

My own Vintage Thimbles

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Thimbles from my Great Grandmother and Grandmother on my mother’s side.

These thimble are the only vintage sewing items that have been passed down to me through my Aunty Bev. They were used quite a bit as you can see by the holes on top. These thimble came from my Grandmother Gorham and her daughter, my Grandmother Doyle, my mother’s mother. To this day I still pull them off the shadow box my father made for me to hold my thimble collection. I also have a few items my mother has passed on to me, hardly vintage but you have to start somewhere. Over the years my mother has been quite proud she could pass on her sewing book and notions to her daughter. In a way it’s almost a right of passage! From mother to daughter. Most importantly she has passed on her sewing wisdom, that must be said.

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I came across this book: (New Vogue Sewing book, by Butterick Publishing from 1980) in Fair’s Fair a used book store while rummaging for the knitting books. The Costume in Detail by: Nancy Bradfield, first published in Great Britain in 1968, reprinted in 1975. This second book was found in Value Village.

Last but not least

The last of the bunch, I kind of got carried away with this post.

What vintage sewing, tailoring or quilting items have been passed down to you or that you’ve found in rummage sales?

God Bless & Sew on

Jennifer

 

 

35A. Dismanteling of Irish Dresses to Quilted wall hangings. (part one)

Before ripping apart

I’ll have to use the seam ripper to take apart the dresses.

I’ve never had my hands on a Irish dress until now and I’m a bit surprised, there is a stiff insert in the skirt front and in the cuffs to keep the shape and the details in the Celtic designs are complicated. One dress is velvet while the other is a polyester blend. Lace and satin are used for detailing and the satin is also used for lining the dresses. No wonder they are so expensive. It seems these Irish dresses can range in price from $400 to over $2,000, I shall take great care when taking them apart.

  • Time to take the dresses apart & listen to a good book on audio.

These dresses must be so cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear, I do not like the stiff insert in the front panel of the skirt at all. Beautiful dresses but definitely not easy to wear. You’d have to have a hardy sewing machine to sew through this stuff. But remarkable enough the dismantling of these dresses is going along at a steady pace, at first I was a bit apprehensive about this part of the job. The first dress took longer than the second but that’s because the person who sewed up the second used a longer stitch.

After ripping apart

 

Finding the quilt shapes

Now the organizing of the many pieces into a shape that looks appealing to the eye. At first I was freaking out because I had all these rules in my head that I had to follow but then I said to myself (RULES)!!! this is a no rule project, I had to break out of my box and think differently, then I calmed down and this is what I came up with. A circle, I had a square in mind but all of the pieces wouldn’t look good so I played around a bit and I think a circle is the best shape. I’ll fill in all the bare spots with the left over pieces of the dress and I’ll pick up some other vibrant colours to fill in some of the spaces to create a stained glass window effect. The bits of colour I want to look like shards of coloured glass.

Next blog I’ll be sewing it all together which will be fun because there are not any set rules or lines I have to follow, I can just make it up as I go along.

When is the last time you got to sew something with no rules attached? LOVE IT!! By the way does anyone have a favorite Irish limerick?