When I first began teaching at the technical colleges in both Watertown and Waukesha, I felt the need to put together a class that taught many different types of appliqué. My project ended up having a four season theme and, praise the Lord, I was able to teach it many times.
These techniques included: hand needle turned applique, hand turned edge around freezer paper, blanket stitch (by hand and machine), faced, fused satin stitched, curved vines and 3D ~ just to name a few.
I think you can tell by the fabrics that we’re talking the 1990s here 😊. Well, I received this email from Karin a while back:
You may laugh when you read this Email, but I thought I would ask anyway. Years ago, I took your “Seasonal Applique Sampler” class at WCTC and got about 90% of it done before putting it away for reasons I no longer remember. Now that I’m retired, I’m working my way through various unfinished projects and am having a blast. However, I seem to be missing a page of instructions for the sampler quilt. That quilt has two applique borders – one is a bow in one corner and a bird, flower, and leaves in another corner. The bow pieces were cut out and pinned to the border before I put it away. And the bird and flowers were pinned to the other corner. However, I can’t find anything that shows the layout for the bird, flowers, stem and leaves. The instructions I have include only one tiny picture of the completed quilt and I can’t see how to place the stems and leaves. Would you still happen to have anything that might help me?
Hope you get a kick out of this blast from the past! Thanks.”
I did find it a “blast from the past”, and I really had to dig to find my sampler at the bottom of my shelf full of finished (almost) quilts. I discovered that I’d hand quilted 90% of the quilt, but the borders still needed to be done ~ and the needle and thread were still in the quilt 🤣. I snapped a quick photo and sent it back to Karin. This was her response:
“Your photo is extremely helpful. I’ve attached a photo of where I left off and you can see I was close to having finished this. I even found the already cut stems and outer flange and border pieces. Will send you the final photo when it’s done. Thanks so much for your help”
This helped me to realize that the quilts at the bottom of my stack need to be brought to the surface and enjoyed on the wall (or bed). I often keep hanging my favorites. Especially since I have so many more quilts now than I did then. Do any of you have a Seasonal Appliqué Sampler quilt in your pile of finished or unfinished projects? Perhaps Karin will inspire us all to finish those that need finishing and to enjoy those treasures that haven’t been brought out recently! Thanks Karin. Can’t wait to see your finished Sampler!
And the story continues:
Black, White and Bright
I wrote up the preceding post months ago, and never sent it out. More recently I received this email from Lorraine:
Look what I bought at Granny’s Attic at the last It’s a Stitch Quilt Show!! It’s the pieces to a Black White and Bright quilt. According to the paperwork included in the bag this quilt was started at a class you taught on 1/18/13 at WCTC’s Waukesha Campus. There are 9 completed blocks: 4 with plain borders and 5 with flying geese borders. I also have a stack of leftover black and white prints. My plan is to make 11 more blocks to create a wheelchair quilt to donate to a nearby hospital.
Be patient … it may take awhile … but I will send you a picture when it is finished.“
This was my response:
Dear Lorraine, I love it! Thanks so much for sharing this with me. I often say in my vintage quilt lectures that the reason old blocks are found in boxes at rummage sales is because they don’t fit together. I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to be the case with your blocks. They’re kind of funky and perhaps just weren’t the original stitchers thing. I’m so glad you got them. I’ll attach a photo of my top. At this point mine isn’t completed either because I don’t have a bed it will fit on and… it’s lighter and smaller than a finished quilt so it fits better in my suitcase when I take it to lectures. At least that’s my excuse LOL.
I’m sure your quilt will brighten someone’s days. God bless your generous heart 😊.
And I included this photo of my quilt top:
I haven’t heard back from Karen or Lorraine, but perhaps this post will spur them on to finish these fun projects.
Maybe I need to go through my UFO bin and finish something that’s just waiting to be brought out! Hmm. Now that I think about it ~ I actually did just that in April. I shared the story a few weeks ago of the quilt I made for Kyle and Carly’s wedding (click here to read that post). It’s such a good feeling to give life to an unfinished project!
Is this inspiring any of you to do a little digging and get back to work on a forgotten treasure? Do you have a “Seasonal Appliqué Sampler” or “Black White and Bright” in your bin? If you do, please send before and after pics!