Here in Melbourne, where I live Summer is well underway. January arrived in a blaze of heat. Hot, dry and windy conditions prevailed and we are once again faced with the prospects of bush fires. With temperatures in the high thirties, dare I say it is almost too hot for hand quilting. As I always have a few projects on the go, I turn to my hand piecing when the temperature soars.
My ‘Sail into Dreamtime’ quilt brings to mind a Summer’s day spent out sailing on our bay with cool breezes blowing off the water. The pretty fabrics in this quilt which are either reproduction thirties or vintage fabrics from this era, transform me to another place and time.
I was inspired to make this quilt after being shown some old quilt blocks from 1939, that were signed and dated. I drafted my pattern from the original blocks and made 36 sailboat blocks using fabrics from my collection. The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted.
Sunbonnet Sue quilts were very popular in times past. This quaint design evokes little girls in pretty dresses and bonnets playing happily in shady gardens. Studying these quilts transports me back to another time, when girls wore floral dresses, bonnets and cute little boots. It must certainly have been Summer.
This quilt is once again inspired by the wonderful quilts made during the Great Depression. This little girl is my own design and it is hand appliquéd, embroidered and hand quilted. Choosing the dress fabrics and co-ordinating them with just the right shades of solid pastels for the bonnets and boots was a wonderful opportunity to look over lots of pretty fabrics.
I purchased ten Vintage Sunbonnet Sue blocks from ‘A Piece of Cloth’ and made one more from the original design to construct this quilt. By setting it in a zig-zag setting I was able to create a good size quilt and preserve the beautiful work started by another quilter many years ago. These girls are appliquéd and finished with a black running stitch around the appliqué pieces. The reproduction and vintage fabrics worked well together. It is amazing how similar the reproduction fabrics are to the original.
I hope these quilts have carried you to another place and time. Either to escape the heat of Summer or to send you Sailing Into Dreamtime, perhaps looking forward to warmer days to arrive.
Happy Quilting, Janette, The Plain Needlewoman