Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Calico Finish

God gave man the challenge of raw materials -- not the ease of finished things. He left the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation

What would you pair with this calico print?

I know, not the most beautiful fabric in town, but how about these two?

Many quilters have purged their stashes of all their older and more common fabrics from years gone by.  I still have a pile of calico prints.  I vacillate at times between keeping them or donating them to a charity group.  Yet I still find myself pulling them from time to time to use in different projects.  The new projects I shared this week contain some of them, these will end up being charity quilts and I think they will have some charm.  They may not be as stunning as a quilt made with the best and newest fabrics available but I'm sure they will still be a source of comfort and warmth in the finished project.

I have had finishing the binding on this mystery quilt on my 'to do' list for several months now.  This is mainly because I was tired of having to move it around from place to place in my studio where it has been for several years since it was quilted.  I was determined that I would get it finished in May so that I could be done with it!  I persisted this week and I finished it!   

This was a New Year's Day Mystery by Dorthy Young a few years back.  She has a yahoo group A Pocket Full of Mysteries and does just a few mysteries each year.  She is a good designer and writes excellent patterns.

When I decided to do the quilt I was in a use up the old stuff and get it out of the stash mood.  I had yardage of the calico and pin-dot and enough of the bright aqua for the bed size quilt.  I haven't measured it exactly but it is about 86" x 76".  I got the top finished within a few weeks and it went into my 'to be quilted' lineup.

A few years ago I had a quilt to do for a friend.  It was a lovely Martha Washington block set on point in a strip quilt setting.  I got brave enough to try some custom quilting on it.  I had not done any ruler work with my old longarm because it didn't have needle down or stitch regulation.  I decided I'd try it anyway and this quilt had the same size blocks and I would practice my design on it first.

Block quilting

Border quilting


I had to draft the setting triangle and corner square patterns from the block pattern.  They turned out fine.  The problem was the machine and the fact that I used a stiff, thick poly batting that fought me especially on the ditch quilting.  Can you tell I'm a little critical of my work?  It comes from my Mother who made me redo my skirt hems when the stitches showed when I was learning to sew in grammar school.  

I learned a lot by doing this quilting and the friend's quilt turned out pretty good.  One thing I learned was that ruler work would be easier on a better longarm!  I'll be trying that soon on my new Innova.

The reason it had not been bound was because there were some lines of over stitching where I had gone back to make the stitch in the ditch better.  I was totally frustrated with it for a long time.  Now I have made peace with it and it's DONE.  I now look at it and see a good learning experience and a heck of a lot of decent quilting.  Sure there's a few bobbles hear and there but so what?  It was from some of my cheapest stash fabric and once I wash it and it softens up it will be fine.  It will be donated at some point soon.  I'll add a full back and front picture after it's washed.

Do you have any old calico prints in your stash?  Do you plan to use them or get rid of them? How do you think this quilt turned out?  Be honest, you won't hurt my feelings on this one. LOL

I'm linking this SECOND BED SIZE FINISH for May with:


  1. I gave my collection of country blue & mauve 80's prints to my Mom who made a pretty bed quilt from them... other than that I kept everything and cut it up for scrap quilts or pieced backings. My "not so pretties" are pretty much gone now!

  2. It`s absolutely wonderful and the quilting is an eye candy.I don´t know what`s a calico fabrics so I can´t answer.Your fabrics choice match very well and love them.

  3. Very cute! I love those colors.

  4. I use them and in fact acquired a huge box from my Aunt's mother. (There were over 50 copy paper boxes given to my mother and sister which I raided when I was home in January.) I use them for test blocks when I am experimenting.

  5. I do have some old calicos in a box upstairs- they are mixed with my 30's fabrics for a someday traditional quilt- so I won't part with them just yet. I love the piece of floral in yours and you combined them with some lovely fabrics- the quilt is beautiful.

  6. Keep them. You need to look through scrap quilt books, albums, Pinterest - whatever. Scrap quilts are a wonderful way to use up those fabrics that don't shout as much as whisper - and it seems today anything paired with Kona Snow looks just beautiful.


I really love to read your comments and get feedback on my ideas!
Please let me know what you think about my posts and projects.
I will respond to your messages as soon as I can.

Follow on Bloglovin
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...