Thursday, January 29, 2015

Patchwork of the Crosses

Did you know...
Historians believe that the hexagon pattern might be one of the oldest pieced quilt patterns?
Pieced hexagon quilts had roots in England as far back as the 18th century.  It is thought that the mosaic patchwork was most likely fashionable among upper class women who not only had the time to spend on the intricate hand work, but also had access to paper.  Also, many of the shapes were fussy cut suggesting that the quilters had the luxury of  wasting fabric to highlight a specific part of a print.
Immigrants soon brought the hexagon pattern to America.  Templates for these quilts have been found that were made around 1770.  The earliest known American made hexagon quilt is dated 1807 while an English hexagon quilt is dated even earlier.  Most likely they were made for years before that time, but quilts back then were often not dated and few of the quilts from the era have survived.
One of the oldest Hexagon quilts from England

 Godey's Ladies Book, founded in 1830, published the hexagon pattern in 1835.  It is thought to be the first pieced quilt pattern published in America.  All things English were emulated by American women during this period and making hexagon quilts was very popular in England.
 During America's pioneer days, “paper” quilting became very popular.  Interestingly, paper was scarce in early America and women often saved letters, newspaper clippings and catalog pages to create patterns.  In many cases, paper templates were not removed from the quilt – the paper served not only as a template, but as extra insulation.  These paper templates have become important pieces of history both preserving first-hand glimpses into pioneer life and also serving to help date the quilt.  It may be that the challenge created by the lack of paper was responsible for the increase in popularity of the standard quilt piecing techniques that the U.S. is known for.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quick Piecing tricks - show and tell....

Double Wedding Ring made by Sherry. She used the preprinted fusible interfacing from Quiltsmart to make the quilt. 

 Faye completed a quilt using the blocks from our Buck-A-Block program. She made a really cute pieced back and machine quilted the quilt herself. She fell in love with Thangles after making this quilt and bought more while she was here to make a table topper for her next project.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cheery Tabletopper

We loved the simple, artsy table topper that Laura shared. She used leftover Kaffe Fassett striped fabrics and a bag of wool circles from Little Quilts for a great, contemporary look. Love those mitered corners!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Patchwork of the Crosses

Time for an easy block!  I love the William Morris look of this one.

 The fabrics I used are shown below.  There are lots of ways to cut the fabric to get a different look.

I thought you might like to see some of the blocks one of our customers brought in to show us.  She's using all the pinks and browns from her stash to make her blocks and is using a variety of shirting prints for her backgrounds.  She has about 35 blocks completed and they were lovely.
I think Lucy Boston would be so excited to see all of our variations of her quilt!

Need additional paper piecing supplies?  They're available on our website.

Check our Pinterest Board often to see new blocks made by all of you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Precuts...big time savers

Jane finished putting the binding on the table topper she finished in our Charm School class. This was a great quilt-as-you-go project that was so quick and easy the students were able to finish it before they went home!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

If one is good, two are better...

Susan stopped by to select fabric for another purse. Her “winter” purse, pictured is made from the “Mini Bow Tucks” pattern by Quilts Illustrated.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Very Mysterious...

“M is for Mystery” is a block of the month mystery quilt that began in January of 2014. The participants just received their last packet in December. What a surprise when Diana came in last week with this quilt top completed and it is a huge quilt, something like 120” long. This is what you can accomplish if you keep up every month! A fantastic job, Diane!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Patchwork of the Crosses

The holidays gave me a little time to catch up on my reading, so I was able to read the fourth book in the Green Knowe series by Lucy Boston, "A Stranger At Green Knowe."  It was very different from the other books in the series with a very unusual start.

In this book, the Chinese refugee boy from the last book, Ping, returns to Green Knowe to stay with Mrs. Oldknow. During a visit to a zoo in London prior to his arrival, he was fascinated by the giant gorilla, Hanno... as a refugee living in an orphanage, he seemed to develop a special sad bond with the caged animal.  When Hanno escaped from the zoo and made his way to Green Knowe, Ping secretly befriended him.  Obviously, England doesn't have a lot of gorilla hangouts, so the thickets and overgrown gardens at Green Knowe were an obvious hiding place for the gorilla and the story develops around Ping's efforts to keep the gorilla free while trying to keep him fed.  The early chapters of the book detail Hanno's life as a young gorilla in Africa and the trauma and cruelty of his capture.  It's a very odd and different start from the rest of the books, but is handled very compassionately. 
The book struck me as a very personal statement and almost a comparison by Lucy Boston about the tragedy of life in a zoo for animals and life in an orphanage for children. I found it to be a great book - fun in some ways, very thought provoking, and sad, as well.
The book was awarded the Carnegie Medal in 1961, and  has been considered by some as the greatest animal story in English children's literature.                                                                                                                                     
Have any of you been reading this series of books?  I'm able to find the entire series in my library, but the books are also available at a reasonable price on Amazon.  Let me know how you like them!

Click here to check out our Pinterest board with pictures of blocks from our customers.

Click here if you need to order additional paper piecing supplies from our website.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

History can "cover you"!

Little Quilts has a FabricMaker Fabric Printing System which can print in rich, vibrant colors on good quality fabric with washable inks that retain their colors. Amanda brought in several postcards that she wanted printed to use in a quilt for her mother. The postcards are from the 1915 Panama Exposition in San Diego. She used a template from the EQ7 program. This is the awesome quilt that she made, which I am sure her mother loved. Way to go Amanda!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

You never know what will show or tell...on our Second Saturday event

Mary Ann made the cutest penguin dish towels for her niece

Janice finished her Christmas presents quilt just in time for the holiday! She did all the embroidery of the tags on her machine.

To top it all off, Janice even had time to finish knitting her Christmas sweater!

Sue brought in a beautiful wool appliqué table topper that she’s had fun working on.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Applique Fantastic!

Jeanette stop by to show Wanda her Baltimore album style quilt that she just finished. Jeanette was in Wanda’s year long Baltimore Album class some time ago and then finished the many blocks on her own. .
 She made the quilt for this antique bed so it has a really large border so it would hang nicely over the side of the bed. This quilt is stunning! Great job, Jeanette

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Patchwork of the Crosses

Did you get caught up on your blocks during the holiday season?  Hope you're ready for a new one!
 Now that the new year is here, I know you're up for a challenge!  Today's block will require careful cutting and piecing. Cut four of the striped fabric on an angle and, then, cut four of them on the reverse angle.  If you have a Fussy Cut Finder, it will be helpful in making sure you find the correct placement.  I used a grease pencil to mark the angle on my acrylic template - it's a great way to make sure you're lining up all the stripes on the correct angle.  Be careful when gluing the fabric to the template don't want to stretch the stripe.
These are the fabrics I used for the block.  I also used a neutral fabric from my stash.  This is such a beautiful stripe and there are lots of options for using it.  Be creative!

Send me pictures of your variation and I'll post them on the Pinterest Board so others can be inspired.

If you need additional paper piecing supplies, visit our website here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Peace and Unity Quilt

One of our favorite block of the month participants, Jackie, just finished Peace and Unity for a gift for a friend who's a "history buff". What a nice gift.... as the blocks of the quilt came with pertinent historical stories of the final year of the Civil War. Jackie also participates in our Lucy Boston packets of the month. Many of her Lucy Boston blocks can be seen on our Pinterest posts. Check the website for details of it and our other BOM's at

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Patchwork of the Crosses

Happy New Year from all of us here at Little Quilts
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses posts will resume next week.

Happy New Year..what are you planning for 2015?

Besides coming to visit Little Quilts...... If your planning to complete a UFO, here is your inspiration!
Check this out!
Mary, one of our Autoship customers from Hammond, Illinois, participated in our “Bouquets for a New Day” Block-of-the-Month  last year.  The beautiful “Bouquets For A New Day” pattern was designed by Sue Garmen.  
Mary finished her quilt in January, 2014, entered it in the 34th annual Decatur Quilters Guild Quilt Fest in Illinois, and won a first place ribbon.  Way to go, Mary!