Thursday, February 18, 2010


When I started quilting almost 12 years ago, I had an intense love affair with those perky reproduction fabrics designed after the original feedsacks of the 1930's. I collected many of them but I never owned an original vintage feedsack...until this week, thanks to ebay. I was prompted to go on the hunt for the sole purpose of completing Andrea's antique quilt.

To add three rows to the original quilt top, I needed 45 additional squares. Andrea's mom contributed these two red prints, one being a full sized original feedsack, the first I'd ever seen.

I removed 5" of stitching along the side seam at the top of the sack, clipped the fabric and tore it along the width. From this I cut the squares. Because thick string was used to sew feedsacks together, small holes remain where the string is removed. You can work around those by examining the fabric carefully before cutting a square to size.

As I started to remove squares from the quilt top and mixed in these prints, it quickly became evident that I needed at least one more print. The red prints really brightened the look so I searched for something lighter and found this perfect pink print.

Now the additional rows are nearly in place. This quilt will finish to approximately 65" x 85", just the right size for a twin bed. More will be posted on the layering and quilting of this quilt soon!

Copyright ©2010, Sharon Baggs

Monday, February 15, 2010


Jitterbug is the name of this contemporary style quilt from Debbie Bowle's book Dancing Quilts. The quilt was pieced by three friends who made it as a wedding gift for another friend. I quilted it and attached a scrappy binding.

Made entirely of batiks, they worked a beautiful color scheme around this design. According to one of the piecers, the quilt was very easy to construct; however, the tricky part was choosing the right fabric and then placing the blocks to show a semblance of order in the all-over design.

After discussing quilting options, we decided on an edge-to-edge angled design as shown here. It greatly enhanced the geometric design of the quilt. It's very easy to quilt this type of design. Quilt a short straight line, stop, then quilt in another direction to create the angle. Finger trace these close up shots to get the idea and try drawing this design on paper.

I used Superior Thread's King Tut for the quilting and changed color to blend in with the fabric. Batiks have a higher thread count so the fabric remains fairly taut while quilting. The backing was a heavy green felted fabric (I called it billard cloth, but it's not really that heavy!) I used a 40 wt. YLI brand cotton thread in the bobbin.

The border of the quilt was pieced from random pieces matching the color of the blocks and I pieced the binding to match each print along the edge. It turned out so well! Especially with a batik, you can just match the color, not necessarily use the same print and it will frame the quilt nicely, not distracting your eye away from the design of the quilt. The binding does need to be pieced-as-you-go with straight seams to join (not diagonal) but it's just a little extra effort that makes a big impact for the finished look.

Copyright ©2010, Sharon Baggs