Friday, July 1, 2016

Treadle On Block Exchange Finish

Hurray!  I finished a UFO!  This one has been waiting for TEN YEARS.
The blocks for this one were three dimensional bow ties that finish at 8 in. square.  (Here's a link to a tutorial for making all sizes:  3D Bowties)

This project started from a block exchange on the Treadle On internet group in 2006.  All participants made their blocks on people-powered machines (treadles and hand cranks).   We signed our names on the blocks, and also included the kind of sewing machine used, with the approximate date the machine was made.  This exchange was also called the Pre-1900 block exchange, because we all used machines that dated to before 1900.  To make it even more pre-1900, the directions asked us all to use reproduction fabrics.  (Not everybody did, but whatever.)
Each set had 36 blocks in it.  I had 33 blocks from other Treadleonions (that's what we call ourselves) and 3 that I had made.  One of the blocks was too small, so I made a new block to replace it, and then made 6 more to bring the total up to 42.
I added a bricks border, made from 2.5 x 4.5 in. rectangles I've had in my scraps for a while.  Most of these were reproduction fabrics, but I wasn't too strict about it.  The outer border is a warm brown print I bought on sale at J. J. Stitches in Sun Prairie.
This was another quilt as you go project.  When the quilt is set block to block, I usually quilt in sections rather than by the block.  This quilt was small enough to quilt in two sections, leaving me with only one seam to do by hand on the back.  I did ditch quilting around each block, and outline quilting around the seams.  It was important to quilt down the 3D centers, so they wouldn't catch on things.
In order to have enough slack (technical term) to stitch the sections together, you can't quilt right up to the joining edges of the sections.  I leave at least an inch unquilted.
Here's how I join the sections.  I pull the backing and batting away from the seam, and pin it.  Then I pin the seam, and stitch it on the machine.
Here's what it looks like on the front after I seamed the two sections together.
Here's the back, pinned for hand stitching.  I used a plain unbleached muslin for the back this time, since I already had it and it was the right size.
Next I quilted the area near the joining seam that hadn't yet been quilted.
Lastly, I quilted the borders, and bound with a warm orange plaid.
Woo hoo!  Now it's washed and drying on the clothesline on this beautiful day.

We're heading into a special holiday weekend, with Independence Day on Monday.  I was inspired by Colleen of Piecemaker Quilts to make this little top:
Here's the link to her much better quilt:  Let's Pretend

As you can see, the main part of this quilt is a panel of Patriotic Teddy Bears.  I got this at the sale at the museum, sort of as a bonus.  It was in a bundle of other fabrics.
The USA panel at the top has been in my basement box of wonders for a long time.
I might quilt this myself, or hand it off to the long armers at the guild.  It will go to a child when it's finished.
To all American quilters, Happy Fourth of July!  To all quilters everywhere, happy quilting!

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts this week.


  1. Congratulations on finishing your bowtie quilt! It's beautiful and has so much meaning. The bricks and brown border work really well with the reproduction fabrics.
    I'm not brave enough to try anything on the treadle or hand-crank. I am so afraid to damage them!

    1. Thanks, Mary! These old machines are really very sturdy. They need to be well oiled and fitted with the right needle, and off they go. The machine I use daily was made in 1908.

    2. What model of machine did you use to finish the Treadle On quilt (other than the hand sewing), or did you use more than one?

      CD in Oklahoma

    3. Hi, Ol Poop! I used my Singer 66 (Lotus decals) to sew the blocks together. It's sort of cheating--it wasn't made until 1908. When I made the blocks for the exchange I used a Singer 27. I love a lot of other machines (Willcox and Gibbs, Minnesota A, Davis, etc.) but it's been easier to get needles for the Singers.

    4. Thanks Sylvia. I like hearing about make and model numbers from folks who use treadle and hand crank machines. I lean heavily toward Singer machines myself. The treadle that my wife used to piece a quilt backing for one of her quilts (ice storm - power out for 5 days) is a 1901 Singer 27K2. I use a 1950s Singer 319W converted to treadle for most of my weekly jeans mending, and I made my only quilted block ever a couple of years ago (all men online sewers - lap quilt for a man sewer that became an amputee) on my 1910 Singer 28K2 hand crank machine. My wife, the quilter in the family, does most of her quilt piecing and FMQ on an electric machine (1956 Singer 301A), but she’s showing a little interest in our treadles for future projects. Her 301A is going to be hard to beat, but I’m trying to get our 1936 Singer 96-40 up and running in a treadle for her. We just haven’t found room to set it up yet. Machines that aren’t set up to sit right down at and sew don’t get used much around our house.

      CD in Oklahoma


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