Creating Faded Vintage Fabrics: A Guide to Overdyeing and Bleaching

Are you a fan of the vintage aesthetic? Do you find yourself drawn to the soft, worn-in look of aged fabrics? If so, you’re in luck! Achieving that perfect faded vintage look is easier than you might think. With a few simple techniques, you can transform modern fabrics into timeless treasures. This blog post will guide you through the processes of overdyeing and bleaching to create beautifully faded fabrics. The examples shown in this blog post only cover the bleaching process. Depending on the results and what the final outcome I would then overdye so I have included all the steps.

DISCLAMIER: this was just an experiment and I never know the final result. This is the fun art of this experiment.

What is Overdyeing and Bleaching?

**Overdyeing** involves adding a new layer of dye over an existing color. This technique can create rich, complex hues and can help tone down overly bright colors. When combined with bleaching, it can give fabrics a beautifully worn and aged look.

**Bleaching**, on the other hand, involves removing some of the original color from the fabric. This can create a variety of effects, from subtle fading to dramatic contrasts, depending on the technique and amount of bleach used.

 Materials You’ll Need

– Fabric (natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool work best. I used 100% cotton Moda- Layer Cakes)
– Fabric dye (your color of choice)
– Bleach (liquid bleach or bleach pens)
– Plastic containers or a sink for dyeing and bleaching
– Rubber gloves
– Protective clothing or apron
– Plastic sheet or old newspapers (to protect your work surface)
– Measuring cups and spoons
– Stirring sticks or spoons

Some of the Bleached fabrics

Step-by-Step Guide

 1. Preparing Your Fabric

Before you begin, it’s essential to prepare your fabric. Wash it to remove any sizing or finishes that might interfere with the dyeing process. Do not use fabric softener as it can prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric evenly.

 2. Overdyeing the Fabric

Overdyeing is a great way to create a base layer of color.

– **Choose Your Dye:** Select a dye that complements the existing color of your fabric. If you’re aiming for a vintage look, consider using muted or earthy tones. I use Ritz Dye and combine tan and taupe. Always start light and you can make darker as needed.
– **Prepare the Dye Bath:** Follow the instructions on the dye package to create your dye bath. Typically, this involves mixing the dye with hot water and a fixative like salt or vinegar.
– **Dye the Fabric:** Submerge your fabric in the dye bath and stir continuously to ensure even coverage. Leave the fabric in the dye bath for the recommended amount of time, then rinse until the water runs clear.
– **Dry the Fabric:** Allow the fabric to air dry completely.

3. Bleaching the Fabric

Once your fabric is dyed and dried, it’s time to create that faded, vintage look with bleach.

– **Prepare Your Work Area:** Lay down a plastic sheet or old newspapers to protect your work surface. Make sure the area is well-ventilated.
– **Dilute the Bleach:** Mix bleach with water to create a diluted solution. A 1:10 ratio of bleach to water is a good starting point, but you can adjust this depending on how much color you want to remove.
– **Apply the Bleach:** There are several techniques you can use:
– **Full Submersion:** Submerge the fabric in the bleach solution and monitor it closely. Remove the fabric once it has reached the desired level of fading. The majority of the fabrics during this experiment I left in the bleach solution a tad bit too long. They came out out lighter than I was hoping for.
– **Rinse Thoroughly:** Once the fabric has lightened to your satisfaction, rinse it thoroughly in cold water to stop the bleaching process. Keep in mind that the wet fabric will be appear darker than the final dried version. Wash the fabric with a mild detergent to remove any remaining bleach. You can also through the fabric into hydrogen peroxide to stop the bleaching process.
4. Finishing Touches

After bleaching, you might want to overdye the fabric again to add depth to the color. Repeat the overdyeing process as needed until you achieve the desired look. Once you’re satisfied, wash and dry the fabric one final time.

Tips and Tricks

– **Test First:** Always test your dye and bleach on a small swatch of fabric before applying to the entire piece. This will help you gauge how the fabric will react.
– **Use Natural Fibers:** Natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool absorb dye better and react more predictably to bleach.
– **Experiment with Techniques:** Don’t be afraid to experiment with different dyeing and bleaching techniques to achieve unique effects. The beauty of vintage fabrics lies in their imperfections and individuality. I saved a piece of each fabric before bleaching. Some prints did not change much until they were compared side by side to the original. Others changed greatly so I have shared some side by side comparisons here.

Before and After
Before and After
Before and After
Before and After
Before and After

Conclusion

Creating faded, vintage fabrics is a rewarding and creative process. With overdyeing and bleaching, you can breathe new life into modern fabrics, giving them a unique, aged look that’s perfect for home décor, fashion, and quilting projects Now I just need to decide what project I want to use these in. Any suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know if there is a perfect pattern to use these fabrics.

I still have quite a few fabrics to sort through.

Please keep in mind this was just some mad, crazy, lab experiment. I never suggest to use bleach in washing quilts.

Enjoy- Modalissa

Piece and Quilt- month 3

We are back again with month 3 of the Piece and and Quilt Sampler project.

There are 3 different blocks this month and there is quite a bit of sewing. Don’t worry, take your time. Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings once gave me this advice and I am going to share it with you here.

– When you are working on a BOM, no matter what you do, go ahead and cut it out. This way when you have a few minutes you can sit down and sew a few pieces together. This uses different brain power than the concentration needed to cut. It really does work!

Shoreline by Camille Roskelley. Aren’t these fabrics yummy?!

I rarely use the same print in one block but the blue dotted fabric and the white dotted background almost make this a dainty delicate block.

To create this sampler with different sized blocks, I had to combine some of the blocks into larger ones creating a completely new block. I love how this one turned out. I love the look of using plaids. The navy here is a printed fabric so it was easy to use and still achieve the geometric look and feel.

 

My all time favorite block is the sawtooth star. It can be colored in so many different ways. This one with scrappy points adds a whimsical look and sparkles throughout the quilt.

I cannot get enough of this fabric. I am making this sampler and also my  Moda blockheads5 quilt using the whites, light blues and greens.

Be sure and visit the following people as they sew along also.

to download the worksheets and details for this QAL, click here.

Enjoy and be sure and PIECE and Celebrate everyday.

-Modalissa

 

Progress Report

Progress Report

I thought I was the kind of quilter that started a project, finished it and moved on. The majority of the time I am making a project that has a deadline for a trade show, book, blog post for work and more.

Recently, I happen to look up at my design wall and realized I have quite a few things going on. Time to start my progress reports again to keep me in  line.

Moda’s Blockheads

Modalissa Blockheads

Blockheads is a weekly post sharing 6″ and 12″ blocks from various Moda and Ruby Star Society designers. Info is here.

Join the Blockheads Fb group also.

I am making 6″ blocks and am in love how it is coming along. I am so excited and can barely wait to finish this. My setting is from Celebrate with Quilts book, using Susan Ache’s Blueprint design.

Modalissa Blockheads

I am hooked on Camille’s fabric line, Shoreline. I am making and hosting a QAL for Celebrate Quilts sampler quilt. This one is not on my wall, but on display at a local shop.

Moonbeams QAL

Three months in on the Charity QAL that Fat Quarter shop is hosting.  This is a major fund raising project raising money for the Make a Wish foundation – Central and South Texas. The monthly patterns are available as a free download and in turn hopefully you will make a donation to Make a Wish.

I decided to use a Basic Grey Christmas collection with a dark green GRUNGE background. Once completed this quilt will be donated and auctioned for Make A Wish.

Little Light of Mine

I have been working on my pattern line and decided to make some color options for some of them. My THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE pattern was so well received  that I started with this one first.

Available as a download

I can barely sleep, I am so excited to be making this in Red, White and Blue. Have your ever had a project that keeps you up at night in a good way? This one is certainly doing it . A local store wants to have a QAL using this pattern so I will probably do a few more mock ups before this happens. Any  color suggestions?

 

Modalissa Pattern

My Scrap pile and orphan blocks will be joined together and will turned into zipper bags. I am obsessed and you can never have too many bags on hand. Gifts, birthdays and just because are all perfect reasons to gift someone a zipper bag whether your put anything in it or let them fill it with their choice of goodies.

I will keep making progress on these knowing that a couple of the QAL’s will take the rest of the year to finish up. I will have some zipper bags completed which is always instant gratification.

Stay tuned. I will share updates and any new projects that get added to the list.
Check out the Modalissa pattern line, here.

I am also getting a wild hare that I need to clean my sewing room cabinets. Could be trouble!

-Modalissa

 

Moda Blockheads-Spinning Star

Moda’s Blockheads

Are you following along on Moda’s weekly block series? Blockheads 5? Today is my day to share a quilt block pattern.

I choose a block that was inspired by an antique Americana quilt. I somehow rembered this block in my mind and just jumped in to create it. I made several different versions and finally decided on this one.

Spinning Star

This block is certainly a skill builder. Anything that has eight points all coming together could be problematic. Moda made a video with tips and tricks and here is the link.

 

Spinning star is assembled in 4 identical quarters as shown above. The star part is cut the same but it is directional once you sew the outer triangles on it so be careful…. ask me how I know!!

To test the pattern and the blocks I basically have started a completely new quilt, yes it is going to be red white and blue, more on that to come.

Here is my 6″ version of Spinning Star for my color way.

I also wanted to just share some pics here and the progress of my blockheads quilt. I am loving it so much that I will have a hard time waiting to the end to finish. Are you feeling the same?

I am in love how my Blockheads quilt is coming along.

I am so excited and can barely wait to finish this. It is my version of scrappy and has bits and pieces from 4 different collections from Camille Roskelley mixed with some other low volume prints. My setting is from Celebrate with Quilts book, using Susan Ache’s Blueprint design.

Modalissa Blockheads

I don’t know if I can wait all the way until the end of the blockheads series to finish this. I get a little impatient. I will keep at it and continue to share my progress. How are you doing on your version?

 

-modalissa

 

Piece and Quilt Sampler- month 2

We are back again with month 2 of the Piece and and Quilt Sampler project.

Last month we made one block that consisted of 12- 3″ blocks surrounding a 6″ block. It was lots of little fiddly sewing so pat yourself on the back and get ready for month 2.

12- 3″ blocks for month one.
Shoreline by Camille Roskelley. Aren’t these fabrics yummy?!
Breakdown of what blocks to make each month

These blocks hold go together fairly quickly. Have fun with the layout and mix it up some if you want. I love squinting at the block below. The navy triangles float off the edges and the square on point adds an interesting movement.


 

I cannot get enough of this fabric. I am making this sampler and also my  Moda blockheads5 quilt using the whites, light blues and greens.

Be sure and visit the following people as they sew along also.

to download the worksheets and details for this QAL, click here.

Enjoy and be sure and PIECE and Celebrate everyday.

-modalissa

Hey Boo!

I am such a fan girl of Vanessa Goertzen/Lella Boutique.  Every fabric collection that she creates I become obsessed with. I don’t really need to describe why, if you know you know!

What is a word for fresh traditional modern? Vanessa’s designs cover it all.

I recently finished several of her patterns using OLD GLORY and have moved on to her FALL fabrics,
HEY BOO! These colors are so fun and different for Halloween. I made the quilt that Moda will be kitting, named Pushing up Daisies. Stock # LB 231 and the quilt finishes at 80” x 80”

I have the pattern WEB, stock # LB 229, cut out and started from a retreat project.

FRANK! What can I saw about this one….freakin’ adorable and will be making him as a pillow.

 

Pattern # LB 232

Since I own almost all of the patterns for HEY BOO, I had to jump in on Lella’s MONSTER MASH Halloween Sampler Quilt.

Blocks are parts of patterns, Stock # LB 230, LB 231, LB 232 and LB 233. I had  purchased 3 of the 4 , so all I needed was 1 more pattern to have all the parts and pieces.

You don’t have to buy all the patterns for the QAL . They will be available for purchase as downloads from Lella Boutique during the QAL.

https://www.instagram.com/p/C6HcsR9PF11/

Each block is 16” so it makes a big fun quilt in no time.

Here is the schedule.

  • 5/8/24: Block 1- House
  • 6/5/24: Block 2- Skull
  • 7/10/24: Block 3 – FRANK
  • 8/7/24: Block 4- pumpkin
  • 9/4/24: Block 5- daisies
  • 9/18/24: Finishing Instructions
  • 10/2/24: Block 6- Ghost

Block 1

For more info, visit’s Vanessa’s blog!

And as always support your independent quilt or specialty store to purchase your fabrics and supplies.

enjoy!

-Modalissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quiltcon 2024- Jacquie Gering

A lecture that I attended at Quiltcon that I cannot stop thinking about is the one by Jacquie Gering. I should have known there was going to be something specail happening in that room, just by the size of the line. The line went round and round through every nook and cranny of the convention center. They even had to open a satellite ballroom area at the hotel next door to hold everyone. It was so inspiring and a therapy session on why we quilt.

I have known of Jackie for many years but had to do a little google search to get my facts straight.

Jacquie Gering is a well-known and highly respected figure in the quilting world. She is recognized for her innovative approach to modern quilting and her contributions to the modern quilting movement. Gering is a co-author of the book “Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts,” which has become a staple resource for modern quilters.

She is also an active member of the Modern Quilt Guild and has served on its board of directors. Gering is known for her expertise in improvisational piecing techniques, which involve creating quilts without precise patterns or templates, allowing for greater freedom and creativity in design.

Gering is an influential teacher and speaker, frequently sharing her knowledge and passion for quilting through workshops, lectures, and demonstrations at events like QuiltCon and other quilt shows and conferences. She is admired for her ability to inspire and empower quilters of all skill levels to explore their creativity and develop their own unique quilting style.

In addition to her teaching and writing, Gering is also an accomplished quilter, with her work being featured in various exhibitions and publications. Her quilts often feature bold geometric designs, striking color palettes, and meticulous craftsmanship, showcasing her distinctive artistic vision and technical skill.

Overall, Jacquie Gering is a prominent figure in the modern quilting community, known for her innovative techniques, creative approach to design, and dedication to sharing her passion for quilting with others.

Books- WALK and Walk 2.0- Which I now own both and can’t wait to dive in.

“Unlocking the Creative Potential of Your Walking Foot: A Review of ‘WALK’ by Jacquie Gering”

“WALK” by Jacquie Gering is a groundbreaking resource that revolutionizes the way quilters approach machine quilting with a walking foot. Drawing on her extensive expertise and innovative techniques, Gering presents a comprehensive guide that empowers quilters to unleash their creativity and master the art of machine quilting.

One of the standout features of “WALK” is Gering’s clear and accessible teaching style. She breaks down complex quilting concepts into manageable steps, making them easily understandable for quilters of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your quilting skills or an experienced quilter seeking new inspiration, Gering’s guidance is invaluable.

The book covers a wide range of topics, from essential quilting tools and materials to advanced quilting techniques. Gering emphasizes the importance of understanding the capabilities of the walking foot and demonstrates how it can be used to achieve stunning results, from straight-line quilting to intricate designs and textures.

What sets “WALK” apart is Gering’s emphasis on creativity and experimentation. She encourages quilters to think outside the box and explore different ways of using the walking foot to create unique and personalized quilts. With Gering’s guidance, quilters will gain the confidence to trust their instincts and develop their own signature quilting style.

In addition to the wealth of technical information, “WALK” also features stunning quilt projects that showcase Gering’s distinctive aesthetic and artistic vision. Each project is accompanied by detailed instructions and helpful tips, ensuring that quilters can successfully recreate the designs while also adding their own creative twist.
.Jacquie’s  passion for quilting shines through on every page, making this book both an inspiring read and an indispensable reference for anyone who wants to unlock the full potential of their walking foot, and then there is also Walk 2.0

I am a huge fan of anything red and anything with red crosses on it. This quilt was on the front row of the special exhibit honoring Jacquie. I fell in love every time I walked by.


It is hard to see but this quilt shows the matchstick style of quilting that is used on so many of the quilts exhibited at Quiltcon. She certainly was instrumental in teaching so many this technique. I also found out in her lecture that she was retiring from teaching, so my chance to take her class has passed.


To learn more about Jacquie, visit her website. AMAZING!

Quiltcon 2024- part 1

QuiltCon is an annual event organized by the Modern Quilt Guild, a community of modern quilters worldwide. Each year the show is held in different locations. 2024 was n the beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. Moda Fabrics had an exhibitors booth showcasing Moda’s Bella Solids including some of the new bright palette.

Pattern- Beasley Hollow by Lori Danelle of She Makes Joy

QuiltCon features a variety of activities such as workshops, lectures, demonstrations, Vendors booth and an assortment of industry exhibitors and a quilt show. The focus is on modern quilting, which often involves bold colors, geometric shapes, and innovative designs. Quilters from all skill levels, from beginners to experts, attend QuiltCon to learn new techniques, gain inspiration, and connect with others who share their passion for quilting.

I attended 2 lectures. We need to talk about Bertha by Mary Fons. Anytime I see Mary’s name on a class or lecture listing, I sign up. She is incredible and this lecture did not disappoint.  (description from brochure-

She called them her “sculptures in cloth”. In the mid-20th century, while other quiltmakers stitched Grandmother’s Flower Garden and Churn Dash bed quilts, Bertha Meckstroth was reverse-appliquéing bats, crosses, and Aramaic text into quilts made for the wall. Anticipating by some 50 years the emergence of the art quilt movement, Bertha made nearly 200 of these iconoclastic objects, finished with spider web, angel wing, and feather motifs. For all her artistic triumphs, however, Bertha’s tale is a tragedy: When she died in a Chicago sanitarium in 1960, her will — which explicitly stated her quilts should be kept together — was ignored. Nobody cared what a “spinster” wanted, after all. The bank contested the will and won, scattering Bertha’s life’s work to the wind. For the past two years, Mary Fons has been tracking down the quilts of Bertha Meckstroth and her investigation is paying off. In this debut lecture, Mary will present her extraordinary findings, including intel from primary sources and never-before-seen images. This fascinating, true story of a woman wronged isn’t over yet.
ASL services provided through generous support from HandiQuilter.

Mary, also known as Quilt Nerd.  and has written about Bertha in an issue of Quiltfolk. 

This lecture was so introspective for me. Bertha died in 1960 and in her will she requested for all 89 of her quilts to be kept together and left money to make sure her wishes were followed. for more of this story you will have to read Mary’s article in Quiltfolk, but the thing that hit home for me is that Bertha had inventoried every quilt she had made. I do such a bad job of this!! As I listened to Mary’s talk and how she was able to research this incredible woman and her story was mainly because everything was documented. I have got to improve on this!

The second lecture was from the keynote speaker, Jacquie Gering. ( more this lectures in a  separate post.)

The quilt show at QuiltCon is a highlight of the event, showcasing stunning modern quilts created by members of the Modern Quilt Guild as well as other quilters from around the world. These quilts often push the boundaries of traditional quilting with their contemporary aesthetic and artistic expression.

Just a few of my favorites!

I seemed to take lots of pics of rainbow like quilts.

I look back at the pictures of quilts that I took. Was I influenced by color, design, pattern or quilting?

YES, YES, YES and YES.

I can’t ever imagine making anything so grand but could not help but be influenced by the creativity shown at this show.

As in any show the judging and winning quilts are up for speculation. The best of show sent chills down my spine and was the topic of much conversation.

What We Will Use as Weapons: A List of School Supplies by Ginny Robinson @minnowpeck

Ginny is a teacher and she asked other teachers in the Us what they would use to defend students in the event of a school shooting. The quilt is shaped like a door and has  everything from pencils to jugs of paint and many more items that were sent in as answers to Ginny’s question. Imagine bringing a stapler to a gunfight are the words in the description that really got to me.

This was the back of the quilt with an automatic rifle. Ginny’s art and comment of never wanting to see this in our schools.

Not that I am partial but some of my favorite quilts were in the Moda booth including Stars Above pattern by Megan Collins

This was made with Moda’s Bella Solids and background fabric from Amarilys Henderson’s Playground collection..

Pattern- Radical Cassettes by Love Sew Modern. This version took on a country feel using Moda’s bandana toweling on the cassettes.

Overall, QuiltCon is a celebration of creativity, community, and the art of quilting in the modern age. It’s a fantastic opportunity for quilters to come together, learn from each other, and celebrate their shared love of the craft. This show is so much fun and the energy is so inspiring. Mark your calendars now for next years show in Phoenix, Arizona, Feb 20-23rd.

Enjoy!

Oh Scrap

Oh Scrap was my first published book in 2018. It had never been my dream to write a quilt book, but I was intrigued at the process. I like to learn and I am always up for a challenge.

And a challenge this was. In 2016,  I was experiencing massive headaches, which eventually caused a seizure. While in the hospital, they discovered I had a subdural hematoma. I am getting to the part about the quilt book but need to fill you in on the back story. After many more seizures, the doctors got a handle on those and I went home. Headaches continued, back in the hospital and had a right craniotomy on March 16th, 2016.

Brain surgery – Egads!!

Because of the seizures I could not drive for several months, state law. I was just sure that my brilliant doctors had now created Izzy 2.0 and my brain was going to be bionic. I imagined myself as the bionic woman, I can do anything after all of this.

While off work during this time, I decided I could/would tackle a quilt book. So it began. I kept a file folder on my desk, titled Oh Crap.

Is anyone going to like this?

Why am I second guessing myself, after all I am the bionic woman.

Once the quilts were completed and projects were sent in, I told me editor of my Oh Crap folder and that is actually where the name of the book came from, Oh Scrap.  This book was a solo book and then I went on to do 3 more books that were collaborative books with various Moda designers and other friends in the quilting industry. I have written about this book before, so for more details, pictures and more check here, here and here.

Writing a quilting book is no small feat. It begins with an idea, a spark of inspiration that blossoms into a collection of designs, patterns, and stories. Authors pour their hearts and souls into the creative process, testing and refining each pattern, selecting fabrics, and weaving narratives that resonate with fellow quilting enthusiasts. The journey involves countless hours of stitching, experimenting, and revising until the vision is realized on the pages of the book. I have such a great appreciation of my friends and fellow authors.

Oh Scrap

Fast forward a few years and I received a call from my editor about the future of Martingale Publishing.

Martingale Publishing, a renowned name in the quilting book industry, played a pivotal role in bringing quilting inspiration to homes worldwide. Known for its commitment to quality content and being an employee-owned company, Martingale fostered a sense of community and collaboration within its ranks. The decision to close its doors came as a surprise to many in the quilting world.

The closure of Martingale Publishing marked the end of an era for myself and quilting enthusiasts. As an employee-owned company, the decision to close must have been a difficult one. While the specifics of the closure may not be fully known, it serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by even well-established entities in the ever-evolving publishing landscape.

Writing a quilting book is a laborious yet fulfilling endeavor, culminating in a tangible representation of one’s passion for the craft. “Oh Scrap” and the closing of Martingale Publishing remind us of the ever-changing landscape of the quilting world. As the quilting community adapts to new opportunities and challenges, the legacy of creativity and camaraderie will continue to thrive, stitching together a vibrant tapestry of shared experiences.

Authors were given the opportunity to own all of their books and the assets included with that. This is a very important story to tell. It is a bit complex and while the quilt designs are my own, the text, photography and illustrations are not. Martingale could have very easily sold this off to the highest bidder with no regards to how the books would be stripped apart, reused and repurposed with no acknowledgement of the original creator.  Yes this has happened before with other publishers and it was not pretty.

I am proud to own all of the assets of my books. While I will always direct purchases to mom and pop quilt stores, many of my books are no longer available. I am in the process of creating individual patterns and as that is happening, I have partnered with Fat Quarter Shop to sell my books as downloads. To purchase Oh Scrap, click here.

This is very exciting especially for international quilters who often had to pay way to much for printed books.

I cannot thank my life-long friends from Martingale enough for believing in me and teaching me so much.

-modalissa

Resolutions

We are a month into 2024. I don’t usually make resolutions. I don’t pick a word for the year.

But I have done something quilty each year. The majority of the things listed below are very predictable for me but I did concentrate an entire year on each. This all started several years ago with my self proclaimed, Year of the DOT, polka dot. I put a polka dot fabric on the back of every quilt I made that year. I am still a huge fan of using dots wherever I can.

the year of the polka-dots

The next year was the year of WOVENS. Each of my quilts had a plaid/woven fabric for the back. I loved how my quilts felt. The quilts seem to just drape a little differently since most ovens are a bit more lightweight that their print counterparts. Adding the geometric plaids on the back was such a nice surprise when you flipped over the quilt.

The next year was BIAS STRIPED BINDINGS. I collect stripes so I always have something for a binding. I know all of this is silly, but it is a fun game. Did I date and of these quilts? NO. Did I document them? NO. I guess if I pulled all of my quilts made within the last 7 or 8 years I could figure some of the timeline out.

 

This one I am embarrassed about. My goal was to put a label on all my quilts. This is so important and I should ABSOLUTELY do this.  But I didn’t! Maggi Honeyman of @sewmaggi quilts the majority of my quilts and she always stitches my name somewhere in the quilt. I have considered this a label but I need to do better. Thank you Maggi!

On year 5, I thought it would be great to add a sleeve to the back of each of my quilts. A sleeve is a casing on the top back of the quilt and is usually used to hang the quilts. I didn’t make it through the year on this one. Epic fail in fact. Really who needs sleeves, you most likely are not going to hang quilts on every wall as if they are wallpaper. Fast forward to today, right now! I have entered 3 quilts in the Dallas Quilt Show and yep, they all need sleeves added.

Year 6, PIECED BACKS! This is my fav and I still try to do this as much as I can. I highly suggest trying this for several reasons.

  • Pieced backs use up lots of scraps.
  • No need to buy 6 yards of fabric
  • Freedom to create a puzzle of pieces making sure it is oversized for the Longarm.
  • I love flipping the quilt over and the surprise on the back.

Year 7, I decided to play with what was on the inside of the quilts. I do have to say this has been my favorite thing to do, only second to pieced backs.  I tried different batting, everything from bamboo, cotton, wool or poly/cotton. Each of them quilted up differently. The wool had so much great texture that the stitching disappeared into the quilt and seemed to make the fabric pop. Other than living in Texas I would use wool more. I use black batting for dark quilts and I used white batting for quilts with lots of light or low volume backgrounds or even white solid backgrounds. I could not believe the difference this made in the color of the batting not discoloring the whites.

Does that make sense? The majority of battings are cream in color. If you use a cream batting in a white quilt, it will slightly discolor the white. I also tried flannel for batting and it is my very very favorite. The quilt is thin but dense, and drapes every curve of your body. Wide flannel is hard to come by so when I see it I buy it. Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings has a 108″ flannel coming out in solids. Moda’s flannels are actually cotton fabric so the construction is a tad different from actual flannel fabrics. Moda’s flannels are then double brushed ( brushed on each side)  so this makes them perfect for quilt back or batting!! As soon as Lisa’s fabric- Farmhouse Flannels get here, I will be buying bolts just for battings!!

So for this year I am tackling journalling each quilt. The saying every quilt tells a story is true so I am logging the info, details and any happenings along the way. Plus I am getting way too old too remember this stuff.

-modalissa