And that's just what I've been up to. In my mind's eye, anyway. I decided that this adorable butterfly had been tucked away in its shoebox far too long, and deserved to see the light of day--and got to work on it. And, after all the hours of work I put in on this, I should have had an actual quilt to show you. But, no. I just have a new pattern for anyone who is looking for a sweet, sunny little winter project to keep them occupied. If this appeals to you, the pattern will be available for a limited time in my Vintage Stitch Shop as an instant download. Follow link: Butterfly Quilt #527
Whilst digging through shoeboxes, I found other butterfly patterns! I will be happily working toward doing something with these in the coming months. So get ready for more butterflies! These old patterns are just too sweet to be forgotten. They date back to the newspaper mail-order days between the 1930's and 1950's.
And so does our darling SunBonnet Sue here. She was originally a "trace" design and I offered it through the website as such. But it too has been over-hauled and re-designed as an iron-on transfer for embroidery, with optional applique pieces. This may look like a complicated quilt block, but the dress and bonnet are each one piece. That leaves an arm and a leg piece, and the mid-section of the watering can; a simple rectangle shape. Bloomers, shoes, and flowers are embroidered. (I've included directions for using traditional applique and freezer applique methods).
These types of quilts were popular in their day and are still an economical way to make a quilt by using small scraps of fabric and/or recycled clothing. Earlier quilts were made from the colorful prints found from feedsacks. What are feedsacks? Well, at the turn of the century when the cotton industry was in full production, cotton bags replaced the bulky barrels that had been used to store things like sugar, salt, meal, and grain. It was an added convenience for the shop-keeper and probably more sanitary in the long run, to offer pre-measured bags of goods ready on the shelf.
At first, the bags were made of plain muslin, and as the depression wore on, housewives used this "free" fabric to make clothing and such; one unfolded bag equaled about one yard of cloth. Before long, suppliers and marketers took note of this trend and began making feedsacks with colorful prints as a selling point. Good move. I often wonder how many amazing quilts would not have been made if it were not for all those feedsacks for inspiraton. Today, the reproduction "feedsack" prints are still fun to work with and effective when used with the older patterns to acheive a vintage look.