Friday, July 25, 2014

Handkerchief Challenges

Lately I've had some creative challenges with my hanky quilts and pillows.  The previous post talked about my challenge using round hankies.  This time I had some lovely hankies that had one embroidered corner.  I wanted to sew it my way which is, of course, rag quilted, but if I did it the usual way the cut seams would have cut through the lacy embroidery.  So here's how I handled it.

I centered the designs on a piece of flannel and sewed them down then ragged only the edges of the pillow.  I think it turned out great.

Another challenge I had was what to do with all white hankies in a quilt.  I always use white flannel when making my hanky quilts.  I tried to use different colors of flannel but that changed the color of the hankies and didn't look very good.   So when a lady asked me to make a quilt out of her (almost) all white hankies I handled it in two ways.

  • The first was to layer the hankies.

This is a good technique to use when you have very large hankies with a large amount of white space in the middle and very small hankies.  I would sew the small hanky centered right in the middle of the large like this:

  • The second was to frame each hanky with a colored print.
For this quilt I picked a pinkish coral keepsake calico fabric with roses and lace design.

 I centered each white hanky on an exact size piece of white flannel (so the design of this fabric wouldn't show through) and then sewed it onto the calico fabric.

Then I rag quilted it in the same way as always.  Here's how it turned out:

It's really hard to see the beauty of these hankies in this picture but you can see how each hanky is framed by the fabric.

Friday, July 4, 2014

What to do with a Round Hanky

A lady gave me a whole bunch of hankies and she said I want you to make me pillows with these.   I had made hanky pillows before.  I would rag quilt ('cause that's what I do) 4 hankies together and voila -- a hanky pillow.

 Once I had a beautiful pink hanky that I just couldn't use  in a hanky quilt so I sewed a pillow cover with just that one hanky in the rag quilt style.

So I knew what to do to make her the pillow covers.  However, in this bunch of hankies there were two very pretty round hankies that I just didn't know quite what to do with.  I looked up making pillow covers for round pillows and while there were tutorials for them, I didn't think it would work very well for hankies.  Then as I was ironing all the hankies to see which would be the best to use for the pillows I noticed some plain jane lace embroidered edge white hankies.   Nothing fancy, a little boring.  The kind I usually pass over when picking the perfect hankies. This time though I wondered if I could use plain jane with the beautiful round hanky.

I sewed the plain jane onto a piece of white flannel then I sewed the round hanky on top.  I added another square of flannel beneath and quilted the two layers together  in circles following the design that was on the round hanky.   I sewed the two backing pieces on and clipped the edges all around.

This is what I did with a round hanky:

Here is the second pillow.  I didn't have another plain jane hanky that was big enough so I backed this round hanky with more flannel.