Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Bittersweet Needle and Thread

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Polyester Quilt and 1950-1960 Quilt Blocks

1970's QUILT

This full size polyester quilt was made by my sister-in-law Mel's grandmother, Trula Whitlock, from Arkansas.  Mel held on to it for many years and this past fall I took on the task of quilting it.  I found a large piece of teal double knit fabric at my favorite thrift store that matched.   

This quilt is multi-colored, notice the fluorescent orange and yellow in the center!   

Trula did an excellent job hand sewing the squares together.  ALL the points matched perfectly and have stayed secured over the years. 

Quilting was a task as polyester moves around.  I had to tape the back to my basement floor, pinned the top on and hold them down with gallon bottles of water.  I'd sit on the floor to tie it, using a running stitch all the way across, then cut and tied it.

To finish, I just folded the back over to make the binding.  I didn't tell Mel that I started quilting it, I just surprised her by mailing it to her and not telling her I'd finished.  


Mel recently sent me a box full of Trula's blocks and 2 quilt tops last week! 

The incomplete Sunbonnet Sue quilt was make in the 1960's for Mel.   There are lots of extra pieced Sunbonnet Sue's and Mel thinks Trula was going to make one for all the girl cousins.  I really like how frugal our past quilters were.  If there was not enough fabric, they just sewed some small pieces together to make a one large one.   Trula did this on several of the Sunbonnet Sue's.  The circle "dinner plate" blocks are interesting, I've haven't seen it before. 

Thanks Mel and Trula, I will do you both proud and do my best.


Snow, Snow, Again!

I really enjoyed the snow this year.  This particular day it was an absolutely delightful.  It clung to the trees and fences.  The snow in the picture has melted but now it is snowing again.   


This year my goal is to finish lots of the projects that I have started/accumulated over the years.  My problem, (oh I have lots of problems), is that someone is always giving me unfinished items to work on and I can't wait to put them on my shelf.  My sister is always amazed when she comes over and sees what I have added to my "pile".  

So, here is a breakdown:
1 Duckling quilt in the quilting frame
1 Fan quilt being hand tied
1 quilt no longer in the quilting frame (I'm not happy with it)
3 quilt tops done, ready to be put together 
9 sets of blocks in various stages of incompleteness (is that a word?)
5 different piles of fabric ready to be cut into blocks
and lots and lots of fabric just waiting....

1 wool braided rug fabric ready to be cut into strips

Table Runner
2 different piles of fabric picked out ready to be cut 

3 pillow canvases

Deer antlers
3 antlers to be made into baskets - someday

What will I seriously get completed?

I'll keep you posted,
Thanks for visiting


  1. I love looking at the stitches in old quilts; makes me want to know more about those who put them there. I like the looks of a tied quilt; seems the perfection solution for the polyester quilt. I am a list maker too; something so satisfying about checking things off. I love your snowy scene, and don't mind at all that we have missed out on snow this year (snowing now, though). I am so interested in your antler baskets!

  2. Oh my gosh, a polyester quilt!! I'm amazed & it turned out so pretty. Using ties was the perfect solution, no doubt hand quilting would have been impossible. I can remember making a couple of polyester pant suits for myself & remember the wild shirts and pants the guys wore? So slippery, but you didn't have to iron. Can't wait to see what you do with the other blocks. You are the master at giving new life to unfinished projects & I have no doubt you will get all of your own done too. It snowed in southern Missouri last night too.

  3. I remember my mother and aunt having a ton of the polyester. I think I still have a quilt that was used as packing material. You can't wear them out! My mother also quilted several of the Sunbonnet Sue's but she called it the Dutch Girl. That was usually the pattern used for baby quilts. Good luck on all of your projects this year! With all the snow it looks like a good time to work on them!.

    1. Wow, I haven't heard of Dutch Girl, but the blocks look more like that than Sunbonnet Sue. Mel said that her grandmother started the blocks when she was born. Thanks

  4. Cindy, I enjoyed reading about your knit quilt. I have two that I made: one in the spools design and the other is just 4 1/2 squares. I sewed the spools by hand, then went over that with the machine (good way to get around the curved edges :) and then hand quilted it. The squares I did by machine, then tied it. Double knit was the "in" fabric when my girls were young and we made lots of clothes from it. An earlier comment was correct, you can't wear it out, it doesn't fade, and never had to be ironed. But, I don't like it, except the quilts are very warm!

  5. How wonderful that you surprised her by quilting the quilt! Even though it does crawl, what a good way to use up polyester! Such a pretty quilt. How wonderful that you have the other unfinished pieces by Trula! Pretty snow photo! Great goal list! Hope you get it all done!