New Orleans House Project

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Inspiration Strikes Another UFO

Quilt Sampler is one of my favorite quilting magazines.  I look forward to new issues and constantly revisit old issues for inspiration.  I enjoy being able to travel to quilt shops all across the country without ever leaving home!

A quilt in the most recent issue caught my eye, as it was made from bow-tie blocks set in the Xs and Os pattern.  That set off the little lightbulb in my head - didn't I have a stack of bow-tie blocks from a Treadle On Block Exchange?

A few moments of hunting through the stack of UFOs produced a packet of 24 origami bow-tie blocks in reproduction-type fabrics and unbleached muslin.  Origami, or 3-D bow-tie blocks are made with 5 squares of fabric and no set-in seams.  The center bow-tie on the block winds up being three-dimensional, like a real bow-tie!

The plan for this block exchange was to use a pre-1900 sewing machine to create the blocks.  Mine were made on a Singer VS 3 that was made sometime around 1894.  She is a well-loved handcrank machine who sews a fine, smooth straight stitch.  

The VS part of her name means she uses a vibrating shuttle mechanism to create stitches.  The shuttle moves back and forth in an arc, passing through a thread loop made by the needle action and creating a lockstitch.

Here's a close-up view of the shuttle and its bobbin.  The bobbin is approximately 1 inch long.

I didn't have enough blocks to make a satisfactory arrangements of Xs and Os.  And rather than get caught up in making more bow-tie blocks, I decided to go with a simple arrangement.  Once I make a 25th block, I'll have a nice square group of bow-ties.  I've been dreaming of applique border treatments, so maybe that will be the finishing touch for this quilt.