New Orleans House Project

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Last Look at Treadle On Origami Bow-Tie Blocks

I've posted several times about my Origami Bow-Tie quilt.  The quilt was made with 3-D, or Origami Bow-Tie blocks in an exchange with members of the Treadle On vintage and antique sewing machine group.  The guidelines for the exchange required making the bow-tie blocks using a pre-1900 sewing machine.

My blocks were made on a Singer VS 3 hand-cranked sewing machine from around 1894.  The machine makes a great, smooth straight stitch.  I call her Bertha in honor of my maternal great-grandmother.
The VS in the machine's name stands for Vibrating Shuttle. 

The bullet-shaped shuttle holds the bobbin, and "vibrates" back and forth, catching the thread loop created by the needle and creating the stitches.  

Once I finished machine appliquéing the borders (not on a vintage or antique sewing machine!), I sent the quilt off to my local long-arm quilter, Cindy Braiwick.  I didn't give her a lot of specific instructions on the quilting, so she could get as inspired as she wanted.

I may have already mentioned the emotional attachment I have to this quilt.  The block exchange took place just prior to Hurricane Katrina, and I received my exchanged blocks just as I was about to move back home to New Orleans after being evacuated for about six weeks.

When I picked up the quilt from Cindy after she finished the quilting, I may have gotten a little verklempt.  I was just blown away by what she had done with the quilt!

First, she chose a perfect design for the blow-tie blocks.  Every part of the block was quilted except for the bow tie "knot" - the 3-D part.  

Even better, she really filled in around the appliqué shapes with lots of different designs.

One of my favorites - the feather and heart design shown here.

It took a little while, but I finally finished the binding, sleeve and label for this quilt.  It's hanging on my hallway quilt rack so I can admire it every day!


  1. Oh gosh, this is so wonderful! I love think I got a little teary eyed just reading the story. Sometimes quilts can really capture our hearts. I'm so happy you have this connection to special friends and memories of time shared. It's beautiful.

  2. What a nice story that has a good ending to a rough rough time for Louisiana in 2005 - I really thought that Katrina was headed to South Texas.

    What size are the bow ties and the finished quilt? It is so pretty! Good work as always! Hugs

  3. What a lovely quilt and the quilting is fabulous on it, too. That treadle machine is a beauty hugs, Julierose

  4. What an amazing quilt with a wonderful story. It’s an heirloom that will likely survive all of us and show future generations how you honored the past and worked together with others to make something for the future.

  5. Your quilt is beautiful and has a fabulous story to match. What a fun idea your group has to use those wonderful antique machines for a challenge. Your machine is beautiful and I've never heard of that type of bobbin before. It's a lovely finish.

  6. A fabulous quilt with a wonderful story. What a treasure!

  7. What a wonderful signature quilt and the quilting is absolutely outstanding! What an instant heirloom.