Now for the challenge of a lifetime. After my mother passed away I
took all her hobbies and put them in the closet. They have been
sitting there for years. Well I got in the cleaning mood and got in
that closet. Didn't get much done because I came across this quilt
book. I giggled at the price, just 55 cents. It is full of postage
stamps quilts and a couple applique. The quilt that caught my eye is
a basket full of flowers. I am going to try a test quilt first,
something small to see if I like doing these small squares. I am
curious about the seam allowance, do you still use the quarter inch or
are they smaller. The pieces measure 3/4 of an inch finished. The
instructions are for hand piecing and really don't give a seam
allowance measurement. Do you iron the seams all in one direction,
open or alternating.
I figure with the hot days of summer arriving shortly, this will be
the perfect project to do on those hot days, in my quilt room where I
have a seperate AC and don't have to crank up the whole house AC to
stay cool and keep my precious SMs from overhearing. I reread the
instructions, they call for fabric that is 36 inches wide. Oh where
did I put those fat quarters. Hum-m-m-m
Kate T. South Mississippi
Well, Kate. I think this would be a good time to do some experimenting.
Why don't you choose just one flower from the basket and make something very
small? If it turns out to be exquisite, you can frame it. If it's a dud,
it can always be a potholder. I think I'd begin with 1/4" seams and trim
them skinnier if it seemed like a good idea. Trying to learn to use a
smaller seam for stitching might mess with your brain. Not, in your case, a
good idea. BWaaaHaha. Polly
"Kate T." Now for the challenge of a lifetime. After my mother passed
Definitely quarter inch seams for minis. If you are sewing squares
together, then I would press the seams open. The whole things stays
much flatter. If you press to the side, then you will have lines of
lumps with very narrow dips between them. I wish I could show you the
However, if you did a small square - say, 6 x 6 little squares - press
open first and judge that; then press to the side and compare how you
think about them. You might not actually like flat? But I have done
that with all my later small quilts, as I love the effect. Quilting
shows up better, because any relief is created by the quilting and not
by lumpy seam allowances.
Kate T. writes
Pressing seams open is best for miniatures. Making one block as a test
is a good idea. Is there a designer name on the pattern? Right now I
can't remember the name of the woman who made a postage stamp basket
quilt years ago. She created the design from the pattern on her china.
At the time she was living on a very isolated ranch (farm?). She said
working on that quilt saved her sanity. I'll check my quilt history
books later when I am upstairs and report back with her name. Your
pattern reference to 36" wide fabric really dates it. I can barely
remember the switch from 36" to 42" fabric and I am old.
i was looking at the hand drawn pics of the pieces and it looked like
a 1/8 inch seam. WHEW. Not for me. Think I will stick with
everyone's advice and use the quarter inch seam. Either that or do
months of trimming to 1/8 seam, and that would mean extremely heavy
quilting to keep it all together.
Ladies, thank you for the suggestions on pressing the seams. Early
this morning I did 2 6 inch squares. one with open seams, lot of
pressing and the other with the seams pressed to one side. Lots of
lumps. Pressing the seams is very time consuming but the look is far
better, I think. Not to mention matching the seams.
The name of the lady that wrote this book is Anne Orr. She designed
all kinds of crochet and tatting projects. I think this is the only
quilting book she ever did. I can't find a date on it and assume it
was written in the 50's or early 60's. The cover has appliqued
strawberries on it. I have decided to put it through my scanner to
have a working copy. The book is starting to come apart and don't
want to lose one precious page.
YES, YES, YES THAT'S THE BOOK!!!!!!! Thanks for doing all that
research. Thank you, Thank you.
Sorry for shouting, I didn't realize the book could be that old. 67
years old to be exact. Well I'm off to read my "history book" and try
to recreate history with todays fabrics. I am so pleased with the
inheritance my mother left me.
Well H-u-m-m-m-m, there is that box of crochet booklets, published in
black and white. Wonder if I have more Anne Orr and don't know it.
That's a discovery for another day. I got quilting to do. WOO-WOO
Kate T. South Mississippi
67 looks a LOT younger than it used to be. LOL'
I made one of the pink/blue/white quilts 12 years or
so. The pattern was reroduced in one of the vintage
quilt magazines. I think there are photos here somewhere. Easy to do but
lots of work. Thanks to Sandy for the links. Anne Orr is a hero.
Anne Orr was primarily a cross-stitch designer, which is probably where
she got the idea for some of her patterns made up of little squares.
Before you launch into a postage stamp quilt, you might want to look
into the foundations-marked-with-squares method that is often used for
watercolor quilts. The idea is that you lay out all the squares on a
fusible grid and iron them in place. Then you fold the grid along a
lengthwise seamline and sew it all down the whole length. Repeat. Clip
the seams where cross seams will be. Then fold and sew along the width.
Saves loads of time! (Haven't tried it; seen it done and was very
impressed. For example:
) No reason you couldn't do this on a smaller scale.
My mom made one of these mad postage stamp quilts. She went even further
and divided the inch squares into triangles. She went nuts doing it and
it turned out so huge it now takes up one whole dining room wall of my
Monique in TX
I saw a store sample of one of those iron on grid postage stamp quilts at a
precious little shop in Tennessee. The stitcher wobbled just a little and
the result was pretty dismal. I really don't mean to be a cranky pants but
I would just croak if I'd put that much time into a quilt top and then be
Another negative to using the iron on grid is the weight of the
finished quilt. A postage stamp quilt is heavy enough with all the
seams required. Adding the extra layer of grid multiplies the weight.