repurpose vintage handkerchiefs into a quilt
Vintage handkerchiefs are fun and relatively inexpensive to collect. After you’ve amassed a collection, what do you do with them? Being a quilter and a lover of vintage textiles, I always try to incorporate vintage textiles into my quilts. Here is how I’ve used handkerchiefs in a wall hanging. I am currently quilting this project, so I’ll be updating it as I go along. I’m having fun quilting different designs, mostly feathers, in ways which enhance the design on the handkerchief. This quilt is the inspiration for a workshop I will be offering.
The decorative corner of the handkerchief is sewn into the block. I have also used a crochet trim from the edges of the same handkerchief I’ve sewn into the seam on two of the sides of the block. I began quilting by using the walking foot and matching decorative thread to stitch around the outer edges of the butterfly. I’ve used the same variegated thread and a decorative stitch around the edge of the block on two sides.
I needed a line down the center to help guide my free form feather antlers for the butterfly. Also, I folded back the crochet edges with painter’s tape so as to not interfere with quilting.
I began each side of the “antlers” by first sewing a spine to guide my feather placement.
Now that both “antlers” are sewn for the butterfly, I can see I need to anchor down the crochet trim to hold it in place. I did this with the same thread, walking foot, and a straight stitch.
Now that I’ve finished the butterfly, something is still missing. I decided to add some more feathering around the butterfly in the white space.
I drew a line from the center of the tail to the corner to guide my feather placement. I then used the outline of the butterfly wings to guide my placement for the feathers around it. Now I’m satisfied!
How about one more?
I began this block by using a walking foot and stitching around the outer edge of the butterfly wings with a straight stitch and matching green variegated thread.
I tack the crochet edges back with safety pins so they will not interfere with quilting. The already embroidered antennas give a natural line for the feather quilting. I simply needed to add a center line to guide the feather placement symmetrically.
The feathered antennas turned out just as I wanted! Now for the finishing touches.
I added feathering in the white spaces around the wings to finish this block off and flatten it out.