January 15, 2015

Bobbins’ Bargains Takes a Fond Look Back

This week, Mrs. Bobbins celebrates the heritage of quilting.

bobbins bargains logo - 200 wideShe is always one to find a good deal out there in the quilt world. Now she brings her amazing talents to you … with her weekly Bobbins’ Bargains!

Every Thursday, Mrs. Bobbins will select one of our books and offer it to you at a very special price … 75% off the current listed price!

Better yet, your shipping is FREE in the continental U.S.

Better, better yet, “Five Gets You a Freebie!” If you order a Bobbins’ Bargain just five times (from five different sales), you get a free copy of any of our books! Take your pick. We’ll contact you by email once you’ve qualified for a free book and take your order.  Plus your shipping on that one is free as well. Easy as pie!

This week’s Bobbins’ Bargain is My Stars III: Patterns from The Kansas City Star, Volume III.My Stars III cover

Here we are again with our third installment of the My Stars: Patterns from The Kansas City Star series.  This volume includes a variety of patterns, from the simple – such as Thrifty and Roman Stripe – to the more difficult – such as Wagon Wheels and Heart’s Desire.  The patterns originally hailed from readers of the historical Kansas City Star newspaper from across the country.  All 25 patterns are inspiring in their uniqueness and place in history.

Also included are photographs of quilts from people just like you – our readers and quilt enthusiasts.  Once again, we have a beautiful selection of quilts from the past, as well as updated versions.  These quilt photos match the patterns in the book, so you’ll get to see ways in which actual quilts are made using the patterns.

Whether you plan to stitch these famous old blocks or are a collector, sit back and enjoy the heritage of quilting.

Click here to see a YouTube video of the book.

The book is regularly $17.95. Your price using our Bobbins’ Bargains promotion code is just $4.49, plus your shipping on this book is free in the continental U.S.!

(SHIPPING NOTE! Please allow 14 business days for delivery after Wednesday, Jan. 21, the last day of this week’s sale.)

Be sure to use this promotion code before checkout:

BOBBINS75

Please make sure to click the “Apply Promotion Code Now” button after entering the code. The discount won’t apply unless you do so. Please verify that you’ve received the discount before checking out.

Click here to order. And remember  …  your shipping of this book is free in the continental U.S.!

January 14, 2015

The Well-Appointed Bathroom

By Donna di Natale

Donna di Natale

Donna di Natale

Making and using quilts and other handmade objects to decorate your home is a popular and easy way to give your home a fresh look. This was especially true back in the 1930s, during the Depression. Money was tight, but women still wanted their homes to be attractive. Magazines were full of patterns for making doilies, dresser scarves, bed covers, quilts, pillows and even bathroom accessories.

As a collector, I will look at anything that is quilted, from the lowly potholder to a stately quilt. But when I came across this bathroom mat and toilet seat lid cover, I thought I’d seen everything. They hadn’t been used, at least not that I could tell, so I had to have them.

The fabrics shout 1930s. They look as though they might have been made from a kit, although thus far I’ve been unable to confirm this theory.oval bath mat

The mat has been appliqued onto a zigzag quilted oval. The background was machine quilted before the appliqué was added. The binding was attached to the back and then folded and whip stitched to the front. One reason this might not have been used is that it must be quite slippery on the floor.

lid cover

The seat cover (or lid cover) has the same prequilted background, one of the reasons I think this might have been a kit. The design was appliquéd, and the binding was attached as a tube. A thick cotton string was threaded through this tube and serves to tie the cover the to lid.

I thought these pieces might have been an anomaly, but then I ran across a similar mat.

tulip bath mat

This mat has the same machine stitched zigzag quilted background. The tulip design is familiar and reminds me of a Marie Webster pattern, but I haven’t been able to confirm the exact pattern. The flowers, stems and leaves are all appliqué. The attractive binding was probably appliquéd to the front and then attached to the edge, although it is difficult to tell because it was poorly stitched. I’d love to see a matching quilt in this pattern.

Can anyone out there help with more information about quilted bathroom accessories? Do you have any in your collection? Do you remember these from your childhood? Do you recognize the patterns? Do you have a 1930s kit or pattern for bathroom accessories? Any information would be much appreciated.

On another topic: If you watched the first episode of “Agent Carter” last week, you might have caught the reference to her Singer Featherweight sewing machine. I found this an interesting, and quite appropriate, reference to 1946, when the story takes place.

blackside faceplate

chrome faceplate

That particular Featherweight might have been a somewhat rare edition made between 1941 and 1953. A version called the Blackside was made that had chemically blackened parts instead of the usual chrome-plated parts, possibly because of a wartime shortage of nickel and chromium. Not all machines during this period had blackened parts, and some machines had a mix of blackened and chrome-plated parts. Needle plates, bobbin covers and faceplates were the most common blackened parts. Blackened bobbins and accessories can also be found. I am fortunate to own my late mother-in-law’s Blackside with all blackened parts and accessories.

Do you own a Featherweight? If so, check to see if you have a Blackside. Perhaps we have something in common with Agent Carter.

Donna di Natale is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Wednesday.

January 12, 2015

Mrs. Bobbins

bobbins resolution

For more quilty laughter from Mrs. Bobbins, get The Big Book of Bobbins by clicking here! Just $16.95!

January 9, 2015

About that New Year’s Resolution

By Edie McGinnis

Edie McGinnis

Edie McGinnis

If you recall, a few weeks ago I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions. I said I was going to finish at least one UFO this year and I was going to get rid of some of my fabric. I thought it might help if I made myself accountable, so I am going to give you updates every now and again on how that is going.

Wednesday, my co-worker brought her daughter over. Elizabeth had been given a sewing machine and is interested in learning how to make a quilt. By the time she left, she had a fat quarter bundle, rotary cutter, mat, ruler, pincushion  and a bunch of thread. And I suddenly had just a little more space in my sewing room than before. OK, that’s kind of a lie because I can’t even tell anything has left the building.

I have chosen my UFO that I am going to complete this year. It is a red, white and black Drunkard’s Path. It is the oldest project that I have around here, so I thought I should start on it first.s Path block

I have long joked about this project. At first when I was asked about the oldest UFO I have, I would reply, “I’ve been on a five-year drunk.” Then, when I saw the shocked looks and raised eyebrows,  I would explain what I was talking about. Sadly enough, the five years turned into eight, then 10, and now I don’t even remember what year I started working on it.

Hand-piecing a Drunkard’s Path is possibly the most boring thing I have ever done, and boring does nothing to motivate me. My sister Shari finally took pity on me and pieced the final five or six Drunkard’s Path blocks. That only leaves me one block to make. I am going to paper-piece a barn for all those cows that are ambling around on the block and mooing their heads off.s path

I drafted my barn pattern this morning. I printed it out as a 12-inch pattern. Then I dragged out the bin with the blocks in it. Oh, rats! Only then did I remember that those blocks are 16 inches, not 12 inches. So it was back to the computer to revise the size on the pattern. It doesn’t speak well for my devotion to this quilt that I don’t even remember the size of the blocks.barn

One of the biggest issues I have when working with an old UFO is that I find I am no longer in love with the fabric. To be honest about it, I am nowhere near the “Oh, isn’t this cute?” stage with this fabric. I am more at the “Seriously? What was I thinking?” part.  That makes this project even more difficult to work on.

Another issue is that I think it is going to be very difficult to give up the elegance of the Marie Webster Poppy quilt that is on my bed in exchange for a quilt that has a plethora of cows wandering hither, thither and yon.poppies

But I am determined. I am going to finish this thing up this year. I am emptying that bin that mocks me and induces guilt every time I look at it.

I just hope the quilt turns out to be something I like when it’s finished. And if not, maybe one of my kids will not heed Willie Nelson’s advice and let one of their babies grow up to be a cowboy or a cowgirl. If that happens, I will have the perfect quilt ready for them.

Edie McGinnis is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Friday.

January 8, 2015

Bobbins’ Bargains Journeys Through Time

This week, Mrs. Bobbins is offering a real page-turner of a novel.

bobbins bargains logo - 200 wideShe is always one to find a good deal out there in the quilt world. Now she brings her amazing talents to you … with her weekly Bobbins’ Bargains!

Every Thursday, Mrs. Bobbins will select one of our books and offer it to you at a very special price … 75% off the current listed price!

Better yet, your shipping is FREE in the continental U.S.

Better, better yet, “Five Gets You a Freebie!” If you order a Bobbins’ Bargain just five times (from five different sales), you get a free copy of any of our books! Take your pick. We’ll contact you by email once you’ve qualified for a free book and take your order.  Plus your shipping on that one is free as well. Easy as pie!

This week’s Bobbins’ Bargain is The Travelers: Present in the Past, by Elaine Schmidt.Travelers cover

One touch of an antique quilt and Nona McDonald’s life is changed forever. The haunting dreams she has been having for weeks – of horses and buggies and World War II factories – now make sense. Nona can travel through time, just as many in her family have for generations.

When several historical artifacts go missing from the secretive society of time travelers, it appears Nona’s family has been set up to take the blame. While Nona’s family investigates, they hide Nona with her ancestors in 1898 Kansas, a time when the antique quilt was newly sewn and its maker, Winnie Longenecker, was Nona’s age.

Nona and Winnie become friends as Nona begins to adjust to life in the late 1890s. But a time traveler’s life is never simple. A terrified young Henry Sanchez drops out of time into their world. When the troubles from Nona’s own time come looking for her, the three new friends go running through time.

They flee to 1890s New York City, landing in the candy shop where the Tootsie Roll has just been invented and hide in the ghostly cliff dwellings of what will one day become Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park.  Along the way, the trio learns to fend for themselves and understand their time travel abilities.

But the big question is, will they ever make it back to their own homes and times?

Click here to see a YouTube video of the book.

The book is regularly $14.95. Your price using our Bobbins’ Bargains promotion code is just $3.74, plus your shipping on this book is free in the continental U.S.!

(SHIPPING NOTE! Please allow 14 business days for delivery after Wednesday, Jan. 14, the last day of this week’s sale.)

Be sure to use this promotion code before checkout:

BOBBINS75

Please make sure to click the “Apply Promotion Code Now” button after entering the code. The discount won’t apply unless you do so. Please verify that you’ve received the discount before checking out.

Click here to order.  And remember  …  your shipping of this book is free in the continental U.S.!