Wednesday, November 7, 2018

American Ships Quilt--FINISHED!


Ruby McKim
American Ships Quilt



If you have been following my blog, you know that I have been working on this for years...9 years in fact!  I'm so excited to have completed this labor of love for my son.  

Once upon a time, my little boy of 8 years was standing over my shoulder while I was researching quilt patterns.  As I was looking at this pattern, my son said, "Momma, can you make me this quilt?"  YES I can!    At the time, I didn't know a thing about embroidery.  Thank goodness for online tutorials.


I often thought about how I would quilt this.  I was concerned about the delicate embroidery threads and knew that I would have to be very, very careful once I pieced everything together by machine.  The last thing I would want is to snag any of my threads.  I decided to forego any free motion quilting since there was already so much detail.  Once I got to the point of layering it together, I realized that it would look pretty amazing if I just outline stitched as much of the embroidery as possible.  It really helped for the embroidery to "pop" visually.  It sounds like a lot of work, but after the hours upon hours of embroidering, it was so much fun to machine stitch.

Here is the link to the pattern if you are interested in making this for yourself--American Ships Quilt

According to the website, this pattern was first published in 1937 by Ruby McKim.  I love the history behind it, which you can read about by clicking the link above.

According to the pattern, the center ship could be done as an applique, however, I decided to embroider it as well.

Once I got to the point of assembly, I cut a clear square template to trace a cutting line around all my blocks, ensuring each ship was centered.  I'm not very accurate with just a ruler and rotary cutter.  I had to make my template twice just to get a perfect square!


I forgot how much fun quilting was.  My passion is sewing clothing, but I'm already thinking about working on another quilt....not embroidering one though!  I'd like to keep with quicker projects for now.  It is going to feel strange to not have to work on this.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Shirley

8 comments:

  1. WOW!!! I can't believe how much hand embroidery you have incorporated into your quilt. Shirley, this is a quilt to love and treasure. It's AWESOME!!! Featured today...

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    1. Thank you for featuring my quilt Pam! So much life was lived through the making of this quilt. When I look at it, it reminds me of the overseas moves we made, the illness and hospitalizations I had where I took this with me to help pass the time, and of course, my children all grew up!

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  2. This is amazing! The emroidery is stunning, I can’t believe how much time and love must have been spent on this quilt!

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    1. Thank you! It took a lot of time! It's hard for me to just sit and embroider. With sewing there is more up and down movement with cutting, sewing, and ironing. LOL I enjoyed embroidering most when I could sit outside, weather permitting.

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  3. Saw this on Pam's blog and had to come over to check it out! You must be so proud of this finish it is stunning.

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    1. Thank you for coming over to my blog! My son loves it and I'm so proud that I was able to finish it.

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  4. WOW!! What a fantastic embroidery!! I looked these pics again and again...you can make anytning:D You should make another quilt; I can't wait to see it. Bravo!

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    1. Thank you Eli! Actually, when I bought this pattern, I purchased a second embroidery quilt pattern that is history related too. Thankfully it is a much smaller quilt! I thought I may be done with embroidery, but I did really enjoy it. It just was hard to find the time to devote to it.

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Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your thoughts! I enjoy connecting with others who share my love and passion for sewing.