welcome to the first day of Vintage May 2015!
Vintage May started back in 2012 with just kid clothes, then Jess and i expanded it to adult clothes, and this year i thought it’d be interesting to add vintage-inspired home sewing into the mix! one evening i had a brainstorm of wanting to make a quilt inspired by the famous Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket…and i knew i had to make it happen!
the Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket has a fascinating history – the original blankets were used as currency in the colonial U.S. and Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries.
the blankets were typically traded to First Nations and Native Americans for beaver pelts and were 100% wool, which is both fire and water repellant. they were also very warm and easily sewn into coats.
the “points” or lines on the blanket just above the green stripe indicated the size of the blanket even when it was folded up. the more lines, the bigger the blanket, and the higher the value.
original HBC point blankets are hard to find and expensive when you do. Oregon company Pendleton modeled their Glacier National Park blanket after this iconic design, which is the first time i saw it, actually!
i dove into this project without googling whether it had been done before in the sewing world, and to my surprise i only found a couple examples online! miss make did a tutorial for a larger blanket with pieced stripes, but proportions and look are different for my smaller strip quilt, so i’ll go ahead and share my method with you too. my tutorial today is for a baby or lap quilt size – about 44” x 60” (maybe a little less once all squared up).
this size corresponds to a “two point” Hudson’s Bay blanket, so i added those lines in too! i considered hand embroidering them but embroidery isn’t my strong suit, so i used a decorative stitch on my machine with heavier weight dark gray thread.
i love the colors on this thing. i tried to keep them from going TOO primary, but wanted to remain true to the original (it being Vintage May and all). the original colors were determined by readily available natural dyes and in some of the original HBC point blankets the indigo stripe looks almost black, so i hunted for the darkest blue cotton i could find.
i purchased all of the quilt top fabric in one trip to Fabric Depot, but they’re all pretty basic and easy to find online. the quilt back is a heavier weight brushed twill from Jo-Ann that i had pegged for another project, but it worked perfectly here because it was 60” wide!
let’s get to that tutorial!
1/4 yard each of 44/45” wide cotton solids for the stripes – i used kona rich red, kona holly, kona grellow, and american brand navy
1 1/2 yards kona natural
1/2 yard of binding material (if cutting on straight grain – more if cutting on bias like i did here with my gingham)
1 1/2 yards of 60” wide backing fabric (or pieced back)
coordinating thread for quilting (i used almost an entire 250m spool!)
dark gray heavyweight thread for “points”
1 package “baby quilt” size quilt batting (if desired – not used here because i liked the weight with just the backing twill)
> CUTTING LIST
for a baby/lap quilt that measures about 44” x 60”
2 each at 2 1/2” x width of fabric – red, green, yellow, blue
6 each at 2 1/2” x width of fabric – white
2 each at 6 1/2” x width of fabric – white (ends)
1 each at 20 1/2” x width of fabric – white (center)
5 strips of 2 1/2” x width of fabric – binding (to make around 6 yards of binding)
if you’re more of a visual person, see below…all solids are cut to the width of fabric.
cut all quilt front pieces as outlined above. i found it helpful to lay the quilt pieces out on the floor to check proportion – i took a photo with my phone so i’d remember which colors needed to be sewn together!
start sewing strips together with 1/4” seam allowances, matching centers and pinning as needed. i found it easiest to sew the end caps first, then that big center piece. press all seam allowances together toward the darker fabric.
“square up” your quilt top, trimming off all the uneven bits and getting it nice and neat with 90 degree corners.
once your quilt top is done, tape backing right side down on the floor. smooth the top onto it, then baste together using pins, spray, whatever method you prefer. if using batting, the order goes like this – backing side with wrong side up, batting, quilt top with right side up.
quilt start with giant X from corner to opposite corner, then quilt 2” away starting at the center and working outward, forming a diamond pattern. i used a ruler and disappearing marker to mark a few lines at a time, then quilted with my walking foot.
add your “point” lines. mine are about 5” long.
join binding strips together and attach to the front of the quilt using a 1/4” seam allowance, then wrap around to the back and zig zag to secure. i use Elizabeth Hartman’s method from her first book (affiliate link) but Stitched in Color’s zig zag method is great too! i actually finished the binding on this quilt with a zig zag.
and you’re done! enjoy your new point quilt! i was planning on making this one as a gift but i fell in love with it and now i’m not sure i can give it up…
head on over to Craftiness is not Optional to check out her adooooooorable little romper she made for her daughter! oh those toddler knees, i can’t even handle it.