Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Antiques Thrill Me!

We had a great day for the Cathedral Stars workshop in Franklin today .the gals were so great. After almost 2 weeks on the road, I have to admit the classes are starting to run together a bit for me…..but in some ways I think I am also learning to explain things better….I’m more patient if someone doesn’t understand, and I don’t take it so personally when I am asked things like “well, can’t I do it THIS way instead?” Sure you can! There is always more than one way to skin a cat! ((But why anyone would want to is beyond me!)) Sometimes I think I am learning more than the students do, only in a different way.

You gotta look at this view…..this is what I woke up to this morning! Look at that fog just floating around the mountains. There is a valley beneath that fog, only you can’t see it FOR the fog! The fog was quick moving….lifting, swirling, separating and resettling, it really looked like it was alive. I just love this pic --- I saved it as my desktop wall paper!

One of the students today brought in an antique quilt done in English paper piecing! We KNOW this…because some of the papers are STILL in it! It’s made of silks…layered with wool and tied.

franklinnc2011 070

Doesn’t this just glow??

All of the octagonal blocks were pieced over papers, and then they were set together with the large plaid silk cornerstones. All of the construction was done using a small whipstitch in black thread.

franklinnc2011 073

Closer up!

Don’t those solid fabrics just glow with intensity?

And the plaid cornerstone is such an interesting fabric choice with that solid black fabric in the blocks!

franklinnc2011 074

The quilt was squared up by adding these half elongated hexagon pieces you see filling in the outer edges of the quilt and corner—and then the outer border of herringbone diamonds was added. This last border is really stiff with the paper they didn’t remove! I just wish I knew the story behind this silk quilt…it sure is a fun one!

After the workshop was packed up and and put away and vacuumed, Sarah and I headed out for a couple errands….and on the way to the grocery store we stopped at yet ANOTHER antique mall to wander around!

There were just a few quilts to snap pics of:

franklinnc2011 077

A 1940s & 50s diamond hexagon quilt…this is really similar to one that Nancy had at her house for dinner last night! I love the bold colors, not many pastels in this one….those solid fabrics mixed with prints are so great.

franklinnc2011 084

An antique basket top that must have been used as a “summer spread”. The outside edges are rolled and top stitched…it’s been washed and the seam alowances were almost non-existent! Love the solid black and red though, very bold! Reminds me of Georgia Bulldogs colors! Rolling on the floor laughing

franklinnc2011 085

Here is a close up of one block. I love that the handles are slightly wonky, but yet the piecing is pretty dang good in the points department. Sometimes I think we make things SO purposely overly wonky that it becomes “fake wonkiness” almost the same way I feel about a chinese import made so primitive to make it LOOK like it was original, but it’s not….how else do I describe that? I’d rather have a geniune effort, or wonky antique….than a Chinese or fake American repro of one. But that’s another topic for another time, just random thoughts after wandering through an antique mall and seeing lots of repros made to look old that aren’t. Save that for another day!

((You know what I mean….shops that sell PRIMITIVES…but they are all made in China???))

franklinnc2011 079

Now THIS! This is MY favorite kind of primitive! They did the best they could with what they had. They dyed the flour sacks green because they needed to…the effort on the pieced blocks is wonderful, though not perfect..a little bit of wonkiness brings comfort, it wasn’t made purposely “off”…you know?

franklinnc2011 080

I almost ALMOST A L M O S T bought this one…but there were some really bad shredded spots in it. I love the double diagonal quilting…and how the plaids and stripes turn every which way. It’s primitive in nature, but not purposely made to be so…

franklinnc2011 081

I definitely love this one…it took 100 years for the green to migrate and change this way. Not something we can do on purpose…aging like this takes time!

franklinnc2011 075

I’m going to miss these mountains when I drive out of here in the morning! It’s been wonderful to feel tucked into the Smokies for the past little while. This is the view from the Fire House where we met for our classes--

franklinnc2011 076

I would love to come back some day---I’m honored to call these quilters FRIENDS!


  1. I'm glad you've had such a wonderful time and that you've been able to post so many wonderful photos. I'm so homesick right now that it's probably a good thing you're moving on--although I'm girding myself because you'll still be in the South. (Doing my best to hold as steady as I can until summer!)

  2. Love the picture of the fog around the mountain and the sun just starting to peek out. It's also fun to see the quilts you find in the Antique stores. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Aaahh my favourite place the smokies and the antique shops! I wanna come over :-)
    The first picture is beautiful. and I love the triangle quilt too!

  4. The Smokies are on my "wishlist" of places to visit when I retire. I hear ya when it comes to the China-made American Folk Art that floods our markets and hurts the cottage industries in our country and the crafters who depend on income from the folk art they create.

    We all need to make a commitment to boycott Chinese goods.

  5. I want to THANK YOU for taking us along on your travels. I enjoy every photo and read every word. I love seeing the old quilts. :)

  6. Antique quilts thrill me, too! Thanks for sharing. If you find yourself needing to kill a few minutes in an airport or whatever, and you want an antique quilt fix, check out www.quiltindex.org/. I've been looking at it a few minutes at a time for days, and still haven't even gotten through the ones from the State Hist. Soc. of Iowa. So many beauties, and several that remind me a lot of favorite Bonnie patterns.

  7. http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=18-36-21B

    Speaking of which, check out this Cross Roads to Jericho, Bonnie. How's that for using up a bunch of Leader/Ender nine patches? :)

  8. http://www.quiltindex.org/fulldisplay.php?kid=18-36-23E

    Oooooh, or this untitled shirt-scrap beauty! Guy-friendly!

  9. I love the quilt your student brought in. What an unusual pattern!

  10. The silk quilt is stunning.

    What is the approximate size of the hexagon LeMoyne Star blocks?


  11. I was slowly scrolling down and when the first quilt picture came up I literally gasped! Something about it just really struck me. I think I need to start adding some solids to my stash...

  12. I would bet good money that the paper-pieced quilt has 2 separate histories: looks like the stars were pieced of silk by one person, later joined with that odd plaid, then tied by another person.

  13. I would bet good money that the paper-pieced quilt has 2 separate histories: looks like the stars were pieced of silk by one person, later joined with that odd plaid, then tied by another person.

  14. I'm willing to bet money that the paper-pieced quilt has two separate histories: the stars were made by one person, then later joined with that funny plaid and tied by another person. A good look inside could prove it.


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you?

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)

Each ad you click X to close is a thank you in return.