I left town and got busy, leaving one more quilt to share from my visit to New Paltz, NY for when I returned home ---it was just too many blog posts to try to write ahead before leaving.
I wanted to post things “in the now” while in Illinois and Ohio --- and I knew this spectacular quilt would be waiting for me when I got back home and could post about it.
When I arrived in New Paltz, this was the first building I visited ----it was the WRONG building, I needed to find the building where Susan worked, but I needed to ask someone so I could get my bearings on where I was --- and also find a restroom!
It was a bit of a jaunt from my hotel in Connecticut to New Paltz in the rain.
I love this time of the year because there are always school field trips going on ---- and when I entered the building, they had a school field trip doing activities inside the big meeting room. FUN! I found the facilities, and found where I needed to go and headed over to meet Susan.
After our tour, and before I headed out of town she said there was ONE MORE QUILT that I needed to see, and it was in that room where the field trip had been congregating, so we had to wait until they were done ---- they were just finishing up by the time we got back to this building.
The quilt? A magnificent Rose of Sharon!
The quilt was made by Rebecca LeFevre and given as a gift to her son Peter.
The border was the first thing to catch my eye…and then I was drawn to the 12 lovely blocks. I adore asymmetrical applique blocks. In these, the applique fully filled each block, but it’s not a wreath or an even 4 or 8 armed spray, it starts with that one chunky stem in the bottom left corner of each block and just goes! I love the little sprigs on the buds in the upper right hand of each block. And do you see the top row only is “upside down”?
Not only is the applique very fine, but the attention to detail in the hand quilting is so precice, you’d think it was machine unless you get really close to check it out. Luckily this quilt was hung full out on a wall so I COULD get close. I love that the red of the buds resemble “heart tops” SO folksy!
Can you see the miniscule hand quilting stitches? Double rows of most everything ---Triple, if you count the quilting IN the applique shapes, and then the double rows of echoing around them in the background area.
This brings me to a funny that happened to me this past trip. A lady asked during my lecture if I worried that the “muslin” in some of my quilts was not as good as quilt shop quality fabric, and didn’t I worry that they would fall apart over time?
First off – Right off – I thought of these quilts made with every day ordinary muslin that I had documented and shared with you just the few days before leaving for Illinois. And second ---I just love the look of hand quilting on muslin. Why do we think we are any better now, or know better – than what these expert quilters did in their day?
I would love my work to be this fine ---and yes, with a good quality “plain” muslin just as they did. I am so not a fabric snob. My response to her was that we “praise” quilts made with feed sacks from the depression years of the 1930s. Feed sacks were not high quality quilting fabric. Any good quality muslin that is made now is far better than any muslin that was made in the 1800s through the 1930s and beyond…I don’t buy the cheap stuff, but that she should use whatever makes her happy in her quilts, and I would use what makes me happy.
I have to chuckle as I realize the quilt police are still out there, doing their brain-washing on unsuspecting quilters!
Close up of adorable blossom and the cute circular flowers in the background area!
I love the beautiful leafy vine that acts as sashing between the blocks --- there is no sashing, the vine is just quilted over the seams to give a sashing kind of look.
I LOVE the very thick center vine! It has that “Jack in the bean stalk” feel to it! And can you see the double circle quilted at the top right?
Center blossom --- so pretty!
close up of those “commas” at the top of the top bud….and more quilting detail.
More hand quilting detail..I just love those circle flowers, I wonder what she traced?
A section of bottom border ----
I wish I could have seen Rebecca LeFevre working on her quilt --- sitting at her applique, and then watching her hand quilt. Wouldn’t that be something? Show me how they got such fine stitches in the “early” days without ott lights and special needles and all of the other goodies we have now. Did she quilt on a full sized floor frame? Did she quilt it herself or have help? What did she think about when she stitched?
Happy Memorial Day weekend to those of us in the states! I hope you have some special times planned with your loved ones and family members. I hope you make some memories, and maybe get a bit of time to stitch in between. As for me, I’m staying home – nothing big planned, but just being home and enjoying time with family in my own surroundings is just what I need. There will be grilling! And napping! And some stitching --- I’d like to get the binding on Floribunda if at all possible, it hasn’t even been trimmed yet – there has just been too much else going on.
But I am starting this morning off right --- with a massage appointment! LOL! I’m using my Mother’s Day gift card -----just what this girl needs!