I’m changing the name of my “Nearly Insane” to “COMPLETELY Insane!” Or Certifiable. Or some such thing.
Not much is known about Salinda Rupp, the original maker of this quilt, just that she was from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and her quilt was made about 1870 ---yes, and what drew me in was the wild use of Pennsylvania Dutch type colors – I love them! I am “SO” over BROWN ---give me COLOR!
Okay, sometimes I like brown….but I gotta be in a mood for it.
I finished the top last night, but had to wait until this morning when it was daylight to get a decent shot…the floor of my studio just never does it justice. I like the railing on my upper back deck.
It also poured and thundered last night – so this morning it is so very very incredibly green and lush out there. Mornings after a huge drenching rain? I love those too!
9 years from start to now!
For many years this quilt became a “retreat” project – I had my paper foundations in a binder, with each row in a page protector. I numbered, I crossed off, I assembled into rows as I went ---I had fabrics sorted by color in baggies, and it lived in a tote. When I’d go, it would come with me, and then it would sit---maybe for a year or more ---until the next time I got a hankering to pull it out and work on it some more.
Each little block in this quilt is a project in itself ---I took pics of some of my favorites:
I don’t remember the piece count. I just know that the pieces are tiny, there are a lot of them in this 6” block, and with all those seams this thing is about as thick as a potholder. OH, and that red polka dot? 1980s. :cD
I loved the medallion look of this one too….
And this one with the geese and the little pinwheels in the corners….And yes, I know that is a 1930s repro yellow in the center, but it had the look I wanted. Cross genre? Absolutely! Blocks like this just made me smile as they came together.And yeah, some geese parts may be chopped off. I don’t care.
I’ve chosen my border fabrics….pink and green.
This is a photo of Salinda’s quilt. Look at the border and tell me how YOU think it was made?
And please take in the fact that the left upper and lower corners just end where they end! I am wrestling with myself on whether I want to do that or not. This border was made with two rows of quarter square triangles that are offset to give the zig zag look. They end where they end. Her corners are mitered.
The “perfected” quilt in the nearly insane book has the border being made with rectangles with sew and flip corner triangles. Mucho fabric waste-o. Do I want to do that? I don’t know.
I could do the whole thing with two rows of half square triangles, giving me more seams, but less waste ((But more seam allowance)). Do I want to do that? I don’t know.
I changed the width of my sashing because what the nearly insane book said just didn’t look right to me. They were trying to adjust the quilt center to fit their pieced border. And a 1 3/4” finished sashing just didn’t divide well into a 6” block..so their quilting looked a bit strange to me, leaving quilted rectangles in the sashing instead of squares. I went with 2” finished sashings and cornerstones.
So now I have a quilt that is slightly larger, which is okay --- but I have to adjust my border to get it to fit, and that is why I am leaning towards “it ends where it ends” and let it do just what Salinda’s did above.
If a quilt is a reproduction, shouldn't it reproduce it all the way? I don't want to "perfect" out the charm and interest of an already wonderful historical quilt. To me the life is in the wonkiness and her personality shows in how she worked out the problems.
I also think Salinda’s blocks were smaller than 6”. Her whole quilt including the zig zag border, and the wide outer border measure 88” X 87 1/4”. My top already measures 79”. 3” of zig zag all the way around will make it 85”. And THEN how wide to make that outer border? I measured the blocks in the photo and measured the border in the photo, and the outer border is wider than the blocks.
This quilt may get to be ginormous!
I so admire the work that Salinda did in putting her quilt together with the fabrics and tools that were available to her in the 1870s. I don’t think I could have done it. I would have loved to see her work at her quilting. How did she mark? What did she use for templates? How did she come up with her designs? Where did her fabric come from? How long did this quilt take HER to make?
And I really want to know…would the “inner” quilt police in you let YOU do the border as Salinda did above?