On one of our show & Share days, a whole bin of inherited antique tops was brought in for everyone’s viewing pleasure and opinions on what should be done with them.
Oh, we ALL have opinions!
And we also had a great time looking at them and studying the fabrics and wondering about the maker, and KNOWING the hours and hours and hours what went into the making of these humble tops that never became quilts.
I fell in love with this hexgon top…it looks like she started out with a plan for blues and reds in the center and then perhaps fabric ran out because the design just kind of disappears into scrappy everything.
And when fabric ran out..she went on with anything that will do the job!
This one too!
And I love quilts where the stripes go every which way. Fun!
But as the finishing goes…are you of the thought that something vintage like this MUST be hand quilted? What are your thoughts?
There were thousands and thousands of hexagon quilts made during the same period that this one was. It has fabrics from the 1930s through 1940s. It was a scrap bag project with bits of fabric left from years of sewing family clothing and other household items.
It will never be a museum piece. It will never hang in an international quilt show.
It is a humble reminder that families needed warm bedding, and the quilters desired to make something that was a necessity as beautiful as they could with what little they had.
But does it require hand quilting?
I don’t think so. I think these fabrics are going to hold up better with a lovely sturdy machine quilted pattern that adds great texture as a whole, but also adds strength to help these fabrics survive several more decades.
Hands All Around!
Block close up. 1950s!
This is one of those lovely curved patterns where if seam allowances are not exactly right you are going to get bunching, puffing, and blocks that don’t lay square. It’s a lovely vibrant top showing great fabrics from the 1950s and into the 1960s.
But does it need hand quilting? The blocks were hand pieced, but the blocks and the sashings are machine sewn.
No, I think a pretty machine quilting job will make this quilt into something that will last generations and secure all of those seams.
Let’s face it..who is going to handle all of our unquilted tops when it is our time to cross the rainbow bridge? Will they be sold at yard sales? Put on ebay? Tossed out because no one wants to deal with them? My boys WILL know what to do with completed quilts, but tops that languish for generations – what eventually will happen to those? I’d rather see this quilted by machine than left as a top.
Loved the 1940s fabrics in this fun jewel star! It’s just a piece….long and narrow. What would you do with this?
Turn it into a runner? Maybe pillows?
Aren’t these fabrics great? Look at those stripes!
Lovely traditional double wedding ring!
This one had a thin almost cheese cloth like muslin background fabric. It’s a bit stained, a bit puckery. There may be holes from years of long storage. Does a quilt like this HAVE to be hand quilted?
I think not! A lot of these quilt tops have very minimal seam allowance, many have been washed and seam allowances are unraveling and thready on the back side.
Let’s face it – if hand quilting is required, how many are going to just remain as tops because the thought of hand quilting them is severely daunting!?
Machine quilting can sturdy up those seams. It can ease in fullness ((up to a point!)) it can make this top a finished quilt that family members can cherish for generations, rather than an old top that lives in a rubbermaid tub in the garage, attic or basement.
Rose Dream Quilt!
This one could definitely benefit from some machine quilting!
It almost looks modern, doesn’t it?
This would be a no brainer machine quilting job for me! Get it quilted, get it bound, snuggle up and use often!
Thin fabrics..see the light from the door behid?
This one has some better applique. Definitely a 1930s…boy did they love their tulips and butterflies! The yellow and background are very cheese-cloth like….it would be an easy one to hand quilt, but is it a necessity for this one? It would be nice..but how much time do we really have to get all the quilts done that we want to do – if they all must be hand quilted?
I loved seeing these tops, and I would love seeing them as completed quilts however they are finished.
I love hand quilting. I currently have two large hand quilting projects going – one at the house, one at the cabin. I love curling up with my hand quilting hoop in my lap. But I also believe that if the maker of these tops could see how we are machine quilting now, they’d say “Now why didn’t I think of that?” “Oh, I wish I had a machine like that!”
And most of all…
“I could have made SO MANY MORE QUILTS!”
Today Irene and I are on an agenda to get some cruise shopping done. I need a pair of black dress pumps that don’t kill my feet. It will be fun to get out today after a day of totally staying in and sewing and going nowhere yesterday.
There will be more sewing in between.
And there will be laundry.
And whatever else comes our way!
Have a great Wednesday, everyone!