Monday, March 04, 2013

1930’s Spinning Star

I’m writing this a bit a head – yesterday was a travel day and I wasn’t sure there would be anything interesting enough to fill a Monday morning post --- so this will fill the void with some really great eye candy also from my last trip through Georgia!

This was the most funky “sorta-dresden-plate-ish” quilt I have ever seen! 

This was also found in Braselton, GA – just heading back up from Atlanta on I-85.

I loved the colors.  30’s quilts are SO distinctive aren’t they?

“THAT” Green.
“THAT” Bubble Gun Pink.

And the splashy polka dots and prints of the era just evoke such a feeling!

Here is the whole quilt, what I could get of it:

GA_Feb2013 016

What caught my eye was that each star is spinning differently than the next!

What at first appeared to be a completely  pieced design turned out to be:

GA_Feb2013 019

Top Stitched Machine Applique!

Which really gave the quilter the freedom to turn and place her blocks in any rotation that she wanted, and that adds SO much motion to the quilt!  Don’t you wish you knew the story of this one?

GA_Feb2013 018

Fun from the scrap-bag!

GA_Feb2013 020

And – do you SEE THIS!??

I’ve shown several quilts over the past months where sashing is not completed, and borders are only on the top and bottom of the quilt ---Utility quilts, Southern Style!  ((And if you look really close, you will see a tiny bit of yellow added at the far left pink border --- did she run out of “that” pink?))

And just so you don’t think that I bring home every machine that crosses my path --- this is one I had the hardest time leaving there, but leave it I did:

GA_Feb2013 015

Wilcox & Gibbs chain stitcher!

I was in instant love with this machine, but it was not meant to be.  I am SERIOUSLY out of room.  But – this is the original cabinet.  How do you like the foot-shaped foot pedal?! LOVE LOVE LOVE!  And I bet someone else has snatched it up by now, and whoever picked it up ---I hope they actually SEW on it!

Chain stitchers do just that – they sew with a chain stitch, much like the stitching on old flour or feed sacks – or – the kind of stitching you see running across the top of a bag of dog food.  The drawback of chain stitching is that one tug of the thread will unravel the whole thread.  The upside of chain stitch is that one tug of the thread will unravel the whole thread! 

Chain stitch machines were often used for pre-fitting a garment so changes could be made in the alteration process.  Another benefit is that  bobbins never run out, because there IS no bobbin!

Lovely little piece of history!

Today is a Roll Roll, Cotton Boll workshop with the Baytown Quilt Guild and I know we are going to have an awesome time!


  1. Oh I know Even I who have NO room for the featherweights I do have, would have had a hard time leaving that one! Where did you say you saw her????
    do you think that wacky dresden plate star could be reproduced???? Did it come home w you???
    BTW my FW are on my blog, and some are for sale.

  2. Now Bonnie, you know you'll need a treadle for that getaway cabin!

  3. Delightful quilt!

    I think I've heard of canvas leaders with zippers being chain stitched onto quilts for loading onto quilt frames. That'd be an excuse for having that beauty around.

    Have a great day, Bonnie ! I think RRCB is going on my to do list!

  4. Hi, Bonnie! I have the twin of that machine, and it does work. I bought it locally as a Christmas present from my husband several years ago. I just finished piecing a quilt on a chain stitcher, and it went very well. After all, ladies made clothes on these for over 100 years. If your clothes didn't fall apart, why would your quilts? You can check it out on my blog, Treadlestitches.blogspot.com (hope that's okay to put in the comments).
    Love the quilt, and the top stitching!

  5. I hate to point out a mistake...but did you happen to notice that some of those blocks have 15 blades and some have 16. Thinks like that tend to jump out at me...but regardless of the "mistake" or maybe they did it on purpose it is a real beauty.(I think things like this make it so much more interesting...just wondering what was their thought process while making it) I love the 30's too. I would have left the 'chain stitcher' too, but ohhhh that wonderful 'foot pedal'...luv luv luv that!!! Hope you enjoy your time in our great state of TEXAS!!!

  6. Great finds Bonnie!
    I too would have had a hard time leaving behind that machine.

  7. We went to Braselton yesterday and that machine was STILL there! But alas, it couldn't come home with me, they wanted way more that what I could afford. But I kept going back to it to admire it! :)

  8. Love that machine! A quilt shop in my area, Mes Amie, has one just like it. I keep asking her if we can switch foot pedels! Looks like a butterfly to me and I "heart" buttterflies!!! Have a wonderful time in TX!

  9. Is there a pattern for that spinning star? Just love it.

  10. Is there a pattern for that spinning star? Just love it.

  11. Wow that quilt! What a great pattern. I love imagining what that quilter must have been like. Great find. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I watched a bit of Fiddler On the Roof last night, and caught the part where the SIL the tailor got his new sewing machine. It looked a bit like the one above. He was so excited not to have to sew by hand!!

  13. I can't believe you walked away from a Willcox and Gibbs in the original table/case!!! I want one in the cabinet sooooooooo much. I have an electric one I used to attach backing to my zipper leaders when I was using them. It was sew easy to pull the thread and release the backing. I'm planning on a bit of redwork embroidery on it using the chain side as the "right" side even though it forms on the underneath side of a seam.

  14. Good call on leaving the Chain stitch machine. It is a nice cabinet though, I agree. Nothing like that in my neck of the woods. While driving through a nearby town on Saturday I spied some Antique shops though that I need to go and explore on my next FREE day. That isn't today, I have quilts to stitch!

  15. So, how much was that machine? Just curious in case I ever run across one.

  16. What a fabulous quilt! I love the spinning effect.

  17. I just adore this quilt! You will have to make one, one day. I noticed the machine top stitching and the hand quilting right away. So neat. Gosh, just caught up on your travels yesterday... So glad it all worked out. Bless your heart. I bet that good Tex Mex tasted delicious!~ I never understood the uniqueness of it until I had it the first time. SO delicious.

  18. I took out my Roll roll this morning and added it to the "finish this year" list! Right now I am still putting the binding on Orca Bay...

  19. Bonnie just curious . . . What was the price on that machine? Patti

  20. The 30's quilt is so pretty. The funky blocks remind me of exotic tropical flowers.
    What a cute little sewing machine. I could use that one for attaching leaders.

  21. If I remember correctly they wanted $285 for it and it was made in the late 1800's.

  22. Anonymous11:38 AM EST

    Was this at Countryside Antiques?

  23. I have that W & G treadle machine and use it just for decorating. I think the spool pin is broken off. My husband surprised with me it many years ago and I never noticed that the pedal is foot shaped. I need to take a closer look at it. He bought it when the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village removed it from their collection. I also have a Singer treadle that I inherited from my grandmother who used it regularly so I know that one works. One of these days I may find time to try sewing with it.


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

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? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)