Friday, May 17, 2013

Cheddar Stars in Utica!

The girls had done a great job of pulling the kinds of quilts I would love to see at the museum in Utica, IL!

they have over 60 quilts in the archives, dating from the 1830s to current, and I wished there had been time to view them all….

As it was, I was happy to see ANY of them!

Quilts are folded gently with acid free paper stuffed into the folds to prevent creases, and stored in archival boxes.

I’m ashamed to say that my own quilts are not treated as well, being hefted around in duffel bags and folded in closets in my house.  I do refold them in different directions, but one thing I hadn’t considered doing with my own quilts was occasionally folding them on the bias…..so the folds do not go with the directions of the weave of the fabric.  I’m going to give this a try to see if it helps with creases!

OttawaIL2013 038

Jean and Shelly opening this beauty up!

OttawaIL2013 035

We really needed TWO tables side by side to lay these out flat completely, but to be able to get this CLOSE to these quilts was a thrill!

OttawaIL2013 036

The quilting is fairly dense and crosses all of the seam lines, which adds strength to the quilt.  Quilts that are only echo-quilted within each patch leave the seams vulnerable…and remember there is only one thread holding hand-pieced patches together.  The piecing was precise and points matched very well.  This is the work of a skilled quilter who didn’t have access to rotary cutters and rulers the way we do.  No”strip set” method was used to make these stars.  This is one diamond at a time piecing, bias and all!

OttawaIL2013 040

While things looked VERY planned, with solid green, gold, brown, green, cheddar, print, and either brown, green, or gold as you get to the center star….there was ONE place where she must have run out of solid green on ONE STAR CENTER only!  See?

OttawaIL2013 040

The upper right green center diamond is a PRINT where all the others in the whole quilt were a solid.

I love things like this….little quirks that bring us closer and encourage us to consider the maker of the quilt, wondering why she made the choices she made.  I think about her life in the 1850s and wonder what it was like for her….things that were going on around her.

The quilt is from La Salle county, Illinois.  I wonder what this woman thought of the candidate named Abraham Lincoln  --- though she could not vote herself as a woman, I am sure she had her opinions!

There are several more quilts I took photos of and I will be showing and sharing those over the next several days. 

Right now, I’m gathering all my stuff and getting ready to head out the door for today’s My Blue Heaven workshop!


  1. Lovely quilts! Thank you for sharing them with us . Have a great day in you class and lecture. Wish I could be there.

  2. Pretty quilt! Thanks for sharing!

  3. WOW--love the colors. waiting to see more ;-) --thanks for sharing

  4. Anonymous9:42 AM EDT

    If quilts could tell us what it was they saw along these many years! Beautiful quilt, Bonnie.

  5. I'm sure you'll find that folding quilts on the bias will really help! I learned that trick from a quilter who packed her quilts in that way before putting them on show at exhibitions and it certainly seems to mean less creases for me!

  6. I'm glad you mentioned folding quilts on the bias! As an AQS Certified Appraiser, we reccommend this method because chances are you will choose a different bias fold line each time you refold. Less stress on the threads too. Pauline (Cherry Boom) in North East, PA

  7. Heeeyyy....you need to show us how to fold a quilt on the bias! That's another blog post you NEED to do! :)


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. :)