Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Pastel Pastimes!

Yesterday I had a “catch up” lunch with my friend Jen ---and an invite to see her new house for the first time!

She had recently relocated within the same town…so still about 10 miles away from me or a bit more, but our schedules are so opposite that I just never get over there often enough to see her. 

She is also extremely busy with raising 4 kids and her real estate business – I thought *I* was crazy busy…through 4 kids into the mix, and THAT’s how busy Jen is!

She had set aside a couple of goodies for me to see , because she knows me that well --- these are quilts that came through her mom’s mother’s side of the family, though the family histories have been lost over time and no one is left who knows the full details on who made the quilts ---

The only clues we have are in the fabrics, but let’s take a look!

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Giant split diamond stars in yummy pastels!

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Fabrics look like they date to the 1930’s and 40s..but look at that quilting texture!

Who ever made this quilt was a highly skilled needlewoman.  The quilting stitches are precise, striaght and true.  I loved the feel of this well worn quilt – it’s been washed and used and washed and used and washed and used….my favorite part?

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Hexies appliqued over the inner border at random unmeasured intervals!

All 4 corners end up different with the hexie placement….just SO fun!  I’m thinking….baste  a bunch of hexies English Paper Piecing style…and applique them right on there! 

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And of course, a scalloped border with delightful cable quilting finishes off the edge.

The next quilt was no disappointment either!

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Who can resist a 1930s era Ocean Waves in these yummy sherbet colors??

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Hanging diamonds quilted through both borders….

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Peach triangles join where the pieced areas come together to make pinwheels that dance amid the scraps!

No, the piecing isn’t perfect…but this is a FABULOUS quilt with so much life to it!  I want to know what article of clothing that giant splashy red polka dot came from!  It’s a real scrap bagger, and is finely quilted as well.

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Was this a kit quilt?  Anyone know?

This reminds me of the kind of kit quilts that I inherited from my Grandmother – made somewhere between 1930 something and 1940 something.  I looked for the tell tale blue dots, but didn’t find any.  This quilt has been used and loved and washed a lot, but those morning glories are so beautifully embroidered down in a very tight satin stitch blanket stitch..they look as good now as the day they were appliqued:

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Beautiful embroidery stems, leaves & tendrils as well as the detail in the center of the flowers.

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Super Sweet!  Can’t you picture this on a vintage bed??

The next one is the one that was used the most…has the most memories made..and it’s showing its wear and tear through lots of loving:

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Jen, telling me the story of the butterfly quilt!

These butterflies are not as finely appliqued…but the fabric is  1950s & 1960s…so was this a case of the needle woman losing her needle skills to her later years of bad eye sight and shaky hands? 

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These butterflies are made maybe 20 years later than the large stars, or the ocean wave, or the appliqued morning glory.  The fabrics in it are so tell tale 50s and early 60s that they make me smile.  Look at these sweet butterflies:

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Gingham always makes me happy!

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I think I remember kitchen curtains in that fabric! LOL!

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Aprons and skirts and dresses ---is that where this scrap came from?

Funny to think that the similar “Modern” fabrics of today are just a re-do or up-do of fabrics that were thought to be so “Modern” 60 years ago :cD

This really IS a case of wishing the quilts could TALK to us.  I’m so glad I got a chance to see these up close and personal and hold them in my hands and examine each stitch, each fabric, each quirk and wonder!

And with that..I’m out the door to the airport!  Greensboro to Atlanta to New York to……IRELAND!

I’ll be in touch as often as I can by Wifi.  I didn’t have time to write 2 weeks worth of posts ahead of time…so if this blog goes vacant for a while, just know we will catch up LATER!

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  1. Have fun Bonnie, what a fabulous time you're going to have. I hope you enjoy every minute of your trip. We will love seeing Ireland through your eyes.

  2. Anonymous7:39 AM EDT

    Family treasure quilt are always so wonderful! These are beautiful, and look at all of the hand quilting!

    The loss of the makers identities surely does make a case for labeling our own quilts. Even if you have older family quilts and know who made them and when ... put labels on them also.

    How can you be able to run around town lol, when you are leaving for Ireland? WOOW, I would be still looking at packing. Have a grand ole time.


  3. Please thank Jen for sharing those wonderful vintage quilts with us today. I enjoyed the photos! Safe travels to Ireland, Bonnie. Wish I was going along, but will be with you in spirit via the blog.

  4. thanks for sharing those gorgeous quilts with us! I really enjoyed each one... and love the scalloped edged one the most with the matching cable border... bet that went on before the scallop was cut! Safe travels to Ireland! Praying for you and your family on this adventure! Kathi

  5. i am soo loving that first quilt, the Split Le Moyne Star. i can see this in a patriotic version as well, using a jelly roll for the star points and hexies, and yardage for the background.

  6. My granddaughter's theme is butterflies. While I haven't learned to applique yet, I love those butterflies. Would you know where I might find a pattern similar, especially the size? It would I mean will take me years to finish, but think I would like to try to make one.

    1. You could try the book Butterflies from Nancy Donahue, c. 1982.

      Carole Y

  7. Have a great time in Ireland Bonnie. I will be just across the sea in England. We loved it there when we visited and would love to go back some day. Bev

  8. Such beautiful quilts, I love knowing how much some loved the fabric and soothing process of quilting. Thanks for sharing them. Have oodles of fun!

  9. Have a safe trip, Bonnie! Enjoy yourself...I'm sure you and fellow travelers will have a SUPER time! Enjoy!!!

  10. Oh how I wish I had family that had quilted and left some for me to inherit! Those quilts are gorgeous. Have a safe trip and a wonderful time in Ireland.

  11. What well-worn beautiful treasures! Thanks to your friend for sharing them with you (and us!). Have fun in Ireland!

  12. Beautiful quilts. Safe travelling to Ireland. Looking forward to your class on Friday!

  13. What beautiful quilts, thanks for sharing them with us. Your friend is very lucky to have all of those beauties.
    Safe travels and have a wonderful time in Ireland!!

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  15. These are such beautiful quilts!! Now that school is almost over and I can breathe, I have 4 or 5 quilts that I want to photograph and send you pictures. Have fun in Ireland!! (Color me jealous!!)

    Big Hugs,

  16. What beautiful quilts!! I would make all of mine in pastels, as I love the soft patina.

  17. Loved seeing these well used and loved quilts! Absolutely beautiful!

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  19. By any chance do you have a new advertiser?? Today's "pastel" page is difficult to load and keeps closing my iPod session.

  20. That butterfly quilt looks like a young girl made it learning to quilt and embroidery and quilting isn't near as good as the others. They are terrific.
    Bonnie have a good trip and I hope you can keep up with some pictures ,

  21. I love the morning glories. Morning Glories were the subject of my very first Appliqué Quilt. Beautiful!


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  36. Wow! These butterflies are looking awesome on these bed sheets I am really happy. Can you tell us how we can by these bed sheets?

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  37. Oh my gosh! So lovely! All the quilts I remember in our family were lost when our father remarried - my sister and I didn't think to save them, but my step-mother had no use for "things". I'm currently making a grandmother's flower garden (by hand) because it was my favorite quilt as a child. What treasures these are!

  38. OH MY G___ I am so sad that I can't have them! LOL she is a lucky woman!
    Ihave a oceans quilt started about 20 yrs have pasted and I'm still not finished w it. I think I'm not so committed to the colors any more. Maybe it will be come a scap quilt now.


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