Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Out from the Attic!


Many moons and many years ago, as a newly married gal, I found this quilt top at a yard sale in Boise, Idaho.

I can’t remember the exact date – but I know I was quilting at the time.  Jason was perhaps two, so that would make it about 1985 or so.

I had saved $20.00 and that little bit of cash was supposed to last me the whole yard sale day!  I was looking for clothes and toys for my toddler, and household goods and sewing items for myself.

In a pile of linens ----there it was.

At the time I thought it was ugly, but great – you know?  I had no real knowledge of how to date fabrics, but I liked it.  In all of it’s hideous-fabric-ness!

Isn’t it funny how our tastes change over the years?


On my deck rail this morning ---

I would swear I only liked the DARK colors in this quilt top….the reds, the blues…but those light weird prints?  Accccckkkkk!

But so much has changed.  I think with the modern fabric movement I’ve looked at these prints with a pair of new eyes.  I still think of “Modern” as a transitional term, as what is NEW has been DONE BEFORE and there really IS no such thing as truly modern----but I’m looking at the mid-century stuff with a bit of whimsy, and I like it!  At one time I even KNEW the name of this block, but it escapes me now in my middle-aged brain fog.


Check out this cool 1950s print!


And these!


Top over the rail of my longarm!

Back in the day ---living in a single wide trailer with my small family and sewing at the small kitchen table, having to clean all my “Stuff” away before meal time each night, I had visions of hand quilting this and putting it on our bed.  The whites feel like sheeting fabric, so I used an old sheet and the closest thing I could find to fabrics that match from a gifted scrap bag to make the 4 patch border to enlarge it a bit.

I now know that my 4 patch fabrics were 1970s prints, some 1960s – but not really 1950s as the others are.

Do I care?

Not at this point!  This quilt connects me, as my way younger self – in my 20’s and just exploring quilting-- to the maker who pieced this likely during the 1950’s, maybe into the 1960s as we can easily have fabric in our stashes more than a decade old.  And now myself in my 50s will complete this quilt and FINALLY get it on my bed.

That’s my goal today after getting everything ready for this big trip to Alaska and New York ((Yes in one trip!)) together ---I need to find something as a backing for this one.

I head out to Ketchikan in the morning!

What’s on YOUR to-do list today?

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  1. What a treasure! When I was first looking at it I thought "the border makes the quilt"... and of course that turned out to be your brilliant addition.
    Merciful Journey, Sharyn in Kalama

  2. I love this quilt, Bonnie. What are you going to name it?

  3. I love that quilt top! Today, I'm putting together the Pineapple Blossom blocks that our quilt guild members made last night. I taught the class and they were skeptical when I told them it was an easy block. By the end of class, they were loving it. We'll be donating the finished quilt. Thanks for sharing your wonderful designs with us!

    Myrna in KY

  4. Could that pattern be "Lover's Knot"? Seems like that was what my neighbor called it when we first moved to AR and she was making these for each of her children, using up the scraps. Giving them the quilts as they got married.

  5. I love this Bonnie - the four patch border is an inspired icing on a very nice cake - it will be really lovely to get it quilted up and in use

  6. I would love to know what pattern this is. Yes, the border just makes the lovely piece perfect. Have a wonderful trip--sounds fun and exhausting.

  7. What a magnificent find!! SCORE!!

  8. Use a white sheet! Thats what many quilters did back then. This is lovely and I remember many of those fabrics.

  9. Yes, one of the names is "Lovers Knot". Also seen it called "True Lovers Knot". I have 2. I was given one as a wedding gift in '65 from my maternal great-grandmother. It is typical cotton scraps from the 50's. Then in the 70's my maternal grandmother gifted me with one made from yes.....get ready for it.....polyester double knit !! They have both been just put away. One day I decided to try to find out what pattern they were and when I laid them out to my complete surprise they were the SAME pattern only the earlier one was set with sashing between the blocks. So, I bought a Ardco template set of the block and now plan to make one with "modern" fabrics (maybe on point) and put the story on the back of the quilt trilogy. Sorry for the long post but just as Bonnie said-there is nothing new under God's sun and what is old is new again.

  10. It is amazing how everything that goes around comes around. What is old suddenly becomes fresh and new again and sparks our interests. Your quilt is stunning in all its 1950's beauty. I love the border you added.

    My to do list is to start quilting the mountain majesty top I made from your site. I got it loaded on the longarm yesterday. It is in orange and blue. There is a photo of the top on my blog.

  11. That is gorgeous! I hated a lot of those mid-century 'mod' prints when digging through the family scrap stash as a kid. Now, though, I find a lot of them funky and charming. That grey and yellow umbrella print you showed? I'd buy half a bolt of that if it was reprinted. Adorable!

    Yep. That lovely quilt is begging to be finished and used. I look forward to more photos when it's done, if you have time. What a great find all those years ago - you're a lady who knows a good investment when she sees it! :)

  12. What a great find--and a great story!

  13. According to the "Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns" compiled by Barbara Brackman, the block is called Rose Dream (KC Star 1930) or Endless Chain, or True Lover's Knot, or Broken Square, or Martha, or Lover's Knot (as has been previously suggested in the comments), or Lover's Bowtie. Lots of names for a beautiful block. Janet in WA

  14. Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational. My machine is lonely as I am packing to move from Fairfax to Winchester, VA. Like all change, this move is bitter sweet. Putting more distance between me, my guild, my friends and church family.

    On the plus side I will have a huge, yet to be finished quilt studio, new friends and new adventures.

    May you have a safe trip and lots of fun.

  15. Anonymous10:57 AM EDT

    True Lovers Knot. I have a similar694 top that I got on e-bay. It has similarly weird fabrics, need to get it quilted.

  16. Today I'm at work to pay for the three quilt classes I just signed up for. I just got a confirmation for the classes in Lafayette. So I have a lot to look forward to!

  17. What an awesme find! I love the 4patch border you added!

    today I am frogging a row of quilting I did yesterday that just isnt working out and then I'll start over again with just a simple meander instead.

  18. On my to do list today is to mow some of the back pasture until the rain gets here & then I get to sew! I'm working on a donation quilt for a widow at church & then on my hideously beautiful apple core quilt. Have a great trip!

  19. Working on a quilt for a fundraiser for the Children's Place , also driving to Anchorage for a medical appointment, and dropping my sick sewing machines off at the machine doctor. Get tired just reading that! Wish I could join you in Ketchikan!

  20. As much as I would like to be sewing, I am celebrating my 60th birthday on Sunday (Yeah me!). So I am getting my house ready for family and friends to come over to celebrate on Sunday. Maybe if I can get everything done today I can squeeze in some sewing time this evening. Have a great trip in Alaska. Quilt Cam was great last night. I got to practice my lip reading. LOL!

  21. I think you made a great trade for your $20. Have fun listening to the whirr of your machine quilting this treasure today. I'm off to do a Binding and Block Lotto block for my Guild Mtg tonight. Where did I put that CW fabric now?

  22. Isn't it great to be heading toward a FINISH on any quilt?! That's where I am today. I am ready to put the binding on a "Scrap Scramble" mystery quilt (Carol Doak) so that I can do the hand stitching tomorrow during the neighborhood sewing group. I wanted to get that finished before Bonnie starts posting colors for the new mystery!

  23. "Rose Dream" was the name given to that pattern when I first saw it in some book back in the early 70s. I had never made a quilt and didn't know anyone who quilted, but I started handpiecing that one--no first-timer four-patch for me! With a teenager's confidence and a bag full of scrap fabric, I pieced about 2/3 of the top in the next couple years. Sadly, I confess that I've never completed it. But when I saw your quilt top on Quiltcam last night, I about flipped out! "That's my pattern!" Maybe this was a sign that I need to dig that ancient project out and finish it finally.

  24. My husbands grandmother made that quilt in purple and white. My sister-in-law ended up with it somehow - wish it had made it's way to my house instead!

  25. I see several suggestions of lovers knot. That is what I have always heard it called. It is very pretty and I love the border. By the way I am the technologically challenged texter from area code 479 last night. Sorry. That was the only way I could get a picture attached. I am trying to learn and do better. I enjoy quilt cam and all of the other people who share their projects so much, so I wanted to return the favor. Ellen in Arkansas

  26. younger self would have disliked this quilt. me loves it. that grey and yellow atomic print is fab. Bon voyage!

  27. Have a great time in Ketchikan, Bonnie! My husband and I did an Alaskan land tour/cruise combo for our honeymoon and had a great time - our big ($$$) excursion was snorkeling in Ketchikan (with a really thick wetsuit :-D).

  28. I really like this pattern so I went hunting. On a website called "Charise Creates" she calls it "Rose Dream" and has created a tutorial and a free downloadable pattern. Enjoy! Bonnie, thanks for posting your beautiful quilt. I swear those fabrics look like they could be in a fabric store today.

  29. Check out the pattern PDF here

  30. Quilts never go out of style! Thanks for sharing and look for a white sheet.


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