Wednesday, July 08, 2015

In Antique Quilt Appreciation!

Some things will NEVER quilt out.

And that’s okay!

Some tops were never meant to be completed into tops, they were just something to occupy the maker’s time before things like internet and television and lives that are always go go go go go.

In the case of this top, pieced with fabrics from the 1950s-1960s –it is well loved and honored just as it is.

A testament to the work of a grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s love of needle, fabric and thread.

Sometimes magazine or newspaper patterns were NOT all that accurate.

Sometimes it has to do with  not marking a seam allowance and eyeballing where to sew.

Lumpy and Bumpy happens…but if these pieces could talk!  If the stitches could sing to us the song of a life time of caring for children, husband, family, grandchildren, what a story they would tell!


Turquoise and bright green against purple with some red thrown in.

I like how she chose her colors!


The whole shebang!

These quilts were brought to our last day’s workshop at the Vermont Quilt Festival, and rather than cramming them in with all of the other show and share photos and class photos, I saved them for today.

They needed to be shared by themselves, and though I don’t know much about the makers themselves, this is their day to shine instead of being tucked away in a closet, drawer, box or cupboard.


A whole lot of love of stitching went into this whole cloth!

And did you see the prairie points??

Check out the reverse side:



Hours and hours and hours of stitching time. This may have been a kit, we are unsure, but she believes it dates from the 1930s or so.


9 patches on point, sashed!

As much as I love to use cornerstones in my sashing to keep things aligned and add an extra design element, I love how these simple 9 patches are just floating there on the surface.  This is a 19th century quilt.


Faintly pink sashing!  So sweet!

And all of the 9 patches have pink centers.


Into every scrap quilt a maverick must fall!

LOVE this bright blue block!  It shouts  “Look at me!  here I am!  Life can not be solely about BROWN!”


Someone fell off the Drunark’s Path!

What a fun setting for a quilt when you don’t want to make MORE blocks!  I’ve never seen a Drunkard’s Path layout like this…but look at all of the blocks and find the “variations”.


What a way to stick it to the Temperance Movement!

What will our quilts tell about US 70, 80, 100 years from now?

I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see!

I spent all of yesterday doing mostly this:

Writing Text.

Mind numbing text.

By the time I looked up from dealing with this one pattern all day, it was after 8pm, I hadn’t had dinner and last night’s blog post went out the window. 

I couldn’t physically write anything anymore.  I had to get AWAY from the keyboard!

So I did this:

Making step-outs for my taping in Colorado!

Do you know what step-outs are?  You know when you have a cooking show, and they can’t show the entire process, they will have the dish in several different stages?  Here is the saute part, and here is the going into the oven part – but because you can’t sit there and wait 45 minutes for it to actually bake, presto-chango, here comes a different “DONE” model out of the oven?

Step-outs are like that.  I need to show the system of making each block with block units partially made so we can see how these go together.

You can tell here I’m making Wild & Goosey, and it is going to take several progressive block parts to show the system of how to make ONE block.

I need to do this for all six of the online workshops –so my evening time is spent stepping out, while my day time is spent writing like a crazy woman.

I’ll be working on step-outs during tomorrow evening’s Quilt-Cam!

So if evening blog posts are few and far between over the next few weeks while I kick this out, just know that I am busy behind the scenes and life will EVENTUALLY get back to normal.

Is it Wednesday already??

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  1. These quilts are amazing (and I wish there were words that hadn't been popularized to the point that amazing just doesn't seem like enough!!)

    Thanks for sharing these FANTASTICAL and MEANINGFUL quilt pieces and tops!

  2. Yes, 'step outs' is a new one to me. In England we have a children's TV programme called Blue Peter where they make craft items. Like your 'step outs' they have the item at different stages and then show the completed one at the end, introducing it with, "This is one I made earlier". Lots of people refer to it as a Blue Peter one.

  3. That 9 patch on point is beautiful. Inspiring to see these quilts from long ago. I also like the slightly tipsy drunkard's path. It looks modern. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do those step outs properly. I'd keep finishing them. Hope I can join in on Quiltcam tomorrow.

  4. I have some quilts tops made by my grandmother. One is an "Apple Core" with lots of puckers. I am terrified to quilt it. Should I leave it as a top? help!

  5. Yes, It is Wednesday. I have to get in my Quilting Zone and find the Binding for another quilt. Used up all the CW in the border so I have to decide what to put on the edge. It's a hard to match Blue. I'm excited to see your taping from Colorado. I'd like to be a Fly on THAT wall. I was going to go to Sisters but the weather changed my mind. It would have been fun to meet Lori D. My Mother made Whole Cloth quilts. They patterns were marked on plastic and traced through the fabric with pencil then hand quilted on a big frame. Love in every stitch.

  6. Anonymous11:11 AM EDT

    My great-grandmother's quilt looks so wonderful in the picture despite all its bumps. I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but the purple fan quilt was made by my mother's maternal grandmother, my great-grandmother. The bubble gum pink and teal whole cloth quilt with the prairie points was made by my paternal grandmother. So I have quilting ancestors on both sides of my family. However, I did not learn to quilt with either family quilter. I struck out on my own in my early 20s taking classes at the LQS in San Antonio, TX. Sharon in VT

  7. Can someone help me im trying to watch quilt cam on the blogbutits not working what plugkin do i need to down load to getitto cwork iknow i can watch in youtube if all else fails thanks

  8. Bonnie, I have question...please!

    Are the paper you are piecing wild and goosies onto blank? Blank as in no printed pattern pieces on it? NEVER ever thought of doing them this way!

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  9. Bonnie...I think one blog post a day should be permanently in your future given your eye problem. Computing is not easy on the most healthy eyes. Even tho we all look forward to them, the world won't end if you cut back. Things change and adjustments have to be made. Be kind to yourself first and foremost.

  10. Thanks for sharing these amazing quilts.

  11. Thanks for sharing these "old girls" with us! I share your love of antique quilts -- I am in the process of having four quilt tops hand quilted with an old-fashioned quilting group of ladies at the church! They were all done by my grandmother, and squirreled away for some sixty years - one down, three to go, and they are going to be beautiful!

    Bonnie your writer's voice is so uplifting! I enjoy reading whatever you write about -- thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and your expertise with those of us who are plodding along in our own quilting journeys! - Marcia


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