Tuesday, September 1, 2015

AQ06: Blue and White Shirtings

Two-tone scrappy top using blue and white shirting fabrics
Both hand- and machine-stitched with mitered corners and Y-seams
Minimal damage - a few minor brown spots
76" x 82"



I have a weakness for the sixth top in the mystery bundle.  I've seen this one called "X's and O'x" before, but this isn't made from cheater blocks.  The solid blue squares are solid and not pieced.


The quilter who made this top hand-stitched y-seams to form the block sections. Imagine how careful she was when cutting these fabrics - all the lines even.


Here's a close-up of the back. Do you see them?  The Y seams?  I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around how you'd put this together.

Quilt back
And look at the scrappyness!  The eye tricks you until you look closer and see the different fabrics.


Need it a little longer?  Just add a row!  Not enough of a shirting?  Piece it together.  Nobody will notice that the lines in the fabrics don't match up.  Make do!


And here you can see the mitered borders.  Just lovely.


Oh, yes.  This one is a keeper.  Can you imagine it quilt with a thin, cotton batting and draped over your lap while reading a book?  

Friday, August 28, 2015

AQ05: Green Four Patch Variation

Scrappy sashed 4-patch using 30's fabrics and solid green sashing
All blocks, sashing, and borders handstitched
Corners are mitered
74" x 87"


Next up in the mystery bundle is this 30's beauty. All hand pieced, including the sashings and borders.


The dark green is a little thick and a little jarring against the plaid fabrics, but, in a way, it seems just right.


Although a little wavy, it's in mint condition.  Might be nice with a puffier batting to hide some of the bunching.


You do have to appreciate perfectly mitered corners - and done by hand!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

AQ04: Appliqued 8-Pointed Stars

Scrappy 8-point stars appliqued to cream background squares
Applique by hand - squares joined by machine
77" x 91"


The latest antique quilt top is a beautiful, scrappy affair with hand-appliqued 8-pointed stars on a solid background. I love the mixing of the polka dots with strips and checks. 


So many thoughts running through my head! Look how crisp those points are! The seams must be tiny as there is no bulk at the points.  Each star lays perfectly flat.  Were these pieces cut using cardboard patterns or did a modern-day acrylic ruler ensure the precision? I really need to get more information on the provenance of these tops!


Did the original quilter intend this to be a picnic quilt or grace a spare bed?  The playful colors invite a nap in the grass, but the top has a lovely weight to it - the type you snuggle under on a crisp, Winter night.


As I pass the pile, I can't help but run my hand over these soft fabrics and smile.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AQ03: Six-Pointed Stars

Six-pointed pieced scrappy stars with pale pink solid alternating blocks
Brown polished fabric is deteriorating
All handstitched
71" x 85"

This is the third of the collection of 10 antique quilts passed into my care.  Lovely matched points and the fabric has such fantastic patterns!


Late 1800's?  The tag says so, but the detail doesn't appear expert. It is all hand-stitched - even the long seams.


The fabrics seem right and the brown has deteriorated (the old brown and red dies were very acidic and notorious for deteriorating the fabric), but so many of the reproduction fabrics now a days are very believable.

You can see a glimpse of the blue tarp peering through
the hole.  All the stars with this fabric has deteriorated.
 Although pink is not my favorite color, I love how beautifully it pairs with the scrappy fabrics.


I haven't quilted much this year; it lost some of its appeal after making them as a commitment for other people and not for fun.  But the stripes and plaids and paisleys really make me itch to get back to my machine.

Monday, August 17, 2015

AQ02: Blue with Pieced Sashing Quilt

Blue Solid Squares with Pieced Sashings
Hand and Machine Stitched
No noticeable tears or stains
72"x90"


Here is the next installment of the mystery quilt bundle. Again, I hesitated posting these as I feel I should know the name of the quilt pattern.

The "Patch Quilt" tag in the corner listed it for $45.00

Can't you just imagine some beautiful design hand quilted in these squares?

The pieced sashing is all hand pieced, but they are
sewn to the solid squares with a sewing machine.

I LOVE scrap quilts.  Can't you imagine this on the bed or the back of a couch?
I don't feel my candid snapshots do the tops justice, but they get progressively more beautiful as we unwrapped the bundle.  I'd love to see this one completed and given to Steve.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

AQ01: Antique Blue Stars

The big reveal of the Mystery Quilt bundle!

I should've checked the weather before making that last post - who knew it was going to rain for 5 days? But finally, yesterday, the clouds parted and we laid out the quilts (in 97 deg direct sunlight - ouch!).  The photos aren't the best because we were working in oppressive heat, and I didn't want to tug and pull at the fragile tops anymore than necessary.

So, on with the quilt show!

__________________________________________________________

Blue and off-white quilt
hand-pieced and machine-stitched
Has brown spots on one end
68"x80"

This is the first of the ten quilts in the bundle. The blue stars were hand-pieced, but the larger blocks were machine-stitched together.

Washed out a little in the bright light

Close-up of the front

No longer for sale

Back of the block
I like how the background of the pieced stars is whiter than the alternating blocks.  Intentional or not, it really makes the stars pop out!

Another close-up of the stars.
I'm sure this quilt has a better name than "blue stars", but I can't reach my copy of Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  Any idea?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Mystery Quilt Package!


Do you like surprises? I love them! Especially when you discover it's a bundle of antique quilt tops! And one has a tag dating back to 1898!

I received a message from a friend this week that her parents were moving and had a bundle of tops. Her mother had acquired them from her boss's wife who used to collect them!

Steve and I picked them up tonight, but it's too late to unwrap them. So, to share in my anticipation, I will share them with you as we lay them out. Cross your fingers for fair weather this week!