Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quirky Old Quilt number xx...I've kinda lost count?!

Whenever I buy a vintage quilt I have my own intake form that I record all the info.that I can glen about each quilt.  Purchase date, location, any vendor info, size, the pattern/s, color/s, style of quilting, general condition, if it's dated, etc.  I also put each quilt on my design wall and take lots of pictures to show all the visual aspects of the quilt both back and front.  It's kind of my own archive system.  I have about 50 vintage quilts/ tops now so I'm getting to the point where I really could not keep all that info straight if I did not write it down!
You might have seen this quilt on Lori D's blog a while back.  It's one of the quilts I purchased at the Sister's show this year.  I'm posting it here, now, because since I've had a chance to study it I've noticed a few interesting details that I thought I'd share...

The tag said c 1870  I'd go along with the vendors guesstimation  plus/ minus. There are a lot of brown / pink, red, indigo and shirting fabrics that are consistent with that time frame.  It's pretty worn and somewhat faded but for all that it's pretty intact!

 Every central block (the flower part) is framed in a light strip but then separated by scrappy sashing so it's hard to tell is the blocks were assembled in rows or 4 patch style?!
There certainly is an amazing variety of old calicoes and shirting fabrics in this quilt!
Another interesting thing about the blocks is that they were pieced not appliqued.  You can see that clearly in this block where the seams have come apart and there is no foundation fabric underneath. al There are also seams leading off to the corners which you would not do if it was appliqued!
Here's a look at the edge.  The front and back are simply folded in at the edge and machine sewn together.  Lori called this a 'knife edge'.  I had never heard that term before but it is certainly fits!
 The batting was very thin and the quilting was simple; vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines
The back was plan muslin and has some water marks here and there.  But for all it's wear and tear it's still a grand old quilt!
cheers, CW

Monday, August 11, 2014

More Road Trips more Blue Work!

My husband and I have been doing a lot of car trips this summer and that means making progress on my blue work blocks.  I think I might have enough blocks by the end of the summer to finish the quilt so I'm auditioning settings!
I like this set because of the way it sets off the blocks.  The other option would be to make puss-in-the-corner blocks to go in between.  That would give more of a latise effect like single irish chain. This set is not so traditional but I really like the way it looks.   Here are the blocks I've finish recently.
I really like this one the children look so sweet.  I traced this from a children's coloring book that had a sellection of poems from Robert Louis Stevenson's  "A Children's Garden of Verses" 
These two were traced from a redwork book. 
This one is suppose to be California poppies.  It seemed an appropriate choice since I live in California.  Maybe I should do a California Quail too?  They are really fun looking birds!
I hope all is well in your neighborhoods, have a great week!
Cheers, Claire W.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

More Orphan Blocks!

I seem to becoming the beneficiary of my friends 'cleaned up' sewing rooms a lot these days.  My friend Esther (not a  blogger) cleaned out her sewing room not to long ago and gave me serveral big bags of fabric to take to the Guild Flea Market.  Which of course meant I could go gleaning!
Amoungst all the fabrics were a number of Orphan Blocks.  This particular set were the product of a Row by Row swap that our small quilt group started back in 1998!  The blocks are really nice.  I think the only reason Esther did not finish the quilt was she got bogged down by trying to make the setting really complicated.  With a minimum of seem riping and trimming I was able to simply set the rows straight and out came this nice quilt.  It will make a fabulous donation quilt!

I always feel like I've gotten away with something when I use up some orphan blocks.  It's like I'm already more than half done when I start!!!  The challenge is to find a good setting or background fabric or some connecting units to pull the quilt together!  I like those kind of quilt challenges!  What's your favorite quilt challenge?    Happy Sewing, CW