More distraction

So you should be looking at the next stage of those red-theme blocks with framing strips duly added and the tentative start of new project involving those gorgeous antique fabric pieces. Instead, I’ve been spending time when I could have been sewing on further rummaging in storage crates for fabrics and projects half-remembered and half-forgotten. A set of quilting patterns taken from a 1850s quilt has surfaced again so I really must take them to be professionally scanned and resized

In the mid-1990s I was gifted a vintage hexagon quilt top and an old pillowcase containing a few fabric scraps. ( I’ll show you the quilt top when the Grand Sorting and Re-packing of The Cupboard takes place). These scraps were mostly glazed chintzes and, having encountered them again this week whilst in pursuit of an errant class sample, I’ve taken them out of hiding and put them near the investment pieces I showed last week.

Wonder how many more “treasures” will see the light of day by next week? Happy stitching!

Catching up #5 – vintage quilt #4

As the title suggests, this is the fourth vintage quilt that has sought me out  been acquired this year.  It’s completely different to the others  in age and style being predominantly classic and typical 1930s fabrics (which, I would have to admit, are not my first love).  Based on an octagon and square construction, the individual star blocks are real charmers – all hand pieced too! – and only measure 5 1/2inches across.  The quilt measures 72inches x 82inches approx.  Obviously made by someone who LOVED piecing.  One or two older and faded shirtings have been included, proving that scrapbags were not always limited to a particular year or even decade.  Regular weight cotton batting and simple quilting, with a delightful single cable pattern in the final narrow border.  Bought from a general antiques dealer, so no information whatsoever,  but some interesting permanent laundry marks in two corners.  A little inner voice is suggesting to me that this may have come to the UK as one of  the WWII Red Cross Quilts relief programme… who knows? It’s possible.  Or it may have travelled across the Atlantic through family connections.  What suggests US origins to me is the hand piecing done without papers – rather more likely to have been done over papers if it had been made in the UK I feel. But of course, you can never be entirely sure – feel free to add your thoughts.  Hope you enjoy it all the same.

Thirties Stars quilt

Thirties Stars

Thirties Stars - detail

Thirties Stars - detail

Thirties Stars - scale

Thirties Stars - block

Thirties Stars - block

Thirties Stars - border quilting

Thirties Star - laundry marking

Catching up #4 – vintage quilt #3

Hope you’re managing to work your way around the numbering system!  Here comes the third “new” vintage quilt that is now residing in The Cupboard.  Vital statistics and information as follows – originally acquired in the US (not by me), measures 80″ x 92 ” (approx), hand pieced, machine quilted, very thin wadding,  all fabrics are in virtually mint condition and colour.  Backing fabric unwashed, “sizing” or “dressing” still visible and evident.  I must admit to a particular fondness for the Sawtooth Star block – I used it for a yet-to-be-finished hand piecing project (just 48 of them sat in the Secret Drawer waiting to find their place in life)

Sawtooth Star blocks

and a charming blue and white quilt top of possibly similar/ later date is already in The Cupboard

blue & white quilt top

so, when this particular beauty was waved under my nose in February, you can understand why I felt obliged to  justified in acquiring it.  And, besides, one of the prints is the original of one of my choices for the Antique Rose Star project that’s still under way (more on that progress in another post).

Sawtooth Star quilt

quilt detail

quilt detail

Sawtooth Star block

Sawtooth Star block

corner block

chrome yellow at the centre

pieced fabric makes the block

fabric detail

So, three quilts down, at least three more to go before the catch up is complete!

The bag is found

A good day!  The wayward bag containing my collected assortment of black and white blocks has been found and I’ve found a fabric that I think works as a frame for the small corded sample.  Starting with the sample here’s what it presently looks like –

and here’s a companion sample, same framing fabric, same design, different technique –

Next step is quilting for both pieces.

Just as I had suspected, the cloth bag containing the black and white blocks was exactly where it has been for the past couple of years – before that it was in a cupboard in sewing HQ which was the part I remembered and the first place I looked.  The memory certainly isn’t what it used to be – probably an age thing!  If you enjoy looking at old/vintage fabrics there may be something to savour in the following pictures.  These are just some of the black and white blocks, there are other vintage blocks (and fabrics) in the bag which I’ll share in another post. 

Some of the blocks have been unpicked from quilt tops, some are machine pieced, the majority hand pieced and the stitching is not always top quality.  But they have survived.  Black and white was not the most popular or commonplace colourscheme for obvious reasons, but it has a sharp classic look even today.  As you will have worked out, when I acquired the first 2 blocks at International Quilt Festival in Houston 20 years ago my original plan was to eventually collect enough blocks to make a small sampler style quilt.  And we all know about the best laid plans etc etc!  It was such fun rummaging through the antique quilt booths each year looking for these blocks that, after 5 years, I realised that I had too many blocks and would have to make choices if the quilt was to be made.  So much easier to just continue looking and acquiring and enjoying!