Two vintage quilt tops–eye-popping color

7 08 2015

Here are two of my vintage quilt tops that I love a lot.  These are perhaps the oldest in my collection.

Beware–if you stare at these too long, your eyeballs might start to wiggle.

I decided to photograph them as tops and not quilts, since I don’t know when I will have a chance to get them quilted, and also because I might sell them and want to remember these two beauties.

artwork by Susan Dague

When looking at the detail photograph, I can see the really wonderful fabrics used in the half-square triangles of the main blocks without the distraction of the yellow and the cheddar overwhelming them.

artwork by Susan Dague

 

The second quilt top is a postage stamp pattern with really fabulous fabrics playing with each other.  Included in these small blocks are many lovely plaids and stripes.

artwork by Susan DagueThe plaids and stripes coordinate so well with each other..

VintPostageStampTop_6-2015-med_2

I’m beginning to understand why I really like the Civil War reproduction fabrics, since they have much the same character as these authentic vintage fabrics.

Enjoy.

 





Vintage Drunkard’s Path, a variation

13 02 2015

I fell in love with this quilt top when I found it in 1994 in an antique collective in Rockford, Illinois.  According to Barbara Brackman, this block is a Rob Peter to Pay Paul variation of the familiar Drunkard’s Path block.

#8C_RobPeterToPayPaul

All the very bright colors make this a very happy quilt, and it is one that we use.

RobPeterDetail1

I replaced five heavily stained blocks with ones made from vintage fabric in my stash.  Two of the blocks I replaced are pictured here, second and third down.

RobPeterDetail2

This 1994 quilt also represents the beginning of my long and still-continuing process of learning machine quilting.  I see here that all I was able to do at the time was outline each of these blocks in the ditch.  Gotta start somewhere.





Vintage Fans Quilt

8 08 2014

Another from my vintage quilt collection, this former fan quilt top is now a quilt.  It is filled with really great vintage fabrics, some of which are strikingly unusual, and I wish I had a few yards of some of these.  These complementary colors of lavender and bright yellow create a very strong contrast, and provide a good background for these great fabrics.

 

Vintage Fans, date unknown 81" x 81" Photography by Sibila Savage Photography by Sibila Savage

Vintage Fans, date unknown
81″ x 81″
Photography by Sibila Savage

This detail shows some of the great fabrics.  This is a great quilt for the summer.

Vintage Fans, Detail

Vintage Fans, Detail

Also, if anyone interested in owning one of the cross-stitch pieces from the previous posts, contact me for details.

 





Vintage Double Wedding Ring

11 07 2014

Another quilt from my vintage collection, this large Double Wedding Ring quilt shows a wonderful array of vintage fabrics, held together by the jade green and pale orange dancing four patches.  This is another of the quilt tops I  purchased, and it was a bit wonky, which may have been the reason for its never having been quilted before now.

Vintage Double Wedding Ring 80" x 90" Photography by Sibila Savage

Vintage Double Wedding Ring
80″ x 90″
Photography by Sibila Savage

Melissa Quilter took on the challenge of making it all work, and her quilting detail does this one proud.  Click on the photo to see a closer view.

It has been a long time since I have bothered to fuss with a curved binding like this, but I think it really makes a statement.  I was pleased to have found a new Kona cotton that is almost a perfect match to the original from 70+ (?) years ago.

Double Wedding Ring, Detail

Double Wedding Ring, Detail

Since it is so bright and cheery, this quilt has been a nice “summer” quilt for the house.

 

A non-quilting project

I could not resist this fabric at my local shop;  I really never know what will catch my eye, and this one turned out to be perfect for a shirt for my brother Dave.  There is a possibility he might actually wear it on occasion.

IMG_0742_2

 

 





Vintage Scrappy Triangles

20 06 2014

Blue Triangles is another from my vintage collection of quilt tops that have been made into wonderful quilts that we use.  As I have described before, I love to complete the work of someone who has come before me;  it feels right somehow.

The pattern is a Thousand Pyramids variation, set sideways.  Using a slightly different dark/light arrangement, it would be Streak o’ Lightning or Lightning.  Almost all of the lights in this quilt are vintage men’s shirtings.  And I am just guessing that at some point it needed to get just a little bit wider, and additional scraps were found.

Blue Triangles, date unknown

Blue Triangles, date unknown

 

I used this quilt top to help me learn to machine quilt, managing to quilt the whole thing without marking.

Blue Triangles, Detail

Blue Triangles, Detail

 

 

Back to the present—A Sneak Peek

Remember the wheels from the Wheel Medallion in the most recent post?

In addition to the many other preconceived notions I had regarding that quilt, I also thought it would have a snaky border of these fan sections, but that did not turn out to be the case.  Sooooo, I had 28 of these block parts leftover.  I LOVE leftovers, because they challenge me to solve the puzzle of dealing with them.

So here is a glimpse of how I am working on with them.

Seriously, people:  Never throw anything away!

fans_preview_2





One more garden

8 11 2013

I recently fell into the abyss that is Pinterest.  I searched “hexagon quilt” and lost an hour looking at all the fabulous pictures of vintage as well as modern quilts using hexagons.  Very, very inspiring . . . almost as much fun as the paper pieced diamonds.

This fall inspired me to post another from my vintage collection, this variation on the traditional Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt pattern.

I could not resist this top when I found it in Houston.  The quilter has done a great job of distributing the colors within the diamonds, and I love the bold use of the orange and royal blue hexagons for emphasis.  I’m even having trouble imagining this quilt without them.  (But I have no trouble seeing this with light blue in place of the pink.  Too boring???)

Flower Garden in Diamonds, date unknown 75" x 80"

Flower Garden in Diamonds, date unknown
75″ x 80″

This detail shows the wide variety of 30’s fabrics used, as well as the nice hand quilting by Quilting Plus.

Flower Garden in Diamonds, detail

Flower Garden in Diamonds, detail

I remembered hearing that the hexagons that separate the “flowers” or “diamonds” in a Grandmother’s Flower Garden were called stepping stones, but I cannot find that fact through quick research.  Perhaps the “stepping stone” label is used when these motifs are separated by diamonds instead of solid hexagons.  I’ll continue my research and update as necessary.

In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy using these fun quilts.





Feed Sack Log Cabin

18 10 2013

Made from another of the vintage tops I had collected, this quilt is made almost entirely of feed sack fabrics.  The red centers of the blocks give a big punch to this quilt.

Unfortunately I have no record of when I got this top;  it may be another from Eli Leon.  Regardless, I know I waited a long time before I had it quilted, and when it was finished by Nina Farrell, I saw how wonderful it really was.

Also quite wonky, this quilt’s appeal for me is not in the precision of the sewing, but in the fabric.  I know I’m nuts, but I love these old prints.

Feed Sack Log Cabin, date unknown

Feed Sack Log Cabin, date unknown

Here is a detail of the machine quilting done by Nina Farrell, who got one of these lovely flowers in each red center.

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 1

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 1

For the back of the quilt, I used feed sacks and feed sack scraps from my collection.  I tried to use the wildest prints I could find, so they could be showcased on this big back.  Click on the photos to enlarge, and also see the detail below of some of the prints–crazy, crazy stuff.

Feed Sack Log Cabin, back

Feed Sack Log Cabin, back

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 2

Feed Sack Log Cabin, detail 2

All photography by Sibila Savage unless otherwise noted.





Vintage Indian Hatchet Quilt

11 10 2013

This vintage Indian Hatchet quilt was made from one of the very first quilt tops I ever purchased.  It was one that Eli Leon was willing to sell back in the late 1980’s, before I had discovered that there were antique quilt and quilt top sellers at many major quilt shows.  Click here to see Eli’s great quilt site.

Indian Hatchet, date unknown 72" x 83.5" Photography by Sibila Savage

Indian Hatchet, date unknown
72″ x 83.5″
Photography by Sibila Savage

I love this quilt for so many reasons:

—it is so humble.

—it has lotsa red, duh.

—the simple block, repeated four times within the larger blocks, gives direction to the quilt.

—it is made from many, many scraps, including solids.

—it is wonky.  Your eyes are not fooling you;  this quilt is leaning to the side, not quite a rectangle.

12C_IndianHatchet_2Indian Hatchet, detail

The above detail shows the hand quilting done by Quilting Plus, which I thought this quilt deserved.  I think this may have been the first top that I had sewn by these wonderful stitchers.

I have another hypothesis about this quilt, even though I am not an expert in quilt history.  I think this top-maker increased her scrap collection by purchasing fabric scraps by the pound from a clothing manufacturer, a common practice in the 30’s and 40’s.  The crosshatch fabric, seen above in dark blue and red, appears elsewhere in the quilt in the green colorway as well.  Also, the fabric in the lower right of the detail is misprinted, and would have been discarded by a garment maker.   These clues lead me to think that this is not the fabric stash of one quilter.

Regardless of these “imperfections”, I love this quilt like crazy.





Trip Around the World

20 09 2013

This classic example of a vintage 1930’s Trip Around the World quilt was made from a quilt top that I was delighted to find at an antique show in the early 1990’s.  I was delighted because the quilt was fabulous and the price was very reasonable, mainly because the quilt was unfinished, a pile of unjoined quilt sections.  I can finish this and have a beauty, I thought.

On the drive home, I panicked.  What if it’s unfinished because the quilter got halfway through and found that the pieces didn’t fit together?  Crisis averted—the pieces fit, and only needed hand-stitching to complete.  Having learned my lesson on a previous quilt (see story here), I took the time to add blue triangles all around the edge, so that it could be bound more easily.

This quilt was hand quilted by Quilting Plus in 1993.

Trip Around the World

13c_TripAroundtheWorld_med

Trip Around the World
74″ x 87″
Photography by Sibila Savage

This detail will show how amazingly this talented quilter used all the flecks of colors in a very wide variety of  printed fabrics to make the transitions from one solid color to the next.

05-Dague_4-2013_2

I have always assumed that the quilt top I bought was made from a kit, where all the wonderful fabrics were provided to the quilter.  Although a possibility, Audrey and Douglas Wiss suggest differently in their book Folk Quilts and How to Recreate Them, 1983.  I found this book at EBHQ’s  library sale, particularly interested in the picture seen here:

eThese authors suggest that scraps of pastels “must have been saved for years before this piece was attempted”  and “Only through careful planning and arrangement of the shades of these solid, calico, and striped materials was the quilter able to achieve this delightful, almost kaleidoscopic effect.”

Unfortunately, the true story of each of these quilts is lost forever.  I guess this loss is part of what fuels this blog and my attempt to include as much information about my works as I can remember.





Red, white, and blue . . and brown???

12 07 2013

Even though my very first quilt ever was red, white, and blue, I have never been very fond of this color combination, especially after I discovered the power of yellow.

Perhaps the extra depth, created by the addition of yellow (in the form of brown), is part of what drew me to this vintage quilt top in Houston in 1994.

05-Dague_12-2012medVintage Foundation Pieced Octagons      71″ x 77″      Photography by Sibila Savage

 Just because I also love quilts that showcase a wide variety of prints and plaids, I include here two details here, so you can get a closer look at these gems, many of which are now being reproduced as “Civil War” fabrics.  Click on photos to get even closer.

05-Dague_12-2012_2Foundation Pieced Octagons, detail 1

This is truly a scrap quilt, and the below detail shows how some of the pieces in the octagons are also pieced together with even smaller scraps.

05-Dague_12-2012_4Foundation Pieced Octagons, detail 2

Collectors of vintage quilt tops will note that I have destroyed the value of the quilt top as an antique by having it hand quilted by Quilting Plus in the ’90’s.  Oh, well . . .

Because the top was so old and delicate, it was quilted sparingly, through the dotted square patches and around the edges of the pieced hexagons.

At least I remembered to take a photograph of the back of the top.  This photo shows how these hexagons were hand pieced onto scrap fabrics and homespun before being sewn into the finished quilt top.

VintageOctagonQuiltFoundation Pieced Octagons, detail 3

Yes, just one more.  Since it no longer exists, this quilt can be viewed only in a few candid photos of my first quilt, shown here in the process of being completed.  A select few of you will know exactly where this photo was taken.

Scan