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.

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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.

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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





More hexagons

15 11 2013

Since I love the hexagons so much, and, in particular, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden setting, a fellow EBHQ member (and blog subscriber!) was kind enough to let me see one of her quilts.  The story is fun:  this quilt top was made by the mother of her mother’s freshman year college roommate during the early 30’s.  According to Marty, her mother was not interested in this in the least, so it sat for years, until Marty took over.  She hand quilted this beauty and now gets to sleep under in regularly.  Gorgeous.

Vintage quilt top, circa 1931 Quilted by Marty Suess

Vintage quilt top, circa 1931
Quilted by Marty Suess

A Grandmother’s Flower Garden variation that I had not seen before, this pattern has, I feel, a better depiction of a “stepping stone”, and these little groups of 4 hexagons, placed in this way,  make the hexagon “flowers” line up into rows, both across and down.  Very nice.

(The left side of the above pic is the left side of the quilt, where the maker put two rows of the “stones”.)

hexagon blocks

I was recently fortunate enough to receive some vintage pieces from the estate of a friend, so I thought I would show this, too.  When you see a pile like this in a flea market or other antique venue, grab it.  Could be a fun project.

templates_2

I know I sound like someone who was born at the turn of the century, but I want to explain this picture, just in case there are those of you out there who do not recognize these.

Included in the pile of vintage items were these two pieces of fabric, and a set of three metal templates, all representing a part of my past.

Shocking fact:  the rotary cutter was introduced by Olfa in 1979, and now, none of us can imagine how we could have worked without it.  This picture shows how we would make templates out of sturdy materials and draw around the templates onto the fabric with a pencil.  The squares have the seam allowance included in the template;  the hexagons do not.  These shapes were then cut out individually with scissors.   I try to remind myself of all this labor when I look at vintage quilts with more respect.

My first quilts were made using templates, and some of the first classes I taught included techniques for making accurate templates.   We quilters have come a long way.





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.





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.





“Kinda vintage” quilt and more postcards

13 09 2013

Blue Check Sashed Squares

I describe this quilt as “kinda vintage” because all the pinks are vintage feed sack fabrics from my collection, and the multicolored plaid in the sashing is also a vintage fabric. These coarse feed sack fabrics often have wild designs, and I wanted to keep the square large to showcase these fun patterns, as well as to mimic the 30″s “utility quilts” , the quilts that the family actually uses, as opposed to those put on the bed in the guest room when company was visiting.

The blue gingham is the odd ball here, since it was found on the sale table at a local discount store.  The store had multiple bolts of this fabric available in October as the perfect choice when making a Wizard of Ox Dorothy costume for Halloween.  But it was perfect for my intended use as well.Blue CheckBlue Check Sashed Squares, 1999   61″ x 72″     Photography by Sharon Risedorph

And because the fabrics are so dominant, the quilting needed to be plain.  Simple single and double diagonal lines made interesting patterns withing the blocks and sashing units.

DetailBlue Check Sashed Squares, detail

This quilt was photographed for the wonderful book Cotton Candy Quilts by Mary Mashuta,  and my only regret is that I did not think to photograph the back of this beauty, since it, too, was made using vintage feed sacks, the really wild ones.  Click here to read more about the humble feed sack  and its place in quilting history.

This quilt has recently found a new home and I hope it will give some pleasure.

More fun EBHQ fabric postcards

Speaking of Halloween, I have gone a little crazy recently with these Alexander Henry Halloween fabric scraps from a long-ago (and still unfinished) project.  I love the wild graphics of the heads, and the color combinations are right up my alley, so I played and played.  I don’t think these are out of my system yet, so there may be more.

a

I even found a way to use these scraps when part of the image was missing.  This postcard thing is addictive.b

And just one more for some special relatives:

cEBHQ postcard people:  Send me pix of your postcards for this site.  I’d love to see what you have designed!