Archive for the 'quilting history' Category

Vintage Quilt

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

My grandma died a couple of weeks ago and my mom is trying to get things squared away and straightened up. I am in Maryland and my family is in Oregon so I didn’t go back for the funeral. I was just there two weeks before she passed away so I really couldn’t find a way to spend so much money and travel so far with a three year old.

Anyway, I asked my mom if I could have any quilts that she found. My great-grandmother was an avid quilter and I thought there might be a couple floating around the house.

I was right! My mom found one and mailed it to me last week. I received it today, packaged with a Roomba, which surely must be some sort of ironic pairing.

I don’t know much about quilt history and don’t know anything specific about this quilt. I can only assume my Grandma’s mother (Ruth) made it, though it is possible my Granddad’s mother (Levi) made it. They were both avid quilters. I have no idea what the time line would be. Ruth died in the 1960s and Levi died in the 1980s. I’m just calling it vintage based on the colors and condition of the fabrics.

Quilt probably made by my great-grandma

Click through for a bigger picture of any of them.

This quilt was found in my grandma’s bed. She was actively using it, even though it was in such poor shape. She was not ever really interested in quilts so I guess she didn’t realize that it had special meaning and needed special treatment to be preserved.

Does anyone know the name of the pattern? It looks really familiar, but I don’t know the name off hand. I’ve never had any interest in doing a reproduction quilt, but I might make an exception for this quilt.

**Update: Thanks to kkwilter, I believe this block is called Propeller HERE**

Ummm. Except for my Dear Jane, of course. Is it really a reproduction when you are not doing it in repro fabrics?

The most vibrant block

This was the most vibrant block. Most of the others were pretty faded.

I love the color of the background

I LOVE the color of the backing, which is probably why I love this quilt so much. Love, love, love!

The whole thing is hand quilted in a fan design. It doesn’t have a shred of binding left, but I don’t think it ever had any real binding. It looks like she flipped the backing over to the front edge as a sort of binding. I know my grandma did that on the quilt she made me for when I was a teenager. That quilt is only 20 years old and has been carefully put away for most of that time, but the false binding is already shredded. I keep thinking I should put a real binding on it.

The Changing Face of Quilting

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Several months ago I picked up a bunch of old quilting magazines on freecycle. I haven’t looked at them because it seemed overwhelming, but we are about to move so I need to figure out if I really want them or not. I’m thinking not.

You wouldn’t think that quilting would change much over the years, but the magazines from the early ’90s haven’t wowed me yet. The colors are really dull and . . . well. . . old fashioned. You’d think that quilting is a timeless art. You wouldn’t think modern colors would make such a difference. But they do! Oh how they do. I am not into reproduction fabrics, and I guess I’m not into late 20th century colors.

Most of quilts they show are just tied. You would almost never see a tied quilt in a modern quilting magazine. I posted about this over at my regular blog and had a reader explain that back in the day the quilt police refused to let you machine piece. I wonder how many of those self-same quilt police now own a long arm machine? I tried tying a quilt once to make it go faster, but after two ties I ran to my machine and stitched in the ditch.

Most of the patterns say you should use polyester batting, which was cracking me up. You will REALLY never see a quilting magazine say that these days. Polyester is the evil step-child that everyone turns their nose up at. I saw a small ad for Hobbs Heirloom wool batting, explaining that it was a unique product that would change the way people quilted. I guess they were right!

There are no rotary cutting directions. Instead there are directions on how to make templates out of plastic or card stock. As if I am going to make templates for squares and rectangles. I had no idea rotary cutting was such a new concept. I can guarantee I never would have became a quilter if I had to cut things out the old fashioned way. Quilts of yesteryear must have really been a work of love. Not that they aren’t now, but even the simplest of quilts must have taken at least twice, if not four times as long as quilts of today. All that scissor cutting *shudder*.

The biggest laugh had to come from an article about the “future of quilting.” It was actually pretty accurate, but it missed a major concept: the Internet. It predicted that in the year 2010 we would all wake up in the morning, log onto our computers and video teleconference with our quilting friends from around the world. Pretty accurate. We could do that if we wanted.

It also predicted that quilt shops and other companies would send out CD-ROMS (very carefully explaining what a CD-ROM was) that would contain their entire catalog. Sort of true. We use websites. Can you imagine all the waste we’d produce if we got CDs from every online quilt shop we like to visit?

It had a lot of ideas about how the computer could be used to store pattern data. We could buy CD-ROMS with patterns and magically search for a pattern, calling up the pattern and pictures of completed quilts. Again, close call, only no CD-ROMS. The funniest bit had to be a little paragraph about how quilters might be able to talk to each other “on-line” with Prodigy, CompuServe or Internet. I admit, I was giggling at the Internet just being Internet and on par with Prodigy and CompuServe. Back in 1994 I had no clue about the Internet and how it would change my life. I couldn’t even imagine meeting people all over the world, buying stuff on the computer, writing about my daily dramas.

It did hit one nail square on the head. It said we would be able to buy software to draft patterns for us. Most serious quilters own at least one type of quilting software. I really need to buy something if I am going to continue the round robin I’m in. I have the Dear Jane software, but usually just depend on Quilters Cache or books and magazines for patterns.

I found the whole thing very amusing, but not amusing enough to keep the three foot high stack of magazines.