Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday at the Quilt Museum!

Ocean Waves

You know that feeling when you see a quilt, and somehow it speaks to you?  And pretty soon, you just know you have to make it?

That's how it was for me with this green Ocean Waves quilt that I saw at The Quilt Index. It even ended up on our website header!

Here is the EQ7 version I created based on the original.  It has a divided center block, with one row of triangles around it.  A sea of green......

Original Quilt Information:

  • 76.5" x 78"
  • It was hand pieced and hand quilted by a Scott family member in New Jersey.
  • It is dated 1850.
  • You can see the original at the Quilt Index here.

And this is another one that speaks to me.  I recreated it in EQ7, as well.  I love the rich colors and the play of lights and darks that almost seem to reflect the nature of sparkling water.  You'll notice that the blocks are made differently from those in the green one above.  The quilter used a solid center, surrounded by two rows of triangles.  Isn't color amazing?

Original Quilt Information:

  • 71" x 79"
  • Hand-pieced and hand-quilted by an unknown quilter.
  • It was made in c1870.
  • It resides in the New England Quilt Museum's permanent collection.
  • You can see the original at the Quilt Index here.

If you're interested in looking at more Ocean Waves quilts from the 1850-1875 period, you can follow this link to take walk into the past and rejoice in the diversity and creativity of our quilting fore-mothers!

Thanks for joining me on our jaunt to the Quilt Museum!

Happy Quilting!

PLEASE NOTE: I am not a quilt historian.  I simply enjoy finding interesting quilts and sharing them with you!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Civil War Sampler

So, last week when I was messing around with the cactus basket pattern, it occurred to me that it might be fun to share the Civil War Sampler I mentioned in my last post.

In May of 2013, I started blogging about the quilt that my good friend Annie and I started together.  We decided to make Barbara Brackman's Civil War Sampler, and do it together, kind of like a friendship quilt.  We divided up the blocks and made two of each and shared with each other.  So my quilt has blocks from her, and hers has blocks from me, as well as our own.

As you can see, we've been at this for awhile!  Our hope, after the first of the year, is to get the backs together, get them basted, and then start on the hand quilting so maybe we'll be finished before 2020!

Here are EQ7 renditions of the finished tops.  I don't have actual pictures at this point, but I'll share them when I do.

This is Annie's

This is mine.

It's been such a treasure working on these together.  Maybe that's why it's taking us so long!

Here's a link to the blog with the whole story.

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cactus Basket

Today I was playing around with making another block for the block designer on our website, and I decided to do a cactus basket variation.  I first saw this pattern on Barbara Brackman's blog.  She called it Grapes of Wrath and it was part of her Civil War Sampler quilt, which I have made.

The Texas Cactus Basket is very similar, looking like this.  There are a few lines changed, is all.

  I really like how the block for my Civil War sampler quilt came out, so here is a rendition of it in blue and brown where I've used the block in a complete quilt.  I like how the baskets stand out from the neutral background.  And I always enjoy making a quilt that looks as if it is "matted" like a photograph.

I think I'll have to make this one!

You can play with the Cactus Basket block here in our Block Designer.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam

This quilt has always been part of my life.  It goes back as far as memory, for me.

I grew up sleeping under it at our cabin at Pinecrest, in the Sierras of California.  It was my favorite quilt.  I loved all the different colored dresses on the little girls and the funny boys in overalls.  I didn't know its story then, but I loved it.

My dad sold the cabin in the 70's, the quilt was packed in a trunk, and I saw it now and then at my folks' place.  And then one day, after my mom had gotten sick and couldn't tell me where things were anymore, I went looking for it and couldn't find it.  I asked my dad.  No idea.  Whew.  I wondered where in the world it could have gone.  Several years passed, and still no sign of it anywhere.

Then one day when I was helping my dad move stuff out of the old barn, I caught a glimpse of green and white and thought, "What in the world???"  I pulled that green and white off of some old boards, and there it was.  "My" quilt.  Very dirty, but still intact!

I took it home and it sat for awhile.  I wasn't sure what I should do to care for it.  Eventually, it started smelling moldy and I decided it was time to take it apart and see what I could do with it.

It was a tied quilt, so I took out all the ties and separated the top from the back.  What I found inside was amazing to me.  Several old wool sweaters had been taken apart and opened up flat and then stitched to a flannel sheet to form the batting. I recognized  two of them from pictures.  One had been my uncle's and one my mother's.  Truly a Depression Quilt.  I washed both the top and back and then set them away again, waiting until I knew what to do next.

In the meantime, I talked with my uncle, and he told me that it was their aunt - his and my mom's -who had made the quilt for my mom in 1937 or '38.  I got inspired to restore it, but still didn't really know what to do.

In 2011, Maggie and I were blessed to fall into an incredible quilt group.  I took the quilt top and asked them what they would do with it, and I was given good advice, which I followed.

So, after soaking it in Oxyclean, repairing some of the embroidery, then using some of the uneven border fabric to patch the holes caused by the ties pulling through, I sandwiched it with cotton batting, and basted it.

I started with outlining the Sues and Sams and the four sides of each block with hand quilting.  I thought that would be as far as I would take it.  I hadn't been a hand quilter until then.  But with the gentle encouragement of my compatriots at our quilting group, I decided to crosshatch all the blocks, as well.  Then when that was all finished, I added the twisted rope border in the sashing.  And then I bound it.  The only fabric that is not from the 30's is the binding.  If ever I find an original 30's piece of museum green that matches the sashing and border fabric, I'll probably replace what I've used.

The fabrics in this treasure are a wonderful representation of the patterns available in the 30's.  The prints are sweet.  The solids wonderful.  The back is a delightful patchwork of 3 different fabrics.  I just love the historicity a piece like this contains.

So, in memory of my mom, Winifred Brown Thompson, I have this fabulous reminder of her childhood and mine because Helen Moe took the time to make and gift to Mom a quilt during the Depression.  Thank you, Aunt Helen.

Happy Quilting!