Thursday, May 28, 2015

Antique Signature Quilt Completed (WIP 1939-2015)

Happy Friday! This week I have possibly the oldest WIP I will ever finish to show you, begun in 1939.  I first posted about this quilt on a WIP Wednesday a week or so ago.  A friend of my parents have had this quilt top in their family and asked me to finish it into a quilt. 

The quilt is made from signature blocks and a few 9 patches. The information my friend had on it is that the signature blocks were made by the female family and friends of her inlaws at their wedding shower in 1939. 

The bride's maiden name began with M and the groom's last name with V, so many of the ladies on the blocks have those initials.

The blocks are hand sewn and the embroidery on the signatures is gorgeous! I'm curious if anyone can identify the age of the fabric in the 9-patches. They look more modern to my completely untrained eye and I wonder if the blocks were just a stack of blocks for a few decades until someone else tried to assemble them. Interestingly, the green plaid sashing is the only thing that was machine sewn.

I mentioned in my previous post that this top did not lay remotely flat. The blocks appear to have been not square to begin with and the sashing made it worse, which is another thing that makes me think that the sashing was not added by the same ladies who made the original blocks.  I had the option of removing the green plaid and resashing the blocks, but whoever put it there was part of this quilt's story and I didn't want to take that away.

Variegated color thread on a few of the signatures. Did they have that in the 30s?
To cope with the not-flat-ness I took small (and some not-so-small) tucks throughout the top. I first hand sewed them, then quilted them down. As a quilter it kind of makes my teeth hurt to do it, but my parents literally could not find them until I pointed it out, and even then couldn't really tell anything was wrong.

You can see the largest fold in the picture above. Notice how the horizontal sashing gets narrower toward the edge of the quilt, that's because it's being lost in a fold. I took a close up of that same fold below so you can see what the edge actually looks like.

Since most of the fabrics in the blocks were small, bright florals I chose a similar fabric for the back.

The finished quilt is still not quite square, it's sort of mildly trapezoidal, but it's within acceptable limits. It does lay flat and the edges are straight, those are my triumphs ;)

My friend wants to be able to pass this quilt down to her children and grandchildren.  Since we are going for longevity in an already old top I put a light interfacing under the entire top. This also made it washable (delicate cycle) and it definitely did need a bath.

I am (I think) at least the 3rd generation of quilter to work on this project and it's a honor to be the one to finally finish it so this family can continue to enjoy it.  For posterity I have listed the names on the signature blocks below, if any of these stitchers are still alive they would have to be nearly 100! 

  • Lillian M.
  • Janet A.
  • Mama
  • Elizabeth M.
  • Wilbis?V.  (could possibly be Willis or Wilba, hard to read)
  • Vivian M.
  • Francis F.
  • Bobby V.
  • Merrell V.
  • Loraine F.
  • Maurine V.
  • Ila B.
  • Loree V.
  • Letha F.
  • Harley Jo M.
  • Aunt Addie A.
  • Waunice M.
  • Grace M.
  • Kitty B.
  • Maud V.
 This is one of my favorite things about quilting, the way it reaches across generations. Here's hoping this quilt lives on and has more stories to tell!

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Friday.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

do. Good Stitches Design Wall

May is my month again to host the NURTURE circle of do. Good Stitches and the blocks have been coming in!  You can find my tutorial for these hot-and-cold blocks here.

I just put the ones I have so far up on the wall last night to play with different design options. The ladies in my circle are doing a great job with this block, can't wait until I have the whole set to arrange and rearrange!

Linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Scrappy Sunday

My crumb jar was overflowing again, so I dumped it out and started sewing slabs of fabric by color. I love this kind of quilt. Something from nothing! And it's totally reflective of what was in my scraps at the time. It's the quilting equivalent of opening up the pantry and making dinner from whatever you can find rather than going from a recipe.

I've got 3 shades of blue left to assemble.  I have a really cool idea for setting these. I just hope it works out like I am imagining it!

Linking to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than housework.

PS: Every week Adrienne at On the Windy Side has Caturday Wisdom. It's always adorable and this week it's extra cute because my boys are there! Check them out!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bonnie's Scrappy Mountain Majesties

Hello all, happy Friday! This week I have a slightly more traditional quilt to show you. This is my version of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties pattern.  The main change I made from hers was to increase the size of the blocks.

The fabrics for this quilt came completely out of my stash; always good to do a little stash busting.  This became another quilt for Covered in Love

The quilt finished at 56"x70" and got an all over stipple for quilting. Binding is a pretty yellow solid.  I didn't get a picture of the back but it was pieced from more stash.

Calley Cat watches the strange doings to the quilt photographer
As always, if you would like to be involved with Covered in Love please send me an email of leave a comment!

Linking to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Quilting an Antique

After over a week away on vacation and work I'm finally back at the sewing machine! I decided it's time to finish up this old quilt top I agreed to quilt up for a friend. I'm not sure if this is exactly old enough to be antique, but it is old.

Signature blocks made for the wedding of my friends' parents or grandparents... I can't remember which. I am going to have to get all the details so I can put it on the label. For some reason the top was never made in to a quilt and the family has been passing down the top ever since.

One reason the quilt was never finished may have been the poor construction. Talk about not lying flat! Oi vey.  The best thing to do would have been to tear the whole thing apart, square the blocks, and use new sashing. However, I wasn't quite up for that level of involvement and I didn't want to take that much away from the original quilt. If I tried to make some of these blocks square there wouldn't be much left of them! Instead I am just carefully pleating the winkles in the sashing wherever they appear and quilting them down.  It actually looks good, the busy plaid sashing helps to camouflage the pleats and I think after a gently wash/dry they will be hard to even find.

I love the old fashioned names! Whoever did the embroidery had gorgeous stitching. I am using a FMQ spiral to quilt the top pretty heavily in order to reinforce the old fabrics. It's a big quilt so this is going to take a while!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mix Tape {Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2015}

Welcome once again to the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, hosted at Amy's Creative Side. Every time I participate in the festival it seems I end up including at least one quilt made by my do. Good Stitches group the NURTURE circle.  This quilt was our January project; I am entering it in the ROYGBIV category.

Each member of the circle made 2 foundation pieced, QAYG string blocks and mailed them in. If you are interested a tutorial for the block can be found here.  The finished quilt and matching pillowcase were mailed to My Very Own Blanket.

Since the blocks were QAYG all I had to do was join them and then stitch on a backing. To reduce the bulky seams I pressed them open and use a triple zig zag to stitch over them.  

The ladies in my circle did such a great job of choosing fun novelty fabrics for their blocks!

I like how the quilt has an overall ROYGBIV gradient but the odd pops of contrasting color jump out at you.

Because the blocks were foundation pieced onto their battings only the zig zag quilting at the block edges shows on the back.

Some fun lions and bikes and a bright yellow binding.  This was actually one of the last quilts we sent to MVOB.  Starting with this month's quilt the group has voted to begin donating our quilts to my pet charity, Covered in Love, which donates quilts to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital where I work.

 Don't forget to check out the rest of the festival and visit my other entry in the scrappy quilts category here.


String Braid {Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2015}

It's time once again for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, hosted at Amy's Creative Side.  This year I am entering my string braid quilt into the scrappy quilt category.

This quilt was the second in a set of scrappy string quilts that all came about because the very generous Judy @ Quilt Paradigm sent me a LARGE box of scraps she wasn't going to use.  Among the scraps were a lot of string which pushed my string storage beyond capacity, quilts had to be made!

This quilt is made from a series of string pieced 60 degree triangles (tutorial here) set into columns. I stippled the whole thing with a variety of thread colors.

This quilt was actually one of my first quilts to go toward the charity I started back at the beginning of the year, Covered in Love. I am collecting quilts to be donated to the families of patients who pass away in the hospital where I work.

I actually had the immense honor of giving this quilt away personally. One of my coworkers suffered a late term miscarriage and was in the hospital to be induced and have her baby. I got to take her this quilt and she was so grateful and comforted by it.  I wish I could have taken a picture for you of her hands holding her rosary, crossed over her pregnant belly on top of this quilt, but it wasn't the time.

Over a dozen quilts have been distributed and they have all been received with tears and gratitude, bringing comfort into despair. If you might be interested in donating a quilt, top, or blocks for Covered in Love please check out the main page. I promise they will go to people in need, and they will be treasured!

Thanks for visiting! Be sure to check out my other entry in the ROYGBIV quilt category here and visit the rest of the festival!