Monday, May 17, 2010

A VIntage Quilt gets New Quilting

As I said yesterday, I had a client send me the most beautiful quilt. It has an even sweeter story. Her 100 year old grandmother made the half-square triangles, and as I understand, assembled some of them into the 10"x19" units that make up the body of the quilt. They are made from reproduction (or perhaps they are authentic to the era, I'm not sure) fabrics from the 20's and 30's. I wondered if it were initially destined to be an Ocean Waves pattern, as shown above (from a current magazine). That was a common pattern made in that era. It is all immensely cheery. Now normally I cringe at quilts with a lot of white. I personally hate to sew with white. I cannot keep it clean to save my life. There's those unpredictible finger pricks, and unavoidable dirt. And it would just never stay white on any of my beds! So I knew I had my work cut out for me with this!
The owner specifically requested something "fancier" in the plain sashings. They are mostly 3" wide, so that left many possibilities. To make my job more challenging, the white that borders the blocks is both 2.5" and 2"! Just when I had my feathering groove, I'd start another section and have to rethink the rhythm.
We had originally discussed quilting something like curved cross-hatching or something simple and geometric and typical to that era in the HST's. She wanted something that would not accentuate how unexact some of them are pieced. There are a few places where as much as 3/4" is chopped off of a triangle point. Unfortunately, after trying to quilt the curved cross-hatching in one block, I found that the actual HST blocks vary anywhere from 3.375" to nearly 4". After cursing a bit, and ripping out the entire block, I decided that an all-over pattern with no regard for geometry was going to have to be quilted instead. I have used this swirly-feathery-freehand several times as a block or quilt all-over and like it. It flows well and is easy to fill with the echo. Hope Wendy likes it OK too. In the end, it only really provides texture and really takes a backseat to the feathering.
The yellow is quilted with a coordinating yellow thread. I chose to do swirls because there were just enough feathers on the quilt! I really love how they look.
There is one stripe on the back of white fabric, where the yellow quilting is evident. The rest of the back shows wonderful texture. This has got to be one of my favorite quilt backs to see!

11 comments:

Mama Pea said...

No matter how off her triangles are, your quilting is so beautiful, it will draw the eye away from them. What a nice thing that you worked so hard to help her and to do such a nice job for her.

Trudi said...

That is such a pretty quilt, made all the more beautiful by you! Great job!

Milena said...

Very nice quilt, and your quilting is wonderful!
Hugs from Switzerland!
Milena

Kathy said...

Lovely quilting and it was nice to hear the story behind the piecing too. The blocks have such and interesting shape the way they are longer and rectangular.

Lee said...

stunning!

Melinda said...

Beautiful quilting on a beautiful quilt. Great job.

Patchmaker said...

What a lovely quilt, and your quilting is fantastic!

Lisa Marie said...

Simply Breathtaking Quilting! I'm envious!!

Vicki W said...

Absolutely beautiful! I think your feathered swirl was the perfect solution for the block centers.

Millie said...

It's gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. You do beautiful work.

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

Wow, you are an amazing quilter! Great job!