Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Striaghtaway she said it was beyond repair. She looked at the fabrics and said that there were at least two which were woodblock prints, and one was a known pillar print. It's the glazed chintz with the shield and chain fence background on in the picture. She thought that was about 1830. There was another floral chintz which was from the same era.
There were also patches of purple fabric, which became very fashionable when William Perkin invented analine mauve dye in 1856. (This was first used for silks, but influenced cotton fabric production where the colour was much duller, as here). The red fabric with the seaweed pattern is in fact a double pink.
Barbara thought some of the fabrics had been dyed using a manganese solution, which had rotted the fabric, and caused so much of the damage.
Barbara also confirmed what we had thought, that the quilt had been remodelled, probably in the 1940s or 1950s, just before it was sold. The multicoloured patches are mid-twentieth century fabric which has been appliqued on top of the patches. Maybe it was to repair or strengthen it or maybe to brighten it up.
It's obvious how out of keeping these patches are. Barbara also said that the backing and quilting had certainly been done at the same time. The backing is a furnishing fabric and the quilting is 'in the ditch', a fashion never seen on old quilts. The inner is domette, which is a lightweight lining fabric used in curtain making.
The egde is finished in a very unusual way. The edge of the quilt top has been folded over to a depth of about an inch (losing all the points on the front!), and then the backing has been slipstitched on (with green thread - another 20th century giveaway!) about a quarter of an inch below the fold. An old British quilt would have been finished with a knife edge.
All in all, the quilt is still a puzzle. It seems that the top is mid/late Victorian (it's only as old as its youngest fabric) which was originally either a top or a coverlet. Someone decided to remodel it in the 1950s, appliqued some patches on top, layered it with domette and furnishing fabric, quilted it in the ditch and sold it.
Thanks to Barbara for this information, but I'm still looking for more!
Sunday, 25 November 2007
This is her and me out shopping together. (I'm the one with the lime green top and big feet, and she's the one with brown curls and trendy ear rings. We're both well endowed in the carrier bag department!) Don't know what I'll use it for yet, but it'll be something very special.
Friday, 16 November 2007
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
This isn't my original idea, but one by Eleanor Dugan which was featured in Quilter's Newsletter magazine in December 2001. The idea is that you make a list of everything you can think of about the person the quilt is for, such as jobs, hobbies, places they have been, favourite foods, star signs etc. then look through your stash for images. It's surprising what you have, and even the writing on selvedges can be useful. Cut the images with a half inch seam allownace and then start to arrange them in groups by size. Four small square ones can make a four-patch, several long ones can make a strip, etc. Try and make the shapes into a rectangle, ading plain or geometric fabrics to fill the gaps. Some shapes can be fused on, to break up the regularity. Border, layer, quilt and bind and then add embellishments, such as badges, buttons, charms.
This card has a picture of Stuart as a young man (in a nice hand knitted jumper!), his initials ST, writing because he's a teacher, tea and coffee motifs because he'll often make a cuppa for everyone, wood and stone fabrics and paintbrush for his DIY, the child on his shoulder because he's a dad, wine because ... well, you can guess that one, plaid because he wore a kilt to his wedding, horseshoes for good luck and the eyes (next to the teapot at the bottom) because he works with visually impaired children.
I had great fun making it, and I'm sure he'll like it too.
Friday, 9 November 2007
One thing I have been doing is preparing for the meeting of a small quilt group I belong to called The Flutterwheels. Half a dozen friends decided they would like to meet up to do projects which would extend their skills and challenge them. We meet just 6 times a year and all try out the same new block or technique, then when the blocks are completed, we raffle them off between ourselves, so everyone gets a chance to try something, but they're not stuck with odd blocks which just go into your UFO box. This year we have been looking at illusions. We have made Crazy Log Cabin Roses (a la Jan Mullen), Double Nine Patches, Fans, and this time's challenge is Kaleidoscope. We decided on Mediterranean colours and here are my blocks. If everyone makes four, that will make 24 altogether, which is either a lap quilt, or a good start for a bed quilt.
Our last illusion is Storm at Sea, which we have chosen to do in red, for a change. This block looks so complex, but it's actually very easy. It's just two squares within squares and then two diamonds in rectangles. The blocks are 12" finished so they should knit up big. You can already see the circles apearing, even though I've only done two blocks.
Aaprt from this, I've been quilting a Linus quilt, making more Chaos Crumb blocks for DD's sofa quilt (82 down, 18 to go) and making a greeting card quilt for a colleague who's retiring. I'll post a photo of that when it's done.
Something on my to-do list is to make a quilt to give to the lady who gave me the antique quilt in poor repair. I think it would be fair to replace old for new. My friend Sylvia has kindly given me this lovely medallion which will be perfect as a centre for the quilt. The colours and design are so old fashioned and ideal for framing in 19th century colours of browns, beiges, reds and blues. I think I'll get on with it as soon as I've washed the kitchen floor!