Friday, February 22, 2008

It's Just A Jump to the Left...

I'm stretching a bit with today's title, but given the last two quilts were from the late 1800's, there is a bit of a time warp going on with today's offering. And for some reason I'm addicted to these darned song lyrics. Anyhoo...


This quilt comes from my Dad's side of the family and is of much more recent vintage. Mom remembers that it was a gift for their wedding in 1968. It is a true scrap quilt -- lots and lots of fabrics in this one and lots of combinations. They all appear to be cottons, though, some could be blends. There are feed sacks, shirtings, possible dress materials, even some cord material in there. The white areas all appear to be plain white muslin though. The size is approximately twin. Again, no quilting on this one, but it does have a batting which looks like it is a layer of white flannel and it is tied. One tie through the center of every single star and tie in the corners where every block meets.


Mom remembers that my grandmother on that side tied this, but we both agree it is unlikely that she actually did any of the piecework. My grandmother had her talents (the woman could bake like no other, and remind me someday to take photos of the baby clothes she crocheted for me) but sewing was not really one of them. It's much more likely that this one is made by the same person who made this quilt. Especially since there are a lot of fabrics that are common to both pieces. That would mean that it was probably pieced by my great-grandmother, and more likely my grandfather's mother. My grandmother's mother was a German immigrant and I just don't see her doing much of this patchwork -- though, I could be wrong. Any clues from my friends in Germany as to whether this would have been common there in the 20's and 30's? It's much more likely that the top was already finished and my grandmother simply tied and bound it. Or, that it was even farther along than that when my grandmother gave it to Mom and Dad. Unfortunately, anyone who would have the information is now gone.


The blocks themselves are interesting. They are hexagons with a six pointed star in the middle. The finished sides of each hexagon are 2 1/4". That's a whole lot of small piecing for those stars. I'm not sure if these are hand or machine pieced, I've seen evidence of both in the blocks though. I don't know the name of the block (if anyone has any information it would be appreciated) but it does explain why I absolutely LOVE hexagon designs in quilts. These quilts are ones that really mean "quilt" to me. I grew up with them. I remember using them for picnics, camping, snuggling on. They were not put away as "treasures" as Mom said "They were just quilts, we used them." And yeah, that's exactly how it is supposed to be :0).


The edges are bound, but rather than cutting off some of the hexagons to create a "squared" quilt, the binding follows the hexagon pattern all the way around. Part of me shudders at the thought of having to turn all those corners with binding. The other part of me is doing some little dances of glee going "I've gotta try that." I'm not sure which part is going to win eventually (though I'm kinda voting for the sane part that says 1/2 blocks at the edge aren't so bad...).


Now, given that the quilt has been used, and used well, there is some damage. Some of the fabrics have not held up. There are wear spots and some tears and some staining. Mom wants to wash it to see if the stains will come out, but with the state of some of the fabrics -- I'm not so sure. However, I mean, I could do some rescue work here. I can trace the pieces, create templates, replicate blocks and replace them. I have the skills, I have the technology, and more importantly, I have...


this. No, this is not the same quilt. It is the twin to the one I've been showing you. Fraternal twins -- but twins just the same. :0)

Unfortunately, time has not been as kind to this quilt as it has to the first one. While the first one has a quite a few damage spots but may be salvageable, this one, um, this one is a cutter. I think Mom had a small coronary when I looked at the second quilt and said that -- but, honestly? That's what it is. It got better when I stated referring to this one as the "donor" quilt.

While the donor has pretty extensive damage, there are some good spots that I could lift out blocks and replace those in the first. Having said that, I'm not planning on doing this rescue any time soon -- but, eventually, yeah, I'm going to do it. I'd also like to try my hand at making a few of the blocks with some modern fabrics. Now, will I end up with enough blocks to make two twin sized quilts? Um -- yeah, probably not. That's a WOLE LOT of hexagons folks. And here I thought Jane Stickle was crazy -- looks like that kind of insanity runs in my family too. Especially since I also remember my grandmother having two of these quilts at her house when I was young. I remember sleeping under them when I went to visit her for a week every summer. What happened to them, I don't know -- but think, making enough of these blocks for 4, count 'em 4, twin sized bead spreads. EEEKKK!!!! I'm hoping for enough patience with the pattern for maybe a pillow. Possibly a throw.

I hope you've enjoyed the quilt show from Mom's house -- I've still got more photos to share of other works from Mom's, just not quilts. These are all MUCH more recent vintage as well. As in, well, my lifetime since I made most of them. And I still have goodies to share -- retail therapy and some current crafting. Not much of the current stuff this week -- I've been digging out and dealing with a sick Miss Tinkerbell. She managed to survive being exposed to my strep throat without catching it -- but, another kid at daycare seems to have passed it on to her. UGH. Until next time!

PS -- SPELL CHECK WORKED!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!

24 comments:

Chookyblue...... said...

I am enjoying your family quilt history......

paula, the quilter said...

You have some lovely, lovely quilts there girl.

Cheryl said...

It is so nice that you have so much information on your quilts. They are truly wonderful. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

I can definitely see combining those two quilts to get one whole one. lots of work... Look at those red and yellow blocks still shining. wonderful. I don't think I'm insane enough to ever bind something like that - eeeek. whereas just hand-piecing the blocks would be soothing...

Kathie said...

thank you so much for sharing these quilts with us.
I am enjoying seeing them and reading about them as well.
BEAUTIFUL!
Kathie

upstateLisa said...

YOu are so lucky to have such heirlooms. I don't think quilters of old thought much about how long these quilts would last! wonderful!

Karyn said...

I'm sure you'll be very successful repairing the quilt. It is SO pretty!

Bed Linen said...

That is a really lovely quilt.

Mar said...

I love hexagons also, and this pattern is beautiful. Love the binding. Lucky you!!

lera said...

A "donor" quilt. I like that.

I hope Ms. Tinkerbell feels better soon!

andsewitis Holly said...

Thanks for the quilt show. That second would make a great donor quilt. You are fortunate to come from a long line of quilters.

Dawn said...

Oh it is awesome! I"ve always loved that pattern, but am too chicken to make one myself! Too many set in seams for me! You have some awesome quilts!

AJ said...

What beautiful treasure you have...enjoy and good luck witht he repaires!!

gwen said...

The two (or shall I say 3!) quilts you showed us are just stunning. I like the blacks of the log cabin. So many different ones, very interesting.
About Germany, I can tell you that quilting was not popular in the 20s or 30s. Some quilts may have been done in that time there but I would say they rather did embroidery or knitting. I hope that could help. Take care.

Kristin L said...

Thanks for the quilt show!

I have no idea about quilting in the 20s in Germany. I know that school children would have been taught many handwork skills such as knitting and very festidious embroidery. Surely they had the skills for quilting, but I don't think that making quilts was part of the usual repetoir.

Greenmare said...

oh those are such treasures! Lucky lucky you!

corry said...

Thanks for sharing your family quilt history...I'm so enjoying it! Those quilts are beautiful!

Libby said...

What treasures you've got there . . . thank you so much for sharing them (and the stories behind them) with us *s*

Meredith said...

Thanks for sharing your family quilts with us.

Felicia said...

Yep, I'm loving the quilt tour. I think its pretty awesome that the maker followed the hexagon pattern.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I enjoyed looking at the quilts. No matter how used they are there wonderful. I have several like that and I love them as much as the new ones. Thanks for the show.

Catherine said...

It's wonderful looking at these quilts. Thank you so much for sharing!

Nan said...

Love the story and love the quilts! How wonderful to have a 'donor' quilt, so at least you can make one of them perfection once again! Such happy memories these quilts have for you and your mom!

Sassenach said...

Thanks for the tour!

For removing the stains, I strongly recommend you do not attempt to wash the quilt -- the weight of wet cotton will cause more tearing and loosening of stitching. I recommend that you use Restoration Wash (available from Engleside products online) and do spot cleaning with a cue tip.

Are there other family members who are interested in the quilts? If so, instead of attempting a massive restoration project, perhaps you could mount individual blocks in a frame so that each could have a piece of family history to treasure.

Good luck!