Quilts from the past

It appears I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping up at my blogging; although I have a reasonable excuse. Last week I took the professional engineering exam for the old day job. It will be a while before I find out if I passed, so back to quilty things. On a somewhat day job related note…

A coworker of mine brought this lovely quilt top into the office a while back and asked if I would be able/willing to finish it for her. She had recently found it in a family hope chest, and didn’t know anything about it. She assumed it was made by a grandmother or great-grandmother. I told her from the looks of the hand stitching and types/prints of fabrics used it was likely from the 1930’s or 1940’s, and the pattern is traditionally called a trip around the world.

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I, of course, was more than happy to finish up this beauty for her. I have to admit that although I shy away from this scrappy trip type quilt, I really loved working on this project. There is just something about the smell and feel of an antique quilt.

There was no major damage that needed repair and those hand stitches have held up pretty well over the years. So it was straight to basting. I decided on a navy, green, and yellow dainty floral by Denise Schmidt from Joann’s for the backing and a simple warm and natural batting. Where I normally would spray baste a quilt (especially one this size) to get a nice smooth finish, I decided to pin baste this quilt (with what seemed like hundreds of pins – my fingers are still recovering). I was sure it would not hold up well to a machine washing (which I always do to remove any residual spray baste funk).

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When I started basting I envisioned a traditional Baptist fan quilting design, but as I worked my way out the edges seemed fairly wavy, not to mention the fact that I didn’t think the delicate hand stitching would hold up to all the push and pull of free motion quilting. So, I settled on simple diagonal lines in a dusty green thread. I didn’t use any markings or guides I just eyeballed the center of every other square and went for it. (The squares were fairly small, at around 2”, so it wasn’t too difficult to stay centered).

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I could not find just the right dusty green to match the outside border of squares, so I settled on a light yellow, which I think turned out really nice. It was even a little hard to give back to Deb once it was done.

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