A Hole In the Middle

My daughter is the world’s best thrift shopper. She especially likes going to a place called the Dig and Save, where discards from the Salvation Army are sold by the pound. She found an old quilt there, for which she paid only five dollars. She brought it home for me to enjoy. The quilt has a hole in the middle, the reason for its quick sale.

Here you can see inside the hole, where I found two layers, one very thin cotton batting and the other a plaid wool flannel blanket, a very practical solution for cold Wisconsin climates.

The two outer layers are composed of two different quilt tops, both from the same time period.

The pieced top is done in the log cabin pattern and colors of black, soft blue and light red. It is quite a bit more faded than the back.

The back side is more colorful and a really fascinating group of crumb pieced blocks set off by blue sashing with red cornerstones.

I could spend hours looking at these blocks with plaids, checks, pink pieces, all very typical of the 1890s to 1900s.

One block has a considerably older floral print in red and green, typical of the early

All in all, this has been one of my favorite research quilts, showing so many fabrics.

We are finally in the middle of a Wisconsin snowfall, so lovely to look at.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

A Warm Winter Quilt

This cold snowy weather is the best time of year for me to share with you one of my favorite antique quilts. I was not searching for it. A woman who had a couple of quilts wanted to find out the date of one of them, not a very exceptional quilt, but she was happy to know that it was vintage. She also brought along this one, which she really had no use for.



I purchased this quilt for a very minimal sum. I knew right away that it dated to about 1890 to 1910. The black fabrics are very typical of that period. The pattern is a variation of the log cabin quilt. This one is called courthouse steps.

The most unusual feature is the fabric, which is heavy drapery type, and the quilt is indeed very heavy, ideal to keep you cozy and warm on a cold night.

I wish you all a cozy warm time with your loved ones.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Pre-civil war quilt

I hope all of you and your families have a blessed Holiday time. And let me wish you a healthy and happy new year.

My second pre-Civil War quilt to show you is not a picture of the entire quilt. I am not at home and so I’m going to show you the close-ups from my photos, which are very revealing for the fabric they contain or don’t contain.

As you can see, although faded, the same chrome orange is present. This time the green is more on the blue side rather than the yellow. The browns and blues are very typical for the pre-Civil War era.

There is no black or lavender or bright turkey red. These colors are seen in post Civil War quilts.

Once again I have learned so much from my well-loved old quilts, none of them perfect .

At present I am in a nursing home for rehab. I will continue to blog, because I can’t imagine not being in touch with all of you dear friends. Have a very happy new year.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

My First Quilt

Last week I mentioned I was sidelined with an infection. It was actually a somewhat different problem. So I have been transferred to a nursing home to rehab until I’m ready to return to my apartment.

I don’t want to stop blogging during this time, so I’m going to go back over my history of quilting.

I grew up in New England and never saw any quilts there. Textile mills produced a lot of woven coverlet and it was not like the Midwest where quilting was very popular. After graduation I moved to California, where I found this quilt in an antique shop and bought it because the colors went with my bedroom. I didn’t know how old it was and it cost me $30. I used it on my bed and occasionally ran it through the washer and dryer. Because of the floral design I thought it might be dating back to the 1930s.

I began to do research to try to determine its age. The red flowers were much lighter and faded compared to the turkey red binding. The chrome orange was a very old natural dye color. The green was blue with yellow overdye. True green dye was not available until the late 1800s.

The other major clue is the pattern, which is a variation of Harrison Rose, popular around 1840 after war hero and president William Henry Harrison.

Discovering true age of my quilt started me on looking into all the different clues to determine the age of quilts.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Sidetracked

I’m just dropping a line to let you know I’m not able to post today. I’m in the hospital with a not serious infection of some kind. So I am being catered to my every whim and have a beautiful menu of any kind of food for any time of day. Of course nothing has added salt.

Your posts will be the highlight of my weekend, so drop me a line if you have a minute, dear friends.

Wonky Star in Progress

I’ve been busy with Thanksgiving and other projects this week, but today, Friday, I got to thinking about making a wonky star. I’ve never done one before but it didn’t look too difficult.

So here it is, almost midnight and I’m in no shape to do any sewing now. However I want to have something to show you.

A quick sketch of a wonky star is beyond wonky, a disaster.. The harder I try, the shakier my hands get.

 Anyhow, you get the idea.

I started by cutting 2 1/2 inch squares in gray. I found a very pretty pink charm square, by Alison Glass, for the primary print.

It’s late and I’m at my deadline. This is how far I got with the piecing.

I’m happy with the fabrics against the gray. This may be the beginning of a 2020 series with gray background.

 i’m looking forward to seeing all your great projects this week.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/

Color Play

This week I decided to do some experimenting with color samples. As most of you know, I prefer bright colors, so I decided to see what happens with subdued colors.

From my stack of 10-inch squares I chose a couple of dull hues, a dark olive and an insipid faded rose.  I rough-cut four strips of each and paired them up on my portable design board, the backside of an old painting.

The addition of varied color scraps was a simple way to compare results.

The more I study this arrangement, the less I like it. What did I learn? Exactly what I expected, that dull colors and bright ones don’t really go well together.

1. The aqua, teal scraps don’t work at all because they are all too bright.

2. The warm orange and yellow samples blend better with the dull green, but not really with the rose color.

3. The purple and. the lime green don’t blend in at all, but seem too bright.

4. Neither the bright blue nor the soft blue fit in anywhere.

What is the answer for the subdued colors?. Several months ago I had divided most of my scraps into bright colors and dull ones. Then I randomly pieced together the soft colored scraps and bordered them in brown. I was very happy with it and have it hanging in my bedroom.

 My conclusion? For the most part the bright colors and the subdued ones prefer to play separately. This is quite evident in comparing Civil War repro fabrics to bright modern colors, with the exception of cheddar, a popular bright 19th century dye, as well as the familiar red, white and blue.

Each of us as quilters have our favorite color combinations and this endless variety is what makes quilts so special, each one unique to its maker.

I’m linking up with Angela at http://superscrappy.blogspot.com/and Cynthia at http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.com/