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Friday, June 23, 2017

Finishing An Antique Quilt Topper

A few of you had asked for some additional information on the quilt I recently shared on my Summer Home Tour.

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The top quilt piece had been made by my great~grandmother probably in the 1920’s or 30’s based on the printed fabric material which was primarily made of feed sack.  It was created in the “Dresden Plate” design style.

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The design was then applied to white flour sack. My great~grandmother wasted not a single scrap of fabric. Some of the squares even feature a bit of the flour sack printing. I love this detail, it confirms my frugality is genetic.

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 Transforming the topper into a actual quilt first required the selection of some batting and backing fabric. I opted to use cotton batting as that was what would have been used during the era the quilt was originally begun.

The backing fabric was a vintage white all cotton sheet that was scrumptiously soft but still quite durable. You can use any fabric for your quilt backing but again, I wanted to use elements that were consistent with the timeline.

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You then create a “sandwich” of the quilt topper/batting/fabric backing. My cousin Linda and I worked on this part of the process together.

At this point there are two options:

The first option is that you can hand quilt all three layers together. In the beginning I thought this was the option I wanted to take. There is a very good reason why hand quilted quilts run into the thousands of dollars. It is a long, and in my opinion, tedious process. Just a portion of one “Dresden Plate” piece took me several days to hand quilt.

Friends, we all have different seasons in our lives. Here is where I am going to give you FULL permission to enjoy the season you are currently living in.

I had to consider that I was a working mother, attending college, who does all of her own cooking and cleaning, in addition to writing a blog (my happy place). It was not the season in my life for hand quilting as it was not a process I found that I enjoyed.

I once again looked at my great~grandmothers handwork and saw that she had used a treadle sewing machine to attach her pieces together.

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I decided I was comfortable using the second option of machine quilting.

My dear friend Wendy who works at Happy Is Quilting was immensely helpful in directing me to a lovely woman, Kayelene Parrish, who does machine longarm quilting in her home.

Together we selected one of the simplest designs that she had available because I wanted the focus to remain on the original design and not on the quilting. Her work was lovely, well priced and she had a quick turn around time.

DISCLAIMER: At this time I would like to state that I was not compensated in any way. I paid for my quilting and fabric. All opinions are based on that I simply believe in the talents of these wonderful women.

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After the quilting the unsewn fabric edge needs to be bound. The challenge of this particular quilt is that it featured a scalloped edge (which I love) versus a straight edge. 

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Any longtime reader of mine knows that I have mad sewing skills.. But I opted to also hire out the binding work. The fabric must be cut and sewn on the bias. Then the bias tape is used for the binding process. I found my reproduction fabric at Happiness Is Quilting.

The amazing Deb of The Pioneer Soul did a wonderful job on the binding. Deb is a modern day Renaissance woman who is a quilter, beekeeper and rescuer of adorable pugs. You will be hearing much more about Deb in the near future because she is just too wonderful to keep to myself.

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Deb is a highly sought after hand quilter. So you must be patient. But I promise, she is worth the wait. So much so that I have placed another one of my great~grandmother’s gems into her very capable hands. This treasure, when finished, will be for my daughter Lou. 

Lou was born in April which features the daisy as it’s flower. My girl has been a lover of daisies since she was small. “Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” (Name that movie. ;) 

The quilt pieces are done in the “Grandmother’s Garden” pattern. So fitting and I must admit that the thought of my girl soon sleeping under a quilt that her great~ great grandmother began makes me sentimentally teary eyed. I promise to keep you posted on its progress.

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I cannot begin to express the sheer happiness and gratitude these women have brought into my life through this quilt. It was originally given to me by my beloved Grandma Jingles with the promise that it would finally be finished.

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Promise kept, heart overflowing.

Laura

Linking to:

Inspire Me Monday, Merry Monday,The Scoop, A Stroll Thru Life, Savvy Southern Style, Share Your Style, Vintage Charm Party, Thursday Favorite Things, The Inspiration Gallery, French Country Cottage, Imparting Grace, The Charm of Home, Foodie Friday, Best Friday Feature,The SITS Girls, Funky Junk Interiors, Sundays At Home, Happiness Is Homemade

10 comments :

Simply LKJ said...

Laura, it is beautiful. And yes, agree that sometimes letting others help out is best. And, it seems they took great joy in doing so.

Jeanie said...

As you probably know, I collect vintage quilts and I really love ones with stories -- this story is a great one! Now and then I run into a quilt topper and if they aren't too much will pick it up to use as a table cloth. I don't have room for another quilt but I can always use a quilted tablecloth! I love what you did here and I just can't wait to see the grandmother's garden!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

It is gorgeous and the workmanship is stunning. Well done.

Salmagundi said...

Wonderful job of preserving your important heritage. After being a hand quilting snob for 40 years; I've discovered, because of my season in life, that machine quilting is good. Because of my age, arthritis, and eye disease; I can no longer hand quilt, but thoroughly enjoy learning about machine quilting. Over the last couple of years I've made several projects that include machine quilting. I apologize to all of those machine quilters I may have offended during my "snob period". Great post!! Sally

Jane said...

Your finished quilt is gorgeous and the other one will be wonderful too! So great to have the story behind the quilts and to know you're preserving some family history. I have a couple of quilts made by grandmother, and some pieces of both Dresden Plate and Grandmother's Flower Garden that my mother made. Hoping to get them made into a quilt soon! Jane

Ginene Nagel said...

Laura,
One of the wonderful things about inheriting an unfinished quilt is that it is still in like new condition. If your great grandmother Jingle had quilted those, they would now probably be worn out. They are stunning! Your blog posts never fail to amaze me...always something new and wonderful.
Ginene

ImagiMeri said...

Gorgeous pieces girlfriend. I know Alyssa Lou will treasure hers for years. I love my precious little bunting that you made for me. Knowing it's all Grandma Jingles scraps is just the icing on the cake. Love you to bits!

Lynne Bartels said...

My grandmother and her sisters use to get together and quilt. My cousin and I would play under the quilt frame. Some days I would get lucky and she would let me make a few stitches. I am sixty and have some of her quilts. I treasure them dearly. Those were some of the best days of my life. Those ladies would shell peas and beans, shulk corn, and we would have the best dinner ever. Oh for the simpler things in life. Your quilt is beautiful.

Cecilia Bramhall said...

"You've Got Mail" is the movie. One of my all time favorites. 😉
Love your quilts! I have a couple from Bruce's grandmother that we treasure. I also have a quilt top languishing because it needs to be quilted and I have no patience for the process. I need to find someone to quilt it for me! It's a double wedding ring design. Hm, you've got my wheels to turning! Can't wait to see your other quilt done. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Cecilia

Rita C. said...

What an outstanding quilt, past and present!