Sunday, March 10, 2019
I'm working on the last commission piece. These wonderful hand pieced patch blocks, you may recognize the fabrics from the basket blocks and the other patchwork quilt. She used it up for sure - or was it her only fabric? It was the leaf blocks that had me in tears.
These blocks are all hand stitched. Such uniform buttonhole stitches almost had me thinking machine, but knew that was wrong. I ran my fingers over every single block, trying to connect with this quilter.
Just look at these beauties! There are 68 all together, some sewn in bands but the majority just loose. These had me researching the history of variegated thread. I ended up contacting a local crazy quilter whom I knew who would know the answer - Betty Fikes Pillsbury. She found similar works in an old Harpers Bazaar - 1869.
You can see the knots - yes, she changed out colors to create her own variegated look. Did this quilter see this work in a catalog, paper, or museum and tried to replicate? Did she not have the means of funds or availability of variegated thread in her area? Or was this just creative vision?'
I am using the last of her patchwork with these leaves to make a collumn quilt. Anything left over from the projects, we discussed making table runners and a few pillows. Grandma's treasures are going to be used to their fullest.
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Oh My!! I clicked then clicked again, those buttonhole stitches and the different threads, this lady was a sewer, a quilter and an artist all together. What wonderful blocks, I wonder how she managed to get the fabric to stay in place as she hand stitched? Flour and water paste? lots of pins, those tiny short steel ones?And 68, what a work of art in every one.
What wonderful handwork, deserves our admiration!!
She put in a lot of work on those leaves. Glad they will finally become a quilt.
I've really enjoyed reading your posts about these projects. If you hadn't shown the backs of the leaf blocks, I wouldn't have believed they were hand sewn. How ingenious (or thrifty) to create a homemade variegated thread.
Wow...that is amazing. I was thinking of you the other day. I have an old quilt of my grandmother’s that really needs to be restored. Are you interested? I could take some pictures. Not fancy, but if you’re interested, you could keep the finished quilt. It’s just sitting in my cedar chest. I can’t bear to throw it away, but I don’t know enough to restore it myself.
Those leaves are amazing! So glad they are finally making it into a quilt.
SO good these beautiful blocks are being lovingly made into quilts.
Dont you wish you could have known the maker? So so cool. Love her work
That's quite amazing. My mother had some variegated thread probably 70 years ago, but they were just shades of one colour, not multicoloured.
What a creative person the leaf-maker was!
Those leaves are gorgeous! The maker was one talented quilter.
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