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.