Sunday, May 31, 2020

It Happened Again

You will remember that I recently rehabbed a vintage quilt by sewing the blocks into an entirely new setting. Well.

Not long after, I received a message on Ravelry from someone who happened to see my post (she was visiting the quilting group) and linked me to a post where someone was offering two old tops. Sure enough, someone was offering two tops that were found in an attic they were cleaning out. (First time in 85 years, apparently!) The first they thought was from the 30s and the second from the 70s.

We ended up connecting and he agreed to send me the tops. I had half a thought that I might get into trouble if old quilts keep finding me! (But I quickly quashed it.)

Then the owners wrote me and said that someone in the family wanted the checkerboard top for a baby quilt; he was very sorry. But I didn't mind because I was only taking the second one because I liked the first one! So, perfect all around.

A couple weeks after that, my package arrived!
What did I have?
Twenty-five blocks sewn in a 5x5 grid; 4 blocks sewn in a row; and 4 single blocks. I can't imagine what layout they were thinking of with that number of blocks, or maybe they were planning to make a few more.

Some of the blue pieces have evidence of stitching and I'm wondering if it's from the same reinforcing stitching that I saw in the last set of blocks. But in this case, they took the time to remove the reinforcing strip. The blocks looked to be in good shape. It was all hand sewn.

First order of business was to separate the blocks. I knew I couldn't use them in the existing arrangement.
And here they are!
I gave them a good soak and light swishing and then an extra long soak because I forgot about them overnight. A quick spin in the washer and they were ready to hang to dry.
The water came out very brown which was icky. But I wonder if it was some of the brown dye bleeding. A few of the blue stars have brown spots and I don't know if they were already there or if it was transfer from the dye.

Once washed, they all needed a good pressing. Each block went from this:
to this:
So satisfying!!

Although the blocks are not a uniform size and some of the seam allowances are a lot smaller than a 1/4 inch, the only one that could pose a big problem is this one:
Can you see how "not flat" that is?!! I don't think I'm going to re-sew it. I can just push it down and flatten it which makes the blue fabric pleat over itself but doesn't affect the outside shape. Or I can choose a layout that doesn't need that block.

This morning I laid out the blocks for the first time. I'm thinking of setting them on-point with alternating blocks.
There are a lot of ways you can fill in the blank squares. Solid fabric squares is one option, or quarter square triangles (hour glass blocks) can be a striking arrangement too.

I trimmed the last set of blocks so that they were all the same size. I think I may add sashing to these blocks so I can cut them the same size without cutting off parts of the stars.
I was thinking these small blocks (only about 7") wouldn't be enough for a big quilt, but setting on point and alternating with other blocks makes them almost fill this double bed. Add a few borders that hang over the side and I'd have a bed quilt!

That would also mean making a couple more blocks because there aren't quite enough for this 5x7 arrangement. I used to have a blue that I think would have match pretty well, but I'm not sure I have it any more. Matching the brown would be a lot harder.

But on the other hand, they don't have to blend in completely. Having different blocks would just highlight the fact that this is a "mother/daughter" quilt--that's what they call it when one person makes the blocks or starts a quilt and another (from a younger generation) finishes it. An endearing name, isn't it?

Linking up with Quilting Patchwork and Applique

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