Monday, April 13, 2015

Whirlwind Weekend

 ... to Richmond, IN and Back

One thing I rarely mention here -- maybe never, actually -- is my interest in antique quilts.

I became interested in antique quilts about 25 years ago when I was dabbling in living history as a Civil War reenactor .... something else I've probably never mentioned here ....

Anyway, I began looking at 19th century quilts to see what types of prints would be appropriate for my dresses.  Fortunately for reenactors, about that time Marcus Bros began producing 19th century reproduction fabrics.  I later became interested in quilting as an appropriate activity for a middle-aged woman in the 19th century, so knowing what types of quilts were being made at the time was critical to my "persona" (which, by the way, was that of a Unionist laying low among Southern sympathizers).

Even though I have "outgrown" reenacting -- read that, too old to do the work -- I have not lost my interest in antique quilts.  My trip to Richmond over the weekend was to attend a meeting of the Midwest Fabric Study Group.  The topic was "What was she thinking?"  For over an hour the members showed and talked about all sorts of wonky quilts they had brought with them.  Most were just merely "interesting," but two had us all exclaiming "What WAS she thinking!"

Broken Dishes
This top was huge, made up of half-square and quarter-square triangles.  The individual units finished about 1 inch!  The fabrics covered several decades.  What a great study piece!

And then there was this one ...

Boston Commons or Trip Around the World
Unremarkable until you discover the tiny squares were cut at 3/4".  Insane!!!  The top came with a box of the squares already prepared and strung on thread.  I was impressed with the organization of the colors, too, very much like a blooming 9-patch.

After we ate lunch we went to the Wayne County Historical Society Museum to see a few of the quilts in their collection.  Take a look at these impressive beauties.

Home-woven woolens
The "orange" fabric is really more red.  The construction of the star points was a bit unusual.  The borders, which I didn't photograph, were different plaids on just two sides.

Orange and pink -- late 19th century
Yes, that really IS orange!  Paired with pink.  Who'd a thunk it?

Woolen log cabin
Love, love, love the plaids!!

We didn't stop at any quilt shops, so no fabric added.  I did finish a log cabin triangle top (5 yds) and made two wide backs (4.5 yds) for quilts I took to the long-arm quilter.

This week I'll be finishing up Lavender and Lime and the Disappearing 9-Patch.  I wrote about these here and wrote a tutorial here.  Check it out!

Weekly Stash Report - April 13, 2015
     In last 2 weeks:                    0.0 yards
     Out last week:                      9.5 yards
     In year to Date:                 51.25 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:             31.75 yards
     Net Used 2014                  19.50 yards (red means more in than out)

Linking up with Patchwork Times


  1. Really interesting to see these old quilts - thanks for sharing. I can't even begin to imagine starting a quilt with 3/4 inch pieces. Madness!

  2. Wow that plaid that is with the stars is a real workhouse as far as adding to the design.

  3. sounds like a great time. Never heard of Midwest Fabric Study group. interesting.

  4. Love those antique quilts! You have some amazing interests Libby. It would be so wonderful to really know what was behind the two large quilts with such tiny piecing.
    The orange and pink quilt reminds me of echinacea - pink coneflowers.
    Sounds like a really fun group!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous eye candy! Thanks for sharing!


Comments make me smile; I would love to hear from you! I respond almost exclusively by email, so be sure you are not a "no-reply" blogger. Or include your email address if you need an answer to a question.