Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I love an old quilt

Old quilts have so much character. If you listen for a while they will tell you all sorts about the lives they've had, the people who have owned, slept under and wrapped themselves in on a cold night.
In history books we see quilts that are worn and stained, have rough repairs, bits cut out and holes burnt in.
An encyclopedia of fabrics
At the Adelaide quilt show there was a fabulous display of old quilts; some from the turn of the century and earlier.

Green and Red baskets, Welsh whole cloth and Log Cabin

A log cabin quilt that I have had the pleasure of studying closely is one that was made by a grandmother for her 2 granddaughters and celebrates the centenary of the American Declaration of Independence in 1876.

Made by Grandma Stanford, 1876, aged 72 years
for Carrie Head and Alice Head
 The poor old thing could certainly tell a story or two. It is very warn but much loved; I'm sure of that.
It is signed, which gives it a whole new meaning and fabrics that were included in the "logs" were ones which  were specifically printed for the American centenary celebrations.
                                                    Baum Textiles brought out a line of documentary prints a few years ago
Pillar print
(called Walnut, root and berry, I think)
"all men are created equal"
and to our surprise and delight some of the original prints that had been reproduced  were used in the original quilt.
The pattern configuration in the original quilt is called Straight Furrows; this is achieved by placing light sides of the blocks together and the same with the dark ones. It is also interesting to note that Grandma Stanford used a "Quilt as You Go" technique. This idea is not so modern after all.  

fabric disintegration due to mordants  in the dyes used. You can also see 2 prints that were reproduced.

My rendition of the original quilt has the same setting, but a bit smaller; a 6 x 7 setting rather than 8 x 8
and my colour pallet is slightly less patriotic, opting for more subtle pink tones instead of reds. The overall effect is the same with the blocks creating rows of light and dark value fabrics
Stanford Cabin

Stanford Cabin is available as a pattern and can be purchased through my web site www.pinmoneyquilts.com.au
 or from Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop

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