December 8, 2015

Indigo Baskets

Indigo and white quilts are clear and clean, always eye-catching.  And the basket block always has such a lovely, old-timey feel.

This one, besides having such a lovely look, has the date quietly embroidered in the center block: 1888.

The alternate blocks are quilted with feather wreaths.  The feathers are echoed in the quilting around the baskets, both along the basket sides and doubling as leafy clusters inside the baskets.

The quilt had quite a few tears and splits, especially along the top edge that probably got most of the handling during the nighttime and subsequent morning bed-making, and along the one side edge that received the most sun-fading.  I patched the back in the places where the quilt was torn through all layers.

To mend the front, the owners chose the conservation rather than restoration.  Keeping the quilt as close a possible to its original state can be preferable in a family quilt like this one.  Another reason for the choice is that on a two-fabric quilt patching can be more visible than on a scrap quilt.

I slipped a bit of new fabric inside the splits where possible, and closed them with a herringbone stitch.  (You can see the process in my post about a schoolhouse quilt.)  The inserted bit of new fabric keeps the stitching from pulling on just the weaker old fabrics.  The photo below shows examples of filling larger open places with solid fabrics to maintain the color placement while avoiding the look of a non-identical print in the indigo areas.  This photo also show one of the places where I did patch on a new piece of (yellowed) white, in this case a spot where the tear included the binding as well as the border fabric.


  1. What a great job you did on our families' treasure!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I enjoyed having your quilt visit me for a while.