December 26, 2012

Magic Vine

This is the Magic Vine quilt I was working on in the photos in my previous post.

When a picker brought the top into the antique quilt gallery where I used to work, I fell in love with it immediately.  All the appliqué was completed, excepting the corners of the borders which were basted in place.  The backing fabric was folded in along with the top.  It was a total no-brainer for me to buy it, especially since green is my favorite color.

All I had to do was attach the borders to the center panel, baste it up, and start quilting.

The top was made in the 1930s, just when the quilt pattern was first being published (see the previous post for more info on the pattern).  The prints are all of that era, and the green is the Nile green, aka "that 1930s green", that was among the favorite new pastel colors of that time.

The appliqué on this quilt is exquisite, perfection.  

The fabric choices are just plain fun, with the prints often echoing the shapes of each species of flower.  





In this block, the quilter used the both the front and the reverse of the fabric to give the flower added depth.

I am using a 100% cotton batt, and am quilting in a garden trellis design behind the vines.  

It looks like this quilt artist designed her own border vine shape.  This one is more sinewy and has fewer leaves than in the photos I've seen of other quilts made from this pattern.  It is much more graceful, and makes me love the top even more.

Here's the quilt pictured in Kretsinger and Hall's 1935 book, The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America.  The quality of the photo is pretty bad by today's standards, but looking closely, I can see that she quilted a feathered vine in the inner border, and I think quilted a flowered vine in the spaces between the appliquéd vines, using the appliqué patterns.  Nice!  The credit for this quilt is given as Mrs. C. E. Van Vleck.

There was absolutely no information about this wonderful quilter included with the top.  I hope that my care and quilting honors her and her artistry in the best way I can.  She certainly deserves the praise.  


  1. So beautiful! Such a treasure you do honor! I discovered the pattern on a quilt TV show years ago and bought the pattern and have finished about 1 of the 4 strips. Such a sweet idea. Thanks for sharing your beautiful green one. Congratulations on the catch ;)!

    1. Thanks, Cary! I'd love to see pix of your quilt, in-progress and eventually complete. :-) I am pretty excited to see more examples of Magic Vine quilts. It's a great name, isn't it?