September 28, 2015

Antique Grandmother's Flower Garden Blocks

Recently, I received my second fantastic quilt history gift of the year.  A friend's neighbor was moving, had some quilt blocks she didn't want to keep, and they made their way to me.  They are super lovely!  There are 35 of them.  Hexagons are 1 5/8".

(The 5-part story of the first gift, a late 19th century quilt full of names and stories, begins with Part 1.)

What makes the blocks particularly fun is that the outer row of hexagons still has the newspaper patterns.  So I read them all, searching for provenance information - and found it.

September 20, 2015

A House, A Book, Zippers, and Buttons

I popped in to an estate sale at this historic register house near my neighborhood as much to visit the house as to shop.  The house was built in 1860, with a single story addition just visible on the side that was built in the 1950s.

The previous owners had collected wonderful antique furniture and accessories.  Their daughter was there and said her parents had moved there after their children moved along, and lived there for 30 years.  The house is in great condition, small rooms, loads of wood.

September 15, 2015

Missouri Daisy

I received an email query about the name of this quilt block.  I've seen flower blocks with gathered petals before, but usually the gathered pieces are rounded not straight-edged like these.

I did find a block with this shape petals in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns.  It's called either Golden Glow (if it's made in gold and white) or Missouri Daisy.  Both were published in the 1930s. 

The similar block with rounded petals has been published as Missouri Daisy, too, and also as Star Flower, Sunflower, or Star Dahlia.

The range of fabrics looks like the blocks were made from the proverbial "deep scrap bag."  I think I see fabrics from the1930s, maybe even a few from the 1920s, through the 1960s!

The stories this woman was telling me during our discussion were so entertaining that I asked her if she'd like to share them on my blog.  These are her words (several e-mails edited together by me for flow) and her photos. 

September 10, 2015

Scavenging Fabric

I accomplished a long overdue task - sorting my filing cabinet and culling out the ancient Stuff!

In amongst it all I found a set of swatches I'd ordered umpteen years ago, late 1980s or early 90s I bet, from a place that sold reproduction or vintage-looking fabrics.  The store's been out of business for years and years now.

So I put 'em all in a net lingerie bag, and put 'em through the wash.  And then ironed them one by one, and sorted into color families.  That part took a bit of time, but hey, I'm still in a summer mindset when everything's supposed to be a bit lazy and laid back, right?

And besides, now I have loads of little bits that one day might be just right to patch a scrappy quilt with small-ish patchwork, a Grandmother's Flower Garden for example. 

One never knows what will come across one's path.  This has always been my reasoning, ever since starting out in the repair biz, for having a roomful of fabric and always saying yes to pretty much all the interesting bits that "show up".  Makes sense, right?

The only problem is contemplating the fact that fabric I actually purchased is now entering the category of "vintage".  I guess it happens to us all eventually!

September 9, 2015

I'm Upping my Social Media Presence

I have recently created a business Facebook page, AnnQuiltsQuilts.  Come join up, and you'll get notices of all my new blog posts.

And just this weekend, I entered the world of Instagram as "ann_quilts".  I've already connected up with some interesting quilt folk and would love to be in touch with more of you.

While I'm here, I'll give a plug for my good ol' website and my Pinterest boards.

I'm finding all these new doo-dads are especially well-suited for someone who thinks and remembers in images.   So many cool things to browse!

(The photo above is a bit of a really wonderful crazy quilt that visited me for repairs.  The little monk with the bell is about an inch wide and 1.75 inches tall.  Incredible needlework on this quilt!  The sprig of violets at the bottom is hand-painted on the fabric. The quilt probably dates to somewhere in or around the 1880s.  The heartwarming story of how the current owner inherited this amazing quilt and lots more photos are in a post from last September.)

September 1, 2015

History Comes to Life on a Quilt - Part 5 - Research Done!

I did it!  I worked my way through researching all the names I could find on the Melrose, MA quilt!

(You can read the story of all the researching from the beginning - Part 1 tells the background of a quilt inscribed with many names, and how I started my search for the details of its history.  Part 2 details some of the interesting family stories.  Part 3 tells a long story about three intertwined families.  Part 4 has general observations on life in the late 1890s.)