Saturday, March 20, 2010

And More Vintage Quilt Tops....


Awhile back in February, I showed you some vintage quilt tops that were given to my friend Mary. Those were just the ones in the top of the sack. There were still more quilts in that sack to ooh and aaah over.

But before looking at two more of the quilt tops, I wanted to note an interesting coincidence. After seeing the photo, several people mentioned to me that this Basket top (above, also shown in the earlier post) is like the Scrap Basket Quilt seen on the cover of the current issue American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, a publication of Better Homes & Gardens. The baskets on the cover quilt are done in a yellow/gold print, but the layout and the Double-Flying Geese border are the same. The timing of seeing the old quilt top and the cover quilt in the same month is really something!

Well, here's the first of two more vintage tops. This scrappy quilt is made from the block pattern known as Mexican Star, according to Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Alternate names for the block include Mexican Rose and Panama Block. The Brackman book characterizes the block as a "Nine X". This means the blocks "have a diagonal orientation within the square", and that "the blocks are divided by diagonal seams to make 8 or 9 major shapes." This may be my favorite of the tops Mary was given. But then again, I may have already identified my favorite in the previous post. Suffice it to say that I just love all old quilts.

This quilt top is lively with plaid and striped shirting prints. The light-colored sashing between the blocks and rows adds nice contrast and quiets down what could be a "busy" quilt design, giving the eye a resting place between the blocks. The quiltmaker used dark blue and burgundy prints sparingly but effectively to create strong contrast within the blocks. This is a beauty, but sadly we don't have any history on it. It's a reminder to me about remembering to label quilts (and maybe even tops?). I know it's important, and I'm always curious about the story behind a quilt. But, sorry to say, I'm not 100% faithful at labeling my own.

Scrappy quilts are my favorites (there's that word again!), and this One-Patch is really appealing. It looks random and unplanned, but upon a closer look, you can see that the quiltmaker concentrated green print and blue squares toward the edges of the quilt top. It's subtle, but appears to be part of a plan.


I once heard a speaker on vintage textiles advise us to "treat old textiles like you'd treat your favorite grandmother... not too much heat, not too much light, handle gently with great care." Now that's good advice.

1 comment:

Jean said...

Beautiful tops - esp. love the first one. I am thinking the name includes 9 because each block has a 9 patch at the center. And I also wonder (I love to speculate!) if the one patch has blue and green fabric mostly at one end because by that point in the construction she didn't have many scraps left... so it's not as 'scrappy' due to her stash being depleted....always fun to guess.
Thanks for sharing. I've heard the adage about grandma, too - but I heard, "don't put her in the attic"!
jean Carlton