Saturday, 7 April 2007

Antique Quilt - Tumbling Blocks

I finally bit the bullet and customised my blog header. I hope you like it. My blog feels much more personal now, if you know what I mean. My thanks to Brenda for her wonderful tutorial, it worked a treat.

I haven't had any time in the studio lately. I have been busy spring cleaning the house and seeing family and friends. I also finished Module 8 of my City & Guilds course which has been signed off by my tutor. I didn't need to actually make Assessment 1 but I am a long way to having the book finished. I am just about to start Module 9 - after the Easter break since I have too many other things to do right now.

I have all but completed Module 1 - the research project - for the Judging course I am doing. So although I have had no studio time I have been busy.

Antique Quilt

My neighbour, Barbara, popped in the other day with an antique quilt her mother inherited from her grandmother. It was made by Barbara's Great Grandmother circa 1886.
It is made in the traditional English piecing over papers technique in the tumbling blocks design and some of the papers, they are more like pieces of card, have been left it. It is in remarkable condition although some of the diamonds have deteriorated over time.
Here is a closeup of the quilt. It is made from velvet (the black diamonds) and various brocades and silks, satin and other fabrics I can't place.
Here you can see where one of the fabrics has gone completely. She has asked me to repair it. I have asked if she could perhaps find some old fabrics in her grandmothers stash (which Barbara's mother has inherited). I hope she can find some as I don't feel inclined to add new fabrics to the quilt.
Here is the reverse of the quilt. No 1/4" seam allowances here!
The quilt has been layered with an old blanket, which is what they used to do way back then. It has been roughly basted to the quilt.

The backing has been hand quilted in a cross hatch fashion, it is so soft I am not sure what the fabric is or what the "batting" is, it's very very soft and silk like. What beautiful small stitches. This has come adrift from the quilt and I will slip stitch it in place all around once I have replaced the few diamonds that have worn away.

What an honour it has been to be asked to work on such a treasure. I just hope I do it justice. Mind you I am still not sure whether it should be mended or left as it is, I would hate to do anything to destroy the history of the piece. Any quilt historians out there who can advise?


Papoosue said...

What a beautiful quilt Carol and how lovely to be asked to mend it. I'm sure you will do a fine job.


Shelina said...

This is such a beautiful quilt. I am sure you will do a wonderful job restoring it to its former glory.

Rayna said...

Love the new header, Carol! This gorgeous quilt is a daunting project: ask me how many quilts I have half-restored in my lifetime and given up on. Good luck with this one. It's a beauty.

Papoosue said...

A Happy Easter to you Carol!

Gunnels blog said...

What a lovely old quilt!