Thursday, April 23, 2015

Worn & Loved

I want it on my epitaph;  "I don't feel good!" (apologies to Luther Burbank).
Geez, even my Dr.'s office had no sympathy; with his nurse's stern phone lecture that I should push fluids and get bedrest. She also said that since it is viral, no antibiotics will touch it. Moan & groan.

In the absence of having anything that I've sewn to show you, I will remind you of the old adage, "Never say never!"
I swore to myself that I would never buy an antique quilt because I feared that if I bought one, then the floodgates would be open and that I would soon own a hundred of them.
My brother-in-law lives not far from the local "Antiques Alley" of Route 4 in Northwood, New Hampshire.

Before I caught this cold, I made the gross mistake of browsing in one of the shops there!


It was pure folly, of course, to tell myself that I was, "just looking." That's one of those lies that you tell yourself when you are very, very weak and vulnerable. Soon I was smitten by a circa 1880 log cabin, and then, just as quickly, I was about $300 lighter in my secret savings. This is what I bought:


The fabrics truly called to me. Many of Barbara Brackman's teachings on her Civil War Quilts blog have helped me to appreciate the riches within this anonymously pieced piece of American history.


There are about a dozen, "bad" or disintegrated brown madder fabrics.


But the blocks are beautiful! The shirtings are so varied. Click on any picture for a better look.


There is no discernible batting between the layers of this "summer quilt." The backing is a plain and now rather dirty muslin that was pieced.


It has a cinnamon double-pink narrow applied binding with slightly curved corners.


It was machine pieced and hand quilted. The hand quilting is visible from the back, but not on the front, and I cannot tell quite how that was accomplished.


The hand stitches are approximately 6 stitches per inch.


The whole quilt measures 86" square and the "logs" are about ¾" finished, with the center "chimney" being 1½" finished in the quilt.


Each of the 100 blocks is approximately 8" square. In the block pictured above, there is actually a printer's flaw that shows as a white streak in the red, black and grey print. She used it anyway! Over 100 years later, I still feel the same way about my scraps. They are all precious to me!


I hope that someday, 100 years or so from now, somebody will love what I did with my scraps, too. If not, I'll still have had my fun with them, LOL!

Lastly, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I'm glad to not be infecting you with this rotten cold, and I hope to feel up to sewing soon.

Stay calm and quilt on!




12 comments:

cityquilter grace said...

so sorry you are under the weather...OJ and aspirin is my tried and true cure...gorgeous quilt btw...should be for the price...a real heirloom

swooze said...

Hugs. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Jeanne said...

Beautiful classic antique quilt! Maybe it was done as a stitch-and-flip, one log at a time onto the back?
Feel better soon!

Auntie Em said...

Hope you feel better soon! Thanks for sharing your new acquisition. I'm sure it's enjoying it's new home.

Janet O. said...

Doesn't sound like a happy time, healthwise. Sorry to hear it.
Beautiful quilt. I would have had to leave it behind. I'm lucky if I can buy a hamburger with my secret savings. *LOL*

Wendy Caton Reed said...

Oh I love that shop! In fact I love visiting the shops in Northwood! You found a wonderful treasure. I looks like it was hand pieced onto the muslin foundation block by block. What we call the original quilt as you go. Technically it isn't quilted as the piecing does the quilting for you. then the blocks are pieced together on the front and whip stitched together on the back. We see a lot of them here in NE and quite a few of them are simply summer spreads as this one it. So glad it has found a good home! Hope you feel better soon.

Vic in NH said...

Thank you, Wendy, for your explanation! For those who are from "away", Wendy's abbreviation "NE" means New England, and not Nebraska.

justducky65 said...

Lovely post, but sorry you are feeling a bit under the weather. It's no wonder with this crazy weather - warm one day, cold the next. I was going to say quilt-as-you go too as an explanation for why the quilting only shows up on the back of the quilt.

helen said...

I was missing your posts! So that's why. :(
Hope you get well asap and wishing you all the best!
You have found some real treasure with this quilt!
Best wishes!

Ruth said...

Wow! The quilt is just beautiful and the colors are so vibrant! You may have started something with this find. It makes me want to get busy and get my log cabin quilt finished. I think I might be giving it to my GD for her wedding in August. Get well soon.

Cathy said...

Rich!...the quilt...not you after you buy a few of these for a collection!

Nann said...

How did I miss your post? I love the log cabin quilt! One of my vintage quilts (actually a UFO -- it was never quilted) is a 19th century gem that I bought at one of the shope in Northwood. Hope you are feeling better.

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