Wednesday, July 1, 2009

string quilt top

Here it is:
The final dimensions are about 4 feet by 5 feet. (I didn't think to measure it before we left on vacation and I'm writing this in a hotel room in Alexandria, Virginia - very far from my studio.)
I used some of the scraps that were in the box to repair a few corners that were missing or just too off to line up with the other blocks. Otherwise they were just sewn together like regular one patches. As easy as it is to line up basic rectangles, there were so many seams and layers in them that I broke a needle piecing them. I don't think I've ever broken a needle just sewing. (It's usually from something stupid like moving the needle position to the left or right, then putting on a straight stitch foot and forgetting the needle is off - insert swear word here.)
After doing a tiny bit of research at the library I think I'll use a piece of flannel instead of batting. Some string quilts never had batting in them at all because of all the seams. The backing will probably be muslin unless I have a piece of vintage fabric on hand that seems perfect for the job. It seems silly to put something pretty on the back of a quilt that will always hang on a wall though. I planned to follow the seam lines joining the blocks with a decorative feather stitch on my machine in black thread for the quilting. The thickness from all the piecing would make hand quilting extremely difficult. The binding will be black - of that, I'm sure. I may also put a thin sleeve on all the edges of the back so I can rotate it easily to lessen the stress on the fabrics from hanging. Most of the them are at least 60 years old. Norm feels a lot are older than that.
Do any of you have recommendations for an online source where I can research antique string quilts more? Or do you know of a good book?
The very best part of finishing the top - taking it back to Norm's house the day before we left for vacation (yes, they were running the sale ANOTHER weekend and yes, I bought a few more things). He was so happy to see it put together. I'll have to send him a picture when it's finally a quilt.
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Susie Sunshine said...

I am sick in love with this quilt and so, so happy the pieces were kept together and that you happened upon them.

(Norm is bound to be very pleased too.)

Amber said...

It looks fantastic! How nice of you to take it back and show them - I'm sure they loved the fact that you had taken such care with all the pieces. The quilting sounds like a fabulous idea!

be*mused jan said...

Whaaa....? You've already assembled them into a quilt top?!! They were clearly meant for you. :-)
We just got in from our trip last night. Call me when you get back...I want to see this in person and hear about what Norm offered that last weekend.

SandyQuilts said...

What a wonderful quilt. I thought that look was called a 'crumb' quilt. Either way it's wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Poppy Buhk-suhm said...

Oh my lord, this is just stunning. And I'm sure Norm was thrilled to pieces.

Yay you!