Monday, 23 November 2015

My Antique Quilt

On my recent visit to Houston for the quilt festival, I happened by a stall called Mulberrry Lane Quilts covered in a stunning array of antique quilts.
I couldn't resist pausing, and underneath a pile of gorgeous quilts I found my new favourite thing - my now named 'Houston Scrappy Quilt'! It was love at first sight - and I really couldn't resist!

Very little is known about my new acquisition! It was delivered in a battered suitcase by a man to Mulberry Lane Quilts at a show in a sorry state. He thought it was made by his great Aunt - but didnt know any more. Carol - the antique quilt guru - thinks the fabrics used date it to about 1920 with some being older than that. This suggests that much of the fabric was preworn.

Those lovely guys at Mulberry Quilts worked their magic on what sounded like a stinky, grubby  bundle with their special cleaning and preserving process, and brought forth this gorgeous crisp clean quilt that looks almost brand new. It shows its age in some places, with some wear to the binding, and one of the fabrics in particular has not fared too well. But then I don't expect that I will be looking so so wrinkle free once I am nearly 100 years old!
 A bit of binding damage - though this appears to be single layer binding rather than the double we often use so it will alway be subject to more wear and tear.

Slight damage on some of the blocks - but this just makes me love it even more!

This is completely hand made - and the stitches are so delicate. It is all hand pieced and hand quilted - and when I look at the quality of these stitches I get a little catch in my throat. Thinking of the time and care that went into these stitches all those years ago - and now they have made their way into my home. It is a shame that this unknown person put all that care into this piece of work but never signed it. Did they think that this was 'just' a quilt, that it wasn't important? They probably never imagined that it would last long after they were gone, or that it would travel half way around the world. Though to be fair, if it were signed and dated I probably couldnt have afforded it.

 The block design is so simple, and yet so delicious!

Detail of the hand quilting in the sashing. It is very faint because it is white thread on white fabric but it is so neat!!!!

I have plans for this quilt - I want to make a replica in modern fabrics and you will probably see it on a future Create and Craft show! Who knows what the next stage of this amazing quilt will hold!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Keeping Busy and Out of Trouble!

I feel really guilty that I have missed posting in September and October completely! Where does the time go?

Well it has been busy! The biggest thing since my last post was my trip to Houston, Texas for Quilt Market followed by The International Quilt Show. My what a feast!

So that was almost 10 days of quilty loveliness.

I hope to share a few pictures as the weeks go by. But here is a little taste of Houston!

Between the two shows I had a day to myself - and so I took a cab across town to NASA Johnson Space Centre. For a science geek like me it was AWESOME! This is the obligatory space shuttle selfie - and Yes, that's really really big!!!!

Of course I balanced it out with a trip to HobbyLobby on the way back for a bit of a fabric fix!

I see 2 new dresses in my future!

I was very lucky with the weather that day because it was the only time I really saw the sun. A hurricane on my first weekend and tornadoes on my second meant that my game attempts at keeping dry with a brolly nearly resulted in a comedy 'Mary Poppins moment' so I just put up with the frizzy hair and soggy clothing and got on with it!

But the quilts more than made up for it. There were stunning things to look at as far as the eye could see! This one was one of my favourites. It is called Bouquet of Hearts by Dora Tovar Pachnowski from Lack Jackson, Texas. It is hand appliqued and all the parts  are made up of heart motifs. I loved it! The picture really doesn't do it justice.

Here is a closer picture showing a bit more detail - including the lovely free motion feathers in the blue border. Stunning!
Another quilt I loved was this quilt called Landstriche - Swaths of Land by Brigitte Morgenroth from Kassel in Germany. The clever use of colours takes the humble log cabin to new heights! How very clever.

I will keep sharing more pictures that I took during my trip - and hopefully you will enjoy looking at them as much as I did!