May 13, 2013

Making Do

I've given the subject of quilting a lot of thought...
I often wonder why I have the "need" to quilt.
I figure it's in my Pennsylvania Dutch genes,
and I just have to do it.

{I'm like a beagle who longs to chase rabbits, even though it's a house dog.}

Today I read a post by my dear friend Amanda
about the philosophy of quilting.
I would highly recommend that you 
visit her blog to read about the Fabric of Life.

{Always good for a giggle, Amanda has a serious dimension as well.}

Amanda's mug rug for me, made with scraps

As I stitch and sew,
I love to think about the way our foremothers
somehow managed to create beautiful quilts
using only what they had on hand.

{Amanda thinks about this stuff, too.}

Antique 1930’s Garden quilt exhibited by Lynn Kough, 2013 AZQG
from Quilt Inspiration blog
As I thought of vintage quilts,
I was reminded of a project that I made 10 years ago,
and I'd like to share it with you today.
The block is called Bride's Bouquet,
but it's also known as Nose Gay
or Old-Fashioned Nose Gay.

There's a nice new post here about this block
on the blog called Tim Latimer - Quilts etc.
Believe it or not, I had never seen this blog before,
until I was researching the block for today's post.
This post was just written yesterday!

{Very timely, Tim!}

The story of my little table topper began
many years ago...
I made this label for the back of my project.

I won an Ebay bid for some scraps of feedsack cloth.
Along with the fabric pieces, I found an unfinished
Bride's Bouquet block.
I don't have a photo of the original block
I received, but it needed some work.
I picked apart the stitches
and put the block back together again, more carefully,
but in the same order as before.

{I'm pretty sure I had the luxuries of time and good lighting
that were lacking many years ago.}

I think it took me more than a few minutes to appreciate
the shocking selection of fabrics that the original quilter
used for the petal pieces.
Never, never, never 
would I have put all of these prints into the same quilt!

{Until I remade this block...and now I find them utterly charming.}

I had some pink polka dot feedsack scraps for the border,
and I used some vintage pink and green floral fabric for binding.
I made a crude cardboard template to mark clamshells
for the hand-quilting.

{I still remember the peace that came over me as I quilted this block.
My PA Dutch genes were working overtime that day.}

I think using bits of solids in 30's shades
helps to settle down those crazy feedsack prints.

I love "that green" and "bubble-gum pink" together.

Not only did our foremothers "make do" with what they had...
they also made it into something awesome.

Nowadays when I look at those wild prints,
playing so nicely together in this little old block,
I think to myself,
"That farmwife had an excellent eye for color."

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  1. Great post! I love what the solids do with 30s too. Your quilting is wonderful.

  2. Beautiful work!!

  3. So pretty !! Wonderful post !


  4. What a fabulous post, Amy! Love every word and photo! I've been following Tim and his work is amazing.

  5. I loved reading your post on this. Just sitting here!

  6. Such a lovely post Amy. Love the gorgeous photos of the vintage quilts and your beautiful nose gay block, just gorgeous!! Wendy xx

  7. I just love this post, too! Beautiful eye-candy!
    I am sure that the Missouri farmwife was happy how you brought her block back to life in a beautiful way!


  8. Lovely post. Quilting also makes me peaceful, especially hand quilting. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks about our quilting grandmothers creating gorgeous quilts from what they were able to scavenge together. We really take fabric choice for granted these days. Your so lucky to have found this block and to restore it! You did a great job!

  9. It must be in your genes because you have an excellent eye for colour too. Another piece of quilted art.


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