Small Vintage Flowers

Small Vintage Flowers is the last top in this series and for this one particular client. So much more manageable than the Large version, I was so happy to see how it turned out..

This is such a fun quilt, full of unique fabrics and a design that just seems to take motion. The pieced blocks float on a blue background and can almost be seen sliding from left to right. Sometimes it takes finishing a quilt to see these unique elements.

Some Challenges

This quilt, now beautiful, was not without a few challenges. Because it was both hand-pieced and the top had been machine washed, there were issues with structure

Some stitches held up better than others after a machine washing

You can easily see how washing the top stressed the stitches and created lots of orphan strings. No matter how dank, smelly or musty a quilt top smells, please consult your long arm quilter before throwing it in the wash. Small vintage flowers survived, but a quilt top in lesser condition may not have.

Edge to Edge Quilting – Small Vintage Flowers

Seamless E2E pattern – a staple for vintage quilts
Edge to Edge Patterns
Seamless

Check out some of the other posts in this series:

Large Vintage Flowers

This is the second to last post showcasing the 5 quilts that a client brought to me to preserve. Unfortunately,this top was a no go in the quilting department. It included a lot more than regular quilting cotton fabrics. In addition, the piecing was done by hand and was not very tight. Large vintage flowers was certainly a challenge – decisions were made.

Unique Challenges

Large Vintage Flower

Here you can see just how scrappy and wonderful this quilt top is. The problem with it is that the pieced scrappy circles are so loose, that if you placed a beach ball inside one and laid it on the long arm, it would resemble a well-endowed woman in a scrappy bikini!

There was absolutely NO WAY to get this to lay flat without folding pieced elements on to one another.

Searching for Solutions

With sadness, I told the customer that I could not quilt this as is without creating so many puckers and folds that the end product would not honor the creator. I did have an idea; however. Why not take each of the 9 sections and create individual throw pillows? In this way, the quilt could retain the stitches and content of the original piecer, but in a way that can be enjoyed. Sure, the pillows would be poofy – but isn’t that what pillows are supposed to be?

Hopefully, large vintage flowers will begin as one top and end as a garden of throw pillows.

Check out some other posts in this series:

Flour Sack Flowers

Yet another – 4th in the series of vintage quilts that a client presented to me for finishing. Flour Sack Flowers follows a round robin type of pattern which builds from the center and moves out with a different motif for each border. I find that when I have some great fabrics to showcase, this type of pattern works well. You can also see how well the textures and scale of prints play off of each other.

Flour sack Flowers
Flour Sack Flowers
Loaded on the Long Arm

For such an old quilt top, you can plainly see that it was in pretty good shape. There was not much wonkiness (even after being washed in a commercial machine). Of course, there were lots of underside threads to contend with, but that could not be avoided in this case.

Backing Fabric

Most vintage quilts that I complete for clients include Muslin for the backing. This time was different. The client intends to gift this to a young woman in the family and wanted the backing to be as lovely as the front. luckily, I knew the perfect fabric for this request.

The pink and floral fabric on the top of the image above turned out to be the perfect choice to complete Flour Sack Flowers. The colors and textures mimic and respond to the elements in the older fabrics on the front. I am always amazed at the quality and vibrancy of flour sacks.

Edge to Edge Pattern

Edge to Edge Patterns
Flutterbys

Flutterby is a simple, unsophisticated edge to edge pattern that ties a vintage quilt together in such a nice way. This Edge to Edge design seems to just float about without overtaking the patterns in the top itself.

If you like the look of this quilt, you may also enjoy viewing this Vintage Inspired Quilt that has much in common.

Peonies and Polka Dots

See more in this series:

Curvy Blue Vintage

This gorgeous hand-pieced, curvy blue vintage quilt top was so much fun to quilt. As with others in this series, the customer found these in the estate of a relative and wanted it to be used and loved. There were actually 5 quilts total, this is the first I am showcasing that came un-quilted.

Not only did I do the edge to edge quilting for this beauty, I also put the binding on as well. – I really hated to see it go, it was so unique. A modern-looking quilt done so many years ago.

This quilt was not without it’s challenges; however. At some point, someone had washed the top.

In order to ensure that threads didn’t bunch up and mar the back of the quilt (which was done in muslin – I spent at least an hour cleaning up all the random threads that had frayed from the piecing. The piecer did an amazing job with her small – tight stitches. No seam came loose!

Here is an example of her beautiful stitches:

Loading on the Long-Arm

While there was some issues with tension over the different pieced elements, considering this was hand-pieced, these were minor and easy enough to navigate.

E2E Pattern – Celtic Sea

As I will mention over and over – not everyone wants their vintage, hand-quilted tops finises on a long arm. In this instance, the customer wanted the quilt to stand up to use for at least one more generation. For this reason, she picked a fun E2E Pattern that really set off the block design:

E2E Patterns
Celtic Sea

Usually, I like to quilt an edge to edge pattern that is opposite of the feel of the piecing, in other words, curves on a non-curvy quilt and so forth. In this instance; however, we decided on a complimentary curvy edge to edge design, and we could not be more pleased.

I even loved the simple, muslin backing after the quilting on Curvy Blue Vintage was complete.

I really fell in love with this quilt and hated to see it go.

Check out other posts in this series:

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