Sunday, July 13, 2008
Lovely Old Thing
While traveling recently in Missouri, I had the chance to see a wonderful early quilt. My hostess brought out an old family quilt from upstate New York that had been in her grandfather's family. It's a huge four block piece, with interesting applique shapes and classic side sprays of vining flowers in the border. The quilted motifs are trapunto (stuffed) and oh yeah, the quilting stitches are minute and there's about 12 stitches per inch!
Not a seamstress herself, my friend assumed her quilt's repair was far beyond her limited sewing skills. Moreover, she also had been told that the quilt dated from 1720 and was afraid to touch such an ancient object. My opinion: this quilt is well worth saving and repairing. Even when an applique element is totally missing, the tell-tale stitches remain in the fabric as a guide to future repairers. Plus I think it's a 19th century piece, not as early as thought, and has the look of a classic 1840-1860 design.
Although usually drawn to applique, this old beauty took my breath away. At the least, I have to record and draw this wonderful folky pattern.
written by Pepper Cory