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Thread: Help with quilting OLD signature quilt

  1. #1
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    Help with quilting OLD signature quilt

    I was asked to quilt on old quilt top. It is a signature quilt. The oldest block dated was 1939 and the newest one dated 1949. Most were not dated. I wound up taking it all apart and sizing and squaring each block. I have it put back together but I am stuck on the quilting. They knew I only did machine quilting and that is ok with them. My problem is I do not know how the old quilts were quilted around the signatures. I can't seem to find any pictures of quilting around them, does any one know? Thanks

  2. #2
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    The signature quilts I've seen were echoed around the outside of the signatures then different styles like loops and meanderings. Maybe ask what they would prefer or test with some stencils and see what looks best. I have seen a lot of scroll.

  3. #3
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    Are the signatures written on or embroidered? If they are approximately the same size, how about enclosing the signature in an oval shape ( kind of like a cartoon caption) and then do whatever suits the blocks around it?

  4. #4
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    To me modern style quilting is not representive of the old we quilts. It is difficult not seeing the pattern. Can you post a picture. I have judged many reproduction quilts where the quilting was totally opposit to the patchwork. While one can do whatever they want, if you want it to be authentic the quilting should be carefully considered. As an example, meandering as we see it done today on the machine was not done on quilts of the 30' and 40'. There are stencils taken from the vintage quilts available. Also I have rarely seen signature quilts that had quilting within the piece where the signature is. So without seeing the design it is difficult to give informed advice.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I'm with Holice on this one. Even though you plan to machine quilt, I'd suggest trying to do it in a style that is as close to the hand quilting designs used during the time period.

    If it is a one of the classic style blocks with a strip in the center for the signature and a colored triangle on the opposite corners, you could quilt a motif in the printed area formed when 4 blocks meet.

    Maybe if you put up a picture of the quilt, others will have better ideas for you.

  6. #6
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    The clam shell pattern was often used in that era, but of course, the shells were hand quilted. If you could find some way to do that without quilting over the signatures, it might be neat. froggyintexas

  7. #7
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    We must see the quilt design. Otherwise speculation is meaningless.

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