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colonial girl quilt

colonial girl quilt

Old 10-17-2020, 01:59 PM
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I recently became a snowbird, and moved to South Texas for the winter. When we got to our other house, I found 19 Colonial Lady (?) quilt blocks in one of our closets. No idea how long they had been there, shoved all the way to a back corner, but they look to be from feedsack fabric. They are all hand embroidered to large muslin squares. However, most of the muslin appears to be poor quality, as you can literally see through it.
I could have backed it with a sturdier fabric if that was the only issue, but the bigger problem is that when I found these on the closet shelf, they were folded in half, and it looks like maybe some critters had been chewing them.
On the left side of each block, there is approx 3 inches of the muslin that has been eaten away, so now these beautiful blocks are unusable as is.
If I trim off the ragged edge, then it diminishes the muslin to about 1/8th away from the skirt of the lady. There is not enough room on the other sides to make it equal, although I might be able to sash it but the teeny seam allowance makes me hesitate to do that.
I have thought about this for a while, and I think my best option might be to cut away the appliqued pieces, and attach them to a heavier fabric. If I go with this option, then I lose the embroidered neck and arms. Currently, there is a book embroidered in the hands. I could add the umbrella that I am used to seeing, but obviously, they would not match the ladies' dresses. I would like to embroider the neck and arms, to keep it in the same style, but I have not been able to locate a pattern for just the neck and arms. I tried searching under Colonial Lady, Parasol girl, Bonnet Girl, and I get amazing pictures, but no actual patterns
After all this rambling, my question is: does anyone know where I can buy the pattern for the neck and arms so I can try to salvage these blocks? I know that quilts are only as old as the newest fabric, but someone spent a lot of time on these, and the needlework is beautiful. They remind me of a quilt that my grandmother had , so I hope someone can point me in the right direction.
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:23 PM
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It might be helpful to see a picture of the blocks so we can help you better. There are many of these type blocks and it would help to see a picture.
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:06 PM
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https://www.pinterest.com/needlese/colonial-ladies/ Maybe one of these could help you.
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:25 PM
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I think to preserve the hand work, you could add a fusible interfacing to the back to stabilize and strengthen the background fabric. I would use a light box and lay the block on it , place paper on top and trace the block lady. I would then draw in the arms and neck details on the paper until I got them right. Once I had the paper pattern right, I would put it on the light box and use a Frixion pen to draw on the the neck and arms on the block and do the hand embroidery.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by nanac View Post
I recently became a snowbird, and moved to South Texas for the winter. When we got to our other house, I found 19 Colonial Lady (?) quilt blocks in one of our closets. No idea how long they had been there, shoved all the way to a back corner, but they look to be from feedsack fabric. They are all hand embroidered to large muslin squares. However, most of the muslin appears to be poor quality, as you can literally see through it.
I could have backed it with a sturdier fabric if that was the only issue, but the bigger problem is that when I found these on the closet shelf, they were folded in half, and it looks like maybe some critters had been chewing them.
On the left side of each block, there is approx 3 inches of the muslin that has been eaten away, so now these beautiful blocks are unusable as is.
If I trim off the ragged edge, then it diminishes the muslin to about 1/8th away from the skirt of the lady. There is not enough room on the other sides to make it equal, although I might be able to sash it but the teeny seam allowance makes me hesitate to do that.
I have thought about this for a while, and I think my best option might be to cut away the appliqued pieces, and attach them to a heavier fabric. If I go with this option, then I lose the embroidered neck and arms. Currently, there is a book embroidered in the hands. I could add the umbrella that I am used to seeing, but obviously, they would not match the ladies' dresses. I would like to embroider the neck and arms, to keep it in the same style, but I have not been able to locate a pattern for just the neck and arms. I tried searching under Colonial Lady, Parasol girl, Bonnet Girl, and I get amazing pictures, but no actual patterns
After all this rambling, my question is: does anyone know where I can buy the pattern for the neck and arms so I can try to salvage these blocks? I know that quilts are only as old as the newest fabric, but someone spent a lot of time on these, and the needlework is beautiful. They remind me of a quilt that my grandmother had , so I hope someone can point me in the right direction.
Good morning,
Have you found the original pattern yet? I have the Colonial Girl pattern and would be happy to send you copies if that would help. I don't get on the Board too often so sending me a private message would be quicker.
Sally in Oregon
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:28 AM
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No, I have not yet found the pattern for the Colonial Girl neck and arms pieces. The blocks I have are beautifully hand done, but unfortunately, I do not believe I can salvage the muslin squares. If I cut the pattern away from the muslin, then I lose the embroidered arms and necks. Once I transfer them to another piece of muslin, then I do not have the pattern for the arms and necks to complete them.
Another board member suggested using a light box to trace the lines for the pieces I need, but I live in a small town that doesn't have anything like that here, and at this time, I cannot afford to order a light box from amazon. I would be thrilled if you can provide them. I will be happy to pay for them, or, if you can tell me the name of the book, I could buy that from amazon, instead.
I thank you so much for the help. You can reply to direct message, and I can send you any other information you need.
nanac
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:31 AM
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I have a child’s Crayola light box from Walmart that serves as my light box. There are many home made alternatives. You can use a window during the day. You can use a clear plastic bin with a light underneath. You can lay a piece of acrylic over the separation in a leaf table with a table lamp underneath. Google home made light box and you will get lots of options. I hope someone can find you a source for actual pattern but if not, you made need a do it yourself option.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:07 AM
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I was also going to suggest tracing around what you have to obtain a pattern.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:41 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I took pictures of the blocks, but can't figure out how to get them off my phone . I will go to the WM in the next town to see if they have a light box. Something tells me this is going to be a long term project.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:30 AM
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I just spent an hour on the internet looking for the pattern that you want. I found many photos of the pattern, but no place to buy it. It would take a long time to find it, if it's available. As others have suggested, you will have to make your own pattern, in my opinion. Even if you had a pattern, (I'm thinking iron-on transfer old fashioned style), you would not have enough copies to iron onto all your blocks.

Erasable Frixion pens, made by Pilot, will disappear when ironed. When exposed to cold, the ink may come back, but you can iron it again and it will go away.

You have to figure out how to make a pattern you can use multiple time to draw the arms and book. Some have suggested a light box (or some approximation), which will allow you to copy the arms. You still have to figure out how to get it transferred to your new backing.

Good luck. It sounds like a challenge worth doing.

bkay
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