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Thread: Looking for 1930's quilting motifs

  1. #1
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    Looking for 1930's quilting motifs

    Hello everyone! I'm finishing up a quilt top I made from fabrics from the 1930's. It is a strip pieced quilt top about queen sized. I've scoured the internet and Googled until I'm bug eyed with no results. I basically kept getting quilt blocks and quilt patterns, but no quilting motifs. Can anyone tell me what patterns or motifs were used to quilt quilts in the 1930's. Advise, suggestions, or links to websites would be greatly appreciated. I know I can always count on the Board for help, so thanks in advance!!!
    Your quilty friend,
    quilterguy27 aka Doug

  2. #2
    MTS
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    I just took a look in my Mountain Mist Quilt Favorites book, which is full of quilts from that era.

    Obviously, everything is handquilted, and pretty densely.
    All very elegant looking.
    If there are appliqued shapes, heavy echo quilting.
    In blank alternate squares, rosettes or wreaths, also heavily echoed.
    Also a lot of cross-hatching.

    It would be helpful to see the quilt in order to offer suggestions suitable for your quilt.
    Can you post a picture?

    "Strip pieced" doesn't really give me a lot to go on, regardless of the fabric style.
    Last edited by MTS; 11-30-2012 at 10:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I have two original 1930s quilts made by my great Grandmother. One a Log Cabin, the other a Grandmother's Flower Garden. Both are hand quilted with outline stitches, no motifs. I have seen other vintage quilts with motifs, like an american eagle, in the middle of cross hatching. Maybe you could check out some of the books on reproduction 1930s quilts in your library, there is usually a suggested quilting patten for each quilt but it might not me mentioned in the book description online.

  4. #4
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    It's been a while, but I will try to post a picture. Just in case it doesn't work I will try to describe the quilt. Strip pieced basically means each block is 6" and each block consists of strips of fabric from the 1930's. Each block has between 4 to 7 strips as each block is slightly different and the strips are different widths. I'm planning a narrow inner border of muslin and an outer border of a coordinating fabric about 6 to 8 inches wide.

    As you can see, I'm still working on it. Since the fabrics are from the 1930's and not reproductions, some of the fabrics have disintegrated due to the dyes used to make them. I am in the process of replacing those fabrics as you can see from the second photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by quilterguy27; 11-30-2012 at 11:46 AM. Reason: To add more info.

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    Would the overall shell or fan be from the thirties?

  6. #6
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Alot of times to get inspiration, I'd google "1930s quilts" and look at the images of them, paying attention to how they are quilted and not the pattern itself. Some sites actually sell the antique quilts.

    The first thing I thought of for your quilt is just a simple X thru each block, or to quilt a square on point inside each of those blocks.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  7. #7
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    http://www.amazon.com/Quilting-Desig...der_1571205349 This book looks pretty good, with a section from the 20's-40's.


    And I wanted this book so much I accidentally ordered it twice. Really excellent all-around, though not specific to particular eras: http://www.amazon.com/501-Quilting-M...ilting+designs You can certainly find motives and all-over designs that complement a 30's quilt top.

  8. #8
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    I believe both Baptist Fans and Orange Peel are traditional hand quilting designs. Both are a lot of work if you are hand quilting but if it is a antique top, hand quilting would be the nicest finish. There are tutorials on the Internet for doing them by machine also.

  9. #9
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I had to look up Orange Peel because i had never heard of it...but I found out that I do have a template for it! LOL!!!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  10. #10
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I appreciate your feedback. I will look into your suggestions.

  11. #11
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    OK, I checked out everything you suggested, Baptist Fan, Clam Shell, Crosshatch, Orange peel, etc. I haven't decided which one I'm going to go with, but at least now I have a good idea. Thanks again.

  12. #12
    Super Member quilterguy27's Avatar
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    oops, duplicate posting.
    Last edited by quilterguy27; 12-01-2012 at 08:44 PM. Reason: duplicate, sorry

  13. #13
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    The book from Amazon, "Quilting Designs from the Past" by Jenny Carr Kinney, I believe, is exactly what you're looking for...excellent! It is available for download on the Kindle if you have one ... it's just $8.19 on the Kindle as opposed to $19.77 for a paperback. It goes WAAAy back. The first chapter is 1810's-1830's. Chapter 4 is 1920's-1940's and includes Popular Designs, Repeating Blocks, Alternate Plain Blocks, Sashings and Borders and Medallion Quilts. Good luck!

  14. #14
    Super Member Grandma Cindy's Avatar
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    I agree, these are the two I thought of first.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I believe both Baptist Fans and Orange Peel are traditional hand quilting designs. Both are a lot of work if you are hand quilting but if it is a antique top, hand quilting would be the nicest finish. There are tutorials on the Internet for doing them by machine also.

  15. #15
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    My mother used the clam shell pattern almost exclusively. It's easy to mark and can be as dense as you want it. froggyintexas

  16. #16
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    I have two quilts my grandmother made in the 1930"s,both are completely hand quilted, both are the double wedding ring pattern with scalloped edges.
    I need to get pics posted, they are the most precious of things I own.

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