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Thread: Please Help Me With This Challenge

  1. #1
    Senior Member leggz48's Avatar
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    I have a friend (80+ years old) whose mother made these embroidered quilt blocks in the late 30s or early 40s. She has been talking about getting them into a quilt but she is physically unable to accomplish this task. I brought them home to finish the project for her and am now challenged on what fabric to use in sashing and bordering. I am appreciative of the era and the value of an antique quilt, but she just wants it finished so she can pass it on to someone special before she leaves this world. They are a variety of colors and all are on a heavy muslin fabric that appears to be tea-dyed....but this is the real deal. What suggestions can you offer? Thanks in advance for your expertise.

    Variety of colors
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    Close up
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    Back.....look at these stitches!
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Bubble gum pink or pastel mint green were popular solid colors of that era. I Googled "butterly quilt depression" and clicked on "images" to get some photos of actual butterfly quilts of that era. Here's a link to what I got:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=gsis,i18n%3Dtrue&cp=26&gs_id=r&xhr=t&q=butterfly+quilt+depression&qe=YnV0dGVyZmx5IHF1aWx0IGRlcHJlc3Npb24&qesig=f2PDfAcbLREsDYghm-QQOw&pkc=AFgZ2tkiRH3CSjwa4Onq22kEc1E_oqxlAXC4Ppnt416Kyb 3pss0O_32F6_iwpEOQjdOmeKP6LGG2wzwKmW3GD5p7-9axg-hh-A&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4GZAG_enUS434US434&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&ion=1&biw=1466&bih=707&wrapid=tljp1316366071147020&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

    Personally, I'd look for an aqua because I like blue better than pink or green. A pastel purple might be nice if you could find the right shade.

  3. #3
    grayma's Avatar
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    I am too new at this, but I think some sort of 30's reproduction prints would look nice. Something not too busy that would complement the blocks, not overpower them. Those are sew pretty!

  4. #4
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I think I would just use black cotton for the sashing and binding. Unless you really want it larger, I don't think I would do a border.

  5. #5
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    How many are there?

  6. #6
    Senior Member leggz48's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention there are 24......thanks for the link; there were a number of examples with pastel sashing. I am a little concerned with the dark tea-dyed appearance of the muslin so I was thinking of a mottled blender brown; however, now condsidering a lavendar or turquoise. Will have to try some swatches. Keep those ideas coming. I appreciate your help.

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6
    I think I would just use black cotton for the sashing and binding. Unless you really want it larger, I don't think I would do a border.
    This would be my choice as well, then you don't have to worry about the vintage of the fabric you're going to use. Plus, the black sashings would really make the pastels pop.

  8. #8
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    I have about a dozen similar butterflies from my grandmother. Here is what I did with one of them.

    Remember, there was a time when quilters thought that every color went with every other color, and in a way that's true, expecially when the print is very small.

    I know that you want to make a whole quilt, not a tiny one, but this shows that all kinds of retro prints can go together.
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  9. #9
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    Lovely,Be sure and show us when it's finished. Sweet thing to do for her.BrendaK

  10. #10
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    if there are only the 4 blocks, I would make a large basket with flowers as a center medallion and then place the butterflies on point around it! Very 30's looking that way!

  11. #11
    Super Member mhunt1717's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose L
    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6
    I think I would just use black cotton for the sashing and binding. Unless you really want it larger, I don't think I would do a border.
    This would be my choice as well, then you don't have to worry about the vintage of the fabric you're going to use. Plus, the black sashings would really make the pastels pop.
    Agree!

  12. #12
    Super Member btiny36's Avatar
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    Wow I really like the turquoise it really makes the butterflies stand out.....

  13. #13
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    They sure are pretty butterflies.

    Wonder if the fabrics were washed or not before she made them.

  14. #14
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
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    They look like they are on unbleached muslin. A coordinating floral print with some of the colors of the butterflies would look nice for sashing and a border then use a solid for the binding. It will be a pretty quilt. Echo quilt around the butterflies.

  15. #15
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    If you have access to a quilt shop with a large variety of fabrics I would go in there and pull a bunch of fabrics to audition.

  16. #16
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    I also agree about using black. It would really make the bodies and applique stitching stand out.

  17. #17
    Junior Member PatchGirl's Avatar
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    What about calico's with a light print to match the bottom of all the Butterflies?

  18. #18
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    Could you maybe ask her what her favorite color was and go that????

  19. #19
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    I like the mottled fabric idea what if you sashed with a variety of colors based on what is in each butterfly using black cornerstones and a black border and binding?

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think a lavender or turquoise would be charming! Black makes me shudder because it is so out-of-keeping with the period during which the butterflies were made.

  21. #21
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    Just look at the bolts of fabric on this website. It brings all sorts of ideas to mind for me. The butterflies are beautiful and I think the small repro prints would be wonderful with them.
    http://grandmasatticquilting.blogspo...rints_899.html

  22. #22
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    The colours in this video would be ideal:

    http://youtu.be/nAzqq98Q0KI

  23. #23
    Senior Member Sewlmatesister's Avatar
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    This is what I did, when I got a similar request......but Sunbonnet Sue blocks. Got a jelly roll of aunt grace thirties fabrics and used them strip pieced and recut for sashing!!!!
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  24. #24
    Thusnelda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I think a lavender or turquoise would be charming! Black makes me shudder because it is so out-of-keeping with the period during which the butterflies were made.
    Same feeling here. I'd personally go with turqouise as I'm not too fond of lavender.

    Sewlmatesister's suggestion looks really nice too. I could imagine this to work very well with your butterflies.

    Edited to add: Or turqouise with lavender cornerstones?

  25. #25
    Super Member JoyjoyMarie's Avatar
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    I would suggest some thirtys prints (can you get them in fat quarters?) and sash each one in a coordinating print, then quilt together. Sort of on the idea of the sunbonnet sue above. I did my sunbonnet sue on that order. Don't have access to my photo of it, or I'd attach. ( This photo is on page 6 of a March 23, 2010 thread titled Who Makes Scrappy quilts?, but I don't know how to do a link to it.)

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