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Thread: Suggestions for a new "antique" quilt?

  1. #1
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    Suggestions for a new "antique" quilt?

    When I moved to the Gulf Coast, I wondered what use my coats, blankets and quilts would be. Then in January when the mercury dipped to 17 degrees, I stopped worrying.

    My house turns 100 years old this year and, as part of renovations, I'd like to make a quilt for it. The quilt will go on a great old brass bed with a natural patina (unpolished). I'd like to find a pattern that would have been popular (or at least available) in 1918, the year the house was built, and use a colors appropriate to the era. This was the year the war ended, so I know that patriotism was in the air, but I'd like to avoid red, white and blue; red, to me, is not a color for a sub-tropical climate. I'd like to use unbleached muslin for the background.

    Are there any quilt historians out there who can advise?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    One of the oldest pattern is Log Cabin. Another old one is a Crazy Quilt with embellishments but very time consuming.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the suggestions.

    I think of crazy quilts (perhaps mistakenly) as dark, rich combinations of velvets, satins, and embroidery, which wouldn't suit the muggy South. However, there's nothing that says it couldn't be made of lightweight fabrics. I am, however, reluctant to tackle the random shapes without medication! I'll keep it on the list, though, just in case. I have a lot of dress-shirts that might be just right for a Crazy.

    I did some searching of vintage and antique quilts and came up with Log Cabin, too. There are so many variations that one is bound to please. I particularly like the ones that use light and dark to create a 3D effect.

    One pattern that appeals to me is Shoofly. It's from the mid-to-late 1800s, I believe, so would be an authentic pattern for an early 20th-century house. I saw a version where the HSTs were square, the pieces between them were rectangular and center block smaller. It had triple sashing and a nine-block where the sashing intersected. I did a little figuring and I'd have to make 120 blocks for the size quilt I want. The sashing would only be 1" wide (cut 1 1/2"). Is that too narrow? Am I asking for trouble? My skills are intermediate but I don't have a lot of quilting experience.

    I was hoping to make a quilt that's understated and restful, so a two-color (unbleached muslin and maybe a muted green) was on my mind. Your thoughts?

  4. #4
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    Here is a link to the Quilt Study Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. They do amazing work here and have so much information, not to mention a beautiful museum. I wish all of you could visit there. On the website you can search for antique quilts and you should find many authentic ideas. I love your plan to honor your house's history.
    www.quiltstudy.org

  5. #5
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    How about the pineapple block. It could be done in yellows and oranges with green and white. The pineapple was a symbol of hospitality, especially in the south and would represent the tropical location.
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  6. #6
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    To my mind (having not been around at that time) vintage to me means whites, off whites & creams with laces the same colourings. A crazy quilt in these fabrics I think would be ideal, and yes it would take longer to decorate the blocks with some embroidery, in the same colours or pastels, but it would look fabulous. It needn't be mind-boggling if you cut 12" squares - as many as you can cut at once - 3 or 4 times (stack&Whack). Of course, if you don't do embroidery it might be a challenge, some could be done using the machines' fancy stitches, lace ,braids, or you could choose to not have embroidery at all. One of these is near the top of my bucket list .

  7. #7
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I love the Winfmill quilt..first seen in April 1903 in Ladies Home Journal. Better Homes and Gardensbook “Century of Quilts” has the pattern. I made it and it is beautiful. I used shirting but muslin would work. I think you could get the book on Amazon. I have had it for several years. Other quilts from that time are Stained Glass, Pyramid, Roman Stripe, Patchwork Flower, Broken Sash. I love old quilts and ha e spent a fair amount of time researching. Can’t wait to see what you do!
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  8. #8
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    For me, scrappy is the way to go. Looks like grandma cut up the old clothes and patched them together in a quilt. Then, I fmq in a meandering way, fairly close together. Then,wash and dry very warm so that the fabric puckers. Looks like a very old, well used quilt and not too matchy matchy.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like your home is a wonderful place and how great it would be to have quilts made in the era of your home. What about civil war fabrics? I am not too up on the history of the year of your house but possibly you could look for Barbara Brackman's website or pintrest may have pictures of quilts made in the year you are interested in. Good luck in your search and will be anxious to see what your decision will be. Please share a pic when you decide and start working on a quilt.

  10. #10
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    I have an antique bed--in fact, it is old enough that it is just a bit short, consistent with when people were not as tall as they are nowadays. I have a picture of it in my grandparents' home, probably somewhat near the time you mention. The quilt on it looks to be Trip Around the World. Nine-patch is always a good basic,too.--so many variations of that one!

  11. #11
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I love old homes!!!!!!!! My Mom is still in our family home that was built in the Civil War era.
    Really any of the old patterns would work for you. One that comes to mind is Irish Chain but Log Cabin,
    and so many others would be great.
    My Gram had a brass bed and she had a lovely lace coverlet on it. Not really my taste but it was so pretty.

  12. #12
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    How about a simple string quilt?

  13. #13
    Junior Member jumpin' judy's Avatar
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    I have my great grandmother's quilt which was done around the turn of the century. it is Lady in the Lake. You have to love triangles though!
    ​Jumpin' Judy

  14. #14
    Member JakesMama's Avatar
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    Reproductionfabrics.com has fabrics grouped by specific eras, going back to 1775, and some interesting photos and other information. The suggestion to look at quilt museums is also an excellent idea.
    “That which does not kill you has made a grave tactical error”

  15. #15
    Member JakesMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpin' judy View Post
    I have my great grandmother's quilt which was done around the turn of the century. it is Lady in the Lake. You have to love triangles though!
    You are so blessed to have that quilt! Do you have a pattern for it, or a photo?
    “That which does not kill you has made a grave tactical error”

  16. #16
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I love Log Cabin. The center square does not have to be red if you don't care for it. I am not a red person but I made one for Jim with a darker shade it I just love it. I named it "Lincoln's Legacy".
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  17. #17
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    Here are some images from Google for 1918 quilts:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=1918...w=1078&bih=632

  18. #18
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suern3 View Post
    Here is a link to the Quilt Study Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. They do amazing work here and have so much information, not to mention a beautiful museum. I wish all of you could visit there. On the website you can search for antique quilts and you should find many authentic ideas. I love your plan to honor your house's history.
    www.quiltstudy.org
    Thanks, Suern3, for posting that link. I can't believe I had never looked it up before. I noticed that you can do a search by date, and a couple of ideas that came up for quilts of the time period are square in square and fence rail. Both look surprisingly modern to me. The square in square is still popular in exactly the style they used. It's blue and white prints alternating with a solid cream. The fence rail is shown in black, white and bubble gum pink, but could be any combination. Both are easy patterns. I love looking at them because my grandmother lived in Nebraska and made quick and practical quilts for her large family. My father was a toddler in 1918, so it's easy to imagine a context for those quilts. We have no idea what happened to Grandma's quilts. It's wonderful to imagine one might have wound up in the museum.
    True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. ~Brianna Wiest

  19. #19
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    Double 9 Patch goes clear back to the Civil War.

  20. #20
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    Rose--P, glad you enjoyed the site. If you ever have a chance to travel this way, it is well worth a visit. They do displays with a theme, changing every few months. Fun stuff.

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