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Thread: vintage flower garden, quilting or ties?

  1. #1
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    vintage flower garden, quilting or ties?

    I got a cutter quilt a few weeks ago. It is the flower garden pattern with the small hexagon shapes made from vintage feedsacks. It was the size of maybe a queen bed, but I could only salvage a piece maybe 40 by 40 square to make into a baby quilt for a friend. The batting is in poor condition and the backing is pretty ugly/stained. The binding is also gone. BUT the actual quilt top is still good. I am slowly cutting the hand quilting to separate the quilt top piece out and it is taking a long time!

    My questions--does this kind of quilt have to be hand quilted with little hexagon shapes (basically following the hexagon pattern) or has anyone ever seen this kind of quilt tied before? Will tying be faster/easier than hand quilting? I am concerned the hand quilting would take forever and the baby is due this summer. I could also do it on the machine but I'd rather do the tying instead but not sure if that would look weird or unusual for this quilt pattern. suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    If you would rather tie it, then tie it. If it is a vintage quilt, many vintage quilts were tied and many vintage tied quilts are still in existence. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I don't think tying would look weird, but maybe the fabric might be a little fragile for tying. If you dont want to handquilt, machine quilting would offer the stability you need. I love handquilting, so that's what I would do, but maybe big stitch quilting could also be an option.

  4. #4
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    I would machine quilt.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

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    Baby quilts get a lot of laundering and abuse. Machine quilting would give the fabric more support. You don't necessarily have to stitch on every single hex. You could do a FMQ stencil. Please post pics when you are finished.

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    Good luck! Love to see pictures!

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    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    "I don't think tying would look weird, but maybe the fabric might be a little fragile for tying. " My thoughts as well.

    But I would advise against machine quilting. IMO hand quilting is what is traditional for these kinds of quilts, although if it was a new top, tying would be OK too. You don't necessarily have to quilt around each little hexagon, I have done them with less quilting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AprilG's Avatar
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    I received a quilt like that for my first child. It was green, white, blue and yellow pastels. (Typical baby boy colors.) The quilter tied small ribbons in the center of each hexagon. Blue of course. She also took a stitch in the middle of each bow to secure the tie. It was beautiful. He still has it and has used it for all 9 of his children. Hand stitched and still going strong.
    April
    Is there a doctor in the house? I just got bit by the quilting bug!

  9. #9
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I tied a GFG due to arthrites and poor eyesite! It worked out well. I used embrodery floss and matched the floss color to each hex. Am getting ready to pin baste another and will do the same thing. A photo of mine is in the gallery. Queen size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feathers-N-Fur View Post
    Baby quilts get a lot of laundering and abuse. Machine quilting would give the fabric more support. You don't necessarily have to stitch on every single hex. You could do a FMQ stencil. Please post pics when you are finished.
    What is a FMQ stencil? I will definitely post some pictures. I am going to try to get some before pictures also and post them soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    "I don't think tying would look weird, but maybe the fabric might be a little fragile for tying. " My thoughts as well.

    But I would advise against machine quilting. IMO hand quilting is what is traditional for these kinds of quilts, although if it was a new top, tying would be OK too. You don't necessarily have to quilt around each little hexagon, I have done them with less quilting.
    I hadn't thought about this..do you mean that it would be fragile for actually doing it, or for holding up over time? I'm not against hand quilting completely but I don't think I could finish it in time. Also the person I am gifting it to really would treasure something done more traditionally as she herself prefers hand quilting to machine quilting. So that was tipping the scales over towards tying for me, knowing her preference. I really need to learn more about tying though...

    Quote Originally Posted by humbird View Post
    I tied a GFG due to arthrites and poor eyesite! It worked out well. I used embrodery floss and matched the floss color to each hex. Am getting ready to pin baste another and will do the same thing. A photo of mine is in the gallery. Queen size.
    I would really love to see that! I tried to find your photo but there were so many posts? Is there an easy way to find it? Do you remember what the title of the post was? I tried searching but couldn't find it--also though I am new here so I may not be looking in the right place

    Thanks everyone for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I am wondering, if I don't stitch every hexagon (machine or by hand) what pattern would be appropriate, like every other hexagon? or just the centers of the flowers?

    I should mention also I have one alteration I have to make, the center of the the quilt as I cut it has a really ugly colored "flower" its black and neon green plaid..ugh. So I cut another flower of hexagons from another part and I'm planning to applique the whole complex (like 20 hexagons) directly on top of the other one. I'll post pics soon.

  11. #11
    Senior Member quilticing's Avatar
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    I usually quilt a simple flower that overlaps to the next hexagon. I think it strengthens the body of the quilt.

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    Here's the state of the quilt right now:
    I have more of that red trim to add to the edges of the quilt.I also laid the flower I need to applique on top--its covering the center black/green plaid flower. yuck. Here's my hand for scale: I hate that black and green plaid so much. I think I'm going to have to cover the other ones up too. what were they thinking?!

  13. #13
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakdryad5 View Post
    What is a FMQ stencil? I will definitely post some pictures. I am going to try to get some before pictures also and post them soon.


    I hadn't thought about this..do you mean that it would be fragile for actually doing it, or for holding up over time? I'm not against hand quilting completely but I don't think I could finish it in time. Also the person I am gifting it to really would treasure something done more traditionally as she herself prefers hand quilting to machine quilting. So that was tipping the scales over towards tying for me, knowing her preference. I really need to learn more about tying though...

    I would really love to see that! I tried to find your photo but there were so many posts? Is there an easy way to find it? Do you remember what the title of the post was? I tried searching but couldn't find it--also though I am new here so I may not be looking in the right place

    Thanks everyone for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I am wondering, if I don't stitch every hexagon (machine or by hand) what pattern would be appropriate, like every other hexagon? or just the centers of the flowers?

    I should mention also I have one alteration I have to make, the center of the the quilt as I cut it has a really ugly colored "flower" its black and neon green plaid..ugh. So I cut another flower of hexagons from another part and I'm planning to applique the whole complex (like 20 hexagons) directly on top of the other one. I'll post pics soon.
    To view the quilts in the gallery, go to "Pictures" on the home page. Then "Gallery of Quilts" The quilts are all listed under types. GFG, Dresden Plate, etc. My gfg is the 3rd one pictured under GFG. The next one down from that (I think) is to dye for! The quilting is stunning. Looks like it was done in circles, making it look like flower peddles. (is that spelled right!!??) Anyway, you can spend a lot of time in the gallery!

  14. #14
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    re:I am concerned the hand quilting would take forever and the baby is due this summer. I could also do it on the machine but I'd rather do the tying instead but not sure if that would look weird or unusual for this quilt pattern. suggestions?

    I am finishing a GFG top for a baby quilt. I prefer hand quilting. Usually I would quilt each little hexagon. But for this one, I am only going to quilt the center of each florette. It will make each flower stand out. IMHO
    Take time today to scatter seeds of kindness to all you meet.

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    thanks humbird I found it! its gorgeous! you're right you can spend a lot of time in that gallery. so many beautiful quilts! soosan, that's a great idea. I can't wait to detach the quilt top completely. I'm getting close to 1/2 done, that thing was really hand quilted on securely!

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    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the pics....just wanted to say...I rather like the green plaid (yeah I know...takes all kinds). I think tying works really well with many quilts, but this fabric is vintage and a baby quilt, there would be less pulling and stress on the fabric if it were hand or machine quilted....there are usually quite big gaps between ties, therefore more movement in the layers.

    I am enjoying this little quilt adventure ....all the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by earthwalker View Post
    Thanks for posting the pics....just wanted to say...I rather like the green plaid (yeah I know...takes all kinds). I think tying works really well with many quilts, but this fabric is vintage and a baby quilt, there would be less pulling and stress on the fabric if it were hand or machine quilted....there are usually quite big gaps between ties, therefore more movement in the layers.

    I am enjoying this little quilt adventure ....all the best.
    Thanks! Maybe my friend will feel the same about that green plaid so I can leave it? I just think it looks so discordant with the other colors...but maybe it will grow on me! I'm still separating out the quilt top. That's what scares me, that if it takes so long just to rip those seams it will take so much longer to quilt it! I'm considering having my mom-in-law come and help me quilt sitting side by side on the couch

  18. #18
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Nice idea having your MIL work on it with you. I think the quilting will go way quicker and easier than the separating. Taking things apart is more stressful, because you are having to really focus on being so careful with the stitch ripping. Let us know how you get on.

  19. #19
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    I tied a GFG quilt and used black thread with some luminescence around the center hexagon of the flower and it looked like stamens coming out of the flower. Let us see how yours turns out!

  20. #20
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    I think the quilt is beautiful. Either way will be great. Makes me want to finish mine when I return to VA. Have fun.

  21. #21
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    I like the green--it keeps the colors from becoming too saccharine. If you aren't sure about quilting, machining or tying, how about some embroidery? You could use perle cotton to outline stitch, following the outsides of each hexagon ring and burying the ends of the threads just like in quilting. If you make the stitches large it will go quickly and if they are even they will look good on the back. You could also try running stitch, as in quilting but maybe 3 to the inch. Since it is a 'rescued' quilt you can think outside the box (or hexagon) and also make it as sturdy as possible. It will be fun!

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    I'm loving all the suggestions and comments Thanks everyone. I got some batting for this quilt today since I'm probably 85% done with getting the quilt top free! all I have to do is sew on the red edges so its uniform and then I can pin baste it. I'll post some more pics when I have completed that.

    The batting I got is I think called warm and natural, its cotton. I always like cotton better than poly, but I'm wondering it says it will shrink 3%. My thought is that if I don't prewash it, when I finish the quilt and wash it for the first time it will get a nice puckery old timey look. Is that a reasonable expectation?

    Not really wanting to prewash. Also, based on other threads I've read I got some retroclean and I'm planning to treat the quilt top Friday (we are expecting warm weather) and see if I can't get the colors to brighten up anymore

  23. #23
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    Update with pics! I did the retro clean soak and it brightened things up a little bit (the whites especially). It faded the blacks on the plaid, which make me like it a little better (not so dark with the other light colors). I fixed all the loose pieces and attached the red trim to the other sides. Decided not to applique the other block in the center which should save me some time. It's ready to baste and I think I'm going to at least attempt to hand quilt it.

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