Monday, January 4, 2010

When New is Better Than Vintage...

I love vintage things, especially quilts. We all know that about me, by now.

And, over the years, I have collected fabric, tools, patterns and books about quilts, and have just recently begun accumulating the knowledge of how to actually make a quilt.

This is one of "Aunt Martha's" booklets of patterns. I use the word booklet, loosely. It is barely more than a pamphlet. It has the patterns for 14 quilts, in 15 pages.

The 'Trip Around the World' quilt (the middle one on the cover) has always intrigued me and I thought that it might not be too complicated, since it only has one pattern piece. So, last year (way last year...) I decided that perhaps I could figure it out.

I was mistaken.

I suppose that Aunt Martha could assume a certain level of experience back in the day when home sewing was a given. There is no mention of skill level for any of the patterns.

This page is the extent of the instructions.

I read it, and re-read it. And read it again.

From the way the directions were written, I could not see anyway to put it together without every piece having two set in seams. I was thinking that there should be a way to put the pieces together in rows. I could see rows! I just couldn't see how to get the pieces into rows without getting the color pattern all mixed up.

Finally, I just put it away.

Over the weekend, I picked up a quilt book at Jo-ann and found this pattern that has kind of the same feel:

The book is "American Jane's Quilts for all Season's ...and Some For No Reason" by Sandy Klop. The pattern is called "Fiesta Ware". And, there are FIVE PAGES of instructions!! That I can figure out!!

The book says that it requires about 9 yards of fabric for the top. If I can use fabric from the stash (I might have to purchase the 3 yards of black...) that will make room for 6 yards of new fabric!

So this addresses two goals for the new year! Quilt making and stash usage! A win-win!

I probably should have started working on the goal of organizing my studio, first though. I wonder if The Mister would mind if I just take over the dining room...


Kate said...

I'd go cross-eyed just trying to read those instructions. No hope of actually processing the info and making the dang thing. You have a good crafter's attitude. :)

Iron Needles said...

There are vintage knitting patterns like that. When brevity was a plus, and directions fitting on one page was considered a good thing. For typesetting? Shipping/mailing purposes? Perhaps craftsters were brighter and didn't need things spelled out?

I say whatever! Give me the directions!

Martha said...

I have this same booklet and have made a crib sized version of that quilt. The rows are diagonal, and each row is reduced or enlarged two squares (in the middle). When you sew the rows together, you just shift the row one square to the left or right (I'll send you a picture). If you're using new fabric (and not having to cut each square individually), you can use a strip piecing technique -- it's hard to explain this technique in a comment, though, so I'll try to find the instructions and e-mail them to you.

It's funny -- I love these old booklets because they don't waste space with a lot of instructions that I don't need and won't use (just give me a template or a design and I'll draw the pattern myself). Now I can see how the new books and techniques can be very helpful for someone who is beginning quilting.

lunaticraft said...

Oh man, I'd be lost with that little instruction! That second pattern is sooo beautiful though, and the amount of direction sounds much more appealing! =D

Allie said... you have a design wall? For some reason, when I try to lay out my rows, I absolutely can't get it unless I've got them up on the wall. [My "wall" is just pieces of flannel pinned to the wall.] Then I take two down, sew them, put them back up and take the next ones.
Love the pattern you decided on, can't wait to see it!