Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not So Fussy Cutting

Like any interest, I suppose, the more I know about something, the more refined my taste becomes as to what appeals to me.

When I travel, I love finding vintage quilts in flea markets or antique malls. My budget does not allow for the $500 or $600 mint condition treasure, so I look for beautiful things that may have a flaw that makes them within my budget.

On a trip to Ohio a few years ago, I found this quilt top in an antique mall.

I love the bold orange and green combination!

I always had a thought that someday, I would learn how to quilt, practice on 'lesser' projects and finish this top into an heirloom worthy project! I knew that I would have to learn how to deal with scalloped borders first, though!

I decided, after coming across it while sorting, to take a closer look. To admire the vintage fabrics and color combinations.

After looking at it with a more 'schooled' eye, I decided that I will never make a quilt from this top.


After taking a series of classes and reading lots of books and magazines, I have come away with the fundamental rule that quilts should be flat.

This one is not.

Notice the white crosses with the orange squares in the center? Notice how they look like graceful foothills surrounding the round 'plate'? No amount of pressing will render this quilt top flat!

After a futile turn with a steam iron, an alternate plan began to form. I could take it apart and remake it!

As I began to look closely at the individual fabrics, I noticed something odd.

Deer legs!

And some other parts, as well!

There are three blocks made with this fabric, and I am guessing not a bit went to waste. Maybe the original quilter was focused more on the color than the print. I wish we could see a bit more of the faces of the herd, though!

(so cute!)
The entire top is hand pieced and the fabrics are in really nice condition. I think I will wait awhile to decide exactly how to use it. My skills are still very basic, and I want to be sure they are up to the project that would do these fabrics justice!

It is kind of freeing, though, knowing that I don't have to live up to a priceless work of stitching!


Lynne said...

The deer parts are strange! Why do you think the quilt top puckers like that? The way it was put together or maybe someone washed it and some of the material shrunk afterwards? Pretty tho!

Lynne said...

P.S. Do you still subscribe to Purlsoho.com? They featured embroidery the other day and was wondering if you saw it.

Allie said...

This is a VERY striking quilt - I vote for taking it apart and fixing it! The hardest part, I think, wuld be taking it apart....but I'm no expert, that's for sure! Love the little deer.

Gaynell said...

I am not a quilter as you know...but I much prefer starting something new rather than taking something apart to make changes...such as alterations. However, your appreciation for vintage makes a different perspective! (I guess that is why you appreciate me...since I qualify as "vintage.")

Martha said...

I love this top, and it certainly qualifies for a re-make. The first thing I would try before attempting a complete do-over is removing all the circular blocks to see if the green background would then lie flat. If it did, you could simply applique the circular blocks onto the background and you're done.

This is a pretty complicated set -- I would be happy to help any way I can when you decide to tackle it.

Wunx~ said...

You are a braver woman than I am Gunga Din! That you can even consider dismembering a quilt, much less remaking it, is amazing.

Kate said...

Those colors are calling me but the deer legs? I'd be interested in hearing the story behind that!

Miri said...

This quilt top is gorgeous!

If you don't want to quilt it because its not flat but still use it...you could add a backing fabric pillow style and make a duvet/comforter cover for the winter...it sure would brighten up a wintry day.

Tish Smith said...

That was funny Jan! That quilt kinda grows on you and I love those deer parts!