Sunday, January 30, 2011

1930's antique fabric Kaleidescope baby quilt

I was looking through the Antique Mall shop downtown and came upon a bag filled with what I thought were scraps.  Lo and behold, what was really in there were six completed pieced string quilt blocks which had been left unfinished.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Upon closer inspection, I realized the material used were old blouses, skirts, curtains and tablecloths.  I turned each block over and saw that she had used a "paper piecing" technique, but instead of paper, she had used thread bare old aprons.  Wow...I thought to myself, "Life was so hard here in North Dakota in the 1930's during the Great Depression...I wonder why this baby quilt was never finished?"  and decided right then and there that I just needed to finish this ladies' baby quilt for her.

Knowing that folks in the "Dirty 30's" didn't have anything extra, no less anything fancy, I decided to fancy it up by using decorative machine stitching with bedtime songs and prayers using my Ellageo machine.  For example, after the words "My Bonnie lies over the ocean..." came ocean waves, etc.  I hope this would have pleased the lady who started the quilt.

I've decided to tie the quilt with yellow embroidery floss and backed the quilt with yellow flannel.  Since there are no babies "on the way" in our family, I will keep the quilt until the first niece, nephew, son or daughter has a child, then it will be theirs to use and pass along in the family.

I fell in love with these blocks, cut them down to 12 1/2" squares and will finish with yellow flannel and yellow embroidery floss.  The big question:  tie and bind or bind and tie???

"My bonnie lies over the ocean..."

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul..."

I spoke with my mother about tying the quilt.  She said that we can't do that until the quilt has been "finished" (binding attached).  I thought I would tie the quilt first, and then bind.  She said her grandmother and all the ladies would always bind first, then tie.  What do you think?

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