Monday, August 26, 2019

Fabulous Four Patch!

Is my son studying this quilt, or wondering why I am?
Can you believe I got this quilt for free?  I won it at my Ninigret Quilt Guild Meeting.    I've been using these books to determine how old it is.
I put it around 1830 (wendy and I agree there are fabrics as early as 1830 - and some a bit later.) It was very hard to photograph inside because of its size:  94" x 100".
It is also super fragile, everytime I move it is crumbles more.
The fabrics are fun to study and compare to the books' examples.  The 4 Patches and Plain setting blocks are 8 1/4", so the squares are 4 1/8" or about.
I'd love to propose a fabric line based on these.  Anyone have an suggestions on how to do that?  
There are many "economy" patches.  This one has been pieced 3 times.
It is quilted in a log cabin pattern that has nothing to do with the patchwork.  Interesting!
Andrew helped me to gently lay it on the grass to take some photos from the deck above.
Here are just some of the emerging patterns I noticed.   There is quite a bit of symmetry and I do love to study symmetry.
does anyone (Wendy or Barbara) know why the corners are off?
I feel lucky to have an opportunity to study this quilt.  It might be a good Swap Block idea for the next swap.

I'll be participating in the 2019 Bloggers Meet and Greet on September hosted by Benita Skinner.   There are some fabulous prizes to win and you might find a few new blogs to read.
You can read all about it here~ 2019 Bloggers Meet and Greet and Win!

Robin of I Like to Create Blog used my fan stencil to finish this beautiful quilt.   You can read the entire post here.
I whipped up this little gift quilt for someone.  I hope she likes it.
birdy backing fabric.
And "It's Happening".....fall is in the air.
see you soon


  1. You won that???? Wow! And, just by looking at the photos I would say earlier than 1850. Some of those fabrics are early 1830's. Fabulous! I have seen a few with corners like that in New England. Most of them are more true to the "t-shape" for the corners of a 4 poster bed, but you do occasionally see them just cut off like this one. I will be interested to see what Barbara sees in early quilts in her area. Love that little mini quilt!!! And, I saw Robin's quilt on her blog and it is gorgeous! Nice stencil!!

  2. And... I am glad it is now in the hands of someone who will save it. And... Yes PLEASE find out how to reproduce those prints!!! I will take 10 yards of each one!!

  3. Oh my !!! Love this quilt! And L💗VE the idea of your proposed fabric line — a bolt of each for me, please (I definitely second that).
    Also love the block swap idea.

  4. I would say the reason the corners are they way they are is to keep the corners from dragging on the floor. Hope you can find a way to make the fabric line happen, they are lovely. Happy Stitching!

  5. That's an awesome prized! I'm so glad it found a home with someone who treasures it. I love the setting and symmetry but I don't have any answers for you, sorry. Maybe go to the fabric websites and see if they have links on contacts? Four patches are always fun!

  6. Wonderful win for will you store it? In that museum paper? So fragile...
    I love those colors--all faded and soft
    I don't know about the missing corners either..that would be quite a research project...
    Hugs, Julierose

  7. Wow, what a win! And it is so large. Thanks for sharing it with us--the close-ups and your study of the symmetry. I have that "Dating Fabrics" book, too. It is helpful.
    I am glad the quilt has a home where it is respected.
    I agree with Gretchen, on a quilt that size, the corners could really drape to the floor. Cutting them off like that makes it hang nicely without dragging. That would be my guess.
    Isn't Robin's quilt wonderful? I plan to use your stencil on my Circa 1880 quilt when it is all assembled, but I will be machine quilting it. Too many seams for me to attempt hand quilting.
    Your mini is adorable. Who wouldn't love it?

  8. Wow what a fabulous quilt to win, and study. Love everything about it Barb! It’s in the right hands. Adorable crisp mini.

  9. I would love to see those made into a fabric line! They are gorgeous. You may want to try to reach Kathy Hall at Andover. She worked with Jo Morton on her lines and is a reproduction fan and (I think) expert. Good luck with this.

  10. Wow! What an incredible win. This awesome quilt was put into the right hands. It would be fabulous if there was some way to eventually have some of those fabrics printed. I'm with Wendy. I'd buy a bunch. I hope there's a way.

  11. You definitely scored on winning that beautiful antique quilt. I love that the corners are cut interesting. I don't have any suggestions for why but I think Wendy's idea makes perfect sense.
    And I think a career in designing fabric is a great one for you to pursue!
    Can't wait to use my stencil on a quilt I've been wanting to quilt... I will also machine quilt it, as Janet is going to do.
    Adorable little mini quilt--and the backing? I do love birds in fabric!!
    Love your son's look at the quilt!

  12. Thanks for sharing your amazing win. It's crazy to think some of those fabrics are nearly 190 years old! A fabric line would be popular. In my local area it's harder to find repro prints. Thank goodness for the internet.

  13. What an interesting quilt. It makes me want to know the quilter's story. I repaired an old quilt a few years back and at first glance it just looked just like a utility quilt that was put together quickly out of necessity. As I made the repairs and became more familiar with the quilt I could tell the original quilter was a fine seamstress and she had done her best to make a pleasing design out of what she had to work with. It was a fun adventure. Thanks for the shout-out on my quilt. It was such a pleasure to put your stencil to work.

  14. That quilt is fabulous! How cool that you won it!!
    The fabrics are really lovely and of course we'd like some printed!!
    The little 4 patch is cute and so is the birdie backing.

  15. Congratulations, Barb! What a fabulous win! I so love the different fabrics. Thanks for taking so many pictures, I appreciate it. It might not be an heirloom quilt but it is still an awesome one. As for the reproduction of these fabric, I'm thinking Barbara Brackman as she did many already. You can find her here:
    Or maybe with Connecting Threads. They do have "average Joe" give them designs to print. Good luck with that project. Wish you success. ;^)

  16. Somebody probably already posted before me, but I think the corners are to make it look better on a bed, kind of like rounding off a corner.

    1. Thanks Sandi, you are right. It is a feature of New England Quilts.

  17. And maybe to get around bed posts easier.

  18. A well-deserved winner! I also have the Dating Fabrics book and it is very resourceful. Great idea on coming out with a line of these fabrics. Several years ago I heard a guest speaker at a guild meeting about coming out with a fabric line. I recall she contacted the different fabric brands/companies directly.

  19. Oh how lucky you were !! This quilt is a treasure !
    Your books are very interesting ... I'm pretty sure they'll help you a lot !
    And a fabric line.. go go Barb !! I will be on your list to have all the fats !! :))
    This little mini is soooo cute !! No doubt the quilter will love it !

  20. What a great blog post! Love this quilt, would love to have all the fabrics in it—do pursue that idea with manufacturers. And it would also be perfect for a block swap—start with large size four patches like these, recipients can trim them down if they choose—count me in!

  21. Lucky you! I love the fabrics in the quilt. It's way larger than I thought it was when I first saw it. Robin's quilt is beautiful. Baptist fan quilting works so well with so many quilts. I love using your stencil.

  22. This old quilt is truly lovely! The colors are soft and subtle and contrast beautifully with the navy. I see it as a 'uanduqal' kind of quilt...and I'm already looking at it in this light! Thanks for sharing and giving your thoughts and research on this piece of history.

  23. I never would have guessed that the quilt was that large and what a lucky win for you! Obviously the quilt maker felt ever tiny bit of her fabric stash was precious and she was right--the fabrics are beautiful. Maybe contact Margo Krager of Reproduction Fabrics--I know she has reproduced vintage fabrics for Andover and may be able to offer some advice. Thanks for sharing!

  24. What a fantastic quilt, Barb! So glad you were the winner! It's size, cut off corners, Prussian blue and Indigo fabrics are all great clues to dating a quilt from 1830-1850. Barbara B. discussed Indigo blues in her Civil War Quilts blog and it looks like the ones in your quilt are definitely early :) Without a doubt I think you should pursue reproducing the fabrics in this quilt. Beautiful fan quilting by Robin and I love your sweet little quilt :)

  25. It's always so exciting to come across and old quilt and wonder about the maker. I will check my books and see if I have one you can borrow. Your little mini is adorable!! Again I need to make some!!!!

  26. What a fabulous quilt! I would love to see repro fabrics of those prints, especially now that the reproduction prints are getting scarcer than hen's teeth it seems. Love your little mini too!

  27. You won this quilt?! Wow! Congratulations and it could not be in safer hands. What a wonderful quilt, love this blogpost, you showing so much of it, such beautiful fabrics in it, so much to see.
    The little quilt you made as a gift is lovely, I love the colors, she will be pleased.

  28. I'm glad you'll be part of the 2019 Meet & Greet, Barb!
    'Sew' exciting!

  29. A fabric line c. 1830s sounds fabulous! Love the brighter and lighter blues. What a wonderful "freebie", lucky you!

    Your little gift quilt is wonderful; lucky recipient!

  30. That is a fabulous old quilt! It is interesting that even with a really scrappy top a piecers still reaches for bits of symmetry here and there. I wonder if the corners are another adaptions to a 4 poster bed?! Very cute gift quilt! cheers!

  31. What a fantastic win! Such a beautiful quilt, will you be making a pattern available for us to reproduce this? Many decades ago I made a comforter with 2 flat king sized sheets, and the corners droop in our way as we go past. I imagine the quiltmaker cut off the corners so they would not wear out and be a bother on a daily basis. Would LOVE to have reprints of those beautiful fabrics! Love your little mini type quilty gift too! Beautiful fabrics in it as well.

  32. A most excellent treasure! I'm so happy you won it and can study and preserve it! A line of repro fabrics based on the quilt would be awesome - maybe Barbara Brackman would have helpful ideas? I'm reminded of all our Stars in a Time Warp lessons/adventures looking at all the different fabrics in your quilt.

  33. A fabric line would be incredible What a great win!


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