Our remit for Scrappy Sunday was quite wide-ranging, but Barbara seems to have got stuck on scrappy vintage – possibly no surprise as The Cupboard at the Rural Office contains a lot of exactly that! So this Sunday we’re featuring one of the first vintage quilts Barbara ever acquired. No provenance, bought at a general antiques fair in 1984, fabrics are all furnishing weight wools and chenille, cotton wadding, pieced strippy back, linear scallop quilting across the whole piece. Enjoy!
Over at the Rural Office Barbara’s store of vintage quilts continues to offer some scrappy inspiration – today we are showing details from an unfinished top that was offered to Barbara on her teaching travels. Yes, we are back with our old friend the hexagon but this top is a little different from many vintage hexagon pieces – the fabrics are not dress cottons but slub weave furnishing fabrics, some wools, some mixes. Dark colours predominate and Barbara was intrigued to find a wide range of green prints scattered throughout. Dating this piece is still at the “considering” and research stage but it may turn out to be somewhere around 1900. The hexagons are small – 1inch sides – and appear to have been folded over the papers from rough chunks and squares of fabric rather than cut hexagonal shapes. We thought you might enjoy a few close-ups of the various green prints –
Barbara is still stuck in the groove of looking at vintage quilts that link to our Scrappy theme and this is her latest offering. It’s an interesting US quilt dating from maybe 1890s with some earlier fabrics. The block is a C&B favourite and we refer to it as Sawtooth Star. There’s a real mix of scraps in this quilt and plenty of piecing of scraps together to make bigger scraps as you can see from some of the details below. The scrappy hand pieced blocks have been set with alternating squares of a classic “double pink” print which becomes dominant by repetition. A great example of pulling random scrappiness together into a coherent whole. Diagonal lines of machine stitching hold top and back together, edges are bound. If you feel inspired to try something similar with your own scraps you’ll find a pattern guide for this quilt over on our sister blog Meadowside Designs – look under the Heritage Quilts tab.
Another visit to The Cupboard at The Rural Office and another scrappy patchwork top to enjoy. This was a gift to Barbara many years ago, the background information being that it was begun but not finished by schoolgirls in the 1960s as part of their Domestic Science & Needlework curriculum. Scraps of all types and weights of fabrics have been used, several different colours of thread, some or most of the papers already removed – this is what some patchwork looked like in the very early days of the UK revival. We’re including it in our Scrappy Sunday posts because it most certainly is scrappy and also the single honeycomb shape used links back to an earlier Scrappy post about the honeycomb shape. Enjoy the pics!
don’t you just love that blue and white poodle?
many of the honeycomb “papers” were cut from embossed wallpaper –
Barbara was recently rummaging through The Cupboard which houses her vintage quilt collection and brought out a patchwork top which seems to fit our Scrappy theme very well. The patchwork has been made from a wide and charming variety of scrap fabrics and it looks as if the 60 degree diamonds might have first been made up into hexagon units and then put together.
Larger hexagons have been added in at the edges and the hexagon rosette at the centre is, in fact, composed of diamonds (see final pic below). All very eclectic!
First, a detail of the reverse side – you can see both diamonds and hexagons here.
Notice that the fabric has not always been cut to a hexagon shape before being tacked over the papers; in some instances there is almost as much fabric on the reverse as there is on the front. It is possible that the maker began with appropriately sized squares of fabric to make her hexagons which would have involved less initial cutting and preparation of the patches.
Here’s roughly half of the quilt top showing the scrappy random arrangement of pieces and the unexpected selection of fabrics for the centre rosette –
and some details of the many different prints –
You can see from the above detail that this is a truly scrappy piece with very little organisation – lower right corner is one of the larger hexagons.
More vintage scrappiness at a later date …
Just a brief bulletin to say that we’ve been totally amazed and overwhelmed by the response to our PopUp class on Saturday 27th July – there’s only one place left!!
We’re really looking forward to the day. We’ll have all the traditional C&B things like lashings of tea and coffee, biscuits and cake and plenty of laughs to accompany the cutting and stitching. And we’ll have a tempting basket of fabrics from The Corner Patch…
Welcome to May! There’s a considerable buzz in the corridors of C&B Towers as preparations get under way for the Corner Patch Retreat in June. Sounds a long way away but actually only six short weeks to go. (Perhaps we should count the time in long weeks instead? – Chris.) We’re really looking forward to doing our teaching double act again for a whole weekend and there’s a lot of “stuff” we need to get ready. Chris has already made a great start on the main class sample and, at the Overseas Office, Barbara is busy cutting up fabric and making kits and step-by-step samples.
In other news we have refreshed the EQ doodles page and the traditional free download colouring page is here – May Doodle. If you would like templates and instructions to make this block then head over to the Meadowside Designs blog. This month we are featuring a block that we’ve both used several times in Sampler Quilt classes – it’s a Goose Tracks variation (which pieces very quickly if you are a handstitcher) and Barbara is currently working with a further modification to this block which looks like this –
This modification of a variation is going to feature in an upcoming Heritage Quilts pattern (release date scheduled for early autumn). The original quilt has been in The Cupboard at the Rural Office for more than thirty years and was one of the very first vintage pieces that Barbara acquired. In its day this was undoubtedly a very handsome quilt. Sombre colours of furnishing weight fabrics were used and the arrangement of blocks and borders makes it an excellent example of a Frame Quilt (see our two previous posts).
Last month Chris managed to sneak away to the Quilt & Stitch Village show at Uttoxeter for a whole day of quilty fun. Quilt shows are just as much about meeting up with friends old and new as they are about quilts and retail therapy and Chris was delighted to spend some time chatting to the family of one of our favourite students Maggi Birchenough. Maggi was a very gifted textile artist in her own right and great fun to be with. She left detailed instructions for her family as to how she wished her textile work and supplies to be dispersed after her death, and Chris was able to secure some of Maggi’s hand-dyed fabrics so that both of us could have a tangible memento of a very special person.
Very latest and very good news is that our beloved Corner Patch shop has a new owner! So Janet is taking over the reins from Jane and local quilting life will be uninterrupted. Jane is moving over to The Sewing Quarter tv programme and we wish her the very best in her exciting new post – she has made The Corner Patch a very important “corner” for lots of people and we are all looking forward to supporting Janet as she continues the good work.