For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Quilting Eff Oh

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Dear Ann,
The Etsy quilt, she is finished.
Let’s review.
1. Purchased “vintage feedsack quilt top” on Etsy.com, intending to send to machine quilter for insta-quilt.
2. When it arrived, discovered that it was actual vintage feedsacks, lovingly pieced by hand. Tiny running stitches. Some squares pieced from smaller bits. (That killed me a little.)
3. After consultation with a purist of pristine taste (you), decided to back it with plain muslin, for archival integrity. (I think the way you put it was, “Don’t ruin it.” Thank you, seriously. It was the right answer.)
4. Sent to most excellent machine quilter, Tillie Studio, for basting instead of quilting, as I could not deal with the bias stretch of all those squares on point.
5. Quilted by hand, inside the lines of the blocks, for a diamond grid effect. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the whole back. It’s nicely, but not densely, quilted.)
6. Endured two holiday weekends when I could not escape to the sewing machine long enough to piece and attach the double-fold binding.
7. Finally attached the binding in April, and spent a few blissful evenings on the sofa, blind-stitching it down by hand.
8. It is done. I washed it after these pictures were taken, and it puckered gently, with very little fading.
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Though I say so myself: I do a nice corner. Pretty sure I sewed bindings on quilts in a prior life. It’s like scratching an itch.
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A little of the back showing here. Possibly did some hand quilting in that same prior life. In handquilting, everything works out just fine. I get a thrill from popping the knots through the top to bury them between the layers. Genius.
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The thing I’m most pleased about is that a project that an unknown quilter put aside, possibly as long ago as the 1940s, has been finished, in tidy and respectful fashion, and it’s in use. In a perfect world, every project would get finished, sometime. We wouldn’t worry about how many unfinished projects we have, confident that in 2070-something, somebody will get around to it.
Love,
Kay
P.S. Speaking of Unfinished Objects:
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I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

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62 Comments

62 Comments

  1. Lovely! And sure to be much beloved.

  2. Lovely! And I really like the idea that my (many many) unfinished projects aren’t a problem, they will provide something for another crafter to work on in the future! ehem.

  3. Handquilting seems to me to be the best way to show devotion to cotton. That quilt top is an amazing find and the quilt will be a nice treasure for a long time. Congrats!

  4. Oh Kay, your quilt is wonderful and brings back memories of my two great grandmas, and two lovely quilts now in my possession – one a crazy quilt that is absolutely incredible, complete with some delicate flower paintings on some of the velvet pieces and embroidery that always has me in awe when I get it out and view it.
    The second is an every-day bed quilt in a pattern called Dresden Plate (that was pieced by my great grandma for me when I was two years old and she was nearly 90. I hand quilted it when I was in my twenties.) and like yours has some pieced together parts and visible let-down hem lines so every INCH of the fabric from a dress or apron could be recycled into the quilt.
    Alas, mine both lie folded in an old cedar chest now, because the fabrics are so fragile they are starting to come apart. But I love them, and at least once a year get them out and nearly weep with amazement as my mind travels back through time and imagines them being made – one over a hundred years ago, now.
    I hope someday my daughters and granddaughters will appreciate the treasures that they will come to have someday.

  5. Totally awesome and lovely. And since I am all about the karma – I love how you’ve increased your positive karma by finishing someone else’s project. Making their double-you eye pea into an eff oh. Love it.

  6. That is such a labour of love. You did the right thing in taking your time with this beauty. It is stunning.

  7. So beautiful, inspiring and satisfying.
    We love us some Kay, and photos of Joseph are always a huge bonus.

  8. Your quilt is gorgeous and your little spokesmodels even more so!

  9. Looks soft and cozy and so carefully put together and INVITING. Just the thing to curl up under, in this weather, after a tramp about outside.

  10. Nice binding. On behalf of the quilt and its original maker, I thank you for preserving its integrity.

  11. I thought it said “Quilting off, eh” which gave a whole different tone.
    Lovely soft colours in that quilt, and lovely denim colours in that square!

  12. Thank you for finding the words that say why I am fonder of buying quilt tops than of buying the finished quilts.

  13. OMG, what a pretty quilt! You’ve done it again, you know. Now I must either find a quilt in need of repair (oh, I don’t have to go far, I have my Great Grandmother’s quilt top – just need to find a few pieces of vintage browns and navys to replace fraying patches) or buy a bundle of feed sacks…I haven’t quilted in ages, and your hand quilting is lovely, so now I’m wondering if I have the energy to pick it all back up – you do inspire, you know that, right?
    (((hugs)))

  14. Oh Kay..you made my heart race! I love feedsacks, I too bought a batch many years ago and pieced a quilt, still one of my favorites! It is lovely to do it all the ‘old’ way,by hand.In this “get’er done” world, it’s nice to do something real,plain, and simple.I know machine quilting is great too, I do both but something warm, and cuddly about hand quilting. The results are always the best when you wash it and it crinkles all up! You will love that quilt forever!The quilt is just gorguous as are the models! Hope you had a wonderful spring break and spring is hitting there, slowly here in Boston!..xx

  15. Your quilt is amazing. I love the idea that everything gets finished some time and that your example (and my friend who is finishing cross-stitch for other people I know) is proof that is can and will be done someday.

  16. I hope your fambly appreciates how well you have them covered, literally! I can’t wait to see the denim version of the Mitered Crosses blanket.

  17. I enjoy sewing on binding too. Apparently my sister did not, because after she passed away I received a number of her almost-finished-quilts, that just needed binding. It was very comforting to me to be able to complete what she had so lovingly begun.

  18. All kinds of wonderful. So great.

  19. Lovely finish, most worthy of the original maker’s intent, I’m sure. I may be odd, but love binding quilts. Something about it that’s so neat and satisfying.
    And great choice, that binding fabric. It complements those dramatic feedsack prints wonderfully!

  20. Admirable! I love how its been claimed. I don’t think you’ll ever see it again….

  21. So beautiful! I’ve always wanted to quilt, but I can’t imagine having competing bins of fabric along with my bins of yarn. I need a bigger house.

  22. I knew KNEW that there would be a denim mitered crosses blanket. How could there not be? I’m glad my Kaydar isn’t broken. Can’t wait to see the finished blanket.
    I may have to rummage in the stash to find the rowan denim and get busy!

  23. Ok that’s it. I’m going to start a quilt.

  24. You’re speaking my language now. Though I tend to prefer making/appreciating contemporary quilts, when I see unfinished quilt tops or pieces in antique shops or garage sales I can’t stop myself from buying them. So I do, then finish them and give them as gifts. So loved, so appreciated.
    Maybe it’s because I’m childless (by choice, mind you) and know there will be a huge pile of mine to pass on when I do. Karma? Wishful thinking? Paying it forward? Whatever.
    Very cool. Nice job.

  25. My instructions: one of you write a novel about the parallel lives of the two women who created the quilt–the one who began it and the one who completed it. It’s a beautiful story.

  26. Wow! Who knew that animal feed used to arrive so well dressed? Not me, that is for sure. Lovely job; enjoy its use!

  27. Lord have mercy! I believe I recognize some of those fabrics from my Grandmother’s quilts and clothing. Brought a few tears to my eyes! Enjoy!

  28. What a beautiful quilt! You did an amazing job of finishing it. I wonder if the original seamstress thought of it as a “plain ole ordinary” quilt or as the heirloom it will now become…..

  29. I’m pretty sure I recognized a couple of the dresses my own grandmother made me in that quilt. I used to watch the level of feed go down in the sacks and know that a new dress was coming. They were pretty too….

  30. Nice binding choice and corners. You were so right to finish this by hand. Lovely vibes of quilters’ past. Well done.

  31. It is beautiful. I’m totally inspired to pull my own inherited quilt top out and finish it. I’m ashamed I’ve neglected it this long when I had a family heirloom waiting!
    I hope an adorable boy and dog show up to model mine when it is finished!

  32. When we started cleaning out my Mom’s house in 2006 we found her quilt stash. I’d seen her do pillows, but not quilts. We assume they were hers, but had been sitting in the attic drawer for at least 50 years! I’ve been taking them to a local quilt shop for finishing. The largest is a Grandmother’s Flower Garden for a queen bed. There were also 2 Dresden, 1 nine patch, at least 3 quilt sets yet to be put into tops, and a hand appliqued peony double size top. I’ve told my kids to use them – they’ve already spent time sitting in a drawer!

  33. Beautiful quilt… well done! Now I know where to send all my unfinished quilts! love the square!!!!

  34. This really touched my heart. What wonderful surprises life can bring. Love “a boy and his dog”…”and their quilt”.

  35. I love the quilt, and we love the boy and dog under it too. I hope Mark doesn’t see this and get a wild hair to have his grandmother’s unfinished quilt top in the bright put your eyes out colors from the 70’s done. It’s a lovely thing to treat the treasures of feed sacks in such a way. Other unfinished poly-whatever tops should remain for future generations and stay unfinished. (I’m thinking Grandma Rooker knew what she was doing when she shoved that one in a closet and left it there.)

  36. Gorgeous, and can’t wait to see the next mitred cross blankie.
    FYI, on ravelry, there is a group where you can volunteer to finish knit and crochet projects for those who cannot, either because they are ill, or otherwise unable to finish, or sadly because they were found after someone has passed away. A beautiful gift I think.

  37. I just love your quilt. The feed sacks are awesome. What a great piece that I know you will treasure…Thanks for sharing.

  38. Well, that was a feel-good post of epic proportions! Sweet vintage quilt, lovingly finished, AND photos of sweet boy and sweet dog underneath it—well, just….wow.
    (Oh, also loved the “Don’t ruin it” advice!)

  39. I do not quilt (doll blankets nothwithstanding), but posts like this make me wish I did. It is beyond generous of you to share something so lovely with Olive.

  40. Beautiful! Just beautiful! And I love the denim project too!

  41. The quilt is great and the best thing is that you’re actually using it. It looks wonderful with the blue sofa and that cute son and Olive – like it has found it’s true home! Everything in its own time, huh?
    Oh, that Denim Mitered Crosses blanket is going to be just as scrumptious as I imagined! I really love it!
    You’re pure genius.

  42. ah….the comfort of a comforter. joseph has the best spot in the house. wish our flour sacks were still as colorful, in a “dusty” sort of way.

  43. Beautiful! And your words filled me with joy…that sometime someone will finish my UFOs. ( I do have UFOs I inherited from my aunt)

  44. It’s wonderful – I’m impressed that you took all that hand sewing on.
    Love the colors – and the boy n Olive shots.

  45. if not a book surely a hallmak movie event

  46. Mmm, I do love that quilt! What a beautiful treasure!

  47. That’s one cute quilt…although the unfinished piece might have been expensive..all those vintage fabric bits. But it’s cool that something that was started possibly in the 1940s gets done in 2011. Somewhere an angel’s bells are ringing. Yeah, you’ve made a soul in heaven cry with tears of joy. “Someone finished my quilt!! Thanks be to God!”

  48. GDFB, as my mother used to (and still does) say. And excellent karma as well.

  49. oh my god – is that re-used denim yarn, recycled from another project? because it doesn’t look like the usual and i know that you, of all the people in the world, wouldn’t NOT use denim yarn and just sub in something marly-blue. and because i remember oh so well the intarsia soccerball that was knit mostly so it would wear the yarn marvelously and then later you could re-use it and it would be awesome?
    the quilt is beyond words.

  50. What a beautiful quilt (and the boy & dog are very special, too). It’s lovely to know that others appreciate things from the past and the importance on hanging on to something like feed sacks, which really played an important part in rural America in days gone by. They certainly made it possible for my grandmother, who had 13 children during the Depression/WWII years, to pursue her quilting hobby!

  51. Such a lovely quilt, and a fantastic blog entry to boot. I am now going to be on the lookout for unfinished quilt tops.
    I am just going to ignore the three in my attic….

  52. That is indeed one of the nicest corners I’ve ever seen. I cannot achieve such nice corners – but I’m discovering that I was a weaver in a previous life, so maybe my binding of quilts is a newer skill.
    Absolutely delicious feedsacks, and very well respected by your work.
    The best part is the adorably happy boy & dog underneath.

  53. Beautiful!

  54. Wow. Beautiful. Drooling.

  55. Your quilt is lovely and I love your sentiment about unfinished objects. My dad is 80 and lived on the family farm here in Iowa as a boy, and he can remember his grandmother asking for matching bags when they stocked up on flour so there would be enough of one pattern of fabric to actually make something. She used flour sacks to make her aprons, curtains, and my aunt’s dresses. I can’t imagine how much flour she went through—I buy the smallest bag at the store and have to keep it in the freezer to keep it from getting nasty, but she baked all of the bread and cakes, pies, etc. that they ate.

  56. Two dear faces poking out from under a glorious quilt: heaven!
    LoveDiane

  57. It’s beautiful, and I love that you hand-quilted it. What little quilting I’ve done has been by hand – I grew up watching my grandma hand-quilt on a big frame set up in her living room, and it just seems the right way to do it. (Plus, I have a quite unreasonable fear of sewing machines…)

  58. awwwww, Joseph look so happy all cozy with that quilt.(Olive too).

  59. red herrings are essential facilities to Telkom

  60. Love the quilt, but really curious about the mitered crosses, just what yarn are YOU using. My LYS had 9 skeins of the 269 and the pattern calls for 13. I really like the corner you showed, it gives another option. Thanks!

  61. The SEALK piece is hysterical! My office mate and I laughed ourselves silly and she doesn’t even knit! Love the crosses and the quilt.

  62. harika tasarım..