Thursday, March 27, 2014

Martha's Colorful Vintage Quilt

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of doing the finishing work on this quilt for my friend Martha.

Finished Vintage Quilt - Foundation-Pieced Diamonds

Every now and then, I get to participate in a really long-term project. Quilting this quilt was the final step in a project that Martha's mother started a few decades ago.

Finished Vintage Quilt - Strip-Pieced Diamonds

The quilt top had been ready-to-quilt for many, many years, but there had been no one to quilt it.

Vintage Scrap Quilt - Strip-Pieced Diamonds

When Martha offered to pay me to do the quilting, I hesitated a little, since I don't consider myself a "pro" at quilting yet. But Martha wasn't in a hurry, and she said I could quilt it however I wanted to.

Vintage Strip-Pieced Scrap Quilt, finished

Since I love to make quilts, I'm fascinated by quilt-construction processes. One of the things I love about this quilt top is that it was foundation-pieced: the strips of quilt fabric were all stitched to a "foundation" square of fabric. Once the foundation square was covered in fabric strips, any excess was trimmed from the edges, and each square was stitched to other squares. 

(Here's what the quilt top looked like from the back - foundation squares in white and green.)

The back of the Foundation-Strip-Pieced Vintage Quilt Top

Another thing that's impressive is the variety of fabrics in this quilt. All colors & styles of fabric, including shirt & dress fabrics, flannels, florals, stripes, novelty fabrics, heavier fabrics and lighter fabrics -- they work together to make an amazing scrap quilt!

Vintage Quilt Top - foundation fabric piecing

Martha said that her mother sewed clothes, often for other people, and that she made quilts from her fabric scraps.

Front and back of foundation-pieced vintage quilt top

For the quilting, I used my favorite machine quilting style -- a free-motion meander. Light-green thread blended well with the light-colored fabrics, and contrasted well with the dark fabrics.

Quilting detail on vintage quilt Quilting and fabric detail on vintage quilt

When Martha asked if I would quilt this quilt top, she let me choose the backing and binding fabrics. 
The blue floral is the fabric I picked for backing, and the solid blue binding turned out just right.

Backing Fabric for a vintage scrap quilt

This is a big quilt -- in this picture, the quilt top is lying on a queen-sized bed, with about 12 inches of overhang on all sides.

Queen-sized Vintage Quilt Top

It really makes me happy to be able to finish-up-and-make-usable a quilt project that's been in the works for all these years.

Half of the quilt is showing in this picture ...

Finished Foundation-Pieced Scrap Quilt on the Clothesline

... and the other half is visible here.

Finished Vintage Quilt on the Clothesline

I'm honored that Martha trusted me with finishing her mom's quilt.

Foundation Pieced Vintage Scrap Quilt

I'm glad she can use and enjoy it now.

Vintage Scrap Quilt

I'm glad I got to enjoy working on it.

Vintage Quilt - Foundation Pieced Diamonds

Quilts can be, in many ways, links to little parts of history. This one certainly is. It reminds Martha of what it was like watching her mother at the sewing machine, doing the work she did so well. It gives me a glimpse into the life of a lady I never met, who, several decades ago, had jobs and hobbies that were probably a lot like mine.

 Finished Colorful Vintage Quilt

After I quilted this quilt, Martha sent me home with another one to finish up! That one's done now, too, and I'm hoping to blog about it soon, as well.


  1. I love a quilt with a story. Nice work!

  2. I love these string quilts! We always pieced ours on newspaper squares then trimmed them down. I'm sure Martha appreciates the work you did for her.


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