Friday, February 8, 2013

Hexagon Quilt Top and Weighted Sewing Box

I had a request to show my sewing boxes in detail.  I am happy to do so!  I will start with one of the oldest.  This is probably  early/mid 19th century.
This little wooden box with beautiful inlay is weighted.  The petite handle would never support the weight of the box.  I have read that the weight was used to hold fabric in place, in the lap or from a table top.  It is about 6" long and weighs about 3 pounds.
The padded lid is replacement fabric, not done by me.

The inside of the box is divided.  It is not a tray.
The pearl handle, lidded compartment has been recovered in fabric that matches the outer top.
The inside of the box is lined in beautiful paper.  The paper appears to me to be original, although the gold isn't quite as 'metallic' as it once was.  The compartments are deep - a mother of pearl thread winder is shown in one of the square sections.
The floral band of inlay around the outside is in great condition.

The sewing roll is pink silk, hand embroidered has several sections.  The center is a small pin cushion.

Very elegant with feather stitching in three lines running the length of the lining.

When closed, it folds to a petite 2.5" x 3.5"

The quilt top is English, paper pieced by hand.

Many early 19th century fabrics, including the chintz center hexagon.

It gets scrappier as the rounds progress.  Some of the Hex pieces are themselves pieced.

I have been told by more than one conservator to photograph the papers and then remove them.

The acid in the papers and ink will cause the fabrics to deteriorate.  This might be my project this month!  There are only a few left in.

You can also see the hand basting and hand sewing.

Here is a close up of a few of the fabrics.

Wonderful detailed fabrics, the maker skillfully mixed a variety of scale and color.

I finished the Salley Morse sampler.  You can see it all framed - really- complete, done... totally finished - HERE.
I love the tiger maple frame molding - solid maple.

I hope you enjoyed the first box.  More coming up in future posts.
Also, I will be answering a request to see more of the little sewing machines.   I love requests, as much as comments - thank you for taking time to comment!
I know you are reading and what you like to see and read here.

Have a great week!


  1. That is quite the sewing box! I love learning about these vintage items.
    What a wonderful hexagon quilt--with papers still in. Cool! I've seen photos of them with papers still in, but never found one that way in real life. I also had never considered the need to remove them.
    Your sample is beautiful--and what a gorgeous frame! Love tiger maple.

  2. You have such an interesting collection of sewing related items. I enjoy the posts where you describe the items and show them in detail.

  3. I loved seeing your sewing box! I love seeing your collections in general. Love the hexie quilt too. I'd be afraid to take the paper out, but it does make sense that the acids would be bad for the fabrics. So cool!

  4. love that hexagon quilt - and so interesting studying all the different fabrics!
    Every Stitch

  5. Thank you for posting such interesting information. :)


  6. It's wonderful to see your collection of vintage sewing boxes and other items. Thanks for taking the time to share them in such great detail. It's very interesting.

  7. It's a good thing drool doesn't transfer through the lines - those are all so beautiful. What treasures.

  8. I'm not a fan of hexagons but I love the fabrics they used. The last pictured floral purple is stunning.

  9. You have the best treasures! What a cool sewing box and I love the stitching on the sewing roll. And the hexagon quilt...LOVE! I could spend all day just checking out the different fabrics - love the purples. I had never thought about removing the papers - I'm sure not a fun job, but there's probably some little treasures in there as well!

  10. I love that hexagon quilt. Have we seen the whole quilt before? Fun to see the sewing tools and what you know of them. They look so delicate. Thanks for the closeup of the fabrics. Awesome!

  11. Your sampler is beautiful and the tiger maple was the perfect wood to use for framing.

    You always have such interesting posts!

  12. Love the tiger maple frame on your sampler, and how super to have it hung on your wall. You give me hope for all my unfinished projects. The hexagon quilt is amazing, and I imagine you feel kind of sad and nostalgic about taking the papers out, but its for a good cause.

  13. Beautiful sewing box and accessories, and the hexie quilt. Someone was doing math--wonder if it was quilt math! Gorgeous.

  14. What an interesting post Dawn, thank you.

  15. the sampler is wonderful and that frame sets everything together perfectly~!!~ seeing it makes me want to give sampler work a try . . . maybe if i started with something small . . . hmmmm
    actually i did once do a very primitive type of sampler on one of my fabric postcards but it really was quite primitive and i don't think it counts at all when compared to this beautiful stitchwork you have shared.

    the sewing box is beautiful and it's always fascinating to read the details of these beautiful items. thank you so much for sharing.

    i'm curious about what you will do with the removed papers from the hexagon top? will they go into a special document envelope to be kept with the quilt and it's photo's or discarded? seems a shame to just throw them away.
    i'm always somehow delighted to see when a small patch/piece has been pieced from more than one fabric. such frugality was necessary at the time (at least for that person) and i really admire it. we have come a long way from that waste not, want not societal norm.



Thanks for your comments!