Saturday, November 14, 2015

Looking For Clues Part 2 wBlue Flag Update

I had so many questions I thought I would answer them for everyone here.

Yes, I rescued the quilt and it now lives with me.  It will not become a cutter or craft project.

The binding is original and was hand applied on both sides.

This photo shows the binding on top, worn so you can see hints of the original green inside.   The outer border with triple line quilting.  The triple lines continue through the outer border, the green and narrow white center border.  The is no hand quilting in the repaired narrow yellow border.

The maker treated the corner by ignoring the border seam.

The triple lines go right through the seam until they meet the adjoining edge.

You can see the yellow does kind of look a little "off".

I was also asked about the original red.

It was a red print, not a solid red.
It s a little golden eyelet/sunburst print.  Similar prints have been reproduced.

The green was a dot style motif.

The green was an over dyed green - you can see the hints of blue.

I can easily restitch what I took out.  For now I will use it as a quilt study example.

While the hand quilting is exquisite - the piecing was a challenge.  By today's standards this might not even make it in a juried show, let alone win a ribbon.
There are small seams with pieces filling in the block piecing.  The corners didn't meet very well and they were 'quilted' into place when she stitched into that area.
So glad she didn't give up and leave the blocks as an unfinished project.

The back also has places where smaller pieces were hand stitched together so there was a large enough piece.

There is no sign of the yellow thread on the back.
All of the "cover up" applique was done in yellow thread.  The yellow stitches only going through the top and batting.  Quilting in the covered sections also only the top and batting.
The hand quilting seen on the back is the original stitching.

I do plan to leave the quilt as it is.

Now you know!
If you have more questions - feel free to ask!

On the stitching front I am working on the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt (SVBAQ).  You can see the progress of many participants on the dedicated sew along blog HERE.  There are many pages on the blog dedicated to the history of the 1859 original.

All proceeds from pattern sales benefit the Virginia Quilt Museum.  You can join in at anytime.

My blocks are smaller than the original, but I'm trying to stay close to the original colors.  Stitchers are making it in wool, batiks, brights...Amazing and beautiful support for the museum.

Happy Stitching,


  1. Thanks for the insight into this quilt. Very interesting piece.
    Your Iris block is beautiful!


  2. Another quilt with a story...but if the quilting is exquisite and the piecing a challenge...was it made by the same person.... I wonder?? Or maybe by two? A young daughter learning to make a quilt (the piecing) and a mother or older sister doing the quilting...? I love to make up these stories when I see old/vintage/antique quilts.
    A beautiful block you made for the Botanical Album Quilt.

    1. The original quilt is 19th century. With use and wear, it needed repair or conservation (2 different approaches). It was repaired by someone in the 20th century with yellow fabric over the original red. They left the red in place for textile historians in mind.

  3. You've rescued a very interesting quilt! Your iris block - gorgeous and so delicate!

  4. Being able to peek at the original red fabric - how tantalizing! Your Shenandoah blue flag block is exquisite - wonderful fabrics and perfection in applique.

  5. I really love your iris block. I have started collecting fabrics for the background of my SVBAQ found one I really loved yesterday. Hopefully I can start some blocks after the beginning of the new year. Better late than never! LOL

    1. It's never too late to start. We look forward to you joining. You can start with the January block and circle back on the rest, or start with the pineapples. Anyway that works for you is the best way.

  6. That vintage quilt really is a puzzle--so fun to speculate on it's past! Your iris block is beautiful!

  7. Your SVBAQ block is exquisite. I've been watching what people are doing and am so tempted!

    I love the old quilt and that you are preserving it. Most quilts will never make it to a juried show or win a ribbon but that doesn't mean anything. Someone made it with love and care and it deserves to be treated with respect.

  8. How interesting to read about your close inspection of this vintage quilt. Thanks for sharing the details of it. It definitely deserves to be kept as it is.
    Love those irises!

  9. Love hearing your thoughts about the rescued quilt! I love that it's worthy of your respect and care even though it wouldn't be good enough for say a juried show.:)

  10. Always interesting to take a close look at an antique quilt!

  11. Thanks for taking the clues and piecing together a bit of this quilt's history.

  12. Thanks for the rescue info. So glad you were the rescuer! Love your Blue Flag!

  13. You caved in and bought the quilt! You will enjoy having it.

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Thanks for your comments!