Thursday, March 1, 2018

Antique Quilt to Finish

Back in June of 2016 I wrote a post about my BQF (best quilty friend), Robin.

Today's post has a lot to do with her so if you want to get to know her a little bit, go read about her here. I PROMISE you, this post about her is one of the most interesting blog posts I have done.  I showcase just a small amount of the scads of things she has made by hand. You'll enjoy it.  I'll wait for you to get back.

See?  What did I tell you?  She is one amazing lady.  Anyway, fast forward to today and her mother who couldn't understand why anybody would name their child after a bird (ha! ha! that one always gets me!) gave Robin a partially finished quilt top that was made by Robin's great great grandmother 75 years ago.  Robin was amazed.  She had never seen this quilt top before!

Here is a shadow box Robins mom made for Robin for Christmas one year.  It has a picture of her great great grandmother, Aggie, on her wedding day in 1907.  Aggie is the seamstress who made this quilt top.  The info under the picture reads:
Alred J Nygaard & Assne Gurine Mortensen
Married June 12, 1907
Odalen Lutheran Church, Tiber Township, ND

The lace around the picture is from her wedding dress.  

And here is the beauty made by a talented seamstress . . .
This star measures about 8 feet from point to point.

Very accurate piecing done by machine.  Very tiny stitches!  I wonder what kind of machine she had?

Robin wants to finish this quilt.  Now, here's where you all come in.  I am hoping we will got lots of advice and opinions on how to go about doing this.    If you don't want to write a long comment, could you at least put your name down as someone we could ask questions of?  Neither one of us have made a Lone Star quilt before and were hoping you more experienced quilters could direct us to some good tutorials and also share any good tips.  Also, any ideas and opinions about how you would finish this top.  We are all ears!! We were thinking maybe she should make a small Lone Star mini just to get practice with the set-in seams.  Other than that, we are not sure where to start.  Or how much fabric it's going to take to fill in between these star points.  We are eager students ready to learn how to make a Lone Star quilt!

Linking to:


  1. There are 2 ways to attack the corner fillers and even the triangles, either a square that is inset or 2 triangles that are joined down the middle. Either works, 2 triangles are less intimidating. The triangle pieces must be cut so that the outer edge in NOT bias. Be very careful to not distort the stretchy bias edges on the star and the setting pieces. There are many tutorials on this and cutting the fillers - basically measure the space from inside to point including seam allowance, cut a square a little larger, set in. You can also "float" the edges, by using larger setting pieces that will extend beyond the points. I like this version best. I'm guessing the machine used was a Singer/featherweight. When women got those, they moved the stitch length lever up as small as it would go I think, so happy to have teeny tiny stitches. They are a real pain when trying to 'undo' old quilts! Good luck.

    1. Thank you so much! You are a no-reply commenter but I wanted you to know your advice is soooo appreciated! Thank you!

  2. What a fantastic shadow box, a real family heirloom to be passed down. I can't advise on the quilt but I can tell you how wonderful I think it is, such precision, she must have been a very talented quilter. I would have guessed at a Singer machine, they were very popular and old ones still work too, wonderful stitchers. Robin is one very lucky girl.

  3. It's beautiful! I have no idea how to do the set-in seam. If you don't want to risk those, you could applique it onto a background.

  4. Best of luck!! I've got an antique quilt on the frame right now. It's basted and ready for quilting. I've been stuck right there!!!

  5. Oh, you were so right. That post was definitely worth going and reading. I love your friend. Do you think she'd be my friend, too? I am convinced we are soul sisters too when I saw the ric rac on the quilts! The good thing is that the long star is already made! I think that's the harder part. A simple way would be to do a needle turn applique of the star. Setting in the seams would be harder. First decide on how large you want the quilt (how much border showing). (An alternative way is to inset only to bring it square and then add borders.) Then lay the star on paper to make a pattern of the inset, add 1/4" seam on all the sides and sew it in knowing that it would have to be inset. Not impossible but definitely worth the time it would take. Think of it this way. The first one or two would be more difficult. The later ones, would become easier. Use a longer basting stitch first to make sure it fits and lays nice and smooth, go back and resew with the reg. length of stitch. That would make ripping it out easier if needed. Good luck and have fun.

  6. Although these are not my fav colors, the time it took to create this beauty is amazing! Janice

  7. I've never done anything with those sorts of set-in triangles, so I'm not much help. But gosh that's a neat star! It will be so cool when it's finished :)

  8. I have a pattern that could be helpful. I am not sure it is the same size as yours, but email me at davemelvanolan at aol dot com and I can scan it for you.

  9. I have no advice to give and can only offer great admiration for the beauty of the quilt and for the precision piecing. Good luck with your finishing plans.

  10. I learned to do lone star From a workshop with Liz Porter of Fons and Porter. The thing is to be very careful of bias stretching while working and handling. Starch the fabric first. Most lone stars go south when they start to form a volcano shape but even then all is not lost. One can block it back to shape with water, pins and time.

    I have a quilt top left by my grandmother and have no idea how to quilt it. She would have done by hand but I don't want to do the whole thing by hand. It's all solid lavendar and white. I'd be bored by the time I finished 20 years from now!!!
    LeeAnna at not afraid of color BTW, I've been quilting most of my life, teach art quilt techniques, and do lots of questions by email. My addy is leeannaquilts at g mail dot com

  11. I don't really have any advice because I have never attempted something like this, but I wanted to wish you luck!

  12. I love the shadowbox with the photo, lace and all! Such beautiful colors on that quilt! Best wishes to you and Robin as you touch back in time.

  13. Saw your comment to Diann and hope you will decide to join RSC18 now. Just make one block a month and you have a full rainbow quilt in time for Christmas. It's never too late. The WIPs can wait a teenie bit longer.

  14. I see a few have jumped right in with suggestions! That’s a good thing, because I wouldn’t know how to tackle it! Comment #1 sounds very doable. You were right! This IS pretty spectacular! Judging by your post about her many wonderful accomplishments, I doubt Robin will have any trouble jumping right in with both feet and finishing it!

  15. What a beautiful quilt. Sadly, I have no wisdom to share. Good luck.


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