Saturday, June 6, 2020

Vintage Quilt Tops and Prize Announcement

I was recently given some hand stitched quilt tops.  One of them appears to be fabrics from the 1960's and 70's done in a tumbling blocks design and the other is mostly diamonds sewn into stars and then sewn into a hexagon pattern using shirt materials.  Wanna see?

Here are the tumbling blocks!

If you look closely, you will notice that there are two spots where the carpet shows through.  It's as if someone went into the middle of the quilt and stole two of the blocks!  Do you see them?  They are on either side of the yellow block.  Strange!  What is also strange is the shape of the quilt on the top side of the picture.  It's as if someone took bits and pieces of this quilt to make another.  Perhaps they did.  

Perhaps the quilter was getting bored with it.  All of these tumbling blocks are made the same way except this purple and blue one.  She started getting creative!

Anyway, this is all hand sewn and I am not a hand piecer.  What would you do with this if you were me?

The second one is also a puzzle to me.  Here is the full picture first.  It's fairly large.  I had to stand on top of the coffee table to get it all in the picture.  Don't worry, it is very sturdy.  

Each block is made up of 7 stars made out of diamonds.  There is one star in the middle, with six more stars surrounding it.  Each block measures 17 inches across.  Again, this quilt is an odd shape and I can't figure out where it was meant to stop and start.  All of this is hand sewn and appears to mostly be made out of shirt fabric.  Here are a few closeups of the blocks.

This quilts is so much fun to look at and I would love to see it finished but again, I do not enjoy hand piecing.   What would you suggest I do?  I am thinking about taking the two hexies that are sticking out on each end and moving them to the sides so the quilt will have four rows of four.  Right now, it is 1 block, then 3, then 4, another 4, then 3 and back to 1.  It's still going to be irregular and I would either have to bind it that way, or chop of half of some of the blocks.  UGH!   What would you do?

I do owe my readers an apology.    I totally dropped the ball on getting the prize winner list published for the Quilted Legacy Blog Hop.  😕  I'm sorry about that.  We were thrilled to death with the response to this blog hop!  So many lovely comments.  I think Paula would have been pleased.  To be honest, I have not felt like doing the things I normally love to do (quilty stuff) and I can't figure out why.  Life is so strange right now and it's leaving me with an unsettled feeling.  How about you?

Each of the winners have been contacted and connected with the prize giver.  The only change is that the winner of the gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop lives in Canada so I decided to buy her certificate from a fabric store in Canada so she wouldn't have to use up so much of it in postage.

Needle & FootHetty
fabric shop gift certificate
Magpie's Mumblings
quilty cardsNancy Bekedam
Grace & Peace Quilting
Canuck Quilt pattern
Nancy J
Sew Fresh Quilts
Susan @ desertsuz
Cactus Queen gift certificate
Linda in PA
Quilted Jet GirlSharon
Sugarfree quilt pattern
FIGO FQ bundleJoy @ Joyful Quilter
Enlightened Spaniel Books
Joye Cox

I'd love to hear ideas about what you would do with these vintage tops.  I hope you don't get tired of me asking for ideas.  Paula used to be faithful in telling me what she thought and I loved that.  Will you be my new Paula?


  1. I'm still smiling over my lucky win (and that you went the extra mile and changed it to a Canadian store)!! Thank you. Your new quilts are interesting and it is a puzzlement why they're those shapes. I don't really have any suggestions for you but perhaps if you scrolled down through Rhonda's blog you might get some ideas. She saves all sorts of quilts in ingenious ways ( )

  2. Hi Janice, that was a gorgeous English Garden quilt you generously donated. I was quite taken with these two pieces you came by. Hand sewn, imagine that. I love that star pattern. I wish I could help but I’m hopeless at the finishing of even regular projects. You’ll get loads of help here and I will enjoy seeing what you do. Happy Stitching now!

  3. The only help I can offer is that the stars pattern is called the seven sisters. I honestly do not remember the story for how the pattern got that name. I think if you choose to adjust what you have you really only need to remove the one red section at the bottom of the picture and simply move it up to the left of the grey that is directly above it.

    However, if you do not enjoy handwork, I think I might be inclined to applique it to a background as is and simply honor the original quilters interruption. It could be a statement piece/conversation starter.

  4. Those are a lot of fun, Janice! I think that quilter was a lot like me, thinking "I want to try this" and getting just so far before the next question is "Now what should I do with this?" I don't have any ideas for you, really, but loved your post about these projects!

  5. The blog hop was fun! I'm glad there were so many nice prizes and I recognize the names of most of the winners. Always great to see nice people get rewarded :)

    As for your odd-shaped tops: for the tumbling blocks, I would trim it to a rectangle. Yes, that would mean cutting off some blocks, but there are lots of little interesting pieces still remaining. You could easily applique something fun over the holes. Add some borders to get it up to a size you like and it's done!

    For the Seven Sisters, I would move that bottom red block up and to the left to make the top a bit more even. Then I'd fill in those edges with triangles. You'd have to sew a few Y-seams, but you'd end up with a rectangle at least. Or, after moving that one block, you could just finish it in that unusual shape. Baste it to a big backing, quilt it, and trim it around the edges of all the hexagon shapes. Binding around all those 60 and 120 degree angles is actually really easy! Easier than Y-seams, at least. It would be quite fun and funky :)

  6. You got some good suggestions to consider! The quilt tops look quite old. Unsettled? That’s a good way to put it. XO

  7. I must say it's too early in the morning for my brain to come up with a creative notion, lol! However, I'm not really certain what time of day is good for that! I'd probably position the blocks central to the quilt, add background fabric, and have fun quilting it! Keep it simple to reflect the original blocks.

  8. I have received the cute quilty notecards! Thank you! I was thrilled to receive them. As for your quilts, how about just using them as is and draping them artfully over a quilt ladder? They would be great conversation starters.

  9. On the 7 Sisters I would remove that red one from the bottom, and move it up and left to fill in that row. On both quilts, since you do not do hand stitching, press under the seam allowances on the outside edge. Then place a solid fabric appropriate to the colors in the quilt and the time period when they depict, as borders, overlapping over the edges of wide border fabrics so when you zigzag over the edges it will hold it. Not a wide zigzag, but one narrow that will hopefully hide in the finished quilt. That is the way I think I will be finishing my hexi quilt I have in progress, as well as the tumbling blocks one that has been sleeping in time out for a while.

  10. Don't know why, but today I've gotten numerous older quilt blogs in my email, and yours is one of them. Looking at the tumbling blocks they are each made with only 2 fabrics yet should have 3, to give them a 3D look. So, how are you doing, this hot summer?


I LOVE meeting new quilting friends and always respond to comments so I'd love to hear from you!