Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vintage Quilt Completed

 Completed vintage quilt folded for mailing to my niece in Oregon

In 2012 my niece sent me the quilt top her maternal grandmother pieced, probably in the 1960s or 1970s. All my niece knows about it is that "Grandma Hunter" intended to make all her grandkids a quilt but this is probably the only one that got started. Mrs. Hunter was a farmer's wife who raised three children, canned vegetables from her garden, and cared for chickens, cows, and farm pets, so I'm not sure how she even had time to cut fabric, much less piece a quilt.

Buddy can't figure out why there is a quilt in the "his" yard

 Pieced back

At some point in its history, someone had laundered the quilt top, and many of the blocks frayed badly on the outer edges. My first step was to repair those blocks, then I added a coordinating border and pieced backing. In retrospect I wish I had added a touch of yellow to the backing and border, but I bet my niece won't care.

 The quilt remained on the cutting board for months

After I sandwiched the quilt it sat folded up on my cutting table for many months. I normally don't have a problem with this step of the process, but this was the largest quilt I have sandwiched, there were way too many wrinkles, and I simply dreaded trying to quilt around all those wrinkles. My problem was solved when I saw a tip on the blog of Late Night Quilter. This tip involves using an acrylic quilting ruler to smooth the fabric as you adhere it to the batting. I separated the layers from the batting and re-sandwiched using my 12-inch Big Mama and 24-inch Big Daddy acrylic rulers (designed by Trudie Hughes and purchased when I first started quilting), and magic happened - the layers miraculously smoothed out!

I quilted simple wavy lines for the body of the quilt, straight lines on the border, and graduated half-squares in the corners.

Finished size was 78 inches by 92 inches.

I fell in love with the vintage fabric used in this scrappy quilt.

My favorite fabric is this black with little safety pins.

This was a true scrappy quilt. I can imagine Mrs. Hunter painstakingly cutting scraps from cast-off clothing and love how she pieced the elongated diamonds. It was such an honor to complete her quilt!

UPDATE! She loved it! She said it was gorgeous, couldn't believe how pretty it was, and that she couldn't be happier with it. She made my day.


  1. You have done a fabulous job finishing this quilt Linda! Your niece is going to be so pleased and now it can be handed down the generations as Mrs Hunter would have liked it to have been! :) xx

  2. I had to laugh when I read this. My paternal grandmother intended to make a twin quilt for each of her three granddaughters, but she ran out of steam, and I, being the youngest of the three, only got the cross-stitched top. I have no idea whatever happened to it. I suspect that of us three girls, I would have treasured it the most. You did a beautiful job here.

    1. Lol Pattie! I have a similar goal to make a quilt for each member of my family but somehow have only managed to make quilts for other people! Thank you for the lovely compliment.

  3. What a wonderful scrappy quilt. I like the way you finished it off and think the specks of yellow are special the way they are.

  4. Linda, This is gorgeous. I love the fabris and agree that the scraps with the safety pins are the best! What a fun project.

  5. It's wonderful! Very nice. I'm sure it will be loved.

    1. Corrie thanks so much. She did love it!


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