So this is as far as I have gotten with those sorry blocks (called Seven Sisters) but I still have a border to do on this, but here it is. From the calico patterns I believe they date from the mid to late 19th Century. The blocks in the corners predate the center ones, the cotton feels crinkly as it may have some linen in it.
Having written over 600 posts to this blog, dear readers, you may think I do nothing but historical research. But no, in fact I also have another hobby which I will now reveal: Quilting.
Although there is an excellent quilt store here in Skagway, open year round, Quilt Alaska, which is about 300 feet from my office, I actually specialize in antique quilts. Specifically, I do quilt rescue. I acquire old, barely recognizable antique quilt blocks and tops, and I tear them down to basic designs then I repair, clean and re-construct them.
I recently invited 10 ladies to stay with us for the Buckwheat Ski race and suddenly wondered if I had enough bedding for them all. So I counted my completed quilts. Would you believe 50? And another 15 completed quilt tops, not counting the infamous “unfinished objects” in storage. After I finish the top, I put it together with natural cotton batting and back and then handquilt it, which takes up to 6 months. If it is not an antique quilt top, I sometimes machine quilt it, but I hate to do that.
Anyway, I may photograph one someday and post it if anyone is interested.
Some ladies who only buy new fabric must think I’m mad to use 100-150 year old fabric to make a quilt, but as I am fixing and finishing the project I think of the poor woman who started the quilt but for whatever reason never finished it. Did she run out of fabric, move and lose it, or die before she finished? We will never know, but the pattern and the tiny stitches often tell a story in themselves.
I will enter one or two in the art show in April here in Skagway, with a story.
Ok, that’s all for now…. – Seen above is my latest acquisition in its sorry state, which I have already redone, I will post the transition tomorrow.