Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The hidden quilt is revealed

These cold, snowy days have been great for uncovering the hidden quilt. Removing the binding and ties has revealed a beautiful pieced quilt -- one that is in remarkably good condition. There is some wear on the binding, but that's it. Why did someone cover up this quilt instead of simply attaching a new binding? We'll never know.

Interestingly, a double layer of flannel had been stitched to the top edge of the quilt. This was always the first to wear out because it was pulled on more than the other edges. I have quilts from my grandmother that have a decorative edge sewn to the top of the quilt when it was made to prevent wear when used. Underneath the decorative edge the quilt is unworn and unfaded. What a great method of preservation.

The now unhidden quilt is made of medium quality fabric and appears to be filled with a thin cotton batting. By all appearances it was "purpose made". In other words, it wasn't pieced together from old clothes or made as a utilitarian quilt. It was made from a pattern to display the maker's sewing skills. The quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted. The maker was obviously skilled as shown by the sharp points and evenly spaced stitching.

Using several resources I've been able to determine that the quilt block pattern is called Sage Bud. This pattern was published in The Kansas City Star on November 29, 1930 (Kansas City Star archive pattern #146). The blocks in the quilt were pieced precisely following the published pattern. A very pretty rose pink was used for all of the buds and a lighter rose pink used for the sashing. The colors in the prints are all still clear with no bleeding and just a little fading. The quilt was obviously used but well taken care of. I still can't believe someone covered it up.

Now that I know the pattern is from 1930 I'll use that date in the next step of researching the fabric. In the mean time, Murphy is testing the the newly exposed quilt.

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