two new tops…early 1900’s and mid 1900’s

I recently purchased a few quilt tops from Bill Volckening  of  Wonkeyworld.  I have not had a chance until today to hang them up and take pictures so here they are.

The first one is very much a scrap bag top.  I love the fabrics and the very improvisational construction.  This quilter didn’t care if it lacked uniformity…or perfect 1/4″ seams, or if any points match and that is what I like about it.  It has a Gee’s Bend feel to it.

It is a rather small top, about 65″ square depending on where you measure. (here it is hanging in front of a full-sized quilt) I won’t add any border to make it larger…that would detract from it .  Not sure how I will quilt it but I get the feeling that an overall pattern is in order to keep with the period and style.  I don’t normally favor a Baptist fan…I actually don’t like it at all, but I think for this one it might be the best.

Next is a top from about 1950 (in my estimation) done in a Jacob’s ladder variation

I love the bold fabric…this one could be larger too, but I think it will look good with a border added.  I think a sold color taken from the plaid

Maybe even a green to match those stripes going through the orange.  I think this one will get quilted by the piece, which means a line of quilting about 1/4″ from the seam around each individual piece.    I love to quilt like that because there is no marking involved and it highlights the piecing and the pattern.

They are great tops and I look forward to making them into great hand quilted quilts ….Thanks Bill

see below for more pictures (click to enlarge)

Happy Quilting


24 thoughts on “two new tops…early 1900’s and mid 1900’s

  1. Sara says:

    Interesting quilts! It will also be interesting to see how you turn this into masterpieces!

  2. Ginny says:

    love the reference to the Gee’s Bend quilts. You are absolutely right…necessity and what was handy were the rules there.

  3. Willy Wonky says:

    I’m so glad the two tops found the perfect home, and I just know you’ll make these diamonds-in-the-rough shine!

  4. Lisa says:

    I think an overall Baptist fan would be right for the earlier one. You have a lot of seams to cross but with a fan and maybe even a larger thread. I have been using a 30 wt thread that was designed for machine stitching but it works well for more informal quilts with the overall pattern. They are both lovely and I agree no reason to add borders.

    • timquilts says:

      I will have to see if I can make myself do it….I don’t like baptist fan quilting, to me it is just so generic…but it fits with the irregular piecing…so i might bite the bullet and do it…It sure would make for faster quilting

      • Willy Wonky says:

        You can make the Baptist Fan non-denominational by calling it by one of its other names – elbow quilting. But I suggest looking at some details of Gee’s Bend quilts and other improvisational and/or “utility” quilts. I can send you a couple details of Lucy Mingo’s quilt if you’d like. It’s a modified fan / bars pattern, very irregular, very cool!

      • timquilts says:

        that is much more appealing to less generic…I would love to see some details

        I just got the pictures…Perfect! I think I might move this one up on the list and get quilting soon

  5. Doug says:

    These are great examples of a time when life was much simpler and it will be interesting to see what you do with them.

    • timquilts says:

      I don’t know when I will get started on them but keep checking in…I have several others in various stages to hopefully finish first….but sometimes I can’t wait!

  6. Sue says:

    Very cool tops. It’s quilts like these that got me started quilting in the first place. I love the imperfections.

  7. Ann says:

    Love them both! If possible, can you share the pictures WW sent of Lucy Mingo’s quilting in the next blog entry? (…don’t know if they are copyrighted so I’ll understand if you cannot show them.)

  8. Ann Champion says:

    I really like the utility look of the first quilt. It’s the sort that was made and used up. I look forward to seeing how you quilt it.
    The second one will be gorgeous quilted up. Perfect for display in the Autumn. 🙂

  9. Dolores says:

    Have you considered a double border for the jacob’s fan variation? Perhaps a darker, thinner border to hold it all in and then a wider, outer border in perhaps a lighter colour?
    Shouldn’t take you long to quilt the first one since it’s not that big and straight line quilting is so much easier than a fan. I say “just wing it.”

    • timquilts says:

      I wont know until I look for fabric…that is usually what I do…when I see the right one I know…and it could be double or pieced or single…as long as it looks like it belongs to the original

  10. Gretchen says:

    Thank you so much! Your Baptist fan was just what I was looking for. I have arthritis and have been shying away from hand quilting for awhile but maybe I will go back to it with a small project. 🙂


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