The Rescue Quilt series is about finishing up quilt tops that were never completed and then remaking the pattern. Sometimes I find easier / modern ways to make the quilt pattern, and sometimes I change up the pattern a bit to freshen things up. Other times I just finish the rescue quilt and end the project there.
The goal is to honor the quilt maker who made the quilt top by completing their project, to not waste good craftsmanship (usually done by hand), to ogle long ago yummy fabrics, and to breathe in a little old inspiration and make it new again.
Well she’s done. I have obsessed over her for a month, but I can finally feel good that my part of this quilt’s journey is completed.
She came to me from another quilter, bartered with quilt labels. She came during a busy time for me and was kept in her sealed box for over a month, but when I finally opened the box up one morning and pulled her out, I did a sweet little sigh of relief. You never know when you get a rescue quilt, especially one you haven’t touched in person. They can be wonky. And she was a bit wonky. Hand stitching can be like that sometimes. But overall she was near perfection and the quilter who made her must have felt so much pride when the top was completed. I couldn’t help but ooh and ahh.
My Newest Quilt Pattern
Skill Level: Beginner friendly
Available in PDF and Paper booklet
Pattern is clickable with lots of helpful links included (including methods for basting, quilting and binding)
I stressed over her edges. Traditionally, you leave them zig zaggy. If it was a modern quilt, we’d probably be appliqueing it on top of background. But to keep everything proper I decided to take the extra effort. I’d never used bias binding and definitely never made it, so the whole experience was new. I won’t tell you I enjoyed either part of the binding, but I am glad I did it that way. I made one tiny mistake on it when I first started binding and I’m sure if you look closely at my pictures, that mistake is pretty obvious. Oh well, though, we live and learn.
One thing I’d like to make note of this quilt and her quilter is she used the same pale yellow for each hexie flower and followed that up with one round of solid and then another round of a tiny floral. Very cool, I think.
The sides end up with that zig zag. The top and bottom end up looking like half hexagons. I absolutely love the look of it and feel it was so worth the effort. One thing I learned that I’d wished I’d known when I started and could have made me avoid that early mistake is to keep the edges curving around the points and not try so hard to make them actually pointed. Once I figured that out, I got in the zone and everything came together. I found this tutorial for making the binding (although I changed it up a bit to make it work for me better). There was a lot of other tutorials that are pretty common that I found to be way too difficult to fool with. The above one though was enlightening.
I had a conversation several weeks ago on Instagram in my stories. As you may know, I’ve been working on a Grandmother’s Flower Garden for almost two years now. Moving along ever so slowly. I’m using English paper piecing to make it. If you haven’t EPPed before let me give you a quick break down. You take cardstock cut into shapes of hexagons and glue or sew fabric around it. When you have many of them, you can start putting your hexagons together to make the flower shape with a whipstitch. It’s slow handwork that is the end all and be all of dreamy days well spent.
These quilts that I’ve rescued, including my own great grandmother’s version of this very same quilt, are not pieced this way. They are hand sewn by placing two right sides together and then stitched with your usual running stitch. Which happens to be incredibly quicker than EPP or so I’ve been told, though they aren’t anywhere as strong as EPP and a bit more fiddly too if you think about it.
Using the EPP methods keeps your piece from flopping about. Everything is sturdy and easy, though more time consuming.
These are just rambling observations, I know, but interesting I think.
The back got away from me a bit. I totally mismeasured. When I cut my backing I didn’t realize the tension was a smidgen off on the quilt top and I didn’t cut my backing long enough, but too wide. I was cutting it off the side and adding that and more to the length. It was a frustrating mess. Though I did end up with a very interesting quilt back that I’m pretty pleased with.
I like quilt labels on my quilt. When this quilt is found by someone fifty years from now, they might want to know it’s history. Technically, I don’t know it myself, but I put the details I did know. Good enough!
Thanks for reading along! I hope you liked looking and reading about this rescue. If you have been paying attention, then you know I have a partial English paper piecing quilt pattern coming out next year. I haven’t released any images yet, but it’s going to be an absolute delight. I’m so ready to get started. There will be video tutorials every step of the way. I can’t wait to show you and tell you more about it soon.
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