over two years ago, i saw an antique quilt that just stopped me in my tracks. granted, that happens quite often, but this quilt was different. it wasn’t the pattern or the detailed piecing that made it stand out to me. instead, it was the bright, exuberant colors that brought me back to it, time and time again. it went into my ‘make someday’ files.
last december, i picked up a copy of ‘vintage quilts’ and, much to my surprise, found the antique quilt amongst the pages. instead of being thrilled to have more pictures available of the quilt, i was saddened. for several years now, i’ve had this hang-up about making quilts from published patterns. i don’t know why or what brought it on; it’s just something that bugs me anymore. it was then that i mentally removed that quilt from my list. however, it refused to be written off that easily. it continued to nag at me.
after mulling all of this over in my head for awhile, i decided that i was putting limitations on myself that were senseless. there are very, very few patterns out there that do much for me. it’s just a personal thing i guess. part of the appeal of recreating a quilt is figuring it out for myself apparently. this time, i had to make an exception.
barbara snyder stoner made this quilt back in 1895 for her daughter, ida. barbara was a mennonite woman who was obviously a talented quilter. she and her husband john were farmers in eastern pennsylvania. i first saw this quilt in the book, quilting tradtions and the colors jumped out at me. so fabulous! later, it amused me that barbara opted to set these colors together using not the typical trip around the world, but the lesser known philadelphia pavement. i’m thinking barbara was a rebel. 🙂
so, eleven days ago, i set out to recreate this stunning quilt with fabrics that my husband so kindly bought for me for christmas (really, all he had to do was wrap the box they got shipped in 😉 ).
working with the 4 photographs that i had of the original quilt, i pulled out my kona color booklet and went to work. when i opened up the box on christmas eve, i was very happy with my choices and promptly dumped them in the washer when no one was looking. on christmas day afternoon, i brought my ironing board and iron into the dining room and went to work. i figured that it was the same as the girls going off and listening to their cd’s or playing with their various toys, so why can’t i? after much sewing and gritting of teeth (i hate borders..and there’s 3), the top is completed.
…and it is a big one. i opted to cut my squares 1/8″ bigger so that the quilt could fit nicely on my queen sized bed. that makes this quilt finish out at 98 x 98…my biggest quilt to date. ah, but i’m so in love! this quilt is, by far, the most favorite of mine that i’ve made. the colors just sing! barbara knew what she was doing.
the backing is in the dryer as i type and the “bleak house” dvds are waiting…all 510 minutes of it. i see some serious handquilting in my immediate future.