A Deconstructed Quilt

When quilters find out that I am working exclusively with antique fabrics for my miniatures, they always say: "Where do you get your fabrics?"  Well, I get them anywhere I can.  In the past I have been reluctant to tell quilters that I take apart antique quilt tops and even quilts, as it is a controversial subject.  Although quilts are much harder to deconstruct, they yield yardage from their backs.  Above is my latest project.  We found this quilt in an antique mall this past weekend.  Here are some descriptions:

1.  These are blocks from the quilt.  As you can see, they are disintegrating.  Some of the blocks were done in silks and some in wools.  The wools appeared to be faring better than the silks, but turns out that they are rotten as well. 
2.  This is why I bought the quilt.  It yielded 3 pieces of 24 1/2" wide by 2 yards 10 inches long pieces of c. 1870 copper madder fabric in a very small print.  These pieces fill a huge gap in my stash.  It is very difficult to find madders that haven't disintegrated.  These pieces appear to be sturdy enough to use, although I will not be washing them.  You can frequently watch browns and blacks disappear when they hit the water.  I was thrilled to get this fabric. Quilters forget that even miniatures require more than scraps for backings and bindings.
3. - 6.  These are the fabrics hidden inside this quilt.  These are 9 1/2 squares that were used for foundations for the courthouse steps block.  Truly little treasures that were a surprise.  Normally muslin or some other utility fabric was used for foundation piecing.  Not so here!  The red is a lovely little piece that is c. 1850 and I will design a quilt around it some day.  I had none of this type of fabric in my stash.  It was the only square of it in the entire quilt. 
7.  This is the stack of blocks yet to be taken apart.  Although they are completely hand sewn, they are little terrors to take apart.  The seamstress/ seamstresses were very accomplished with a needle and made tiny stitches.  Not all the foundation pieces will be usable, as some are very fragile, but any of them that I can save is a bonus. 
8.  This is a little round sewing box that is filled with little oval containers and a pincushion in a tin.  I just threw it in the photo for fun - I came across it while going through some stuff the other day.  I made all of it based on antique spice tins I have seen in antique malls. 
Till next time.......


Jill said…
What an amazing treasure to find inside the quilt! Good luch with the rest of your deconstruction.

Back home, tired, but going to start my little project soon!
This weather is beautiful, enjoy your day!
Meredith said…
Very controversial subject.
Karen said…
I have heard of others using parts from quilt tops for making quilt blocks but not taking apart an antique quilt. A good way to get some fabrics for your little miniatures.

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