Names and Y-Seams

Names and Letters are in current thing in decorating.  Recently friend Virginia purchased a great quilt find.  It would look lovely on a home wall!

VA’s letter quilt top

However, the fabric is too fragile for that.  What a treasure from the past!  To make it more special, little pieces of paper are sewn on the quilt top with a name written that corresponds with the letter on the block.  Was the embroidery of the name a project that never quite got done?  Below are some letters I recently purchased at a flea market.  My daughter wants to use them to decorate one of the kids rooms.

Letters found at a flea market

Double Nine Patch made 1880 – 1900.

The above picture is that of a quilt on exhibit at the Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NB.  It looks rather ordinary until you get up close!  First you notice the fabulous hand quilting, but if you look real close you will see the names, over 500 of them.

One block of the double 9 patch

My first thought was, who had the neat handwriting?  My second thought was did they all have the same name stamp?  I went back and read the story board about the quilt.  All the names were printed on the fabric with a typewriter!  Did they know the wonders of freezer paper in the 1880s?  Did they have freezer paper?  I thought I was so cool running fabric through my computer printer using freezer paper.  Women have always been clever!

Making tumbling blocks in vertical rows!

Talk about clever women, one discovered how to make tumbling blocks without y-seams.  I saw this technique on Simply Quilts years ago and am thankful that I recorded it as I will be sharing this technique with my friends in November.  You can see that there is a seam through the top, light, part of the block.  I thought I would buy the book on e-bay or amazon.  Wrong.  It is out of print, but there is one copy of Not Your Grandmother’s Tumbling Block available for $95.00.

My tumbling blocks to be used in a medallion quilt

Our plan is to do a pyramid of Christmas presents for a small wall hanging or a pillow top.  I got so carried away as I was reviewing the technique.  Now to sew it all together!

Two fabrics I purchased in the past

From my tumbling blocks you can tell that I have a deep stash of fabric.  The other day I was looking for fabric for Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler and came across the above coordinating fabrics.  My question was, why did I buy it?  Yes, it is nice, but 2 yards and 1-1/2 yards nice?  Did I have a plan or a pattern in mind?  Whatever it was, it was no longer in my mind.  Why did I not put the pattern with the fabric?  Bad idea, as I once put a pattern away with fabric.  Then I spent a year wondering where the pattern was.  I am thinking it would be a good idea to leave a note as to what I was thinking of doing with the fabric.

Fabric choices

I proceeded to use the fabric in the block I had in mind and learned that just because they are  coordinating fabrics doesn’t guarantee that they will work together in just any project.  Above you can see how it worked out for me and what I finally did.

Before I close this post and finish up my prep for my friends day and a few days with the grandchildren, I will mention letters and names one more time.  Be sure that your name is registered to vote and that you do vote.  Do so early if you do not like the lines.  My voting place is a county school house and I love to go there.  It feels so Americana!


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