Sunday, May 24, 2009

More of Grandma's Vintage Charm

I have had these unfinished quilt blocks tucked away for quite a long time. I recently pulled them out of a project basket to look them over. I had remembered them as butterflies --that's what I told Sherri! I am so silly. Imagine my surprise when instead of butterflies I found lily pads. I was a bit disappointed at first but their charm overtook disappointment with delight. Take a look at the sweet colors and all of the handwork. Just like with my grandma's vintage quilt I wondered why something so lovely was never finished. Again--I am so silly. All it takes is a look at my sewing room nearly overflowing with projects and I need question grandma no more. I have 12 blocks. I am sharing a photo of the whole block and then a close-up so you can see the prints and colors. After you check out the blocks, I have a question for you!




This is a fun color combo that reminds me of something we might do today!








That's only 10--I must have left two out of the "photo shoot!" I will try and put them on later for their day in the spotlight! They are just as charming in blues and one is sweet...the thread is hanging and a couple of the petals need to have the handwork completed.

Here is my question for you who have taken a few moments to look: I want to put these blocks together into a quilt, that I know for sure. I will get some reproduction fabrics when I go to our Western Washington Shop Hop in June, that part I know for sure. Where I have a question is how should I put the blocks together? The only idea that I have at the moment is having sashing rows in between, and borders, of course. The sashing and borders could be pieced..... I would like to make it so that it is keeping with what my grandma had in mind. I don't know what the pattern was that she was trying to create. I did recently order Joanna's book of fresh vintage quilts thinking that I might get an idea from something in there--it should be here tomorrow. I would love any suggestions and comments!

We are all so incredibly creative when we put our heads together so I am looking forward to your ideas and input! Thank you so much for welcoming me so warmly into this wonderful world of blogging! You are all amazing!



  1. I love these blocks - what a wonderful treasure trove, Dotti. My thoughts - hmmmm - you could add a narrow border around each block; either the same color all the way around or very scrappy. Or you could do a sashing and cornerstone layout. The sashing the same color and the cornerstones different colors. My mind is racing - if I think of more I'll be back! Enjoy!

  2. I would probably sash them and put a great 30's print with lots of colors in it for the border.
    Unless you want to do an applique border.
    take the blocks with you to the fabric store to audition fabrics , choose what YOU Like.

  3. I'm thinking these would be nice set on point. I'll check a few things out and e-mail you with some ideas.

  4. Your blocks are amazing!! I love anything vintage! Sometimes I pull out A LOT of my quilt books an look through each, specifically looking at borders. Imagine what your blocks would look like in place of the one in the books. This way I get different perspectives. I hope this made sense;) Oh, and I agree with Kathie....take your blocks to the fabric store for auditions!! I am looking forward to see what border you choose and the finished product!!

  5. Two thought: first I agree with Nedra. Set them on point 3 by 4. You could do a pieced block for the "holes" in 30s fabrics and the set in triangles in 30s. Then a narrow solid border and a wider outer patterned border.

    Second: You could set them straight 3 x 4 and sash them in checkerboard style and checkerboard all the way around. I love doing that. Then a narrow solid and pattern 30s. They're very lovely blocks.

  6. That's one 1930's block I've not seen. I am going to forward this to my friend Carol that has ALL of Ruby Short McKim's patterns. I'd like to see if she's seen it. My first impression is not to set them on point because lily pads would be wonky...I'd say set them straight with pieced sashing.

  7. Dotti, I would probably set the blocks straight with sashing and corner posts. My grandmother used to do a lot of applique quilt like this and sell at the church bazzars. She often used three colors for the sashing, for instance: red-white-red, and used the same fabric for a 9 patch for the corner stones. I think you should do what you isn't your grandmother's quilt, she has passed it on to you like a round what makes you happy!

  8. Hmmm, my first thought was to put them on point but then i thought...that's probably not what your grandma had in mind. I think a simple sashing strip with a star corner post would be nice. I'll see if I have a picture. Take care!!!

  9. I think a straight setting with sashing posts would be fun...and I think each sashing point would look great in a different reproduction fabric...kind of to add some sparkle!

  10. Oh if this were only MY problem. I really love those lily pads. I've never ever seen them before in any quilt. I like butterflies - a little. Vintage ones are cute. But these are fantastic. Amazing. Superior! You've got a neat find there. I would look at some vintage quilts of that era for some ideas. I'd google vintage quilts and just do some idea shopping. has some quilts (for sale) but I like to look at them just to get ideas. I think it is It is Sharon's vintage fabric. And she sells quilts too. I'm excited to see what you do.