Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Quilt for September

I have only a few more reproduction quilts to feature on this blog. This one is half reproduction and half not quite a reproduction. The design is intentional. The small squares are reproductions, once again, mostly from tiny samples I collected over time. The borders and backing are wonderful prints that are not reproductions but work well with the various older-style prints and colours. I fell in love with them but had a hard time matching them to modern prints and so decided, instead, to blend multiple eras.

The squares measure 2 ¼” each and the quilt itself is 44” square. It is entirely hand pieced, hand quilted and hand finished. 

The first photograph is a little tilted as I had to take the picture by myself, standing on a bed and wobbling as I did so – not a method I would recommend. 

My historic knitting has been on hold as I spent part of the summer and September making a modern quilt for a young couple as a wedding gift. I hope it will be cherished and, perhaps, handed down and become a piece of the new family’s history.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Very Pretty Turkish Purse

This long purse is now finished. The pattern is from The Lady’s Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting and Crochet by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, To be had at I.J. Gaugain', Foreign and British Depot of Berlin Patterns and Materials for Ladies' Fancy Works, 1840.

I wrote about this purse a few months ago* but to quote again from the original pattern there should be  “six broad coloured stripes,” in plain knitting and a lace pattern in between each. The pattern suggests crimson as one of “two skeins of coloured silks” and “one of white” of “purse twist, a size finer than common twist.” I did not have silk twist and, since I am trying to use up my stash, I used DMC Coton Perle 8 in my collection’s available colours of bright red, navy and gold .  The needles should be  “two wires of No. 18,” so I used the modern equivalent of 1.25 mm/US 0000.

The purse is knit flat, horizontally, and then sewn close from either end, leaving a gap in the middle for inserting money.

There are no finishing instructions in the original pattern but these purses were often decorated with tasells or beads. They also variously had flat or gathered ends. I did one of each for this purse, adding little tassels. Small rings, which slide up or down, keep the two ends of the purse closed. The rings I have made, covered with more silk/cotton, are too large so I will have to make another pair for this purse.

The purse measures 10 ¼” in length and just over 2” in width.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Quilt for August in September

Life has been taking too many turns in different directions recently so the August quilt post is a tad tardy.  The photos show a toile quilt in progress. The toile print is from one of RJR Fabrics’s early Smithsonian lines - the Rising Sun (1825-1835), I think.

Two panels of about 40” plus wide, respectively, were sewn together. I am not sure just how long the quilt will be but it should be large enough for a double bed. There will be no borders, just the usual knife edges.

The reverse is plain muslin with a double-cross hatching pattern (difficult to photograph.) I penciled the pattern on the muslin, using a stencil, before I tacked/basted the three layers together. The middle layer is a cotton batting/wadding. The panels were sewn by hand and is being hand-quilted and will be hand-finished.

I am ashamed to say that I started this quilt quite a few years ago. I was madly trying out all sorts of patterns, materials, techniques, tools, etc., and many, many quilts were started but not all were finished. This one is extremely heavy so I have put off the quilting until every winter, thinking I could snuggle under it as I worked on it. The double-hatching is also a very time-consuming quilting pattern. Those are all of the excuses. If the coming winter is very cold, I may just get this quilt finished in 2015, along with a few other stragglers.