In a recent post I mentioned a 1950s era quilt top I'd found that had "issues" to put it mildly. Originally 7 inches longer on one side than the other, it was also pieced together with triangle squares of varying sizes with little regard for matching corners, and with a large machine basting stitch. Definitely not something I wanted to spend much time on yet it also didn't want to be thrown in the pile of things heading out to the local St. Vincent de Paul store either.
I ended up taking off the three rows of triangle squares on the right and added a wide dark brown border to make it a useable size. Trying to stabilize the large machine stitched seams, I decided that an overall FMQ meander quilting was the best way to proceed. I had an old Mountain Mist 100% cotton batting, probably from the 1960s or perhaps even earlier. It had the paper wrapper with some vintage patterns printed on the reverse. So, meandering we did through the first week or so of December, then the edges were trimmed and the plain brown binding was stitched down, and the finished quilt measured about 58 x 84 inches.
I've heard the praises of the "Biz Bucket" for soaking out stains and age spots on vintage linens, so after the binding was stitched, the quilt went into the bathtub filled with hot water and about 1/2 cup of powdered Biz and nearly the same amount of original Dawn liquid dish soap. The water turned a grungy shade of brown, which I should have photographed, but forgot to do before draining the tub some eight hours later. After soaking all day, the quilt was rinsed in the tub several times, excess water squeezed out and then into the washer for an additional cold water rinse and spin. After that it went through another delicate cycle in the washer with a small amount of liquid Biz and several more rinse and spin cycles, then into the dryer on the low heat setting. The quilt shrunk up nicely and now measures about 53 x 78 inches, a good size for the back of the couch or a small grandchild's bed or an outside picnic when they come for a visit. Here's the finished quilt in all its clean and crinkly glory.
Thinking of the new year ahead, Barbara over at Cat Patches is again hosting her annual NewFO Challenge. And this new year will be one of many challenges on the horizon with DH's anticipated retirement and a few other major life changes on the horizon. Though I fell short this year and had to r-e-a-l-l-y stretch to have a NewFo every month this year (and there are still none on the horizon for this month), I do want to participate again next year, so I'll throw my name into the hat once again with the following:
1. The Strippy Basket Quilt I didn't quite manage to start this year, inspired from an older Fons & Porter Fat Quarter Friendly Book pattern.
3. Earlier this year I acquired several vintage 1980s era Ohio Mennonite quilt tops through an online seller friend who specializes in antique and vintage quilts and tops. The tops range in size from 28x28 inch wall hanging through king size. A couple are pieced and the others are mostly from vintage applique and embroidery kits. This lady did impeccable needle turn applique and gorgeous embroidery and was a prolific quiltmaker.
I think it's safe to say that I'll begin hand quilting this wall hanging in 2014:
I may be getting ahead of myself here, so I'll quit while I'm ahead and head off to find the links for Barbara's 2014 NewFO Challenge and see what everyone anticipates for the new year!