I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 19, 2013


'Harmony"- a doll quilt

Hi! Happy Friday...[beach pix at the end! I promise!]

Oh it is chilly here, with dense fog.
I almost drove wrong way down a one way street while running errands in town. The fog was so dense I couldn't see the signs. [That's my story and I am sticking to it!] I hastily backed out and carefully took me and this week's white tulips home....

A fun little project this week! Lori at Humble Quilts showed the sweetest little prim doll quilt a week or so ago.  I think all her readers loved it, and so she did a quiltalong so we could all make our versions.
Perfect timing since I have recently finished two large projects and am still dithering about what's on deck next. This is the original 19th century quilt:

The little quilt probably dates from  the mid 1800s. It features madder prints and is adorably poorly constructed. I love the crookedness and unrepentantly reversed sawtooths, so charming.

Madder is a natural dye that was prized by 19th century seamtresses because it is  colorfast and can produce reds, browns, and purples, often with a coppery or brick red cast.

Here is quilt historian Barbara Brackman's post with a detailed explanation of the dye and fabrics of the Civil War era. Lori also suggests googling ''madder prints"...

So now I had to dig in my stash!
I love Lori's doll quilt projects because they give me a chance to use  my collection of antique quilting fabrics. Some of these very old, yet sometimes brand new; and many are tiny scraps, so a doll quilt is a perfect showcase.
On the other hand madder prints are not exactly my ''thing''..for years I loathed brown quilts and so in my modern stash I was dubious that I'd have anything useful at all
 But I found things! Had to sub the center bock, that print was hopeless. And I made the sawtooth squares larger than Lori's intructions because I wanted to show off the old calicos I used.

What I do is:  I print out a full page color photo of the doll quilt. I study each block to find a match, first sorting through my antiques then filling in with modern or vintage fabric.

I have no Prussian blue at all,

 so I tried to capture the shade by dying a small toile. Others I tea dyed to get the needed brown cast.

Isn't it cute!

My main disappointment was that I couldn't figure out how to reproduce the very charming wonky crookedness of the original. Maybe another time, when I can do more intensive study.

I also now see that my version needs a tea bath dunking to tone it down! Too bright!

I chose this pretty brown rosebud print for the back. I like the larger scale for contrast. The rusty red will be the binding.

I thought about using this House block on the back...I love the pink. But maybe it should be a doll quilt on its own?

And I think it is the wrong period, perhaps is late 1800s-1930?

And now so those of you who read my blog for the beach! The doctor has said I may resume walking on the beach if it does not make me cough or wheeze! And so these pictures are from the only sunny day of this week. Maybe....Wednesday?



Ahhhh. April showers, April fog. See the fog bank rolling in?

At least sand doesn't get muddy so I shouldn't complain..

Have a good weekend! Flea market Sunday! Yay!



 gone to the beach.....

PS Lori's blog today shows her version and has a Linky thing at the end, so you all can see the other version. enjoy! here