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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Civil War Doll Quilt Swap

swap quilt by Katy Sweigart
Hi! If it's mid-April, it is time for Lori's annual Humble Quilts Little Quilt Swap. I look forward to this fun event every year and I am never disappointed by the darling quilt I receive. This year I was thrilled to get two quilts made by Katy Sweigart. Two. I am so blessed and she is so talented. Thank you so much, Katy!

Here is the ''main'' little quilt.

The colors are so wonderfully "me", the fabrics are so interesting, and---Katy handquilted it.

Isn't it precious. I am guessing about 14" square.

And here is the back, isn't this a great choice, a newspaper or catalog page with all sewing items. I have been enjoying poring over all the details and info.

And then! It is sort of a tradition, though not required, to slip in a little gift or hometown souvenir item, when you send your quilt. It's fun because the little quilts go all over the world! One of mine came from Australia one year. I often put a local post card and one of my sewing emeries. I sort of have the idea that if they hate my quilt, at least they get a cool sewing thing. Anyway, Katy put in a second quilt [and some darling note pads]! Her tiny quilt says it is a mug rug but I think it is too special to get tea stain circles and crumbs on it. Also beautifully made, with perfect points. I admire how Katy used very different fabrics and color palettes and print scale in each quilt. I'll treasure these always.


Then, haha, my contribution. My recipient was Lila, in Missouri. Oh I dither and worry. Whatever might she like, I wonder. It is so fun and exciting, but the swap has a LOT of rules: ''only use Civil War era repro [or original] fabrics''; ''do your best work'' // ''it should look like it traveled thru time from the 1860s''. And...''do NOT be late.'' Lori's rules, Lori's swap and truth is her guidelines just add fun and challenge to the event.

But what if I make a mistake? Or, gasp, run late? [I am famous for being late in real life and always behind on sewalongs.] For this swap I made four  yes four potential quilts!

Last fall I made this quilt using antique madder Stars. But--it needs to be washed and tea dyed for authenticity, and I thought maybe that was a No.

Then I considered offering my Little Red Quilt made with my extras from the TQC sewalong 1880 Sampler. But it's not entirely Civil War or even CW fabric at all, really. Again, no.

So I decided to use this tiny late 1800s doll quilt as my inspiration.

It dates from about 1880-1910 and is a classic miniature Nine Patch with unusual sashing that creates a secondary design. It is a true doll quilt or miniature, not a cut down from a larger quilt. My little old quilt is the only remaining quilt from my fairly extensive collection, all the rest sold on eBay. This little treasure is too washed, too worn, too loved ---now only by me--to sell. It has the tiniest hand quilted hearts in the sashing and I just love its old faded imperfection.

But! Its red white and blue colors  aren't Civil War era, so I redid it in cheddar, indigo  blue and cadet blue, with double pink accents.

I LOVE my result. If you look at the original closely, you can see that the tiny calicos are broken up by the use of plaids. And I used thrifted plaid shirtings in my version. But then I got worried. Will this be wrong, not in the rules? Surely blue work shirts existed in 1860? But I didn't want to be kicked out of the swap for cheating or disappoint my swapee, so I set it aside.

I will finish it soon [and show you of course]. If it's not for the CW swap I can use my fave mustard spool print from Cotton and Steel for the backing. Or keep it authentic and use a 1800s repro blue print.

Now what? Time's a-wastin'/ deadline looms! Oh noooo.

New version: I carefully chose a CW colorway of brown and pink and made sure that each and every fabric was a CW repro, most of them Judie Rothermel for Marcus, from my long-hoarded stash.

I did put in a homespun plaid, it is true to the timeline and I felt I needed the nod to the original.
My accents are a purple-brown,"fugitive purple'', tiny sprig,

....the backing is a brighter purple from the Jamestown "Hideous" fabric group.

I machine quilted in traditional styles And even did a very narrow single ply binding as the inspiration quilt has. I did not miter the binding corners because in the years I have studied antique doll quilts I rarely if ever saw modern mitered corners. I do know how, but preferred authenticity this time.

I wrote a short story about the little girl who, fictitious obviously, made the quilt when her daddy went off to war. I'll put it in a separate file page, link at the top or here 

And did a photo shoot with my CW era china dolls.

Oh my stars, I do promise, sort of, that Esmeralda will be provided with a dress! Soon.

As will her own dolly Sarah Maeve .

My recipient liked it! I added some special dark chocolate for her, just in case she was disappointed.

I think Lori said there were more than 70 swappers this year. I'll let my blog readers know when the show and tell linky opens mid-May.

Thank you, Lori. This was so fun. Your efforts and hard work are very appreciated. 

PS Mel, I do not know the name of the block pattern of the quilt I received. Maybe an Anvil or Jacob's Ladder variation? Maybe Katy will tell us. The diamond shapes look like a section from a Lone Star.

For LINKY party with pics of all the tiny quilts in the swap, click Humble Quilts, here



gone to the beach.......  

PS 2 Kel says Trader Joe's has cut lilacs this week! Very authentic, CW type of flower. Swoon! I love lilacs, don't you?

Mo dancing,
he loves to dance but my kids won't let him wear a tutu,
too too bad.

Link again:  Emma Leah's Nine Patch Doll Quilt  [her story] here