Thursday, January 10, 2019

Patchwork Mysteries

Several years ago my husband, Dave, had given me a nook tablet.  I have read many e-books, mostly free of cost.  Even the Anne of Green Gables series that took me well over a year to read!  After finishing that series my search for more free books turned up empty.  That is when I turned to the the series of mystery/quilting books that an Aunt had passed on to me last summer...

I am so enjoying the stories of Sarah, a quilter and quilt historian and restoration expert, and her family and friends.  The way that she takes on a project and traces the history of the quilt maker inspires me.

In August I received a message from my sister-in-love,

I was given an unfinished quilt that my friend's grandma made. She has many quilts (they look hand made to me) and my friend is tasked with finding homes for them - the good ones will go to relatives, but she wondered if you might want to finish this somehow (not sure how as you wouldn't have the same material) and do what you wish with it? There is an obvious area on the back where she used a darker blue material for some reason.

Actually, it IS finished!  With the exception of six hand-stitched feathered wreaths.  And it is entirely hand stitched and quilted!  I cannot imagine the hours that have gone into this quilt...  by someone much more patient than I!  I will be finishing the wreaths on an upcoming road trip.

From Patchwork Mysteries, book 3, Muslin Mystery...

"A quilt can tell you a lot about itself, if you know how to look at it.  Some fabrics were sold only in certain parts of the country, so often you can tell where a quilt was created just by identifying the materials.  But what you really want to know is who made it, and what her life was like, when she was born and when she died.  And that can be hard to find out."
I am hopeful to be able to gather a bit of information on the quilter and will share the info when I get it, along with more details about this quilt and how it is made.

I am far from a quilt or fabric expert, but if I had to guess, I would say that the stars are made of left over fabric from clothing construction, or clothing spanning decades.  Some of the fabric appears to be flour sack cloth and others from the 60s or 70s, maybe even the 80s.  It includes cotton and polyester; silk and satin.  

I currently don't have any UFOs... Now I am not bragging... I am just a bit over the top about finishing a project that I start.  Even the year-long BOMs were a challenge for me to just let sit as I completed blocks!  

But if someone went through your UFOs and passed them on to another quilter to complete, what sort of info would you like for them to know? ... about yourself?  ... or about the project?

Would they have all of the necessary instructions and fabrics to finish the quilt?

Leave a comment and let me know... maybe I will ask that question of the grand-daughter I got the quilt from.

Quilt Happy!


Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations Series

Linking with:
UFO Busting at Tish In Wonderland


  1. That is an interesting question! When I read the quote from the mysteries you are reading it struck me that fabrics ae less and less an indicator of where you are - maybe where you have visited - but so many fabrics can be had at the push of a button now.... I never thought I would have as many ufos as I do, but I am finally getting to the level of being able to think about the project phase - doing things that I have collected - it may take one more year - but I feel the end is in sight!

  2. I loved seeing and reading about your gifted quilt. I, too, have such a quilt. My grandmother won it in a raffle in the 50s. It's a completely scrappy eight-pointed star pattern with what I think of as feed-sack-era green background, totally hand-pieced and hand-quilted. My grandmother told me it had been made by a Girl Scout troop in Westfield, NY; but I've never been able to confirm that information. I love looking at those vintage fabrics and wobbly stitches. By the way, a great place to download free e-books is from where they offer free downloads at least twice a week.

  3. Try out The Fussy Librarian for free books. I have a Kindle and I get an email daily with up to 10 free books for me to choose from. I also got to choose the genres of the books they send for my consideration. Nook doesn't, apparently, have quite as many options, but there are some...and free works! That quilt is going to be spectacular!! As to the different color blue fabric...she ran out of the one color and used what she had!!

  4. What a beauty that quilt is! How fortunate you are to become its new owner. I'm completely green. =) If the granddaughter has some she can't find home for, the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project would love them, I know. They are going to people who have lost everything - one bed-sized quilt per family - and it's a bit more than a hug in their overwhelming circumstances. She can find out more on From My Carolina Home on Blogspot.

  5. I was hired to teach an EPP class back in 2020 (fortunately, right before the pandemic shutdowns). I made three small projects for the class to do but also wanted to be able to show a traditional "Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt" as part of the my introduction for the class about the history of EPP. I found one on eBay all finished and *hand* quilted, only missing the binding! Boy did I ever wonder who had done all of that work and why they got that far but had not completed it. It's still on my "To Do" list to bind it and use it or display it in my home.

    I started quilting in the early 2000's and in the very first quilt magazine I purchased was an article about "documenting your quilts". In addition to labels, it also suggested keeping a written journal with a picture and the name and finish date of each quilt you make and information about the recipient. I took up that idea and it has since expanded to keeping a daily journal of each project I make. So if my quilts are lucky enough to survive along with the journals (or my laptop for those quilts not yet finished so not printed out and put in a journal yet), someone would know all the details and struggles of getting a project made and what was going on in my life and the world while I made it. I know those things can get separated so I only hope the Quilt Gods look out for it all and keep it all together!