I love reproduction fabric from the 1800s … always have since I first saw it about 10 years ago .. I’ve wanted to do a quilt with just these fabrics and also with blocks that were popular at the time .. My first fabric that I purchased for this was 4 yards and that would have been sufficient for a lap quilt .. I was very new to quilting at the time and anything larger was just to overwhelming for me .. by the time I decided that I wanted to do a bed quilt, the fabric was discontinuted. So I have to make do with 4 yards. And I no longer have a double bed, but a king :O
My only requirements for this quilt .. Reproduction fabrics from the 1800s .. (that’s why that one calico question is so important to me), and popular blocks of the time as well .. oh and it has to fit our bed.
Over the years I’ve picked up a yard here and yard there .. FQs – quite a few of them .. and then I got lucky and did a HUGE fabric trade with Judi Kern for a whole whack of fabric .. this trade enabled me to maybe have enough fabric to get moving on this quilt .. with the size of our bed, it might have been ready for our retirement 😉
In keeping with the way quilts were made in the 1800s, his quilt is going to be scrappy … I am going to try and have each ‘section’ have as much of the same fabric as possible – if that doesn’t happen .. at least the same colour family or as close as possible. I’ve already started that with the Underground Railroad Block Sections . the first one was made with 2 different FQs for the foreground colour, but the background is going to be the same for all sections. If not, I did have a backup of monochrome brown vines ..
The next section after the underground RR is the Double X blocks (16 of them) that will have the same background, but will be in various fabrics of whatever I have that fits the bill yardage wise. None of it will be the same, but it will be all purples or blues or greens or reds .. you see where I’m going here. Then the sisters block – the center one will have the same background and again, the same color family for the foreground .. I’ve not even decided what colours the big Ohio Star will be yet .. it’s all going to depend on what looks good with the chocolate brown and the rusty reds that I have.
I’m not 100% sure on the Ohio Star, but it is a traditional block, that one is iffy on the time frame .. Might have been early 1900s .. But not positive .. But the rest are from then 🙂 Short of buying a book, online references mostly talk about 8 blocks; basic 9 patch, chimney sweep (not even sure what that one is), churn dash, Georgetown circle, underground railroad, jacob’s lader, North Star and Slave chain (no clue about this one either). I’ve managed to view a few antique quilts online that have these other blocks in them – and i’ve patterned them off the way they looked at the time. I found some actual blocks (so they say) from that time period in a webshots album .. these pictures allowed me to cut a LOT of my research down and move forward from there. Civil War blocks. Now I did read that finding stacks of blocks not put into a quilt was common .. as the ladies didn’t have the pattern books that we do or even current newspapers if they were in the back country, they would quickly stitch up a block when they visit (trading patterns .. so things never change) and THAT would be their pattern … One can easily see how this is how so many blocks would have been found in this condition .. hid away for years somewhere ..
AHA – I’ve found my proof at The Quilt Index – specifically this search page – Ohio Star Search – the first quilt is from 1850 – 1875 – I do have to be careful as the Ohio Star and variable star were two names given to the same block .. **wonder if I can see any calico print in these images …. **
So basically this quilt with the exception of the actual layout isn’t really planned .. I’ve never done a quilt like this before .. usually I have it planned down to the inch .. heh .. can we say STRESS .. lol .. just kidding ..
it’s definitely going to be big enough .. 94½ x 94½ before borders. An idea that has tripped across my mind is to have one smaller border – the outer blocks will be a nice ‘border’ for the center designs already .. and I can likely do alternating darks and lights for background or what have you .. I’ve not even really looked at what the borders looked like on the quilts I did find online .. I was to interested in the blocks.
But it is going to be fun to put together and plot and plan as I go along . I’ve never quite done this with a quilt before .. I usually have the colours picked right to the binding .. I still have some research to do and more plotting than I can even think straight about .. but it’ll all come together .. it’s rather fun to have no ‘plan’ or instructions and just go with what i have ..