Friday, August 5, 2011

Collaborative Quilting With Women of the Past

As promised in my previous post Tying on the Feed Bag, this post is all about my latest quilting project. While poking around my favorite auction website recently I discovered dozens of handpieced quilt tops made with my favorite: feedsack! The prices and condition of these quilt tops vary widely and it took a bit of vision to see what some of them might become, but I decided to take the plunge and buy a couple to experiment with.

Here's my first purchase:

I was instantly drawn to the bold patterns and "wonky" piecing that reminded me of a crazy quilt. When it arrived and I layed it out I was mystified however, as to what to do with such a skinny quilt. The blocks were coming apart in places and clearly it needed some love. But like an old house it had good bones and I knew that if I stared at it long enough, and walked away and thought about it, and ate little chocolate, and had a glass or two of wine, and slept on it a few times (the concept, not the quilt ;) inspiration would strike. And it did.

First I decided that I would need to separate the blocks and rearrange them into a more practical configuration. I had a lot of time to ponder my next steps as I sat with my trusty seam ripper (I'm designing a holster for it) and carefully took the quilt apart. Once the blocks were liberated from eachother, it was off to the ironing board & then the cutting mat where I squared up the blocks in preparation for putting it all back together. I knew I wanted to wind up with a touchable, usable quilt as a final product and that would require adding fabric. I chose a cheerful cheddar yellow to accent and brighten the feedsack. Then, I was off to the sewing machine...

And eventually, hours, weeks, days, years, decades after the feedsack had first been cut and handpieced by a woman of the past....The quilt was complete!

If you are interested in purchasing this quilt or seeing other pieces I've completed, visit my etsy shop at

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  1. This is awesome - I love the idea of collaborating with the past as you've done here. What a labor of love!

  2. Wonderful! I would NEVER have guessed that was feedsack! So glad you took the time to fix that old quilt up :) LOVE THIS.

  3. Love hearing about the process! Great post!