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Vintage blocks

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    Vintage blocks

    I inherited these hand stitched blocks about 25 years ago and they have been stored away until I had the courage to do something with them. There are 42 blocks, the muslin is spotted from being stored, there is not much of a seam allowance on the muslin edge and not all of the blocks are square. My question is should I carefully remove the fan from the muslin and add fabric with a workable seam allowance or should I just try to square them up and try to stitch the tiny (maybe 1/8") seam allowance? Also, she had sewn 2 blocks together and stopped. Should I use sashing strips in between the blocks or sew them as she had started?
    Thanks for your helphand quilted blocks 002.jpghand quilted blocks 001.jpg

    Re: Vintage blocks

    Oh gosh, Angie, I don't know.
    If you aren't worried about taking away from the value of the "vintage-ness" of it, whatever that is worth, I would be tempted to carefully remove and place on background that gave me a more generous seam allowance. Are the fans in good shape, ie do they feel flimsy or dry rotted? That would be a consideration.
    I love the fabrics, looks a lot like some of the Aunt Grace repros and other feedsack fabrics that are out now.

    I am certain others more experienced than I will speak up and add their sage advice. Good luck and congrats on lovely lovely blocks. that blue really makes the fans pop.

    Sewing mends the soul.

    Do the math; count your blessings
    Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside. Unless we are creating we are not fully alive
    ~ Madeleine L'Engle


      Re: Vintage blocks

      I understand that dating of a quilt has to be with the newest fabric included. If you replace the muslin fabric with new, the date of the quilt would become 2011, not the 1930's it looks like. I have just inherited a lot of original 1930 fabrics and feedsacks. I have some of the exact same prints as some in the fans. I am no expert....just my 2 cents!
      Suzy Que


        Re: Vintage blocks

        I'd be worried about damaging the blocks by removing the fans but you could try folding over the tiny seam allowance you have and then appliquéing the whole block onto a larger square of fabric. That might give you more confidence to sew them together.
        Quilting through the dull times


          Re: Vintage blocks

          Thanks for the input I have decided to go with the original muslin to keep the age of the quilt and I am going to continue with hand stitching as the original quilter started This could take me awhile!

          Does anyone have a suggestion for purchasing vintage fabric for the binding and backing?


            Re: Vintage blocks

            Try checking your grandmothers cupboard or anyone's grandmother for that matter, you may find some old fabrics or some old bed linen. A lot of these old (30's) quilts actually had bed linens for backings (and in piecing, these were hard times). In Australia we have secondhand/thrift stores, these can be a great source of old fabrics, even old clothes that you can cut up and pieced for backing/binding. If all else fails try the internet I think you will find there is a market in 'old'/antique fabrics for the very reason you need them.

            "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain" Anonymous.


              Re: Vintage blocks

              I posted on another forum about a similar situation and received what I felt was pretty wonderful advice - at least in my situation it will work much better.

              I have quite a few blocks that I'm told were hand-stitched by my maternal grandmother (whom I never had the opportunity to meet and know). They are stained, partly put together, and there are quite a few that still need to be added. It was suggested instead of trying to finish the quilt (which is a pretty intricate pattern with which I am not familiar) that I have portions framed. And that's what I'm going to do to preserve Grandmother's quilt. The rest will be encased and stored for future relatives.

              Just a suggestions.
              Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
              it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

              "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."