Surprise Quilts

Rail Fence

In honor of the Dallas Quilt Show this weekend (that I did not attend), I wanted to share a little something that arrived on my doorstep last week. When I attended my great aunt’s funeral with my parents, we went by her home afterwards. My mom’s cousins showed us around the property. One of the best things there were the glass doorknobs on the doors. Apparently after years and years of being exposed to sunlight, they turn purple. Who knew? But, it shows I come by my love of the glass doorknob honestly. Anyway, while walking through the rooms, we stumbled upon a paper grocery sack full of fabric and what appeared to be quilt blocks. Later, I mentioned to my mom that if her cousin doesn’t quilt and had no attachment to the blocks, I would love to have them. My mom relayed the message and that was the end of that. Or so I thought. At Christmas, my mom’s cousin (Eric tells me she would be a cousin to me too, but that seems weird), sent us a Christmas card and asked in the card if I was still interested in the quilt pieces. I of course jumped on this opportunity, and replied “YES!”. So, last week a box showed up addressed to me. In the box I found the rail fence quilt blocks you see in the above photo. Coincidence that I just completed a rail fence quilt, no? You can see there’s a good stack of these. And underneath the rail fence blocks are some solid blocks of the beige and white print fabric. Now, while the fabrics on these might not be my first choice, they are all hand-pieced. The pattern for this quilt, the template she used to cut out her pieces, and extra fabric were all in the box.

There was also a hand drawn pattern for a checkerboard quilt that intersperses solid blocks with blocks that have appliqued hearts. And the cardboard template for the hearts is in there too. I haven’t deduced if that quilt was started or if it was just in the planning stages, but I don’t appear to have any pieces for it other than the pattern and template.

Also in the box (excuse the wrinkles but this is straight from the box) is a completed quilt top. Again, all hand-pieced. And it’s huge. I couldn’t even get the whole thing in the photo.

Blue and white Quilt

Not perfect, some of the seams don’t match up…but to do a piece this size by hand?!?! I am amazed.

Blue and white Quilt Detail

And look at the little cornerstones she included in the border.

Blue and white Quilt Cornerstone

I think I’m going to have this quilted for sure. It will be pretty with my red and white quilts. And of course, I think it deserves to be taken care of. I will probably see about finishing the rail fence quilt too. It appears I have everything I need for it – even the spool of thread she was using.

Even though there was no quilt show in the plan for me this weekend, I did settle in with my stitching a bit. Friday night after book club and Saturday, I worked on Where My Heart Blooms a bit more. I think I’m making good progress on the house. The thread really doesn’t look this sparse in person. “Blooms” is over one. I think I’ll come back to the rest of the over one words.

WMHB 031410

I’m using Belle Soie on 36ct Meadow Rue. The fabric is actually much warmer than this in person.

On Sunday, I picked up And They Sinned again to put a few stitches in. A very few. This photo is from back in January, the last time I worked on it. It pretty much looks exactly the same now…except the little cupid on the right has his entire body, and the cupid on the left has about half a body.

ATS 012410

Love love love this piece, but OMG with the ripping out. And I know that my partner in crime on this piece is probably sending me hate mail for making her work on a piece that apparently has an ancient curse on it that once you open the chart you are bound to take out every single stitch you put in – at least once, sometimes twice. I really really wanted to stitch on the snakes last night, but I decided I would probably end up stitching them in the wrong place and have to rip them back out as punishment for not stitching cupid’s bodies like I’m supposed to be doing. So no snakes. But, stay tuned. They are coming!

And no tea-dying on Ten (the Amy Mitten piece), or any work on it really. My brain just couldn’t seem to function correctly this weekend. I needed a bit of rest and not thinking this weekend. Honestly, I could use another weekend of the same. And more Starbuck’s Dark Cherry Mochas. I could definitely use more of those.

I am grateful for Eric’s Monday.

56 thoughts on “Surprise Quilts”

  1. Anna van Schurman

    I knew that sunlight turned glass doorknobs purple! We had glass doorknobs in our apartment in L.A. and the one on the utility door just inside the front door (that was often propped open) was a beautiful purple shade. We bought the house we’re in now even though the main competition house had glass doorknobs. (It’s really listed as a plus on the pros and cons list we made!) Someday I’ll replace the ones I have. Maybe. ($90 per)

  2. Anna van Schurman

    I knew that sunlight turned glass doorknobs purple! We had glass doorknobs in our apartment in L.A. and the one on the utility door just inside the front door (that was often propped open) was a beautiful purple shade. We bought the house we’re in now even though the main competition house had glass doorknobs. (It’s really listed as a plus on the pros and cons list we made!) Someday I’ll replace the ones I have. Maybe. ($90 per)

  3. How neat to have acquired a quilt and blocks from your great aunt. They can be considered an heirloom!

    Love the progress on your wips. Sorry to hear that ATS is being a pain in the ass but think about the reward in the end.

    I didn’t know about the glass doorknobs turning purple. That sounds cool!

  4. How neat to have acquired a quilt and blocks from your great aunt. They can be considered an heirloom!

    Love the progress on your wips. Sorry to hear that ATS is being a pain in the ass but think about the reward in the end.

    I didn’t know about the glass doorknobs turning purple. That sounds cool!

  5. What an amazing wonderful gift those quilt blocks are. I am sure you will turn it into a wonderful tribute to your Mom`s family.
    Your blue and white quilt is gorgeous too. What a large amount of handwork it is. I can`t imagine sewing all those blocks by hand.

  6. What an amazing wonderful gift those quilt blocks are. I am sure you will turn it into a wonderful tribute to your Mom`s family.
    Your blue and white quilt is gorgeous too. What a large amount of handwork it is. I can`t imagine sewing all those blocks by hand.

  7. Oh Michelle, what a special thing to receive! I’m so glad they passed the quilt and quilt blocks on to you! You definitely should get that quilt quilted. Love your BBD piece and your ATS too! I keep contemplating ATS, but that’s as far as I get! lol! Sorry you missed the Dallas Quilt Show. 🙁

  8. Oh Michelle, what a special thing to receive! I’m so glad they passed the quilt and quilt blocks on to you! You definitely should get that quilt quilted. Love your BBD piece and your ATS too! I keep contemplating ATS, but that’s as far as I get! lol! Sorry you missed the Dallas Quilt Show. 🙁

  9. I believe it was somewhere around the 1860’s when lead was phased out of glassmaking that manganese was substituted until sometime around 1915 or so. It is the manganese in the glass that will turn purple over time with exposure to sun.

    Love the quilting pieces – that blue and white one is stunning and how fun that they are from the family!

  10. I believe it was somewhere around the 1860’s when lead was phased out of glassmaking that manganese was substituted until sometime around 1915 or so. It is the manganese in the glass that will turn purple over time with exposure to sun.

    Love the quilting pieces – that blue and white one is stunning and how fun that they are from the family!

  11. How wonderful to receive those quilts – certainly something to remember your great aunt by.

    The BBD piece and ATS are both looking lovely – nice progress! 🙂

  12. How wonderful to receive those quilts – certainly something to remember your great aunt by.

    The BBD piece and ATS are both looking lovely – nice progress! 🙂

  13. How neat about the door knob! Wow, what a great find and I am so thrilled for you in that you got it all! I can’t wait to see the top quilted up and what you do with the blocks!

    Your stitching is wonderful too.

  14. How neat about the door knob! Wow, what a great find and I am so thrilled for you in that you got it all! I can’t wait to see the top quilted up and what you do with the blocks!

    Your stitching is wonderful too.

  15. SimplyStitchingintheGarden

    What a wonderful box to have received. What a treasure you have. I love the fact that there was a quilt top in the box and it was all hand pieced – that is just fantastic. Lucky you!!

  16. SimplyStitchingintheGarden

    What a wonderful box to have received. What a treasure you have. I love the fact that there was a quilt top in the box and it was all hand pieced – that is just fantastic. Lucky you!!

  17. Wow what a package to receive! And that quilt top…oh goodness that is incredible! Hand done?! WOW!

    For the record, your mom’s cousin is your cousin once removed. Your mom’s cousin’s kids would be your second cousins. It’s all very confusing!

    Beautiful WIPs Michelle!

  18. Wow what a package to receive! And that quilt top…oh goodness that is incredible! Hand done?! WOW!

    For the record, your mom’s cousin is your cousin once removed. Your mom’s cousin’s kids would be your second cousins. It’s all very confusing!

    Beautiful WIPs Michelle!

  19. What a wonderful heirloom quilt you have! Hand pieced! I can’t imagine the hours and hours it took. Just wonderful!

  20. What a wonderful heirloom quilt you have! Hand pieced! I can’t imagine the hours and hours it took. Just wonderful!

  21. Terri(TerriBoog)

    What great quilt blocks and a beautiful, blue quilt! I would absolutely have it quilted – what a treasure. I also love glass doorknobs and have a few from Rob’s parent’s house – I just love them although they must not have kept them long enough ’cause they’re not purple.

    Your wips are looking great – Sorry about the frogging with ATS. I don’t remember doing too much frogging but then I find a way to work around mistakes if at all possible.

  22. Terri(TerriBoog)

    What great quilt blocks and a beautiful, blue quilt! I would absolutely have it quilted – what a treasure. I also love glass doorknobs and have a few from Rob’s parent’s house – I just love them although they must not have kept them long enough ’cause they’re not purple.

    Your wips are looking great – Sorry about the frogging with ATS. I don’t remember doing too much frogging but then I find a way to work around mistakes if at all possible.

  23. Laurie in Iowa

    Lucky you to be gifted with the lovely quilt top, plus the rail fence blocks. A wonderful family heirloom that can be passed on to future generations.
    Your WIPs are looking good.

  24. Laurie in Iowa

    Lucky you to be gifted with the lovely quilt top, plus the rail fence blocks. A wonderful family heirloom that can be passed on to future generations.
    Your WIPs are looking good.

  25. mainely stitching

    I just love the story of your inherited quilt and quilt pieces! How wonderful!

    Our current house is full of glass doorknobs, but so far I haven’t noticed any purple ones. I love ’em. They remind me of my grandparents’ home (which did not have glass doorknobs, but did have a faux stained glass door that I absolutely LOVED).

  26. mainely stitching

    I just love the story of your inherited quilt and quilt pieces! How wonderful!

    Our current house is full of glass doorknobs, but so far I haven’t noticed any purple ones. I love ’em. They remind me of my grandparents’ home (which did not have glass doorknobs, but did have a faux stained glass door that I absolutely LOVED).

  27. MyLifesAStitch

    Oh how awesome!! What a wonderful legacy for you to have!! I remember we found a bunch of (grandmother’s garden, I think… honeycomb pattern) completed blocks in my mother in law’s closet – they were hand pieced (we believe by her mother or grandmother) using newspaper as the paper foundations… I asked my MIL if I could have them (I am nowhere near skilled enough to do anything with them, but my stepmother is skilled enough to guide me, I think) and she agreed… since then, the bag in it’s entirety has diappeared. 🙁 Esp. sad b/c my MIL has since passed away.

    Anywho…

    Progress on the BBD piece is great!

    I really wish you hadn’t mentioned that re: the ATS “curse”… now I think I may never even buy it… I’ll be jinxed, lol!!

  28. MyLifesAStitch

    Oh how awesome!! What a wonderful legacy for you to have!! I remember we found a bunch of (grandmother’s garden, I think… honeycomb pattern) completed blocks in my mother in law’s closet – they were hand pieced (we believe by her mother or grandmother) using newspaper as the paper foundations… I asked my MIL if I could have them (I am nowhere near skilled enough to do anything with them, but my stepmother is skilled enough to guide me, I think) and she agreed… since then, the bag in it’s entirety has diappeared. 🙁 Esp. sad b/c my MIL has since passed away.

    Anywho…

    Progress on the BBD piece is great!

    I really wish you hadn’t mentioned that re: the ATS “curse”… now I think I may never even buy it… I’ll be jinxed, lol!!

  29. Wow, what a treasure those quilt blocks and that quilt top are! I’m sure your great aunt would be proud that you are giving them a good and loving home 🙂

    PS. I had no idea about that with the glass doorknobs!

  30. Wow, what a treasure those quilt blocks and that quilt top are! I’m sure your great aunt would be proud that you are giving them a good and loving home 🙂

    PS. I had no idea about that with the glass doorknobs!

  31. Hey Girlfriend, I love it that you got the quilts – that blue one is a beauty. I know you will treasure it, and I believe that your mom’s cousin would be so happy to have them end up with someone who can truly appreciate them….

    Your house looks good – I am working on JB’s house now.

    I am just wondering why we both are having such problems with ATS… I think you are correct about that curse…. first The LNS cut my fabby waaay to short, then they did not have that fabric anymore, then I started it with the GAST, then changed my mind and restarted it with silk and now that frog has moved in and won’t budge…. Good golly, now all that is missing is that I spill something on it… Today I take out the angle wings so I can restitch them in the correct color….

  32. Hey Girlfriend, I love it that you got the quilts – that blue one is a beauty. I know you will treasure it, and I believe that your mom’s cousin would be so happy to have them end up with someone who can truly appreciate them….

    Your house looks good – I am working on JB’s house now.

    I am just wondering why we both are having such problems with ATS… I think you are correct about that curse…. first The LNS cut my fabby waaay to short, then they did not have that fabric anymore, then I started it with the GAST, then changed my mind and restarted it with silk and now that frog has moved in and won’t budge…. Good golly, now all that is missing is that I spill something on it… Today I take out the angle wings so I can restitch them in the correct color….

  33. What a wonderful box to receive. I am very sentimental about family things done by generations past and to me this would be such a wonderful gift to have.

    Loving how the BBD piece is looking and, as for ATS, sorry to hear it’s having you tearing your hair out!

  34. What a wonderful box to receive. I am very sentimental about family things done by generations past and to me this would be such a wonderful gift to have.

    Loving how the BBD piece is looking and, as for ATS, sorry to hear it’s having you tearing your hair out!

  35. Outstanding haul on the vintage quilts. I agree, that blue hand pieced is crying out to be quilted.

    ATS!? What is that? Oh yeah, the one that’s still just sitting in the top drawer of my stitching cart. My defense is I can’t figure out how to get the verse re-charted for centering…

  36. Outstanding haul on the vintage quilts. I agree, that blue hand pieced is crying out to be quilted.

    ATS!? What is that? Oh yeah, the one that’s still just sitting in the top drawer of my stitching cart. My defense is I can’t figure out how to get the verse re-charted for centering…

  37. Ahh, there are no coincidences. I think your great aunt wanted you to have her quilts in progress so they would be finished. Love that blue one. Have fun with them.

  38. Ahh, there are no coincidences. I think your great aunt wanted you to have her quilts in progress so they would be finished. Love that blue one. Have fun with them.

  39. How great to get all those blocks and the quilt. I think that the seams not matching up on the one adds a lot of chartm – it’s hand pieced after all, and I think that alone makes it very special. Will you still put the split rail together even though you’re not thrilled with the fabrics. I’ll bet it will look great when it’s finished. Your WIPs look great, but I’m so, so sorry that you’ve had to rip out so much on ATS! Hope that you can get some clear stitching time in on it! Don’t despair – it’s so great when it’s finished.

  40. How great to get all those blocks and the quilt. I think that the seams not matching up on the one adds a lot of chartm – it’s hand pieced after all, and I think that alone makes it very special. Will you still put the split rail together even though you’re not thrilled with the fabrics. I’ll bet it will look great when it’s finished. Your WIPs look great, but I’m so, so sorry that you’ve had to rip out so much on ATS! Hope that you can get some clear stitching time in on it! Don’t despair – it’s so great when it’s finished.

  41. Oh my gosh, Michelle, what a treasure trove of quilts! I am sure your relative will be happy to know that her hand work is being passed to somebody who will treasure it.

    Lovely work on WMHB & ATS!

  42. Oh my gosh, Michelle, what a treasure trove of quilts! I am sure your relative will be happy to know that her hand work is being passed to somebody who will treasure it.

    Lovely work on WMHB & ATS!

  43. What a wonderful post – you are one lucky gal to get those quilt squares and pieced top from your relative. You will treasure them.

    I have ATS all kitted up with the original “called for” linen and GAST – never took a stitch on it. Ever now and then I think I should just sell it and now the curse – ummm – Anyone interested??

    I missed your post about the Tudor Rose guild – I know someone in that group – Marie Z? I’ve gotten to know her at several seminars and classes we attended together. Your class with Amy sounds so unique – I’ve always wanted to try her silks so please let us know what you think. Mel

  44. What a wonderful post – you are one lucky gal to get those quilt squares and pieced top from your relative. You will treasure them.

    I have ATS all kitted up with the original “called for” linen and GAST – never took a stitch on it. Ever now and then I think I should just sell it and now the curse – ummm – Anyone interested??

    I missed your post about the Tudor Rose guild – I know someone in that group – Marie Z? I’ve gotten to know her at several seminars and classes we attended together. Your class with Amy sounds so unique – I’ve always wanted to try her silks so please let us know what you think. Mel

  45. Wow what a wonderful array of quilt blocks and the quilt is wonderful. All that hand sewn!

    Your WIPs are looking fantastic. Shame you have to keep frogging ATS.

  46. Wow what a wonderful array of quilt blocks and the quilt is wonderful. All that hand sewn!

    Your WIPs are looking fantastic. Shame you have to keep frogging ATS.

  47. Such a great gift, Michelle!!! And all by hand…WOW! What some may see as imperfections, I LOVE, in the blue and white quilt..and it is gorgeous!

  48. Such a great gift, Michelle!!! And all by hand…WOW! What some may see as imperfections, I LOVE, in the blue and white quilt..and it is gorgeous!

  49. This blue quilt top is truely amazing. And so great that you could get all the finished blocks. You will certainyl be able to use them for a new quilt.
    Lovely stitching.

  50. This blue quilt top is truely amazing. And so great that you could get all the finished blocks. You will certainyl be able to use them for a new quilt.
    Lovely stitching.

  51. What incredible quilt squares! And a HAND PIECED quilt top? That’s amazing!! You are very fortunate to have received them. And your stitching looks great! Glad to hear you’re doing well. 🙂

  52. What incredible quilt squares! And a HAND PIECED quilt top? That’s amazing!! You are very fortunate to have received them. And your stitching looks great! Glad to hear you’re doing well. 🙂

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