Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Alice's Star


1933, The Free Press in Detroit

In normal times, we have a group that meets every other month on the third Thursday to study old quilts.  If we had to cancel a meeting we might post photos online, usually on this blog.  But these are not normal times and with my husband's back problem this past month, I'm not getting much sleep.  All this is my way of saying that I'll post photos of people's quilts when they email them as I can.

Alice is one of my favorite people in our group and she follows this blog.  Recently, she emailed me a photo of a quilt top that she received from a friend.  It's a vintage, most likely first half of the 20th century.  Thank you Alice for sharing with us!

This top is lovely and the maker not only worked hard on the star but the piecing around the star really makes it unique!

What Alice knows about the top:  It's hand pieced.  It was apparently passed on to many folks before a friend found it recently and passed it on to Alice.

Quilt collectors love quilt tops.  The colors are rarely faded, we can study the construction of the piece, and it's easier to store a top than a quilt.  

But there is a down side of some tops.  Many of them remained unquilted becaus they don't lay flat.  I think this quilt may (hard to tell from photos) suffer from this dilemma.  Alice mentioned in her email that she had also received more of the triangles and pieces to complete the quilt.

The upside of quilt tops is this:  we often think that all our foremothers were so frugal and industrious that they finished all their projects.  The large amount of tops in the auction market belies this assumption.  Women have always had UFOs just as we did.  We often don't know why.  Did they get busy or ill?  Did they end up being tired of the piece?

When we study quilts, we often search and speculate as to why something is unfinished or what the quilter was thinking.  It is ALL speculation without provenance or documentation about the piece.  We don't know why this piece went unfinished.  But it is lovely and interesting with the triangles and stars around the main Star of Bethlehem.

Alice has been busy during the pandemic and also sent me a photo of a quilt she finished.  I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it but I think it is adorable!  She calls it "Covid Cats" and I saved the photo because I love this piece so much!

Do you have a an old quilt or a project that you are working on that you would like to share with the group?  Email me photos and the story at Allentownquilter@gmail.com if you have a project you wish to share!

Have a safe and happy day!

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