Inspired by Vintage Quilts
My small quilt group issued a half-square quilt challenge earlier this year. The rules were pretty simple: The finished quilt should be about 24″ x 24″ and feature mainly half-square triangles. If you’re a new to quilting, that’s a commonly-used shape and it looks like this:
A square is cut in half on the diagonal, and the two resulting triangles are called half-square triangles, often abbreviated as HST.
didn’t have much time procrastinated until the last minute, so I decided to use leftover HSTs from a great big scrappy quilt I made a while back. The night before I started sewing, I spent time on eBay, looking at vintage quilts and tops. This is always inspirational for me!
One of the quilts I loved was this one. The large florals are combined with reckless abandon. There is so much going on but you can still see the idea of a Log Cabin with complete rounds of one fabric.
Isn’t this fabulous? The fabrics are from draperies; some are vintage barkcloth.
This is a portion of the other quilt I fell in love with. Totally scrappy, joined willy nilly however she felt like it, and yet with a real sense of order in the chaos.
I’m sorry for the poor quality of the photos—you have to make do with whatever a seller has posted on eBay. But I think you get the idea. I was enamored with “anything goes.”
I had matching sets of four HSTs, so I sewed them into little Broken Dishes blocks. Then I put them on the design wall and without fussing too much, I sewed them together.
I decided they needed a border, and here’s where I made a rookie mistake. I sewed these on without auditioning them. I didn’t stand back to see how things would shape up. When they were added, I didn’t like it at all. The random addition of a second fabric was too deliberate. It felt like the little quilt was trying too hard.
So I took them off and started auditioning new border fabrics. Red on point plaid? Meh.
Dark navy print? Okay but not stellar.
Small print that reads as gray? Boring boring boring.
What about in-your-face red-orange? I loved it. Just the punch that was needed.
I added a blue and chartreuse polka dot binding and called it good. Here’s a detail shot of the machine quilting done with a walking foot.
I kept it very simple with straight lines and some zigzag stitches. It’s not perfectly straight but those details are what I find charming in vintage quilts.
Finished is better than perfect.