Antique Quilt Tops Over a Hundred Years Old.

This "Crazy Quilt" is partly hand and partly machine sewn of heavier cotton fabrics.
This is hand pieced and hand stitched except for an ivory border with mitered corners.
Monday as I traveled home from visiting our oldest son and the twins I stopped to spend a few minutes with my former Mother-in-law, Martha Jean Powell, in Martainsville, Indiana.  Her 92nd birthday was Sunday and I wished her well. Unexpectedly she gifted me with two quilt tops sewn by her Mother, Ida Bell Hudson, and her Grandmother, Ellen Blackford, many years ago.  I was married to her son, Eddie Lee Wade, in 1967 when I was 18 and we divorced after four years.  Both of these ladies had long passed clear back then.  I am supposing they are every bit of a hundred years old.  These are old pieces indeed.

My challenge is which direction to go to finish them.  I currently have not a quilting frame.  I could of course spread it out across the dining room table which is quite large, and pin it to start.  Or I could pin it and machine quilt it which is of course a cumbersome task at best.

One is all hand sewn and the other part machine and part hand sewn.  I plan to embroider both of the Grandmother's names as well as my own into the underside and leave them to our grandchildren.

Currently my thinking is to finish the heavier partially machine stitched crazy quilt as a comforter as my own Grandma Neukam would have called it by filling with a lightweight blanket or batting.   Attaching  the backing and finishing the edges then placing a single stitch at intervals with contrasting heavy yarn and knotting each.  She used these each winter on our beds when we visited her.

The light weight quilt is harder for me to make a decision about.  Since it is hand sewn it seems questionable to machine quilt it??  I am just not sure what I think.

If any readers have ideas or suggestions or experience they would like to comment with I would appreciate it very much!

I am going to go sort fabric now in the hopes of making a path through our family room.  More later.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a wonderful gift to receive. To have a quilt that old, I wonder at the stories held within those stitches. I agree with you that the hand stitched quilt top should be hand quilted, and I like your idea of tyeing the other top.