Thursday, August 22, 2013

To Cut or Not to Cut? That is the Question.

Here is a wonderful quilt...and I DO mean wonderful!  Before we put my blackboard up, this spot is where I displayed quilts from time to time...and this photo is an old one.  But, I decided this week to show you this quilt one more time.  I do love it so!  The quilt and I first met in a flea market (of course!) several years ago.  My eyes landed right on it and it was love at first sight.  After taking a closer look at it, I realized that it was completely unusable.  It is basically falling completely apart.  However, that fact only made me love it more.  I wondered who made it and where it came you know, I often have those same thoughts about other items I pick up at the flea market. 

It is, as you already know, a Log Cabin quilt.  Maybe my favorite quilt pattern of ALL time.  The quilt is ten blocks by eleven blocks, all the same except that row of 'pineapple' blocks down the left hand side.  The 'logs' are a tad less that 1 inch wide....except the pineapple 'logs' and I guess because of use and age, they are not all the same width at all.  I have wondered why that left hand strip of pineapple blocks are there.....thinking maybe the maker started with those, thought it more work, then went on with the log cabin blocks...after all, they do look pretty darn good together.  Who knows, there could be any number of reasons why it was made this way. Maybe they had the pineapple blocks leftover from another quilt and didn't want to 'waste' them.

I'm sure all the fabrics used were from old garments or scraps of new garments at the time of construction, but whatever the circumstances, the quilt is now quite worn out, or, as I prefer to say - 
"well-loved."  It truly is falling apart.  Perhaps if you look closely you will see some holes, unraveled seams and fabric in shreds.  One whole block is completely gone.  As I looked over this quilt  at the flea market, I knew I would take it home, no matter it's I said, it was 'love at first sight.'  When I found the price tag, I KNEW it was going with me....$6.  Now, some would say even that small amount might be too much for a quilt in this condition, but not me....I was thrilled and decided to enjoy it until it's last days.  Or mine, whichever comes first.

Every now and again, I take it out of the quilt closet and look it over and enjoy  it one more time.  The back is homespun fabric and there is no isn't even quilted just sewn to the back every now and then.

I have never been one to 'cut up' a quilt...especially one I loved like this one.  And, IF it were in a stable and usable condition, I wouldn't even suggest cutting it apart.  But,  I have an English friend who uses vintage quilt pieces in her work and I have to say, I love what she does.  Again, the quilt pieces she uses are well loved and coming apart too.  You can visit Mandy at her blog here and see (be sure and look up her birds!).  I also have a small collection of other quilts in this same condition and am just now coming 'around' to the idea of using them to make other pieces of art and sharing them on my etsy shop...long 'some point' in the future.  As with all artists, mine would look nothing like Mandy's as we have very different ways of working and 'seeing' things...but I like that she is giving old pieces new life and keeping things from the landfill, as I like to do also.  If and when I manage to start on this kind of project, I will probably share a bit of this great quilt with her....fitting, I believe, to share it with her, as she has inspired me to dream of my own 'cutter quilt' art.

The quilt is all hand-stitched (just the way I like to make them!) and the logs are sewn to a fabric foundation with the entire top just basically 'tacked' with a running stitch here and batting, as I've already said.

Here you can see the homespun backing.....and some logs have almost disappeared.  There is no binding as the backing is folded over to the front and sewn down.  And, the quilt itself is quite heavy.

So there you have it.....a very old, but still beautiful Log Cabin Quilt.  I've always wanted to reproduce it, but don't know if I have that much quilting left in me....we'll see.  But, I do think sharing pieces of it and letting others enjoy those bits and pieces of vintage fabric is not a bad idea.   Would you do that?  I figure some of you would and some wouldn't.  Me, I've changed my mind about a lot of things as I have aged, so spreading the love around makes sense to me!!!  Mandy, you will be the first to know if I separate these blocks!!!  

Last week, I thought Fall was on it's was so beautiful here...but up in the nineties again yesterday and no, the cooler mornings and evenings are not here yet, but getting closer.  Fall is my very favorite time of the year....hope we all get to enjoy it for more than a week or two before winter sets in (or, summer stays).  Does it feel to you as if the year is disappearing before your very eyes?  Does to me.  Take care out there.....pat


Twyla and Lindsey said...

Pat, just seeing it hanging there in that last picture, you realize what a work of art IT is. I think cut up each piece would not be as pretty. I'm one of those 'non cutter' types, but to me this quilt has 'soul'. Have a beautiful weekend! Twyla

Patti said...

Pat, I love the quilt and the muted colors. I would favor cutting up the quilt. I think this is something that the owner of the quilt might have done - the whole repurposing idea. I loved Mandy's blog, and I am sure that some lovely colorful birds would look great on blocks from this quilt. So that is how I see it. But I am sure there are many who may not agree, and that is good. Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend.

Pat said...

Twyla and Lindsey, I agree with you - this old quilt IS a work of art and I'm not going to cut up that quilt for a while...if I ever do. I've always been a non-cutter, so to speak, mostly because if you make them, you realize how much work goes into one. I'm old now though....and also realize that touching other people with your work and sharing it is very important, so I may actually, someday, do just that very thing. I promise if I do that what I do to the quilt piece will be a 'work of art' also. I'm glad you considered this quilt a 'work of art and that it has SOUL.' I like to think that each piece I make here in the Nest also has soul....and is loved for it.

Patti, I appreciate your comment too, and now we have two points of view to consider, both of which make sense to me. So, as I said in an email to you three....I may still make some smaller pieces of art from this quilt...because being older now I wonder what will become of it when I am gone. I'd rather share it with many than have it go to the garbage later. I'd rather delight in it while repurposing it, thus sharing it's SOUL, than to have it ignored later. So...two arguments, both good ones. Thank you for caring enough to make comments!! Do hope you have a lovely weekend and visit again.....BIG hugs, pat

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Well, I am more in tune with your second thought. I always hope that after I am gone items I love will find a new home with someone who loves them too.

I suspect you will leave it in tact, but who knows.

Have a wonderful weekend. I woke up to 55 degrees...yes, good for you and bad for me, fall is just over the hill.
xx, Carol

Christy said...

Hi Pat! Unless I could leave the quilt to someone who feels the same as I do, I would consider repurposing it and letting the fabrics live on in something else beautiful. But that would be hard for me, too because I don't like it when old things (or buildings) are destroyed. Hard decision.

Also, maybe the pineapple side is actually the top? A border to sit next to lace pillowcases? I know the log lines would be sideways, but maybe the quilter wanted something different. Just a thought from my strange brain. hahaha

Vicki Boster said...

Hi Pat-- I'm a cutter but I don't know if I could cut this one. It's not shabby enough--- it's truly lovely! I'm actually on the lookout for a frayed one that I can cut up-- it's on my list to look for on my next flea market trip :)


A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.