Last year I participated in the reproduction doll quilt swap hosted by Lori at Humble Quilts. So when she announced that she was doing another, I eagerly signed up. The rules are that it cannot be larger than 24" on a side (can be square or rectangle,) and has to be made with reproduction fabrics, prior to the 1920s.
I decided that I would try to replicate some or part of a real antique quilt and since I needed to start my search for a quilt somewhere, I chose to search for Indiana antique quilts, since Indiana is my new, adopted state. I stumbled across this one, found here.
It's in my favorite colors! And I love to make flying geese. Lets look a bit closer.
And even closer.
That's a bit better--although I should have cropped the pictures maybe--but you get the idea.
I decided to make a piece of the quilt--pretty much as shown in the photo just above. To make it, I needed a LeMoyne star block for the center and then lots of flying geese.
I realized that I own a Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star ruler, so I got it out and made the smallest one I could. I then made the smallest flying geese I could with the Bloc Loc rulers that I have.
I tried to see how they would fit together and I realized I needed a LeMoyne star block that was a half inch larger than the first one. I went back to the ruler and was momentarily stymied by the fact that it increased only in inches. I considered for a short time and then decided to attempt to make it only a half inch larger by imagining a line exactly between the ones on the ruler. It worked great! Next, I started making more geese.
I laid out the units I would need to make a square. I didn't like it, though, it looked like a block from a larger quilt. I decided to add more geese to stretch it into a rectangle, so I made more geese.
Yes, I had to use "Y" seams to construct the top, but they really aren't that scary! I find that as long as I mark the quarter inch intersections, they go together easily. The result was as you see above, but I wanted a border.
I decided to continue with the flying geese and use them as a border, so I made more geese. I laid out several possibilities and decided that I wanted each border to have the geese pointing to the center, so I would need an even amount on both the top/bottom and the sides. Like this:
Of course, the center wasn't the right measurements for the border, so I had to add some skinny strips all around to "float" the center and bring it to the right measurments. I sewed geese together to form the side borders and discovered I needed more, so I made more geese.
My next dilema was the corner squares. Should they be navy or cream? I thought they should be navy, since in the antique quilt, there are navy squares that appear where the geese meet, however on my smaller version, they just "boxed" the center too much. I loved the inspiration quilt as it was so "airy" and "unconfined" and it didn't have a heavy border surrounding it. So in the end, I chose cream for the corner squares.
Last year, I designed a quilt for the swap and ended up not sending it out, (I sent another in its place.) Why? I had machine quilted it by meandering over the top. I personally thought it detracted from the "antique" look that we are striving for. I don't object to machine quilting at all--but to me, the meander didn't look authentic. I considered my options for this top and decided to hand quilt it.
It didn't take too long and it was finished. I bound it in red and washed it to get the lovely "crinkle."
It's going to be difficult to send this out! I'm proud of the fact that I didn't use a pattern and I had the technical skills to see how it was constructed and then make my own version. I need to do that more often! I named it "Indiana Crossings" not just because the lines of geese criss-cross acosss the quilt, but also because Indiana is know as "the Crossroads of America" as so many freeways travel across our state.
This is the back--I love the texture of the hand-quilting!
I'll send this off later this week. The deadline is May 1, but I know this has a long journey. I can't wait to see the one that arrives in my mailbox!
Have a great day!