Saturday, January 21, 2006



A relative of Bonnie's...

Bonnie had posted an old picture of an incredibly tiny-pieced quilt. A nine-patch. I said, at the time, that I had a similar one tucked away, somewhere. Actually, I know just where it sleeps. I was curious as to the dimensions of mine, so I roused it out of a sound slumber and measured the pieces. I was shocked to discover that these blocks are even smaller than her 2" ones. These measure 1.5." Each little piece is only 1/2." Amazing. I bought this quilt about 6 years ago, for $10. The poor thing is "all loved up." (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) I don't suppose it has any real value- as it is just a fragment, really. I bought it at a hole-in-the-wall flea market- you know the kind, where all these old guys sit around smoking and gossiping. It's obvious, they aren't really interested in selling anything. It's more of a social club for old timers. I couldn't just leave it there. It was coughing and spluttering and saying how it couldn't bear to listen to another dirty joke... What was I to do? The entire ride home I was kicking myself for getting emotionally attached. You know, there is some kind of disorder where people are unable to form normal bonds with other people... Maybe I could hold the key to the antidote. Just try to tone it down a bit. This poor bit of the past has no practical purpose left. And it isn't like me to buy something just because I like it. Truth is, I rarely like things that aren't practical. There was about a half more to the quilt, but had head-size holes in it. I have used the little bits and pieces in ornaments for the tree and such. I am hoping to get the remainder of it bound and maybe use it as a table runner or a wall hanging. But it is really too fragile for even that simple task. The areas that look as if the fabric has merely faded is actually where the fabric has completely disappeared. Maybe frame it... But there really isn't a lot of interest going on until you get close. Some people are like that. Can you see the quilting in the bottom picture? The texture you see is from the fantastic quilting she did. It is crosshatched every 1/4." I love it. I keep coming up with 16 stitches per inch. Can that be possible? Well, it won't warm a body anymore but it warms my heart- breaks it a little to think that she was for sale for 10 bucks at a seedy little flea market.

8 comments:

Sandra said...

It's such a shame to find quilts in this condition - but what a feat for the quilter - 1/4" cross hatching - Amazing! It looks like it would have been a lovely quilt in its day. It would be nice if you could frame some of it.

cindyquilts said...

Perhaps ... trim out a nice section and frame it under glass in a tray or something.

Oh so lovely ... and what a loss

Carolyn said...

What a find! I'm glad it's loved now...it looks like it was loved tremendously in its youth...

Darcie said...

Oh Nines,

I don't think the $10 would bother "her" at all. The love and adoration that you've given this quilt goes beyond money. What a precious little find!

I've seen tiny little lapel (sp?) pins and key chains that are made from old, fragile quilts...they're sandwiched between two pieces of thin glass and edged with copper or leading or something.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Nines!

Bonnie said...

I think that quilt held up as well as it did for so long BECAUSE it was quilted every 1/4"!! I bet it was a real show stopper in it's day. Thanks for sharing it!

Bonnie

cher said...

an amazing fragment of a once gorgeous quilt-with all that quilting in it...wow. I agree with Bonnie-that much quilting helped keep it intact. really what a treasure for you to rescue.

Finn said...

You know Nines, that sweet, gentle heart of yours sooooo makes you who you are..and we love you for it. The quilt was like a baby in a basket on the doorstep...how could you leave it there?? I'm so glad you rescued it. It's faded beauty is still awesome. Reminds me of the old, old sailing ships that have outlived their usefulness. How wonderful that you made ornaments from the worst bits.

How about arranging what's left in a basket, maybe you still have alot of foot traffic and that won't work. The 9 patches are amazing and the quilting is over the top...unbelieveable!

JudyL said...

Oh goodness, too bad this quilt is in such poor shape. Someone surely was dedicated to use those tiny pieces and make such teenie stitches. Glad you have given it a nice, clean home for its last days!

Judy L.