Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Old is New Again - Two New Quilts from One Old Top .....so far

Last year I bought this poorly constructed, faded old quilt top for $13.  The photo just gives you an idea - at this distance it was blah.

The twenty-eight embroidered  blocks were so cute and the embroidery was quite well done ..... and you know how I love to rip. (see Ripping Series in May )
Closer examination revealed that some of the blocks were from sets sold by the Rainbow Quilt Block Company; Teddy Bear and Teddyville, Kewpie and Dutch Boy. Designed by William Pinch, the blocks were sold stamped and ready for embroidery.There were a few miscellaneous nursery rhyme blocks as well.

The top must have been used for some time ‘as is’ because the outside edges were turned under carelessly  (going right over the embroidered design in some cases) and machine stitched to prevent fraying.

The pink setting blocks were very faded.

 Evidence of fading -- the seam allowances retain the original color  

At first I thought I'd take it apart and put the embroidered blocks in a different setting or just replace the faded pink setting squares.

When I showed the top to a few quilting friends someone suggested I could make more than one quilt. Great idea - especially with a natural division of blocks from different sets.

I started ripping.....

Clean and pressed and released from that 'blah' pink setting they were ready to take the plunge!

My first project was this doll quilt. I chose five identical bears, trimmed them to size and set them with a pieced nine-patch variation for the chain effect.

Hand Quilted     21" square

 Next I decided to use the twelve teddy bear blocks. Each is different - the bears are shown driving a car, riding a scooter, raiding the fish barrel and climbing a tree.

I used a check from my stash for the alternate block.  

Hand quilted - 42" square

There are eleven blocks left;  seven are Kewpies. Should I put them all together or keep the Kewpie's by themselves?  What to do???  hmmmm.....A girl has to give this some thought........

I really enjoy the process of ‘re-purposing’ an uncomplete or damaged project from the past. I like to think that perhaps MY unfinished or unsuccessful projects may, in turn, find new life and give creative pleasure to someone in years to come.

Next: My Second Wedding Quilt


  1. How's the medallion quilt coming along?

  2. I did ask for it, didn't I Jessica! I vow to add the hourglass row before the end of June.Family events, state quilt show and cabin have made this month fly by!

  3. You've given these new life, and grouping them has given each series the attention it deserves. Your fabric selections work very well with the blocks. Well done!

  4. Jean....re-lacrosse sticks...you may be right. both very Canadian.

  5. Wow! You really inspired me. Now I have some new ideas about what I might possibly do with similar "blah" finds that I couldn't resist. Thanks for sharingyour process, Jean

  6. You can see I am looking back at your older posts. I love this kind of thing! You are a quilter after my own heart. I have done this many times with internet and thrift store finds. Problem is, I didn't take "before" pictures, so I can't show how much improved they are. You have done a wonderful job!!


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