Saturday, August 3, 2013

Quilts for "Today's" Living

My mom has been helping my grandmother to downsize her house. Since they know I like quilting I've been getting grandma's old quilt books. 15 Quilts for Today's Living has me laughing at some of the descriptions, and in awe of what they expect a quilter to be able to do. Published in 1968 this is the third book in the series (I'm interested what the others might look like.) 

"The Colonial Home Takes the Traditional Quilt"
I've long admired the Orange Peel quilts, but since I'm not a huge fan of applique I haven't wanted to try that block. I love that this book includes templates to make this as a pieced block.

"The Quilt With an Oriental Flavor..."
Who doesn't need a bamboo quilt in their bedroom? I couldn't help but laugh at the insanity of this block. The author actually suggests it might be easier to machine piece the straight part of the block, and hand piece the curves. I really want to know if anyone ever actually made this quilt.

"Out of this World Quilt for the Little Astronaut's Room"
The Tumbler block is one that I've actually used, however when I used it I cut my edges to be straight, not zigzagged. It's probably at this point that I should share the instructions for finishing your quilt. This book doesn't mention batting or backing anywhere. Instead, your quilts get a "lining." As you lay out your lining cut it 1/2" larger than your quilt and fold it over the edge, cutting away excess lining so that the turned part will be even.

"The Quilt in a Modern Decor"
I think that this quilt could be really fun in some modern fabrics. I think if I ever make this quilt I will add a few more seams though. This book has helped me see how the rotary cutter has changed quilting. When each piece has to be traced and cut with scissors I understand the desire to minimize the amount of cutting the quilter has to do. If I were to make this quilt I would make the bars as one block and the diamonds as one, possibly two sections. Instead this quilt calls for the long white bars to be cut as one piece with countless set in seams.

"The Tailored Quilt for the He-Man Who Likes His Comfort"
The introduction to this quilt states, "This quilt is tailored enough to please the most virile of man." I never would have thought of zig-zags as manly. At least they still make the zig-zag with HSTs.

This book was a lot of fun to look through. The thing that impresses me most is how many of the quilt patterns are still being used today. I'm already thinking about a couple of quilts based on these patterns; maybe with construction techniques that include use of a rotary cutter and more than two fabrics. I'm in awe that my grandmother, who worked full-time and was raising four teenagers in 1968 would even consider making these quilts. The quilters who have come before me have definitely set the bar high.

1 comment:

  1. You are fortunate to have those old quilting books. The parts you described are very interesting. I wish I had learned more about sewing and quilting from my mother and aunts before they passed away. They did it the hard way and made such beautiful quilts. I suppose the old saying is true....there is nothing new under the sun.