Aunt Mary’s Hourglasses

Posted on September 24, 2012 by prairiemoonquilts in Longarm Quilting, People, Quilts

I recently had the honor of finishing up another quilt for my Great-Aunt Wanda. About three years ago, she gave me a quilt top that had been made by her sister, Mary. If I ever met Mary, I don’t remember it, because she passed away years ago, and Aunt Wanda was in possession of this quilt top that Aunt Mary had hand pieced but never quilted and finished.

It was far from flat. In fact, it waved like a Homecoming Queen. Therefore, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, or how to go about it. Here’s what it looked like as a top:

Since it was hand pieced, should I hand quilt it? But how to get it flat that way?

And when would I ever find time for that, anyway? It measures 70″ x 84″. I can’t even find time to hand quilt a table runner these days. It laid in the cabinet for almost 3 years, before I decided that I really needed to do something about it.

So I decided to (as one of my old friends from guild would say) “take the machine to it”.

The quilt originally had a thin striped border on two sides only. Aunt Wanda didn’t like those, so she asked me to take them off before finishing the quilt, so I removed them.

I chose a solid gray backing, and loaded it on the longarm frame. I had to measure and pin, measure and pin, and measure and pin some more, just to make sure it would come out flat and true when I got done. And amazingly enough, even though there are a few “bubbly places”, especially in the one worst corner, there are no tucks or puckers. I can hardly believe I managed it!

I quilted it fairly heavily to help with getting it flat, and here are some pictures of it.

What I really want you to notice is the fabrics in this quilt. They’re fabulous! I’m not a fabric-dating expert, so I have no idea what year they might be from, but some of them are definitely feedsack fabric.

And where she ran out of something in a block, she just put something else in, and carried on. I think that may be my favorite thing about it. You can tell where the blocks are, but each block sometimes has more than one substitute fabric in it.

The blocks are called Hourglasses, so I’ve named this quilt “Aunt Mary’s Hourglasses”. Here’s a shot of the back side, and the quilting I did on it.

I chose a burgundy binding to pull out some of the colors from the front, and it went well with the gray backing.And now Aunt Wanda has it back, and she’s very happy with it, and we’re both really happy that it’s now a finished quilt.

0 responses to “Aunt Mary’s Hourglasses”

  1. Betsy Albertson says:

    I think you did an amazing job with that quilt Shelly! I am a lover of feedsack fabrics and enjoy just looking at it. I think the gray backing you chose goes really well with it along with the red binding and I love the quilting design you chose. Nice job! Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Cindy says:

    I am sure Aunt Mary is happy her quilt is finished. The fact that it didn’t lay flat is probably why she never finished it. I love looking at old quilts and the fabrics that were used in them.

  3. Wonderful to be able to finally use and enjoy Aunt Mary’s work! You did an awesome job Shelly.

  4. Ranch Wife says:

    Wow Girl! You did an amazing job on Aunt Mary’s quilt! I’m pretty sure she’s patting you on the back and another piece of history can now be enjoyed instead of hiding in the closet. We’re so spoiled about matching everything these days. Not enough fabric? Go buy more. I have got to stop doing that. I love the burgundy binding!

  5. THAT is a fantastic quilt! I bet you had a hard time giving it back to her! It is so cool with all those fabrics in it! I think taking the striped border off was the thing to do. And once again, your quilting just makes it!

  6. Jane B says:

    This just takes my breath away. You saved it from being a UFO forever and with style and artistry.

  7. Alline says:

    This is an AMAZING quilt! The fabrics! The design! That you made it flat and quilted it! Wow. Fabulous job!

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