I love being a longarm quilter, but never more than when I get to finish a vintage quilt top for a customer. It does my heart good to know that a forgotten unfinished quilt top is finally getting its turn at becoming a finished quilt that can be used and loved.
I’ve done several recently, but one of my favorites belongs to customer Susan, and is a version of a traditional quilt called Bridal Staircase.
Susan said that someone in her family made the quilt, but she’s not exactly sure who made it. It came to her, and she decided to have it finished, and asked me to quilt it for her.
It’s very nicely done, and fraught with set-in seams, so someone took a lot of time on it, and did a lot of work!
The corners of the borders are even mitered.
They had begun marking it for hand quilting, but this corner square . . .
. . . and this one side triangle, is as far as they got with the marking.
Usually, I try to keep the quilting on a vintage top consistent with what might have been done on it in the time period in which it was made, and then sometimes throw in a few modern touches. I loaded it sideways on the frame, so I could quilt the staircase sections in one pass — much quicker and easier!
For the open lavender squares, I chose a feather wreath with an 8-petaled flower surrounded by a ring of beads in the center:
I quilted each stair step by outlining it, then putting a squiggle up through the center. I put “cursive ells” in the outer border.
I used one layer of Quilter’s Dream Cotton Select Natural batting inside, and Superior OMNI thread for the quilting.
I had a blast inspecting all the vintage fabrics that make up the staircases — they’re wonderful!
This is such a fun quilt, and I love how it turned out, and I’m really happy that Susan liked it when I was done!