Here goes… I’ve been reading quilting blogs for so long, perhaps it’s time to have one too. Worst case, it will languish and wilt. I love old quilts – be they vintage, antique or reproductions. As I can’t really afford the real thing, I try to reproduce the antique beauties I see in quilt history books, on Ebay and on the web. When I started quilting, 20 years ago, reproduction fabrics were just beginning to appear – now the main problem seems to be embarrassment of choice. So many beautiful, accurate repros of antique and vintage fabrics are available one can hardly know where to begin. My blog’s name reflects my quilting – I don’t make quick and easy quilts. As my relationship with the sewing machine us strained at best, I hand piece and hand quilt my quilts. They take as long time to make, but I believe in enjoying the process, as well as the end result.
This month, Quiltmania, my favorite quilt magazine published a new book by An Moonen and Petra Prins, ‘Promenade dans un jardin Hollandais’, which justifiably received a lot of attention – antique Dutch quilts are breathtakingly lovely. One of these, a coverlet originally published in 1992 in An Moonen’s ‘Quilts, the Dutch Tradition’, is a gorgeous star and hexagon creation, with a Broderie Perse border so intricate it’s hard to believe it’s appliqued, not printed.
I made my own version of this quilt – English Paper Pieced with reproduction fabrics. It embodies my attitude to quilting, as it took three years to make from selecting the fabrics to putting in the final stitches in the binding. I hand quilted it over a silk batting, using a French toile reproduction for the backing. For my border I used an exquisite Dutch reproduction, produced by den Haan en Wagenmakers about 15 years ago, and sadly no longer manufactured – I earmarked it for this quilt as soon as I saw it, years ago.
Although the quilt as a huge undertaking (it measures 87X106 inches) it was a labor of love. The quilt was exhibited in 2012 Tokyo International great Quilt Festival, as part of the Shelly Zegart exhibition of hexagon quilts, and later published in an article in Quiltmania.