Monday, June 18, 2018

Lydia's Ladder

Lydia's Ladder

Today's quilt is my smaller version of one of Granny Rose's old quilts. It features 12" Jacob's Ladder blocks in a square 42" finished size. I used Accuquilt dies to cut the pastel prints, which went together quickly. 

This time I chose the backing/binding fabric first, then picked coordinating fabrics from my collection for the front blocks. I thought a lot about her while working, so I named this one Lydia's Ladder. I copied her quilting as well, using the Baptist Fan pattern. I did not hand stitch, but adapted the design for machine quilting on my Janome.

Baptist Fan machine quilting

Granny's original handmade bed quilt was being used as a furniture pad to wrap around things that needed protection. I rescued it from the basement of her daughter's house, even though it was stained, tattered and torn, probably past restoration. The fabric looks like feed or flour sack prints along with shirting and dress prints. I may use a few of the intact sections to frame or make pillow covers, so it will live on as another Useful Remnant.

Original Jacob's Ladder by Lydia Rose

Antique quilts have such a soft, worn quality to them from being well used. They were lovingly sewn by hand or on a treadle machine, washed hundreds of times, dried on a line in the sun, then folded into cedar chests to be passed on to relatives. They hold stories that we can only wonder about. For instance, I think this was one she made, but I can only guess. Her church quilting bee group shared fabric and made quilts together, so everyone may have stitched on it. Or it could have belonged to her mother since it was so worn. A labor of love anyway, passed down to my mother-in-law, then to me.

Will today's quilts will even last that long?  I hope they do, and that people continue to love them.  

“Quilts reward study. They can look great from 20 feet across the room, and then you get closer and there are little dramas. It doesn’t have to be intricate. It can be simple. It just has to be authentic.”  
Ken Burns, film maker and quilt collector


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