Saturday, January 8, 2011

Finishing Orphan Quilt Tops: A Virginia Snow Studios Pattern

New Years Day brought an email from Jan Jaqua who found my research on Virginia Snow Studios of Elgin, Illinois on my web site and contacted me. about a same pattern grouping of finished 1930s Virginia Snow Studios quilt squares.

Here is the original pattern as it appeared in a 1933 Virginia Snow Studios catalog:

242 Unnamed Flower - Virginia Snow Studios - Elgin,, Illinois

Here is Jan's story in her own words:

"This project came about after I told a good friend of mine that I like to find vintage quilts tops on Ebay and finish them. Handquilting is the part of the project I enjoy most. She replied that there was a metal container in her mother's attic that had been there for many years and came by way of HER mother's home - so this is third generation (Grandma to daughter to granddaughter). She said, "I'll have to go up there and see what's in the container-maybe something of interest.' The next day or two she brought these blocks, two other quilt tops, and some assorted bow-tie and dresden plate blocks.

I thought the blocks were so well done and offered to put them together for her into a quilt."

Jan Jaqua

Here is a picture of this new quilt being made from old blocks with modern Moda marble sashing called Chambray:
Beautiful isn't it - a new quilt is born from utilizing vintage quilt squares and modern fabric!

Side Note:

I admire people who do this - find an abandoned quilt top and finish it for the creator and a new quilt is born - I call this a two generation quilt.

There is a rule of thumb here that some who enjoy doing this share with me -- they finish quilt tops created 1930 and forward, they do a reproduction quilt of a top when the original was created before 1930s. The cut off date seems to be 1930 because of the fragile nature of some of the pre-1930s fabrics -- did you know thread can actually cut fabric and that beautiful 1880s quilt top you are finishing might actually be damaged by quilting it? I didn't until someone shared this with me and I'm passing it along to you.

In the end though -- as with all things in this world -- it is your decision whether you finish a quilt top or not, but you are usually safe to finish the ones that were created after 1930. So if this is your thing -- you like to save orphan tops -- then I say -- bravo!

Remember as you are scouring your favorite fabric store, antique malls, flea markets, or auctions in 2011 looking for things to add to your quilt stash that fills up the spare bedroom, "No guilt, but lots of quilts."

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