Posts Tagged ‘Tops from the Trunk’

Tops From the Trunk — Unknown Diamond Pattern

I love this unusual pattern, but I have not been able to find a name or photo anywhere. If you have any information about the pattern, I would love to hear from you.

The diamond shaped pieces appear to be from the 1950s, with bright solids and small novelty and floral prints. Although it must have been tricky to piece, the quilter did a very nice job. It is square and pretty flat, with only some small puckering that should easily quilt out. The top was clearly made for a twin bed at 60″ x 83″ and is hand pieced.


The quilter used two colors of background fabric (one white and one cream colored), but all of the square pieces had turned brownish, as you can see in the photo below.


I took a chance that the top would clean up, and I was happy to see that an all night soak in hot water and Oxyclean removed most of the brown. Just a gentle machine washing was all that was left to turn this formerly grimy top into a little jewel.



Tops From the Trunk — Antique Nine-Patch Variation

This is one of two tops that I recently purchased from a seller who bought them at an estate sale (the other top was featured in an earlier post). She thought they were made by the same person, and I suspect that’s true. The hand piecing is similar, and several prints are repeated in both quilts. Like me, this scrappy quilt maker made up some rules for her design — 9 patches containing 4 darker and 4 lighter squares with a double pink center. Of course, the eye-catching detail in this top is the colorful cheddar cornerstone in the unusually wide double-pink sashing. The top is 73″ x 89″, and there are two narrow double-pink and cheddar borders on the sides of the quilt, but no borders on the top and bottom. I like to think this was intentional, and not because the quilter ran out of fabric. Either way, I intend to keep it like this.

There is a huge variety of brown, madder, double-pink and shirting prints in the nine-patches, and the fabrics appear to be stable. There are 3 small nine-patch squares with stains, which I plan to replace, but it won’t be noticeable because this is a true scrap quilt, with many fabric substitutions.





Tops From the Trunk — Antique Flying Geese

Since I first began using vintage and antique fabrics to make my quilts, my sources have been old tops, blocks and scraps that I carefully pick apart. Most of the tops I purchase have issues related to condition and construction, so I never feel guilty about taking them apart. Until last year, only one top I purchased was kept intact.

Then I got the bug. I like to blame Ann Champion and Tim Latimer, who each have amazing collections of vintage and antique tops. As a result of their inspiration, there are now a dozen old tops in my trunk that I plan to quilt. Of course, you might think that someone who already has a pile of her own tops to quilt would hesitate to go down this path, but when I find a beautiful old top at a reasonable price, I feel like I have to save it.

This top is one of two purchased from the same estate sale. It is all hand stitched using very small flying geese units (2 1/2″ wide) in strips separated by a gorgeous dark blue print (not quite as dark as indigo, but darker than cadet), and it has a chrome yellow design that reminds me of a neon print. It’s crisp and clean, and big at 74″ x 89″.

Anyone have an idea of the decade this top was made? Click on the photos to see the individual prints.