Wednesday, January 03, 2018

the start of my mark twain quilt

Last spring my family and I went on a spring break trip and I picked up this antique quilt for a song in Hannibal, Missouri. (I wrote a blog post about the quilt here, if you care to read more about it.) On that same trip, I bought a bunch of solid red orange fabric (Michael Miller cotton couture) that was an end of bolt sale. I didn't realize it at the time, but it's nearly the exact shade of the red orange fabric that was used in the quilt. So interesting!!!
I decided that I'm going to repair this quilt, but that wouldn't be enough, now, would it??? Nope! I decided that I want to make a replica of this quilt as well. I actually started making the hexagons for the connector blocks a few months ago, but this morning I finished my first block.
I'm using 30's reproduction fabrics and I'm taking my design queues from the vintage quilt. I will admit, I think this block is fairly ugly, (funky at best!) but I know that in the big scheme of things, it's going to be great! The hexagons in the original quilt measure 3/4" on each side, but I'm using 1" hexagons. I am English Paper Piecing it. (EPP for short.) 
One thing that I noticed in the old quilt is that the maker chose to turn the striped or directional fabric every which way. It adds a lot of interest and movement that the quilt wouldn't have otherwise. So, when I made my block, I followed suit. Normally, I would have laid out the pieces in the pink layer like this:
Since the original quilt has the prints going it all directions, I mixed them up. I like them every which way much better! It is so fun to study the details of the old quilt.

As far as the name of the quilt goes, it was also inspired by our trip to Hannibal. We were visiting for a few days and the town offers everything "Mark Twain" that you can imagine. (Books, book marks, pens, matchbooks, root beer, fried chicken...you name it, they had it! I even got a Mark Twain cut out while I was at the quilt shop. Hahaha!) We joked about "Mark Twain everything" the entire time we were there, so it is only fitting that I make a Mark Twain quilt to go along with it. Right?

It's going to be a long journey, but I'm excited about making this quilt!
 

25 comments:

The Joyful Quilter said...

I have a very similar quilt that I "bought for a song" a number of years ago. Love it! However, I've not gone down the antique quilt reproduction road. Best of luck with your journey!

grammajudyb said...

I, too, like the pink blocks turned every which way. I have a hexie quilt that my grandmother pieced. Circa 1920's. I love looking at it, sometime she ran out of a particular fabric and substituted a similar in color, but different fabric. Best of luck with your "Nark Twain" quilt.

farmhousequilter8 said...

I love the block and the mixed up pink. Nice hand project away from the sewing machine.Paula in KY

scottylover said...

Lovely! Can't wait to see the finished block. The edges on the original quilt is so interessting, too!

Kathleen said...

This will be fun, and it may take a long time but you will love it!

Sew Much For Free Time said...

This is going to be truely epic! I bet the original quilter was intent on using up every bit and scrap of her available fabric, like some other quilters I know, hmmm. It will be fun to follow you on your EPP sdventure!

Pat said...

Wow what an ambitious project! I visited Hannibal last April. Love the town and especially Hickory Stick Quilt Shop.It will be fun to see your progress.

Four dogs and one quilter said...

This quilt will be a true labor of love; can't wait to see it finished.

Suzanne said...

Wow, I am impressed. I love sharp contrast of the block you started. The opportunity for controlled chaos in the directionality of the hexagons is adventurous and the progres is going to be fun to watch.

Libby said...

Awesome ! I too am excited about you making this quilt. Thank you for sharing ! Hope you take us with you on the quilt journey !!!

Carolyn Jones said...

What a great quilt find and love the block you made. Looks like a long project but great pack 'n go project for car trips, etc.
Have fun!

FlourishingPalms said...

What an admirable project you're tackling! I hope you're able to stick with it. You've chosen a good name for your quilt too, to remind you of a good memory. Mark Twain had so many famous quotes! It would be neat to include some of them on the back of your quilt. A favorite at our house is: Golf is a good walk spoiled.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Wow! Interesting you bought the same orange/red - it was meant to be! Makes sense that the fabrics in the old quilt go every which way... they certainly weren't rotary-cutting, and maybe not concerned about the grain of the fabric. At least, more concerned with using every bit than with aligning the pieces! Looking forward to seeing your progress :D

Jessie said...

I just love this quilt and love that you're reproducing it. That shade of red is scrumptious!

Rita Lynn said...

Wow this is great.

pingraham said...

I love this plan! My husband recently inherited a few antique family quilts. How much fun to reproduce one of them! You are consistently a source of quilty inspiration. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and process. I'll be interested to see how this progresses. I have loved your EPP quilts in the past and even began trying small projects. How fun it is! Happy 2018!

Susie at ProsperityStuff said...

That's awesome! What a fun project! Hexagon EPP is fascinating. One of my new year goals is to get some work done on my (diamonds) EPP that's been in progress for a long time. Happy New Year!

Rebecca Grace said...

Your new project is going to be fabulous! That antique quilt is a great find.

Janie said...

That's a classic beauty.
The orange/red reminds me of Robert Kaufman's Kona color of the year, Tiger Lily.
Beautiful colors.

Bernie Kringel said...

Thanks for pointing out the difference in the look and movement of the colors by placing the pieces halter smelter instead of lining them up. I keep looking back and forth at both pictures and the difference is really remarkable. Good luck with this project- it’s going to be a good one!

Cynthia@wabi-sabi-quilts said...

A gorgeous orange red as neutral - what a striking quilt and will be fun to reproduce!

Lori said...

I love it, especially because things are turned every which way! If you are interested in different techniques, Mary Huey's Set In Piecing by Machine is a great one. She has an inexpensive DVD and very supportive blog that explain it.

treen said...

What a project to reproduce a hand-pieced quilt! This is going to be amazing when it's done.

Marie said...

You are going to LOVE this project. I've been working on a similar quilt (slightly different layout but the same diamond hexie blocks) based on an antique Welsh design that I call Minnie (https://rie-quiltbee.blogspot.ca/search/label/Minnie). It will be with me for a long time to come but it's a fabulous hand quilting project so I don't mind at all. Its been dormant for a while but I just picked it up again a couple of days ago and it's like chatting with an old friend.

Patricia M said...

Nice quilt project. I've never made one and this might inspire me to do one. However, I wanted to mention that I have visited with Mark Twain historical sites in Hartford, CT and it was a kick to see your enthusiasm for your Mark Twain trip. Good luck with the quilt.