Thursday, June 7, 2018

Vintage Drunkard's Path Finish

Combining the Old with New

Summer has been quick ins and outs at the studio with many little changes that mean more space for opportunities to come. Hours have been spent sifting, reorganizing, and happily rediscovering lost items. I am still sticking to working through the Pile of Unloved Projects, and it's getting sooooo small that I nearly lost it the other day. Okay, not really, but it's no longer as big as a piece of furniture, and easy to misplace. That's pretty amazing to me! There is officially light at the end of the tunnel.

So how about this quilt story now?

It's been a challenge to take this stack of blocks from lonely to lovely. One thing I struggled with was keeping the overall look in the same era as much as possible. Dots were definitely a fabric used in the late 30's-40's, and when I paired the blocks with the border I knew I was keeping this one. It's so playful! 

I recently discovered some tidbits from the quilter who sold me this block collection. She purchased them at the Great American Quilt Festival in the late 1980's held at one of the Manhattan piers. There were probably closer to 35-40 original blocks, and part of them turned into a table runner. She said hard as she tried she could not bring herself to put them together as they were so mismatched. I'm pretty glad to have given them a life in this quilt.

The 2 borders brought it to a twin size in Drunkard's Path & High Water. Then I quilted it with a hand drawn pantograph that left it very loose and soft. Note: This pantograph is inspired by one seen in my personal copy of World of Quilts. A full design was never shown so I adapted it as necessary to be complete and repeat. The quilt is for my own collection, use, and not for sale. The copyright language indicates designs within the book may be used in this manner.

A Personal Lesson about Pantograph Sizes

I sized my drawing to be about 11.5" high to make the greatest use of my Handiquilter Avante's longarm range. Pantographs with small repeats such as 5"-8" are common, and with each pass you stop and roll the quilt before starting the next. It can make for a very boring process, and I wanted to know why they were not designed wider. Well, after this lesson I will tell you that it is likely to do with the range your arms can move while centered in one spot. With the large, fluid movements this pantograph had, I found myself leaning and shifting my balance to reach the extremes. Finding just the right moment to skootch your feet while maintaining the movement of your arms is a bit like rubbing your belly and patting your head! There is an optimal working area I have learned. 

I will say it became more of a dance move than quilting, though, and I love the end result. The openness of the design left the quilting soft and cushy even with a thinner Fairfield 80/20 batting. This gives the quilt a very different feel than that of one densely quilted.


Denyse Schmidt does some wonderful reproduction fabrics of this era and style. I pulled this pink and orange stripe from my stash, and look how close it is to the original era's green stripe.

The little bit of pink went well with the backing from Joann's, and those corners look like I slaved over them. Not. Just machine stitched binding.

I like the scale of this panto as well as the similarity to the Drunkard's Path. 
There are curves and points in both.

Late afternoon sun shows off the fabric and the quilting.

And it's a wrap.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Grab the next project, and let's go sew.

Linking up with~


Kate said...

Congrats on finishing one of your Uglies to Lovelies. The quilting turned out beautifully.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

You're making progress on that pile. Well done. The quilting is awesome.

Barb Neiwert said...

Such a sense of accomplishment to get that pile whittled down. And now you have another lovely quilt - score!

Linda Swanekamp said...

It is such a subtle quilt. The blocks are low contrast and sort of dreamy.

Tu-Na Quilts said...

You are an inspiration (working on UFOs and making progress)!!! This is a beautiful quilt. You did well finding the border and binding to complement and not detract from the original quilt blocks.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I haven't officially addressed my pile of unloved projects, mostly because I've been purposefully ignoring them. Hoping they'll go away I guess. :) Congrats on reducing your stack to a manageable size! I love that polka dot border, and the fun panto you used. Yay for another finish!

Angie in SoCal said...

I really like that one! Oh, if only I could emulate you. Have another commissioned quilt, so again my UFOs must take a step back.

Julie said...

A friendly note to all of you that nearly all bloggers are pulling their hair out trying to reply to comments with the new data protection coming online. I'm doing my best, but should you not hear back from me, my deepest apologies. Email me directly if you have a specific question. Thanks so much, and happy quilting!

Sandy Panagos said...

One person's "mismatched" is another person's "scrappy", I guess! It's lovely!

Janice Holton said...

What a great feeling to be working through your unloved project pile! Good for you! I love how that Drunkards Path quilt came out. I have a vintage quilt that I would like to use
Denyse Schmidt fabric with as well. She really has captured the look and feel of that era, hasn't she?

Sum of their Stories said...

It's beautiful. I'm no quilter but I so admire them and those who make them. Just lovely!

KaHolly said...

Mismatched? Hardly! They look gorgeous together. You’ve done a great job maintaining the integrity of the original blocks.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

These blocks look amazing all together, I love it! And you did a wonderful job, I really love your boinding choice.

Rebecca Grace said...

Beautiful finish to that "unloved project," Julie, and your machine stitched binding looks immaculate!