Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Antiique Butterfly Quilt


Antique Butterfly Quilt
I have a treasure that was given to me by my mother-in-law. It is a beautiful antique quilt top that was made by her mother. It was never quilted, instead, it was finished as a summer coverlet and not used very often as it is in perfect condition. The butterflies on it are all made from different fabrics, and like many quilts made in the 1930's and 1940's, the fabrics were likely from feed sacks or sugar sacks. The applique butterflies must have been an original design as I haven't seen any others with the same black bodies and rounded wings. Looking closely at the embroidery, you can see that she machine stitched the outside of the appliques to baste them to the background and then finished with tiny, meticulous blanket stitching with black embroidery cotton. (The stitches are less than 1/8" long and very close together!)
Antique Butterflies
The story is that Nana Adams was told to take it easy during her pregnancy with what was to be her youngest child, a full 16 years behind the previous youngest boy child. And to pass the time, she worked on this quilt. I never got to meet Nana, but evidence of her creativity in the form of numerous heirlooms tells me that we would have had a few things in common!







Recently, I purchase another antique butterfly quilt top from Kathy in Kentucky (A String or Two). It is very similar to the one I already have, with the butterflies from feed sack fabrics, wonderfully done blanket stitch around the appliques and a warm, unbleached muslin background. This one I will be sending to be quilted and it will become the quilt for our guest bedroom.

Do you have any heirlooms that were passed down to you? Have you shared their story with others in your family?

--Ann
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