Here is the second quilt that I deconstructed and resewed from tops that I rescued from my sister's bonfire during her backyard shed-cleaning binge last year. My sister had received her mother-in-law Nolia's (b.1921 - d.2010) pieced tops and simply didn't know what to do with them since she doesn't sew. Still don't know why she didn't immediately think of me because she well knows I am a passionate quilter.....but anyhow, I took it as my mission to honor this veteran quilter by turning her tops into completed and loved quilts.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Nolia grew up in southern Louisiana without any benefits of education...not even grade school. She married and had two sons (one of them married to my sister) and was a devout Catholic all her life. She had a simple sewing machine but she couldn't figure out how to use it so she hand-pieced ALL her quilts. And she used anything and everything she had on hand or could purchase from her local Ben Franklin store.
Close-ups of resewn and quilted blocks.......
Nolia also used all kind of fabrics from linings to flannels to double knit and lightweight polyesters......to cafe curtains....you name it, Nolia pieced it into her quilt tops! And this was why I had to deconstruct her tops and replace many of her fabrics with my own cottons because quilting all these different weights of fabric was just too difficult for me.
Here is the original top before any changes were made.........Nolia used a lot of very light-weight blue gingham in this top and bordered two sides with two lengths of a kitchen cafe curtain. All of her tops are variations of the "housetop" block....a block often used by the Gee's Bend Quilters as well.
Here is a look at the back of the original top - Nolia used the front of a polyester dress with buttonholes next to light-weight gingham......also uneven seams. In order to use the blue gingham, I used quilt spray and fused another light-weight white fabric onto the back to give it more weight and heft. This worked perfectly!
Polyester dress piece still containing darts......
Cabbage Patch centers and fabric with facings irregularly attached
Extra fabric simply folded back to fit
Some of the fabrics deleted from the original top - those Cabbage Patch centers really had to go!
I tried various options for bordering the top but eventually came back to the original cafe curtain fabric. Since it was so light-weight, I fused a light-weight white cotton onto the back of the curtain panels and sliced each piece in half in order to make it reach all around the top. I think the striped binding also added an interesting finish to this reconstructed top and finishing it with simple straight-line machine quilting made this piece something I can finally live happily with!