The quilt for my in-laws is based on a photo of Tribal Images by Suzanne Knapp that I found in the February 1987 issue (number 189) of QNM.
I was drawn to its southwest vibe because my in-laws spent a lot of time in the southwest and enjoyed arts and crafts from that region. I studied the photo to figure out how to break down the pattern, then drew it on graph paper and made templates out of plastic. I used some striped fabrics and fussy cut them using the templates.
While getting ready for this post, I looked at the photo in one of my saved magazines. According to notes about the quilt, it was an adaptation of a pattern called Indian Chief that had been in QNM issue 105. After a little research online, I located a picture of that old issue and suddenly realized that I have a copy of it. I must have ordered it from the archives. It's the oldest copy of QNM I have (September 1978), but it isn't part of my first subscription. And according to that issue, the Indian Chief pattern was a reworking of a pattern by the same name from 1942, published by the Lockport Batting Company.
Apparently, even though I ordered the issue with the pattern, I did not use it, probably because the size and details were different from what I wanted to make. And I know from experience that if there is a hard way to do something, that's usually the way I go. Here's my version of the quilt:
The quilt for my parents is based on Pastiche by Jane Blair that I found in the June 1982 issue (number 143) of QNM.
I liked the central medallion with a sort of tulip design (representative of our Dutch heritage), the colors (that matched my parents' living room) and especially the leaves in the corners. As with the first quilt, I drafted the design on graph paper and made templates for some parts to fussy cut striped fabrics.
|Bottom border is cut off on this old photo|
I remember that both quilts were challenging to draft--figuring proportions was hard to do from a photo, but I had ways of folding the photo (there are lots of creases in the magazine pages), measuring with a ruler and scaling up the measurements--and really, it was the only way I knew how to make quilts I liked. I had a hard time coming up with creative ideas on my own. I still have trouble with that. I didn't know anything about copyrights, and I guess I'm still confused about when they apply. But I knew that these quilts were for family and figured it was okay to copy someone else's hard work in designing. (I'm less sure of that now, especially this week with all the discussion in the online quilting community about giving designers their due for all of their hard work. I do have to add, though, that based on my limited research here, patterns may have their roots in older patterns so that it's sometimes difficult to determine just who is the originator of a design.)
So today, I share these quilts with much thanks to Suzanne and Jane. (And QNM!) My father-in-law and my mother are no longer living, but my mother-in-law and father both have the quilts hanging in their homes. And because they carefully followed my instructions long ago to hang them out of direct sunlight, both quilts look the same as when I made them. (Actually, they look better--the wonkiness of the edges has relaxed over the years.) I'm glad they still enjoy them.
Both quilts measure about 20 by 30 inches. I pieced them on my Singer Featherweight and hand quilted them. The battings are lightweight polyester and the quilting thread is cotton.
I'm linking up today with Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge for Throwback Thursday. Go check out the other quilts there and enjoy a blast from the past.