Oh, goodie, it's Throwback Thursday time again. The only thing I don't like about these is that they come around so fast! Anyway. It's a special day. Congrats to Jenn at Quarter Inch from the Edge, who has been hosting this monthly event for a whole year! And congrats to all of us as we've been celebrating our quilts from the past. I love this linky party!
For my part today, I'm sharing a group of four little quilts I made back in November 1987. They were inspired by a workshop Pepper Cory did on scrap quilts for our quilt guild in September that year. (I think she was still living locally at that time--lucky us!) But I decided to go really small--those were the kinds of quilts I was making back then.
The block is Contrary Wife (basically a 9-patch with Half-Square Triangles--HSTs). I looked it up online, and it seems to have come from the Kansas City Star in 1941, but I haven't verified that. (There was also a Contrary Husband block somewhere along the way.) There are lots of images online with a variety of color placements that really change the look of the block. I decided to focus on the diagonal slash for my color arrangement. I really wanted to challenge myself to use tiny scraps, knowing I'd have to sort them into the tiniest prints so the prints wouldn't get lost in the design. Luckily, at that time there were lots of tiny prints available--and I had quite a stash of them since my focus was on bitty quilts.
I don't think I was using a rotary cutter yet, and because these were scrap quilts, there was lots of cutting to do--I couldn't do strip piecing for the squares, although I did chain piece them. To get my pieces straight and square, I drew grids on graph paper, put my bits of fabric on top and drew lines with a ruler to line up with the lines on the grid showing around the edges of the fabric. Then I cut them with scissors. But I think I did mass-produce the HST pairs using a grid again and sewing on each side of the diagonal lines. Then I distributed them across all the quilts so that I wouldn't repeat pairs too often. Just guessing at this. If I studied the photos, I could figure out for sure if that's what I did. I used 1/8 inch seams (the width of my presser foot) to reduce bulk.
So here they are. I don't really have a story to go with them. I sold them all to a client for probably less than I should have. (Don't we all?) I used a light poly batting, cotton thread to hand quilt, and muslin for the backing. I think the blocks are 2 1/4 inches (3/4 inch squares).
Contrary Wife I: Vines (named for the quilting) 12 by 14 1/2 inches. (Pardon the poor placement in the old photo-there was binding on the right.) I used 11 1/2 yards of thread for the quilting--one of the ways I calculated the cost.
And the back--not exciting, but just to make sure I document it here.
Contrary Wife II: O's (14 1/2 by 14 1/2 inches: 12 1/2 yards of thread for quilting)
Contrary Wife III: X's (14 3/8 by 14 3/8 inches; 11 1/2 yards of thread for quilting)
And the back:
Contrary Wife IV: Sashes (12 3/4 by 13 inches; 10 2/3 yards of thread for quilting)
And one more back:
The colors of these quilts are a little strong for my tastes now, but I really like how I was able to use "low volume" prints for the background. I think that still holds up pretty well today.
Be sure to link up with Jenn's linky party, and if you have some old quilt photos (or quilts) from your pre-blogging days, think about joining in. (If you'd like to see more of my old quilts, click on the throwback thursday label below or on the list on the sidebar.)