Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another Older Quilt

I was playing around with the new camera again, seeing how well it does in low-light conditions. A perfect subject was one of my quilts that we hung last week. It's the last one I made from new fabrics specifically purchased for a project. It hangs in a hallway that gets a little diffused natural light, mainly early in the morning. This is the best, albeit not very good, distance shot, but it shows the wonderful secondary patterns.

It's a bit too yellow, but really, the colors are surprisingly good, given the low light.  The areas that fade out are made from very pale colors. The following view shows the piecing and machine quilting, and more accurate colors. 

It's a fascinating combination of squares, equilateral triangles, and hexagons. It always amazes me that squares and equilateral triangles can fit together to make a flat surface. The nine-patches are 3 inches, finished. Each hexagon is one piece. They are tricky to cut---it's easy to be just a little off, which makes a big difference in how the neighboring patches fit. I had to do some fudging while piecing. 

One of the challenging aspects of a pattern like this is figuring out how many blocks to make. Math is not my strong suit, and I was woefully off in calculating the nine-patch requirements. So, I had a stack of extras that I only recently figured out what to do with. That top is on the back burner for a while.

This quilt is a near copy of one I saw in The Romance of Double Wedding Ring Quilts, by Robert Bishop. It's on p. 49, and the caption reads, "This quite astonishing piece was made by Susie (Mrs. Harry) Bontrager in Yoder, Kansas. Obviously, the artist had a special feeling for Nine Patch blocks, for she has used them in bright colors to make her rings in conjunction with triangle patches. The happy result is  a wonderfully pleasing variation on the double Wedding Ring pattern. Kansas; c. 1935, 95 1/2" x 78 1/2"." I admit I was astonished, too, when I first saw it---and just had to make one! 

The photo here was scanned from the book and went through several transformations, so the colors are a bit drabber than the original. You can see the fading and stains. This quilt got used! 

Using triangles that are darker than the hexagons really brings out the the wide rings instead of the starlike patterns. I'd like to do another with that emphasis. 


sophie said...

That quilt is charming.

Thanks for your comment on my blog--I wasn't able to reply via email. I just received results from one of the blood tests and have a very high number for the EBV test--that may well explain the exhaustion that has been the main characteristic of my life for too long.

Christina said...

You did an awesome job drafting the pattern! I am also impressed that you ended up with too many blocks instead of too few - which is what I do...

Marit said...

Your quilt is wonderful!!!! This is such a playful design. But it looks quite complcated to put together. Thank you for sharing.