This quilt was given to me by my father-in-law. We believe it was made by Mabel Link of Columbus Wisconsin. She and her husband had a farm just outside of Madison WI in the 1940's -1960's. After their retirement from the farm they were involved in making ceramics and ran a studio out of their home for that purpose. This quilt is made primarily from wools and dress fabrics. There are several satins, some corduroy, a bit of silk, and a blue bandanna print. Each block is close to 18 inches square and there are a total of 20 blocks. All blocks are held in place to the backing by a strong row of embroidery. I love the back because it is made from the coziest piece of blue flannel with a subtle red and white stripe. Here is a photo showing the soft flannel backing and if you look closely you can see the embroider following a block edge. It is acting as the quilting that holds the layers together. The stitches are tight and strong. Today we would call it the big stitch look. From the front it is mostly the stitch called the herringbone.
My favorite part of the quilt is the floral applique that is made from black velvet. It is attached using a blanket stitch with orange thread. The center of the flower is formed by green and orange french knots. The embroidery stitches that decorate the blocks do not go all the way through the quilt. I notice that the thread color was changed frequently and most of the time it was changed at the bend in a seam.
I enjoy looking at the quilt and have had it hanging for a time in my sewing/computer room. It makes a good cover for the car magazine storage shelf that I pretend isn't a part of the room.
This small patch of yellow is the only damaged section. There are other places on the quilt where this fabric was used, but luckily they are still holding together. Perhaps this lightweight silk was treated with something to make it feel heavy and that has been its demise. I have heard that silks were often treated with lead so that they would hang or drape nicely in garments. Supposedly, they also rustle quietly when you walked. I wouldn't think the silk in this quilt would be of that Victorian time period, but it could have been in great grannie's sewing basket and passed down to Grandma Link.
Here are some other close ups from the quilt top that show the simple style of the flowers that were stitched on some of the solid fabrics.
It is a charming piece of family history from 1951 and my husband and I love having it in our house. I really treasure it! I would like it to hang on a wall someday. It would be nice to live in a house that has a big staircase, because it would look just right on a landing.
Thank you for visiting my blog post for the Fall 2009 Blogger's Quilt Festival. I'll be around to visit other postings during the week. It'll be great fun. In the spring I must have clicked on more than a hundred links and shortly after that I had my own blog.