Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival

The Crazy Quilt from the Link Family
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.

29 comments:

Heckety said...

What a lovely thing to have: family history is important, as well as it being lovely in itself!

Zonnah said...

It is beautiful!

stitchinpenny said...

wonderful story - all the pieces of a life gathered together.

Marge Gordon said...

So many of us are showing quilts we made, it’s a joy to see an old family quilt like yours, thank you for sharing it. And I did some blog peeking on past posts, I love your quilt backs, great job!

Cara said...

How charming! It's a lovely quilt with a more lovely story

Letterpress said...

These crazy patch quilts are a labor of love, and what a treasure to have one in your family. I don't think I would have the patience to make one, but I really admire them a lot.

Thanks for sharing--
--ELIZABETH E, #115

Shari said...

This is just an amazing quilt - so glad your family has preserved it. It's kind of like an I Spy - so many wonderful things to look at... Do you ever think of starting one for the next generation? With modern fabrics?

...dotty... said...

That WOULD be a wonderful quilt to display in a stairs landing !
Congrats on joining blogland after the last festival. I've blogged for awhile, but knew nothing of the Spring Festival. I'm sure enjoying this one, though !

Sara said...

That is the perfect quilt to display on a staircase landing! It is nice you have that lovely quilt to treasure.

Sarah said...

Kathy, what a beautiful crazy quilt! It's wonderful that you have the story and history of this family quilt. Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I hope to post about my friendship crazy quilt sometime soon. I'm new at this blogging thing, and had no idea how much time would be involved. It's so much fun though, and meeting others like you is the best part. ~ Sarah

Rene' said...

What a beautiful heirloom. Thanks for sharing.

Jean said...

Such a treasure to have in your family...very beautiful.

Rhondi said...

What a treasure to own. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Granny Lyn said...

oh, you lucky girl, you! I would sit and stare at this beauty for hours on end! this is truly gorgeous!

Leslie said...

what an amazing treasure to have...i love when a quilt tells a story

Carin said...

That's beautiful! Its wonderful to have a family treasure.

Ariane said...

I love it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Miri said...

Wonderful family heirloom crazy quilt! Lucky you!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Lovely quilt!

SarahVee said...

I love this quilt and it's history. Thank you for sharing. It reminds me of one my mother has on her cedar chest - which I guess I'd better photograph soon!

Doris said...

What a true treasure! Lovely...

Linda said...

Sometimes I forget that the new ways of quilting are just twists on the old. Your family quilt sure looks like a stack, whack, & shuffle on first look. However, the details make it unique.

Kimberly said...

Such a beautiful quilt! Quilting is something that just amazes me and I wish I had more hours in the day to learn. Thank you for joining my Autumn Recipe Swap..I've added you to the list of participating blogs! Looking forward to some wonderful recipes.
Kim

Sharon said...

Oh it is so great when one knows the history behind the quilt. It makes it all the more interesting. Thanks for sharing and for visiting me. Sharon

Suzanne said...

What a treasure!

sewpam63 said...

What a wonderful family story that quilt holds! It is BEAUTIFUL!!! The fabrics and stitching are a strong tie to your husband's family. What a treasure you have! Thank you for sharing. : )

Snippety Gibbet said...

Lucky you! I adore old crazy quilts. jan

Zlaty said...

Lovely antique quilt! How nice of your father in law!

Happy sewing!

Zlaty

Diane said...

This is lovely! I want to reach in and touch it it just ooozes texture.