Let me start with saying I am about to make what might be considered a plug for someone. It is not intended to be anything other than an entry about someone I very much admire in the quilt world who I do feel at times is a little underrated in this particular project. Perhaps it will be the first time you are seeing this book and I can highly recommend it. So yes, I suppose I am making a plug but I want to share my latest UFO and also hopefully share a book you may not have known about...
I am a fan of Judie Rothermel. She used to own The Schoolhouse Quilt Shoppe in Canton, Ohio which is my hometown. I have unfortunately not met her but her husband Bob helped me with choosing the fabrics for my parents bed quilt I made many moons ago. It was one of my early quilts. Since then, Judie has gone on to designing reproduction quilt fabric lines and writing some wonderful books. Here you can see two of her books, The Centennial Sampler and Reproduction Quilt from the Civil War Period 1850-1865 (shown is back cover). The back cover shows the quilt that she made back in the 1980s and here is an excerpt from her book to explain this beautiful quilt:
"My husband Bob, encouraged me to show my best piece of work on the back cover of this book. There is no pattern for the quilt. It is called A Miniature Treasure. It was a nine year labor of love. I start the Quilt in 1981 and completed it in 1990. Many people refer to it as the Dear Jane Quilt. It is not a Dear Jane Quilt. It was started and finished well before this craze. All the patterns I used were from my own drawings. I had never seen the Jane Stickle quilt until I was almost finished with my quilt in the late eighties. If you are interested in the patterns only, not the layout, you will find them in another book I have written entitled Judie's Centennial Sampler."
I love that Judie gives you the chance to reproduce an old quilt and yet make it your own. She has given a choice of 150 patterns to use for this 56 block quilt sampler. It allows you the chance to give the quilt a more unique look as you can change the block choices here and there. This may end up being the biggest challenge as I really love too many of the pattern included. How do you decide?
If you want to see some of Judie's fabrics, just click here.
I have been working on stitching WIPs and quilt UFOs this year. I am trying not to start new projects but finish old ones. This project finds itself a bit between those two states of old and new. I had bought The Centennial Sampler a number of years ago. I just did not make the time to start and last year I did start a block. This quilt is hand pieced which I am not a huge fan of. I just enjoy doing my piecing by machine. It goes together so perfectly for me and I have more time to concentrate on the hand quilting which I love. I wanted this quilt to look historically correct so I am hand piecing these little five inch blocks. I am also trying not to 'over match' all the fabrics. Our ancestors used what they had and made do.
I had started a single block and enjoyed it but knew I needed to come back to it later as I was too busy with designing the theme projects for my quilt group. That really does take up much of my time. This weekend, I packed up a couple of pieces of my reproduction fabrics and everything I needed to make a couple of blocks from the book as well as put the last seam in the block I had made previously. It had been sitting in two halves. Here are the results of a weekends work. I am going to start taking this with me to Cranberry Cottage on the weekends. It is nice to hand piece there as it is easier not to have to carry my sewing machine along. And it feels 'right' to do this project at my little country retreat in the woods.
I will be starting on two more blocks this coming weekend. I will be making this quilt entirely from my fabric stash. I hope to be able to share new blocks with you each Monday throughout the rest of this year.
If you happen to be working on this quilt, I would love to see yours so far. This is what I mean about this being underrated as I have, as of yet, never heard anyone I know say they are working on it or have even seen the book.