Monday, 5 May 2008


Dear Lene,
It's hard to believe it's been less than two weeks since you mentioned quilts in your email and we got started with this idea. From your little hint about four-block appliqué, to my taking all those pictures of antique quilts, to our idea about starting a quilting blog together. At first I laughed at your note saying that you felt feverish with excitement over all the inspiration you were feeling. Then I began to be inspired as well. I collected those old quilts years ago and somehow in keeping them safely put away, I had forgotten how beautiful they are.

Seeing the antique quilts again really got me thinking that appliqué was my first true love in quilting. I haven't done so much of it the past few years, as I have to pace myself to keep my hands from hurting. And also because knitting and spinning have been what I've spent most of my time on for the past while. But the love is still there, it's just been dormant for a time.

Your excitement was so contagious though, I knew that this (blog) was the right thing to do. I don't think I could maintain this level of inspiration on my own, but I think that having a friend across the ocean to share the ideas and to help fan the flame of excitement about quilts and quilting is the perfect way to go.

Looking at the tulip quilt again, I'm getting a little nervous. I know that my appliqué skills can handle making a reproduction of it, but it really is an ambitious project, isn't it? Maybe it's more than ambitious - crazy might be a better word - but it really is the quilt that sings out to me and inspires me the most right now. Both for the pattern and also for the fine hand quilting. I'm not going to even think about quilting just yet. I think tackling a huge appliqué project gives me plenty to work on for the time being.

I still need to finalize my fabric choices, make a firm decision about whether or not the bright color scheme I'm thinking of is too wild, and also find that vinyl for tracing the pattern from the tulip quilt. I haven't seen anything of your design ideas since that first rough sketch. Where are you with that? Have you been holding it back as a surprise, or are you not finished with the drawings?

All right, then. I'm off to take care of getting my materials together for copying the tulip pattern. I have to start somewhere, and that's got to be done even before I choose the final fabric choices. My excitement is building, but as I said I'm also a little bit nervous. I'm glad we're in this together, because tackling this alone would probably overwhelm me - with the encouragement and excitement of doing it with you, I can stick with it.



valentina said...

boy do i have a comment about that last paragraph. lemme know if you wanna know. it's totally snarky.
here's a newbie question: why are you duplicating a quilt you already have? yes, it's beautiful, but why not make something new?

Anonymous said...

Hooray. Hooray. Hooray.

I knew this day was as inevitable as the sunrise. It was just a question of when it would happen.

Congratulations on the start of a wonderful enterprise. I'll be coming along for the ride.

Cassie said...

To answer Valentina's question: I guess I feel an obligation to preserve patterns like this. As far as I've been able to ascertain, this pattern is original. The quilt itself is not in perfect condition (if it had been, I wouldn't have been able to afford it on eBay!). So I want to make a copy of it, for use rather than storage in an acid-free box. I also find it fascinating to dissect a pattern stitch by stitch, and think about whomever made it in the first place, 100+ years ago. I originally bought the quilt in order to acquire the pattern, but now find it something that I want to call my own, and that requires the work involved in replicating it.

There's also the challenge involved in making it. Can I appliqué (or quilt) as finely as the original? With all of my fancy gadgets and tools, can I replicate it? Maybe this all sounds like a lot of competitiveness, but maybe that's how or who I am.

Carmen said...

Lene, Cassie, this blog will be so good!!!

DebbieB said...

Mmmmmmmmm - quilting eye candy!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I love applique, and the tulip quilt is beautiful. I'm a used to be quilter who morphed into a heavy knitter who has lately slipped back into quilting in a small way. Love your new blog. Shirley

LauraJ said...

Yay! I am the first Bloglines subscriber!

Success to your needlework, fine women!

elizabeth said...

Wild colors? I can't wait! If you need any inspiration, Jane at yarnstorm has been posting lots of tulip pictures lately.

Beth S. said...

This is a brilliant idea. I'm so excited to see what the two of you get up to. :-)

Kay said...

Well, nothing like an easy little project to start off your new blog.

I'm in awe.


Anonymous said...

Gals, I love the old quilt. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. Someone once told me that I could not do Hawiian quilt patterns with Bali prints. Hah. You should see them. The more you work at applique the better you get at it. (It does not hurt to take a class too).Thanks to you I think I will get back into my quilting. Been on a year long haitus with knitting. I have scads of projects to finish and I will be watching and reading of your progress each day. Gramma Carol

carolyn said...

Yay!!! Cassie, I'm so excited to see you quilting again, I can't wait to read more. (Hi, Lene, I don't know you, but I will get to know you via this blog!!)
cheers, Carolyn

Laura said...

Hello and Love to you both. I'm thrilled to see the work you're doing. Too few quilters are doing it the Old Way these days. I'm all about every stitch being done by hand and thrilled to see it happening here.

Of course you could never use the vintage quilt on a daily basis - don't let anybody make you think it's silly to replicate it for the joy of the project and the pleasure of using it any time you like. You're a fiber historian and preservationist. XOXOX

Kathie said...

I am so happy to have found your blog.
I LOVE this quilt and can't wait to watch you reproduce this quilt
This is what I love to do too, reproduce antique quilts or make quilts inspired by antique quilts to read all your posts!

PAULE said...


I've just discovered your blog.

I love antique quilts, I love applique quilts... I love your blog...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and progress

Paule -Reunion Island