Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Classic Scrap Quilts

While viewing Scrap Art at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, I looked closely at the individual fabrics that were used.

They may have come from a child's outgrown dress, or a husband's shirt that was beyond repair.

One thing women have in common, generation to generation, is that in tough economic times we are industrious in using what we have to create objects of beauty.

I also noticed that the fabrics of yesterday and the fabrics of today often look very similar.

Cobblestones/ Postage Stamp, 1940


Hand pieced and quilted

72" X 80.5"

Collection of San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Gift of Bruce Berman

"We see significant spike in popularity of this traditional quilt design in the second and third quarters of the 20th century. During hard economic times, large pieces of fabric were unaffordable to most. Perhaps because this design accommodates a variety of prints, organized by color, a woman could use her left-over sewing scraps to create an overall cohesive design. This example is distinguished by its many pieces, precise piecing, and skillful hand quilting. It was collected in Michigan." (Museum brochure)

These quilts inspire me to look for new ways to use what I have.

Notice some of the colors do not match, and yet in a scrap quilt they look at home.

Granny Burkitt's Scrap Top c. 1920-1940
Mary Zetta Burkitt
Cotton print, cotton shirting, cotton flannel, wool

Hand sewn piecework, hand sewn basted sections, machine stitched reinforcement

92" X 74"

Collection of Sande Stoneman

"My grandmother, Mary Zetta Burkitt, made textiles of many kinds throughout her life, and especially loved quilting. This appears to be one of her earliest quilt tops based on the era of the fabrics and a simpler design than her later quilts. When I look at the fabrics in this quilt top, they seem so familiar; the flannels of Granny's bathrobes, the plaids and paisleys of her and mom's dresses and stripes and solids of Grandpa's shirts. Even some of triangle pieces are patched together, suggesting she used every scrap of remnants she saved."


Abby and Stephanie said...

Very graphic. I love the way the strips in the last photo go every which way.

Unknown said...

Beautiful quilts.

Nat Palaskas said...

Enjoying this show - thanks for sharing lovely quilts - Hugs Nat

Julia said...

Lessons to be learnt here Nedra..we too can do this if we put our mind to it..the scrappier the better.
Wish now that I had not thrown out all the cotton fabric from my DD's dresses from my dressmaking days in the 60's and 70's

Lois Evensen said...

Beautiful. The second quilt looks very much like a crocheted granny square afghan/blanket.

Nanette Merrill said...

The cobblestones looks like a quilt made just for me. Wish I had those fabrics.