Reviving a Dormant 9-Patch

Blue and brown 9-patch

80 x 96

The top has been finished for a long time.

I have nowhere in my apartment to spread out a double-bed sized quilt, so you will have to use your imagination; the top row of brighter blue blocks is the center row.

In the 70s when I learned to quilt, my husband was an avid auction attender. At one estate sale he bought me two piles of blocks and a quilt top. Alas, I don’t even remember the name associated with the estate sale, but it was in Cambridge, Ohio. It was before my introduction to quilt history and the need to record provenance.

I liked the old-fashioned shirting look (which of course is no longer old-fashioned), but thought the blocks a bit dull and planned the sashing and cornerstones to brighten them up. In those days we used sheets for backing, and I bought a dark blue one. I set it aside for a time when it would be easy to baste.

Enter a long gap in my quilting career.

In the late 90s when I returned to quilting and joined a guild, I took the top, batting, and backing to a guild retreat where I planned to baste it on the large tables only to learn that the sheet wasn’t big enough. So the top got set aside again while I looked for coordinating backing fabric. And there it stayed because there was nothing urgent about finishing it.

Fast forward to the present when I learned of longarmers who would baste quilts on their longarm machines. The quilt is revived, the back is made, and they are ready to be sent on for basting.

The blocks are hand pieced. I machine stitched the sashing and borders. I plan hand quilting in honor of the blocks. And because it is a nice change of pace.

I’ll link belatedly with Needle and Thread Thursday. And I’ll be linking with LAFF because it is a finished top. I’ll be linking up with Oh Scrap! because I’m sure the 9-patch blocks were made from either left overs or usable parts of old shirts. Several of the squares are themselves pieced. And because 9-patch is the theme for Feb 3, I’ll link with Tuesday Archives.

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8 Comments

Filed under quilting

8 responses to “Reviving a Dormant 9-Patch

  1. farmquilter

    Smart to have a longarmer baste the quilt top for you – my customers like me to do this when they occasionally decide to hand quilt a quilt. This ensures that the backing won’t have any tucks as we can quilt the lines as close as you need us to. You can easily mark the quilting before or after the quilt top is basted. It is so hard to get larger quilts to stay flat when you try to hand or pin baste them. Looking forward to seeing your progress on this – maybe a peek every month to keep you moving on it??

  2. What a wonderful top it is, and such a great story. Some things patiently wait their turn until the time is right.

  3. So happy to see you have stuck with this quilt and will see it to the finish. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  4. I love the classic look of your quilt! How great that you are keeping after it, plus find something new to try each time you get it out. I am in the mood to hand quilt something myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I love a quilt with history and yours already has quite a story. I love that you or your husband saved the blocks and put them into a quilt.

  6. Sometimes what makes a quilt so special is the story behind them! Thanks for sharing yours with us and at Tuesday Archives. 🙂

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