Friday 12 September 2008

Finished mystery quilt

Today I finally finished the "Stranger quilt" I have been showing pictures of this summer. It has been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture of the finished puzzle. And with the modern, machine made pieces with the exact shapes repeating over and over, so that it is possible to put a wrong piece in place. I personally prefer these vintage jigsaw puzzles somebody really sawed by hand when my mother was young. Every piece is different, no chance for a mistake.

The quilt was at this stage when I received it some years ago from the mother of DS1's girlfriend. I don't know who has started the patchwork, but there were foundation pieced rows of about 4" squares, with varying seam allowances.

I tried out many different arrangements but nothing really seemed to make sense. I concluded that there never was a plan, although some rythm and repetition was in the rows.

Finally I ended up with this arrangement. And then I changed it.

I added a few rows to both ends of the top using pieces from too long rows, some fabrics which were in the same bag as the rows, and some fabrics from my stash. Then I dyed an old sheet for the borders and backing. The border piece was dyed first and a little longer than the backing, for darker colour.

For the binding I used the same fabric as in some pieces from my stash, fifth from the right on bottom line and diagonally above it in the picture above.

This morning I sewed the last bit of the binding and took these last photos. The darker spots are shadows of leaves, the sun was shining through a big tree.

I'm pleased with my "jigsaw puzzle" stitching. The rows of the quilt were straight in only one direction, as the squares were not all finished the same size, and I couldn't stitch in any way following the seams. These wavy lines go across the patches in both directions. It was a pleasure to use the new sewing machine for the quilting.
On Monday P (the girlfriend's mom) is coming to pick some apples because we can't use all the apples. I'm going to give her the quilt then. She will most probably not see the faults in this quilt because she is not a quilter herself. I will also ask her what she can tell me about the rows and who started them.


  1. Well look at that! Just like you knew all along how it was supposed to go together. Just beautiful! I loved following your journey with this quilt. The backing and the quilting are wonderful! I think you chose the perfect pattern.

  2. Helloooo your quilt are realy beautiful and you are going to give it away, wow...
    The new owner are very lucky!!
    I love to quilt this way myself but I have never done it on a big quilt.

  3. i am very impressed. your choice to complete it with purple looks amazing. these kinds of projects can be very satisfying. but i do hope that nobody gives me one.

  4. I love how you selected a jig saw pattern to quilt the quilt. Perfect!

  5. Wonderful job Ulla! It is so impressive how you took those half sewn pieces and made some sense of them. The whole quilt was a puzzle so it it very appropriate that you used a puzzle shape to quilt with. Beautiful dyeing too. Very well done. It is so much harder to see someone else' vision and finish a job than work from scratch. That is one very special quilt. :-)

  6. Oj vilket arbete, helt fantastiskt.

  7. I love your quilt! It looks so old fashioned and cozy. The wavy quilting looks great too! x


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