My neighbors in Colorado had an unfinished quilt top made by Bertie Hennig Chapman
(1911-1989). It is a beautiful hand pieced apple core quilt top, and it truly embodies vintage quilting. Most of the pieces are even pieced together to create a single piece. It is full of vintage fabrics which just make my little quilty soul so happy. My favorite quilts are scrappy vintage quilts. Thankfully she did all the hard work! I just got to do the finishing so that her family could enjoy it the way she would have intended.
I took the top and ironed it out as much as possible to get some of the wrinkles and folds out to make the quilting easier. I bought a basic cream solid for the backing to keep consistent with what would have been used. I used quilters dream cotton batting.
For the quilting, I used a zig zag type stitch that would grab each side of every apple core to increase the durability since the fabrics were on the more fragile side. It was a way to make a more dense stitch in the ditch stitch. I did square off the edges since the outer pieces were pretty wonky due to being stretched and folded through the years. Having all the solid pieces on the outside made a great contrasting border for all the fabrics used. I went on Spoonflower and created a label so future generations will know who put so much hard work into the hand piecing.
Unfortunately, when washing the quilt some of these lovely vintage fabrics bled soooo bad, there was not a shout color catcher that was going to stop that bleeding! I immediately just took the quilt out of the washer and straight to the tub. Threw in some oxi clean, dawn, another whole box of shout color catchers, weighted it down with some towels, and placed a tote on the top to make sure it was fully submerged. I let it soak for 24 hours. It got rid of all the large streaks and left me with these color patches on the backing in the exact shape of the apple cores. I refilled the tub and added some vinegar to the water to help set the color so it wouldn’t bleed on future washings. I actually like the effect it left.
For the binding, I found a small floral reproduction fabric to help bring all the colors together.
I really enjoyed getting to complete this quilt for them so they could treasure it and the memories it holds. Plus I didn’t have to put in all that hard work hand piecing curves! It is a beautiful quilt.