Cleaning up has yielded a few treasures I had forgotten about; among them, one of the first books I purchased (used) back in the 1970's. Bonnie Lehman's book was published in 1972 and I started quilting in 1974. It was a classic and I suppose it still is. It certainly influenced me.
1974 - I was a young woman with 3 little kids.
I still make string quilts - this was on my bulletin board a couple of weeks ago.
In 1974 there were only a few books: REALLY! Ruby McKim's 101 Patchwork Patterns, The Standard Book of Quiltmaking & Collecting, Beth Gutcheon's A Perfect Patchwork Primer, and Quick & Easy Quilting. Bonnie Lehman also published Quilter's Newsletter and the first issue I bought was in September 1973, before I ever found a quilting class! (Oh, good grief - this is turning into a "remember when?" thing that old people do. Sorry 'bout that - LOL).
This seems to be Bonnie Lehman's son on the cover.
The back cover was full of classified ads. For example…
100% COTTON FABRICS, especially selected for quilts.
Over 20 tiny prints plus 20 shades of plain colors.
36" widths, $1.10 per yd; 45" widths, $1.95 per yd.
BUT I have digressed. Back to Quick and Easy Quilting. Here was something that, while I did not make anything like it then, there is a shock of recognition as I look Bonnie's variation III - "a new interpretation of the String Quilt idea. Of course, it was made of bonded woolens & knits (this was the 70's, remember??) in several shades of purple and lavender, with white for contrast. Uh huh.
This also reminded me of something I own.
I have a very old quilt top that is in the same vein, which my husband fell in love with years ago at an antique show. Me, too:-). Some years later I showed it to Raymond Dobard, an authority on African American quilts and he agreed with my instinct that it is indeed an African American top, probably late 19th century or somewhere around 1900-1910 at latest.
I never quilted it because I felt it would ruin the value and authenticity. Isn't it wonderful?? Here is a closer look at some of those fabrics.
If you were to turn it over, you would see that the strips were attached (by hand) to a foundation, unlike the way most of us strip-piece today.
And I have the distinct feeling that this may have been made by more than one pair of hands, since some blocks are hand-pieced (left) and others are machine pieced (right).
What would you do??
Well, enough memory lane stuff. I have the day to myself and need to get back to culling the overwhelming load of stuff in this room so I can actually sew. I am resisting the temptation to sit here and read through every Quilter's Newsletter I have from 1973-1984. Maybe I should think about getting rid of those, too.
Wishing you all a happy holiday and a wonderful, creative year ahead.