There are probably many of you who are not shocked that I decided to take this top apart. After all, my motivation for purchasing old tops and blocks is always to take them apart and remake them. I am not a vintage quilt collector — I’m a quilter who likes to make quilts with vintage fabric. Occasionally, as in the case of this top, the original item has a unique quality that makes me hesitate to take it apart. I spent a lot of time yesterday carefully looking over each block, and in the end there was no question in my mind that I was not going to be able to just quilt it the way it was. The stitching was crude; there were a significant number of fabric pieces that were either too coarse or too thin; and the lack of any symmetry just bugged me.
Of course, once I start taking a quilt apart, it’s hard to stop myself from making changes — swapping out fabrics that are inappropriate (or I just don’t like), and tweaking the design. However, I still wanted to retain at least some of the character of the original. The pattern has morphed from a 9-patch with sashing and cornerstones to a group of four 9-patches with a center cross. My 6″ block is smaller than the original at 7 1/4″ because I had use a slightly smaller template to re-cut all of the pieces. I also introduced a new vintage fabric (the blue & yellow floral) which will be the sashing around all the blocks. Here are my new rules:
use the original fabrics whenever possible
9-patches will remain as random as I stand to make them
the four cross pieces will be the same within each block
all sashing cornerstones and the block centers will be red
Thank you for all of your comments, and I hope those of you who said you would keep the original quilt aren’t too disappointed.
UPDATE: I changed the sashing — see more recent post here.