Introducing Block 70 on the I Dropped the Button Box Quilt

Crazy quilt block 70Today I will introduce crazy quilt Block 70 which since it has a dusk pink colour scheme many people respond to. Click on the image to see a larger view and if you want to see the set of this quilt there is a photograph of the full quilt on the CQ details FAQ page.

Block 70 has 2 pieces of vintage lace on it that has a story which I would like to share today.

I used some very old piece of lace which I found wrapped around a section of cut off  broom handle in an old junk shop in Oxford,  England.  I was browsing around the store when I spotted a roll of damaged laces wrapped around a piece of broom handle. Someone had wound each piece of lace on to the broom handle and slipped a pin in to secure it then they had wound on another piece and slipped a pin in. They had done this until the roll was about 4 inches thick and the pins had now all rusted.

The wad of laces looked to me as if they were of 50’s vintage because that was what was on the outer layer. However since the pins had rusted,  there was no real way of knowing what was in there. At the time I was curious about it and when I expressed an interest the shop keeper removed two pieces from the roll to discover the lengths were about 15 cm (6 inches) long and in removing them the lace was likely to tear. She offered them to me for a couple of pounds and I jumped at it.

When I got back home I was delighted because these small pieces of lace got older as I carefully unwound them. I think they were samples from a lace maker as each was tagged. To my amazement I discovered as I unwound the samples they got older and they went back to the Victorian era if not older. Unfortunately they were all badly damaged. The use of numerous pins to secure each piece of lace had caused rust staining, mould had also caused stains,  and worse the samples were often torn.

To be honest that did not bother me as I wanted to use them for crazy quilting. If they were in good condition I would not have used them but since they were damaged I felt there was no harm if reclaimed for crazy quilting. I dyed the badly rust stained, repaired what was worth repairing and in the case of the piece on this block covered a tear with buttons. Basically I reclaimed what I could and made something of it.

I have used many of these laces on this quilt and they influenced this quilt in another important way. Because I wanted to use the scraps I had salvaged I decided to make the blocks the size they are. I felt the proportion of the blocks to the laces, highlighted them better than if they had been used on larger blocks. Also many were too small to use on larger blocks. This block has 2 older pieces on it.

Over the next few weeks I will share and write about the embroidery and embellishments in close details. I hope readers will enjoy it. If you dont want to miss out just follow the link to  Subscribe to Pin Tangle by Email and have it delivered to your In Box.

Crazy quilt block 70diagramFabric content:

  • Piece 1: Cotton
  • Piece 2: Cotton
  • Piece 3: Cotton
  • Piece 4: Synthetic mix
  • Piece 5: Silk
  • Piece 6: Silk
  • Piece 7: Silk
  • Piece 8: Cotton

Item Count: 

The I Dropped the Button Box quilt is a Y2K quilt. On the quilt I used 2001 unique pieces of fabric, lace, braids, charms, buttons or ribbons. It was a way of using a sample of all the bits I had been hoarding! The on going item count listed below represents the items  documented to date in this series of articles.

  • Fabric: 8
  • Lace, braid and ribbon: 3
  • Buttons and charms: 9
  • Total items on this block: 20

Total tally of items on the quilt so far: 1347

Crazy quilt block 70 patternThis regularly published series aims to illustrate and document the hand embroidered seams, embellishments and decorations on my crazy quilt I dropped the button box.

All articles are categorised in the projects under Crazy Quilt details which enables readers to browse back through the series.

Free Crazy quilt block patterns

In the process of documenting the seam decorations on this quilt, as I get to each block I am diagramming it out for readers as a free crazy quilt pattern. Links to these free pattern pages are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.


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