No Ordinary Quilt

I'm not usually one to back away from a challenge, but with longarm quilting on customers quilts, my policy is, first, do no harm. Oh my gosh! Susan emailed me photos of her absolutely stunning wool applique top to ask if I would quilt it. She would bring it to me from her home in Atlanta. The top is 54, 8 and a half inch finished blocks.

Susan's quilt is a reproduction of a quilt done in 1865 in Lynnfield, Massachusetts by Emily Munroe. The original quilt is currently owned by the New England quilt museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Froncie Quinn of Hoopla Patterns was given permission to recreate the pattern. Emily’s quilt was done using wool applique on wool and twill and is not quilted.

Susan wanted her quilt to be quilted so she selected Cherrywood Hand Dyed fabric for the applique base. She said she mostly followed the pattern of floral designs but varied the colors, using brighter wool in the applique as well as the Cherrywoods. Look at the beautiful hand embroidery around the blossoms. Sometimes she outlined with two different floss colors.

I hung Susan's quilt over my frame and just admired it. For a long time. A really long time. Totally intimidated, I googled wool quilts. I googled appliquéd quilts. I googled longarm quilted wool applique quilts. You know, procrastination can be an art form.


Then I mocked up a silly looking block (which I am not showing) with similar fabrics to try a test run. My fear was being able to stay very close to the wool pieces to outline quilt. I worried that the travel stitches in quilting all those tiny, multiple leaves would look like a big ol' thread mess. What would happen when I crossed over the many chain-stitched stems? I could envision all kinds of ways to thoroughly screw up this wonderful quilt.
Well heck! Sometimes the quilting goddess looks down and smiles graciously. After all the quivering and shaking I was doing, (what I refer to as, D&F — dither and fret) it was easy! No issues! The quilting looked good!
I think the quilting is subtle and does the job intended, enhancing the applique by popping it from the background, holding the quilt together and unifying the top. Big fffwhew!
I completely enjoyed quilting this top. I was immersed in each block. I thought about the history. There are four horses in the center, the two black horses said to honor Emily's brothers who were in the calvary during the Civil War. I loved Susan's colors and variations, adding her personal touch to her quilt.
Best of all, Susan was pleased. Thank you for allowing me to quilt this amazing quilt. It was a good learning experience in quilting and life. It reminded me to embrace challenges. I think that's important.


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  1. Judie Booth says

    Hi Terry. Congratulations on selling your quilt. You are an amazing artist. I love this wool quilt and you did a great job in quilting it. Can’t wait to see what your working on next

  2. Wow! What a beautiful quilt! You did quite the justice to it with your quilting pattern. I remember seeing the picture of original version in one of the books I have. I would be afraid, so very afraid to even touch it!

  3. Leslie Skibo says

    A masterpiece! Congratulations to both of you

  4. Congratulations on facing your fears! Glad you got over the hump. Susan made an absolutely amazing quilt, truly a labor of love!

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