I saw this antique quilt on the National Quilt Register at Tumbarumba, NSW in Australia. You can search the Index for quilts that date from the early 19th century up until 1965 which was the cut-off date. You will find quilts of all types - complex and intricate to roughly made utility quilts and in many instances you will be able to read stories about the quilts and their makers. There are over 1000 quilts and stories to inspire. If you are looking for something to do on a rainy day why not take a look. And that's exactly what I was doing when I came across this quilt.
The description of this quilt reads "Quilt top of hexagon rosettes each with 4 rows of hexagons around one in the centre. It is hand pieced over papers and the papers include cut up old letters and envelopes and several of the papers are dated 1830 and 1831. In the centre of the quilt is a small square of chintz depicting a cupid amongst flowers. Materials include cambrics, chintzes, muslins and dimities and the quilt owner noted that these types of materials were imported into Australia from England around the 1830s." Sadly, the maker is unknown.
I fell in love and decided to make my own version. It is hand pieced and hand quilted. Unfortunately the photograph makes it look much brighter than it actually is. In person it is more muted. I called it Aussiegons.
I've told you I learn something with each quilt that I make. I had previously written about the use of a path to join hexagon blocks. This quilt does not use a path. Instead the hexagons are joined one to the next and the rest is that a slope develops. You can see it in the picture below. Notice that the blocks on the left side have sort of a step down appearance.
This had to be corrected if the quilt was to be squared. I made partial blocks for the top bottom and sides and then appliquéd the quilt to a paisley border that reflected many of the colours in the quilt top.
Here's another lesson I learned! Hexagon quilts are VERY heavy! Just think of all of the seam allowances! There are 61 hexagons in each "rosette" and there are 127 whole rosettes and lots of partial rosettes. That's a lot of seam allowances! If you exclude the border there is likely more fabric in seam allowances on the wrong side of the quilt than there is in hexagons on the right side of the quilt. That makes for a very heavy but cozy quilt.
Time is short so I had better get cracking. Until I post again, happy sewing!