A finished quilt


I first wrote about this vintage orphan quilt top 3 years ago here.

I saw it on Etsy and its polka dot happy ways and free easy piecing called out to me. I bought it for a song.

I know nothing of the person who made the top. After a while I came to think of her as Betty. I know she liked to piece by hand because it was entirely hand stitched. 

in a very liberated or make-do style.

To keep in character I knew the quilting had to be just as rustic. At first I chose to tie it with yarn ties but in the end gave up that plan because the woolly gatherings distracted from the interesting piecing. 

So I reverted to my favourite style of quilting with big stitches using perle8 cotton thread. I free hand quilted in simple shapes of crosses, squares and my favourite: circles. 

When it came to the binding I wanted to keep the uneven edges so I used scissors rather than a rotary cutter to trim away the excess 

I guess you could say the quilt is a collaboration between Betty and I. Betty choosing the fabrics, the pattern and piecing all those little pieces and I was in charge of quilting, the backing and binding. 

And I get to choose the name. Maybe it could be Partners In Crime. Some of you will recognise the pattern as being Courthouse Steps. The place where crimes are judged. My partner ignored the rules with her ad lib piecing, wild block placement and soft rebellious puckers. Then there's me with my big uneven stitches in random shapes and colours, wavy edges and scrappy binding. We're like rebels taking our stitches into our own hands and being on the run from the Quilt Police. 

Or I could call it simply The Polka Dot Daisy Quilt. 
I haven't decided yet.

As you know I always like a photo shoot to celebrate a finished quilt so I wandered down to the local park and took a few photos.

The backing that I made using fabrics from my stash similar colours to the front.

Feeling uninspired for clever photo shots I started looking around. A pop of blue blue in the distance caught my eye.
" Why hello little balloon" I greeted it, " Did you get lost on your way to a party? or have you perhaps flown from miles away from a celebration of sorts?" .

The balloon didn't say anything but I noticed it was pointing at a large rock through the trees.

 I'd never noticed the rock before but it was the perfect size for draping a quilt.


 Some quilts look so pretty scrunched up and tousled, as though they want to be used and handled not just admired hanging on a wall or laying neatly on a bed. This is one of those quilts. I can see it being a favourite on the couch or travelling with us when we go on holidays.

If you ever come across an orphan top that makes your heart flutter I highly recommend you take it home and give it a new life as a quilt. 


One more photo... I took this on my way to the shops yesterday. The light shining on the ferns was glorious. I could almost hear angels singing. 



A finished quilt

51 comments

  1. Thelma and Louise? ......road trip?.....no that didn't end well did it! I adore these scrunched up, ever so wonky, mischievous quilts. Your thought processes are so enlightening and I am glad Mr Balloon didn't let you down......get it....hahahahaha...let you down, deflate? Hahahaha.......um I always laugh at my jokes it makes them funnier I find.

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  2. Partners in Crime - I love it! You and Betty have worked together beautifully - isn't it wonderful completing a quilt top which might otherwise languish in the back of a cupboard. I am sure Betty would be thrilled with your work.
    Cheers,
    Karen

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  3. Lovely to read a post from you, Rachael! Love the quilt and your clever choice of name. Do keep with Partners in Crime!

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  4. Whatever you call it, it's WONDERFUL!! Those kitschy fabrics and slightly off piecing are what give it character. Your stitches give it life. Surely you will enjoy it. I have a couple of old quilt tops that I've been meaning to get to. You've inspired me to move at least one to the top of the list.

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  5. Partners in Crime is so perfect for that quilt. Good on you for rescuing a sad little orphan and bringing it to life.

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  6. I love the name "Partners In Crime". Although you should be rewarded, not punished, for reviving this beauty! Betty would be pleased to see her work completed so well! I hope it brings you years of comfort and delight.

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  7. Hi Rachael oh I love the story of this quilt and I love it's homely look,so glad that you took it home to live with you,I love all the pics you take,especially the last one hope you have a lovely weekend my friend xx

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  8. A wonderful collaboration . A woman who loved color made a joyful quilt. Your joyful spirit and happy stitches have made it a quilt to be used with joy. It makes me smile.

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  9. I love this post Rachael. It is fun to read about the story of this quilt. The picture of it lying in the grass makes me think it will host a picnic someday.

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  10. What a great story! I like Partners in Crime or how about Dots Done Differently?! Gorgeous photo of the sunlit ferns too.

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  11. This is one of the happiest quilts I've seen. She is so thankful to have been adopted, and she will serve you well, at picnics or on the couch or wherever you use her. Love how you randomly pieced the backing.

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  12. Beautiful quilt and photo shoot, right down to the matching balloon!

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  13. The quilt is wonderful--I think Betty would be quite pleased with the finish! I'm happy to hear the blue balloon contributed to the photo shoot--that big rock is a great prop for showing off a quilt. You have inspired me to seek out a vintage top and become another partner in crime!

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  14. Wow, you and Betty did a great job collaborating on this quilt. I really enjoyed hearing the story, and it is a gorgeous masterpiece.

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  15. What a great liberated log cabin quilt! The colors are fabulous. Congrats to you and Betty for a very successful collaboration!:)

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  16. That is a pretty lovely quilt you both made.

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  17. You really r the queen of happy. That is Betty shining down on you thru the trees...My is she pleased!!

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  18. Glorious Rachael! You and 'Betty' are an awesome team - she would be proud. It will be interesting to see which name you end up choosing - both sit well. A perfectly imperfect finish.

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  19. I think the balloon and boulder were just waiting for you to come along. What a wonderful old quilt top and now a wonderful finished one - great backing fabrics! I haven't seen this top before as I had only just begun blogging so I am peaked you showed us these pics.

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  20. Such a lovely finish, you both did a great job! I love the vintage-y fabrics and the improv piecing, a quilt perfect for rescuing & finishing.

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  21. Rachel you write the best posts - I love this!!! Partners in Crime, I love it....love the story, love the quilt, it has a gypsy-ish feel to it that makes my heart sing. Your pictures are wonderful - glad the balloon pointed you to that rock! But my favorite is the quilt on the couch, looks like you could snuggle right in. And that last photo with the sun's rays, brilliant!

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  22. Bmd love applied to a quilt makes a world of difference!
    Blue balloons, big rocks, snuggle quilts and heavenly rays of sunshine.... what a breath of fresh air this Sunday morning.
    Thank you for taking the time to brighten my day xx

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  23. I love that you rescued Betty's unfinished quilt and finished it. It looks great. I had a quick look on etsy for unfinished quilts, I saw one that really speaks to me... I'll have to think about it a bit more though. It is not in the best shape and I want to make it shine without taking away from the original design, but how to do that I'm not too sure yet.

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  24. Partners in Crime is a good one. I LOVE this quilt, it's colour and it's wonky-ness. Do you have any idea how old the fabrics are? Good idea to use the Perle cotton for stitching and giving it a GOOD home! Thank you for that.
    That's why those angels were singing in the woods...........

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  25. I'm so glad the quilt and it's story had a happy ending! I think you finished it in a way that would make Betty proud. Your quilting and backing are just right for the design. Yay, for finally finished quilts!

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  26. There is no doubt this quilt has attitude--the best kind of attitude, too! Partners In Crime is such a great name and captures so much of the collaborative aspect represented in this stunning quilt.

    It's a great reminder to view our own unfinished projects from a distance. We can get so tied up in what we wish we'd done differently that we forget our labors will speak to others, even across time.

    Love it! (Can't believe it was three years ago since you posted it initially. Time! It flies by when we aren't paying attention.)

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  27. I think it is wonderful that you have rescued this quilt top and have given it a new life. All that amazing hand stitching has not gone to waste.Great quilting choice, too. Have fun with the names. Love your outdoor photos on a very beautiful day.

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  28. Betty would be proud! What a great quilt!

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  29. You found your kindred spirit with Betty. She's definitely pleased with your finishing touch. It's delightful, whimsy, and charming all rolled into one. Just your style.

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  30. Wonderful post; enjoyed every bit of it. I have been gifted 4 vintage quilt tops, and I'm not sure how to proceed with them. Your story is giving me thoughts to think. Thanks.

    https://isabellaswhimsy.wordpress.com

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  31. While I like the name "The Polka Dot Daisy Quilt" I find myself calling the finished quilt "Betty"! It's beautiful Rachael. This is truly a quilt and I think it would be a wonderful holiday travels quilt. How wonderful to have found the quilt draping rock!

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  32. I imagine Betty is smiling ear to ear from the heavens. It is simply delightful! Too bad you can't have her over for a cup of tea to share the joy of it finally finished. I get too hung up on perfection. If I could I'd make one just like it. Thanks for the smile it brought to my day. Janita

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  33. It turned out so pretty. That's what cool about finishing a quilt like this, who was the lady that made it, were these her clothes or the clothes of loved ones, what was she like? You had Lots of things to ponder while you worked.

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  34. You & Betty are a good team, Mrs. Daisy!
    How wonderful that this charming top is now a finished quilt!

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  35. What an awesome find! It does make you wonder about the creator and what her story is. Hand piecing all of those blocks-wow, that's impressive!! I'm so glad that you saved the top and your quilting added just the right whimsy to the piece.

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  36. Fantastic quilt, story and pix! Thanks so much! I think your collaboration with Betty was inspired!

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  37. I'm sure Betty would be utterly delighted to know that her quilt is now finished and much loved. And "Partners in Crime" is the perfect name for it!

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  38. What a wonderful collaboration with Betty. Your stitches really bring the piecing to life!

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  39. great finish to a fun and happy quilt. I love all those dots and the light and darker colors are random and it is so fun to look at. The pearl cotton is perfect on this quilt.
    Seeing it on the grass it looks ready for a fun picnic.

    I have to step up my photo game. I always admire yours so much. I have to use my rocky yard more.

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  40. Glad that you couldn`t resist the quilt,it is lovely,love the happy colors,have a great week!phyllis

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  41. Good Morning RAchael! Just read your previous post and I too haven't been blogging much at all this year.....just seems to get away from me!
    I think Betty has been waiting for you to come and get her and give her a makeover! I think Partners in Crime sounds fabulous! Have fun!

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  42. What beautiful pictures! The big stitches really compliment Betty's piecing. I think it looks like a great quilt to have a picnic on!

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  43. love the quilt - what fun to work on a project with a silent partner - I'm sure Betty would approve of your wonderful finishes !

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  44. Your orphan found a wonderful home. Love it!

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  45. Your orphan found a wonderful home. Love it!

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  46. Love that quilt! It looks so folk artsy and happy.

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  47. How wonderful... And yes, a partnership, in all the respectful, sensitivity that conveys.

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