Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rediscovering Mary Brown

Having finished two quilts in the past month there was a small hiatus in my sewing. That is until I looked deep into my UFOs and pulled Mary Brown out of hibernation. This quilt is a reproduction of a gorgeous pictorial quilt from 1851 made by, who else but Mary Brown. A history of the quilt can be found in 'A Maryland Album', published in 1995.

I finished the top about 2 years ago and started hand quilting it. I had never hand quilted anything before and really struggled with it. I tried almost every possible quilting tool but eventually found not using a hoop was the best for me. I am sure you all agree that how you hand quilt is a very individual thing. Anyway, at the time I ended up getting quite dispirited by how the back of the quilt looked (it reminded me of chicken scratchings in the dirt) and cast Mary Brown aside.

But this is one quilt that deserves to be finished. And a second look at the back made me think it wasn't that awful.

I am echo-quilting the applique and then will do a simple cross hatching to complete the task. So far I have almost managed to finish the echo of the central diamond applique. Not that you can tell from the photo below, the quilting is virtually invisible.

This is obviously going to take a long time and my current enthusiasm for the task will surely wain over the coming months, particularly when summer arrives. But at least I have rediscovered Mary and won't leave her alone and neglected for so long again.

Until next time,


PS. The pattern for Mary Brown is available from Patricia Cox.