I am the lucky editor who worked with quilt collector,
photographer, and historian
Bill Volckening to write the patterns for the
quilts he chose to feature in
Modern Roots—Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration. I began with Bill’s snapshots
to determine the basic construction. Once we received the quilts, I measured everything
and traced specific motifs in these wonderful vintage quilts.
The first pattern I wrote was for Airplanes.
I found it amusing to note all the various finished sizes of
the blocks. Most of the blocks are tall rectangles, but the center row includes
wide rectangles as well. You just have to wonder,
What was the
quiltmaker’s plan? Did a group make the blocks? Or was it just one quilter who
made all the blocks over a span of time?
I like how they all come
together, no matter the size, and the definite plan with regard to the
background and arrangement of the blocks.
The Tennessee Pieced
quilt top was another one that made me wonder about its history. Why did the quiltmaker stop making full blocks on the
right side? And why didn’t the quilt ever get finished?
That quilt top is meticulously pieced. I especially love the bit
of quirkiness in the top center block, with the arc pieces reversed. For the
pattern, I simplified the arcs and cornerstone stars a bit, making them
You will find a lot of background information about the
quilts in the book. Along with the patterns to make the quilts, each quilt
bonus pattern for a smaller project—more
ways to bring that vintage charm to life in your own way!
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