September 9, 2014

Time for the old wool quilt

A random brick pattern cut from wool pants and jackets. Tufting in red wool yarn.

Backing is yarn dyed/woven flannel.
September, and the forecast called for snow - it was hard to believe as it was such a sunny, perfect harvest day. I changed the cool cotton sheets of summer for thick cotton flannels and took the thin summer quilt off the bed. The summer quilt is an Irish Chain pattern in crisp white cotton broadcloth with the chains and sashes in navy blue. It has been hand-sewn and quilted, no machine stitching in any of its construction. But thats another story.

 I selected this old wool quilt (shown in above photos) from my linen cupboard of yard sale textile treasures. I can feel the love and necessity sewn into this old beauty. Every piece is cut from woolen suit pants and jackets, long before the days of polyester and nylon blends (perhaps there's some fine woolen skirts also cut apart and sewn into it). The quilt backing is made from flannel (threads dyed and woven, rather than printed flannel most often found now). I did a burn test on the small tufts of filling fiber that has been pulled through the backing during stitching. It is a very thin layer of short-fibered cotton sandwiched between the layers. The quilting of layers is done with bright red wool yarn, hand-sewn in tufted knots (some of the red yarn, not light-fast, has faded over the years). The overall weight of the quilt is substantial and feels like a hug when you burrow down into it.

It did snow! First a mist like rain and the temperature began to drop. When the furnace cut in at 5:30,  I trudged reluctantly outside into slushy snow and half heartedly covered the tomato plants. Obviously too much moisture for frost, but better safe then sorry. I opened gates and sheds for any sheep that might want to be inside, and hurried back to the house and let the border collie into the porch.

After checking the weather forecast, how wonderful it was to crawl back under the old wool quilt!

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