Historically Correct Quilting

Here is a scenario for you to think about:

A customer comes to you with a reproduction Civil War era quilt (made from modern fabrics using modern sewing techniques) that she has just completed. The quilt is an Ohio Star quilt pattern similar to the one shown below. Blocks are 9 inches, the sashing is 3 inches (1 inch strips to make the 9 Patch and sashing), and the border is 1½ x 3 inch Flying Geese.

Quilt designed by Kathi Eubank

Your customer comments to you that she would like to have this quilted in “historically correct” quilting designs. This is a good customer and the price of the quilting is not an issue.

Here are some questions for you:

What “historically correct” designs would you quilt on this quilt?

Do you feel you need to include historical documentation to your customer for WHY you would stitch this particular design?

If your customer did not want historically correct quilting, what would you stitch instead?

Note: If you are using a pattern/technique from a designer, include their website or email and I will make a link to it.

Please post your thoughts about “historically correct” quilting on quilts from historical eras, such as the Civil War era, the 30’s Depression era, etc. I think that this is something we need to think about.

Cindy’s Note:  this post comes about due to a question that has been asked about a statement that I wrote as a contrubtor to the Fresh Ideas article in the On Track! Magazine, winter 2012 issue.  For more information about OnTrack! magazine Click Here  OnTrack! is published by the IMQA (International Machine Quilters Association) which also puts on the Machine Quilters Showcase (MQS). This year, MQS is May 16 – 19 in Overland Park, Kansas. For more info about MQS and IMQA Click Here

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About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 11 and quilting forever!

6 Responses to Historically Correct Quilting

  1. Lynn, Colorado says:

    I agree with Leslie and probably would not charge for the research time, however I would document my research and provide it along with quilting options to the customer along with pricing for each option (in the event one of the custom options would take more time and effort).

  2. Barbara says:

    I wanted to give you a chuckle regarding historical garments. A quilt shop customer shared that her daughter, a museum curator asked her where they could purchase a lot of grey and black fabrics to construct “vintage” garments. The mom asked ” why do you only need black and grey fabrics?” the curator daughter responded “according the the photos we have, those were the only colors they had”. LOL

  3. Ramona Putnam says:

    I’m wondering where you would start your research. My first thoughts are books showing original quilts from the era and hoping there is enough detail to show the quilting. I don’t live in an area where these quilts are shown, so don’t have access to actual quilts.

    (not a professional quilter..so if this seems a silly question, bear with me.)

  4. Julianne says:

    I would suggest a Baptist fan..for historicaly correct. I would not provide docementation unless the client requested it and yes I would charge for any resarch needed..

    If the client did not wat historicaly correct…Well it would depend on the quality of piecing and the fabric choosen….a busy fabric and I would keep the quilting simple only showing texture.. If the fabric would show the quilting well…. I might consider feathers for the blocks and shashing… the outer border I think I would keep simple..maybe some continues curves or something like that.

  5. Leslie says:

    When faced with that situation, I usually suggest designs like baptist fan or clam shell for all over and feathers and cross-hatching for custom. Along with the obligatory 1/4″ echo (not my favorite). I would probably do some research for other ideas and inspiration. I enjoy research and would probably not charge for the time (sorry Cindy) since the information will add to my personal knowledge and ideas.

  6. Elaine says:

    If a person were to get technical about “historically correct”, that would mean hand-quilted. However, I would do some research into what designs were being used during that era and then modify them to the longarm. I would discuss the designs with the client and would probably charge for the research time.

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