Threads of Inspiration
I have had the most enjoyable time doing research on the history of “T” quilts. The information on this unique block is far and few between, but when I do come across it and it has verifiable dates, I get excited.
There is one blog in particular that I thoroughly enjoyed scanning through. It is called “Quilt History and Tidbits: Old and Newley Discovered“. This informative site has listed 12 variations on this block complete with publication dates.
When I fist came found this site, I found the article “Drunkard’s Path Quilts, T Quilts, and the W. C. T. U” quite interesting, but it was when I saw the 12 “T” quilt block images, that I started to get excited and ideas started bombarding my consciousness. I had no idea there were so many different variations on this block.
All images are © Protected. To use any of the images you must contact the owner via the website http://quilthistorytidbits–oldnewlydiscovered.yolasite.com
With the knowledge of the 12 variations and with the site owner’s permission to use her information, I would like to take my readers on a “T” block journey, complete with tutorials and historical information as I find it.
During this time, I will be working on two different quilts using these historical patterns. The first is a reproduction of the red and white quilt I found at Fort Missoula and the other will be modern quilt. I hope you will join me for this journey.
If you would like to follow along and make your own blocks each week send me a message via my contact page and I’ll see what I can do to set up a little sew along.
This weeks “T” block is a replica of the block that I came across a few weeks ago:
This particular pattern is commonly known as the “Double T”.
On the site, Quilt History and Tidbits: Old and Newley Discovered, the author, through extensive research, found an early publication date on this particular rendition in the Prairie Farmer Farm Journal, June 12, 1886. I believe the pattern was in use before this date, but this is the earliest reference that I have come across so far.
Double T Tutorial
Using the heirloom red and white quilt as a guideline, I purchased comparable fabrics and I designed my own 12” block.
Directions for making 1 Double “T” block:
We are going to be making the “Flying Geese” the Quilt in a Day method. I have found Eleanor Burns’ directions to be the easiest and fastest. If you don’t have her Flying Geese ruler, don’t worry you can trim up your block without it.
Center one 5 1/2″ background square on top of each of the 7″ “T” colors (right sides together). Mark a a line diagonally through each, as shown, pin to secure, then stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the lines. Cut the two sections apart and press your seam toward the larger piece.
Place one of your sewn pieces on top of the other, with your opposite fabric colors laying on top of each other. Align the squares along the outside edges, the seams will not match up. Mark a line diagonally across the squares, stitch 1/4″ from the line on each side, then cut the square down the center line again.
Snip the seam allowance to the stitching line in the center of each section as shown:
Then press the seams outward away from the “geese”.
If you have Eleanor’s Flying geese ruler, now is the time to use it to trim your blocks to the 2×4″ size.
If you don’t have the ruler, you will need to cut the pieces in half and square them up yourself to a 2 1/2 x 4 1/2″ size as shown. You will now have 8 “geese”
Sew one of the “geese” on top of another as shown and press the seam so the tip of one lays flat against the “goose” of the other. Set aside.
Take your (4) 5″ squares and lay them with opposite colors, right sides together as shown. Mark a diagonal line on each, pin them to secure and sew 1/4″ away from both sides of this line.
Cut on the drawn line of each so you will now have 4 sections. Press the seams towards the background color.
Once your squares have been pressed, you will need to cut off the exposed “ears” and trim each block to 4 1/2″.
Lay your blocks out as shown and stitch them together 1 row at a time. Once each row has been stitched you will press your seams as shown:
Align the blocks as shown and stitch the threes sections together.
Press your last seams outward toward your top and bottom rows as shown.
Your completed block should look like this:
My “T” Quilt Projects
Here are some snap shots of my reproduction quilt top being pinned to the batting and backing:
Because this blog is all about heirloom quilts and their modern counterparts, I have made 2 additional blocks using this pattern and some modern fabrics. The first is set with a dark background and lighter “T’s” and the second is made the traditional way with a light background and dark “T’s”. For me, this gives an interesting perspective to the whole pattern.
Until next week, happy sewing!