Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lela, Diantha, or Annie's bubblegum pink backing

 I am in need of some input.  This quilt above is the quilt my dad received when my Grandma Lela Ackerman Chappell passed away.  He thought my Grandma Lela had made it, but after a little help from my uncles and aunts, it is decided that my great grandmother Diantha Sorensen Ackerman gave it to her daughter, my Grandma Lela.  This quilt is remembered being folded at the foot of an extra bedroom in my great grandmother's home.  My uncle said that Diantha wasn't much of a quilter, and that possibly her mother, Annie Christianna Rasmussen Sorensen made it.  She was born in 1871 in the Salt Lake Valley.  I need to do some research!  I am so excited!

 Anyway, here is the quilt top I have made.  It is just the pieced top right now.  

 Here are the two together.  You can see how much the white fabric has yellowed.  Either that, or she started with a bit of off-white fabric to begin with, but I doubt that.  Red and white quilts were VERY popular to make from about 1840 to the 1920s, with the biggest surge in the 1880s. I think the white has just yellowed with age.  

 So, here is my dilemma.  Do I really use pink as the backing fabric like my ancestor did?  I am not sure if it was Annie, Diantha, or Lela, but wow - pink?  It is not a red that has faded with time, it is pink.  Bubblegum pink. 

This project has been very enjoyable for me, and I have been trying to make a good reproduction.  I even put on two of the borders kinda screwy, like the original.  We add borders a little differently now, and it was hard for me to do the borders like that great grandma did, but I wanted it to be a nice reproduction, so I just gritted my teeth and did it!  So anyway, bubblegum pink backing or not?  
Before you answer, keep in mind that although I am making a reproduction, I am sending this off to be machine quilted.  As much as I would love to hand quilt it like the original, that is not going to happen in the next two decades.  If I have someone else quilt it, then it will be completed right after Christmas!  Maybe a nice little gift to myself!


Diantha said...

I think Pink!

Donna said...

I would go with the pink, getting as close to the color that you can. Right now there are some very nice cotton solids. I think the pink is charming, if you are going to the trouble to reproduce it, go all the way with the pink. I have a Red and White quilt made in 1925, it has the date on it. If I can find your email I will send a picture of it. It has been awhile since I have unfolded it and enjoyed it, and I can't even say what the backside color is. A side note, had your ancestor had machine quilting, I bet shiny buttons, she would have sent it out for quilting! There would not be so many unfinished tops, had machine quilting been possible back in the day!

Amy said...

I love love love red and white quilts!!! I am definitely making one after I finish my daughter's quilt. Are you afraid of the colors bleeding? I'm extremely new to quilting. How do you handle that with red and white?

And pink? Absolutely! I think it's totally fun.


Rachel said...

Amy, I thought about the red and white bleeding issue for only about 30 seconds. I have made quite a few other quilts with similar color arrangements and never had an issue. I think fabric dyes are so amazing today that is doesn't really happen anymore.
Donna, you crack me up! I would love to see the picture of yours, and thanks for making that machine quilting idea seem so great!


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