1928- Old and Modern Quilting & Appliquéd Bag

Another set of lovely pages from the Modern Priscilla 1928 issue, in this post I share “old fashioned” quilting, “modern” quilting, and a cute little bag made with appliquéd hollyhocks and cottages!

If you are familiar with quilting, you will recognize several quilt blocks we often attribute to the great depression and feedsack quilts. Well, here they are in 1928, just pre-depression era, and they’re already considered old fashioned!

I particularly like the opening statement, “One shouldn’t be surprised to see boyishly bobbed and knickered young ladies piecing patchwork.” It goes to show you that crafts often have resurgences! I love the image of the modern woman, finally allowed to wear bifurcated garments in public without scandal, turning her hand toward old-fashioned crafts. It reminds me a lot of the current craft and sewing resurgences.

Of course, this article has the stereotypically vintage romanticized viewpoints of times past, (by no means do I romanticize colonial times or the past, to be clear), but it’s interesting to see the quilting blocks being mentioned as “old-fashioned” that we often attribute to the time period itself. Could be that our idea of the quilt blocks time period is based on the plentitude of quilts that were made in the era.

Next up, “Modern” quilting:

In this image we see the types of boudoir style quilted goodness we often equate to the 1930s-1940s. Just as we are seeing a “modern quilting” movement at present, this was pretty fashion forward for 1928!

I particularly like that it gave practical tips for achieving these effects in quilting and cording, and trapunto:

“ONE doesn’t need to be a skilled embroid­eries to achieve success in the very ancient and very fashionable art of quilting – the prize invariably goes to the good plain sewer who can run rows and rows and rows of tiny even stitches all in perfect apple pie order. There is nothing in the world that has more elegance to the square inch than the luxurious little quilted silk cushions, or the very English and very beautiful big tea cozies with their matching taffeta teapot holders. There is nothing in the world lovelier for the royal carriage than a feathery light and downy warm quilted robe of shell pink crepe de chine with shadowy pastel posies at the centre.

All of the small quilled things at the bottom of the page are worked from the back. Upon cheese cloth with the outlines of the design upon it, a layer of thick cotton wadding is placed, and silk atop that – then the three thicknesses are basted together. (Basting is important in all unframed quilting; several rows, two or three inches apart, should be run in both directions across the piece .) Finally the lines of the design are run, taking stitches from the wrong side through the three thicknesses to the right, with the same or contrasting color in silk twist.

To gain the corded effect, sometime called Italian quilting, used in the border of the tea cozy, several strands of yarn are threaded into a blunt-pointed needle and then drawn in between the rows of quilt­ing stitches. The needle is inserted from the back through cheese cloth and wad­ding. Only short spaces can be drawn in at one time – so the needle is brought out and in­serted again when a corner is to be turned.
This corded effect is also used around the centre of the matching bolder. The raised sections of the design on the half-round cushion are thrown into sharper relief by tucking in more cotton from the buck with a crochet hook or bodkin. The round pin cushion top is treated in the same way. Incidentally, the tea cozy design could well be used for a half-round cushion like No. 28-7-23, or the latter might equally well serve for a cozy. The only difference would be in the making. One could use a plain back for a cushion and set it on to the quilted front with a shirred hand of the silk, cording the edges. A cozy, however, must have a quilted back and front with a plain lining for each, and be set together with cording.
The quilted top and plain bottom of the little pin cushion are set to­gether with a plain band of the silk corded on both edges. This quilted top might well serve as a little holder, and for that matter the little holder might be used as a pin cushion Lop!
A lovely shade of rose taffeta quilted in self color is used for all of this group except the square sofa cushion which is the most beautiful blue, quilted entirely in gold. o extra padding is needed in this type of design, simply straight-away quilting.
For the carriage robe an interest­ingly different treatment is employed on account of the delicate material. The three thicknesses, cheese cloth, wadding, and silk, are basted together very firmly – this basting is especial­ly important when such fabric is used. Then the quilting is done from the right side. A few short stitches are taken from the back at intervals to form a guide line for the circles on the front (or right side). Then, with fine white sewing silk, the circles are back stitched, working from the right side, guided by the little basting stitches which are eventually covered by the back stitching. The flower motifs are treated in the same way. When these are quilted, colored wools are Lucked into each flower motif from the back with a crochet hook or bod­kin. The wools are pushed in through the wadding so that they come next to the silk. Pink wools are inserted under the large flower petals, blue under the centres, violet under the smaller flowers. Green wools threaded in a blunt needle are drawn in under the stems, and blue under the bow.
The colored wools show through the thin crepe de Chine, thus giving a dainty, shadowy pastel coloring to the centre motifs, which is unusual and really exquisite. A lining of the plain pink crepe de Chine and bindings of blue satin ribbon completed the dear little puff for a baby’s carriage or bassinet.
If one were very much enamored of this charming nosegay design, it might be used at the centre of a puff for a grown-up bed and the interlacing circles carried out into a border. “

And lastly, since this is on the final page of the quilting article, there is this darling little 1920s tote bag (carryall). I remember seeing beautiful little bags like this when I used to go antiquing with my mom- often they were made of a coarse linen and then appliquéd with bright and colorful cottons fro the houses and felts and embroideries for the flowers.

It would be somewhat easy to replicate this motif on a bag, on a dress, or even on a fun 1920s linen coat!

Hope you find these articles and the techniques described as interesting as I do. If you try any, let me know how it goes!



1 Comment on 1928- Old and Modern Quilting & Appliquéd Bag

  1. Lazy K
    March 20, 2022 at 4:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m not sewing much these days But always enjoy your blog

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