This lovely old thing was a quilt rescue. I picked it up at a flea market, eons ago, and paid practically nothing for it, because at the time it was just a big wadded-up mess. Someone had apparently thrown it into a washing machine and the cotton batting shrunk, clumping into large balls between the ties, since it had not been quilted down. So sad and pitiful it was. Obviously just a scrap quilt, but I loved the colors, the feedsack prints, the simple design. So I paid the dealer five bucks and brought it home to deconstruct. Once I got the quilt top removed, gently cleaned and repaired, it was given fresh batting and backed with plain muslin. I hand-quilted simple lines in the border strips and in the ditch. I remember it was an absolute dream to quilt, with the fabrics being so time-worn and buttery soft that my needle just glided through them. I imagined the unknown quilt-maker, happy to know that her humble efforts had been preserved.
We've treated this quilt gently and its held up amazingly well over time, though after years of use I've had to retire it because the fabrics are getting fragile. Some of the patches have disintegrated. Which all too often happens. That being the case, I decided it was time to fashion a new one.
So, out came the jelly roll scraps and I got stitching.
Everything came together very quickly. I sewed four 18" strips (half a jelly-roll length) together, and then cut them into 6" sections which were randomly placed so that no two of the same print would be next to each other.
I must admit, I was tempted to use purple strips between the bars. But I had a lot of scraps I needed to use up that coordinated much better so used them instead. One of these days though, I WILL do a purple version like the original. Have to. It's just SO good.
After I got the top pieced, I machine quilted the whole thing, in the same way as before.
And ya know... I think it turned out pretty awesome. Even without that beloved purple.