No More Tease

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Don’t you just love a good cowboy print?

 

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook (Lori East Quilts–you are a friend, right?), have been teased long enough. I showed the photo above on Thursday and asked if people wanted to see more. Yes, yes they did. Can you believe that the quilt top below is what’s on the other side of that cowboy print?

 

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Paragon quilt top

I found this quilt late last fall in an antique mall and thought it had great potential. It wanted to be quilted! It was reasonably priced and very well-made, so buying it was not a tough decision. I just felt like it could be fabulous.

This particular top was sold as a kit quilt by Paragon. Of the 20th-century kit quilt companies, Paragon shares a past with companies like Progress, Rainbow, and Herrschners. There were many, many companies who sold kit quilts throughout the twentieth century (and there you thought they were a new thing, didn’t you?).

I am still doing some research to find about when this kit was sold and what it was called, but right now, I think it was sold in the 1950s. There isn’t a lot of information available about Paragon kits, but I do know that they sold stamped cross-stitch and appliqué quilt kits through outlets like J.C. Penney, Macy’s, and the Lee Wards catalog from at least the late 1930s into the early 1980s.

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It’s hard to see, but the kit information is printed here. It reads, “Paragon Needlecrafts, Reg. U.S. Pat. Off., Quilt No. 01100, Embroider with PeriLusta

I spoke with Rose Marie Werner (quiltkitid.com) and Lynn Miller (Quilts-Vintage and Antique ), both of whom are experts on kit quilts, but neither was familiar with this particular pattern. The sheer number of kit quilts sold during the 20th century puts me in awe of anyone with more than a passing knowledge of them. Both Rosie and Lynn are very well-versed.

There are tons of similar quilt tops in flea markets and antique malls, usually just begging to be finished. I hemmed and hawed about how to finish this piece, and finally I asked my friend Kelly Cline to quilt it, and she agreed. I’ve bragged on Kelly before, and I fear she is going to get too busy to quilt my work if I keep it up, but she is really, truly, amazing.

As I was getting ready to pack the top up to send to Kelly, I found that I had just enough of this wonderful cowboy print for the backing. I love cowboy prints and have a ton of them. Once upon a time, I thought I would decorate my son’s room with them. Sadly, he didn’t share my “thing” for cowboys, so that didn’t happen. Not to worry, I’m sure they’ll still get used!

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Cowboy backing

When I sent the top, I just asked Kelly to work her magic on it (because that’s what it really wanted). As I’ve said before, I am comfortable that Kelly will “read” the quilt and give it what it needs. She did not disappoint me. Wow, did she ever work some magic!

Finally, on Thursday this past week, I met Kelly and our friend, Denniele Bohannon, of Louanna Mary Designs, for lunch and a quilt transfer. Kelly and I both drove about two hours to “meet in the middle,” which happens to be where Denniele lives. And, as if food, quilts, and time with creative friends wasn’t enough, we even managed to fit in some time digging through “dusty old junk” at a local antique mall. What a way for creative girls to recharge!

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A trio of taco-filled quilt-lovers

Kelly left the quilt in the car while we ate. (Now who’s the tease? This after she had sent me teaser photos earlier in the week!)

At long last, we headed to the parking lot and, as if we were making some sort of illicit deal, Denniele and Kelly made me cover my eyes while they got the quilt out of the car and held it up for me to see.

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Kelly and me

I was beyond delighted with the quilt. Gobsmacked, really. Flat out amazed.

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This thing is huge!

What do you think? Here are some more photos:

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Border feather
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Star block surrounded by feathers
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Kelly echoed the shape of the stars in the border, with a cool feather!
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Yum, huh?
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Another pic of the back.

I am hoping to get the binding and a sleeve on it this weekend. I will be appraising at a local (ish) show in two weeks and would love to see it hang there. Even though I stopped in the quilt shop today, I found that I had just what I wanted to bind it with at home. I have several colors in Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons (I just might have an addiction to them), and the colorway Blue Jay was dead-on.

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Ok, it’s not actually sewn on yet, work with me here! This is a peppered cotton in Blue Jay, good, huh?

In my weird way, combining a vintage top with fabulous longarm quilting, cowboy fabric, and a Peppered Cotton, all things I adore, makes this quilt pretty close to perfect. Thanks, Kelly! Thanks, Denniele! Let’s do it again soon! And off I go to come up with another perfect combination.

  • Denniele

    Lori you captured the spirit of the day perfectly! And yes, Kelly did an amazing job. We did tease you a little didn’t we? 😉 Can’t wait for the encore day!

    • lorieast

      You DID tease me! But it was such fun, I’ll forgive you. Encore day soon!

  • Linda Frihart

    I kept going oh, oh as I scrolled down to see the different quilting on your beautiful quilt. Loved the quilt in the top form and then came the quilting. Seems everything about this quilt was meant to be from the moment you two connected. The quilting is exquisite. Kelly is a crown jewel. Now to see it and not touch — that will be tough. Glad you shared the entire story.

    • lorieast

      It is really beautiful, Linda. I will try to bring it to the next event we are at together so you CAN touch it. I certainly am, can’t seem to stop!

  • Anna V

    Just stunning Lori! Love the backing!

    • lorieast

      Thanks, Anna. I wish I had about 100 more yards of that backing. It’s just too fun.

  • Judy

    It is beyond fantastic!

    • lorieast

      Thank you, Judy! She just really did a terrific job, didn’t she?

  • Wow! Never knew modern machine quilting could make those old cross-stitched quilt tops so beautiful! Fantastic job! Now I have ideas!

    • lorieast

      Yes, Karen, while I’m not always in favor of machine-quilting or longarming a vintage piece, it can be a good option. This particular top was just begging for it.