Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rambler from Civil War Reunion

Here's an old top I have had for years. I bought it in Pennsylvania.

I'd guess its 1840-1860 by the fabrics. The pattern has several names, among them Rambler and Railroad Crossing.

It isn't the best constructed quilt ever made. I've been removing pieces and sending them to be copied for Civil-War-era reproductions. Then when the repro comes back I replace it where the original was. I think the floral above was in Civil War Anthem years ago. 

I made a pattern for my friend Roseanne Smith who thought she could make one that would lay flat. So we drew it out in EQ for the Civil War Reunion collection from Moda.

Roseanne made paper-pieced geese for the corners

A zillion of them. Her patience occasionally wore thin.

But she persisted. She cut the large triangles large and then trimmed them. She used her scrap bag of monochrome prints for the light triangles.

She mitered the stripe for the borders and used the red paisley for the edge triangles.

She's binding it. We'll take a good picture when it's done. Hers is a lot squarer than the original.

You know if that seamstress had been better at sewing the blocks the old top would have been quilted in 1850 and used up. The only reason such a utilitarian top is around in such good shape is that everybody knew that "It will never quilt out."

Here's a PDF file with a free pattern.
UPDATE The cloud has failed.

Here are the parts of the PDF with the pattern.


  1. LOVE that red paisley fabric I had to buy a bolt of it!
    thanks for the pattern its a beautiful quilt will have to make it soon!

  2. Thank you for the pattern - the quilt looks just wonderful. I have added it to my to-do list!

  3. I love that old top! What a treasure. At first glance, I thought it was just like an orphan block given to me in Maine. Mine is different in that it has a square in each corner.

  4. Both quilts are gorgeous! Lucky for us all that the original quilter was a 'little off'! Thanks for sharing it!

  5. "You know if that seamstress had been better at sewing the blocks the old top would have been quilted in 1850 and used up." I often thought about that before. It was interesting to read your post. The idea of paper piecing the geese was neat. I would have made them the old fashioned way. Thanks for the pattern and making it a real size quilt. :)

  6. Both quilts are beautiful, one in a soft relaxed way, and the other in a crisp neat way. I like them both. The red paisley is great.

  7. Love the old top
    Love the new quilt
    Love the fabric
    Love the pattern and will definitely be making it!!!!!

    What's not to love about a quilt like this??

    Thank you!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern. I am a big fan. Hugs

  9. What a wonderful old quilt top.
    The new quilt is really beautiful!
    (I love your red paisley fabric)

    Thanks for sharing the pattern with us, I'd love to make this quilt!

  10. What a fantastic quilt- both of them!! Nice work on the reproduction.

  11. Great work! You're doing the kinds of projects I hope to do some day. The new quilt is a beautiful tribute to the old top.

  12. Love the red paisley, really looks beautiful in the quilt.


  13. The red paisley leaf fabric really called to me. I've bought 5 yards of it just because it's so beautiful, with no real project in mind. Right now I'm just giving it admiring looks until I decide what to do with it. I even blogged about it - that's how much I adore it.

  14. SEE QBG's blog here:
    She really can't have one of everything---

  15. even not perfect, it's a gorgeous antique nonetheless...no quilt police then? thank goodness

  16. love the quilt top - thanks for all the inspiration!