Farmers’ Market Quilt by Katie Longsmith, 2020 / Size: 53″ x 68″ / vintage and new fabrics / fruit machine embroidery designs / apples quilting design
Last summer while rummaging around an estate sale, I found an old vintage apple-core quilt top, hand-pieced with fabrics from the 1930’s and 40’s, and in really sad shape, with missing blocks and seams that had disintegrated leaving frayed fabric edges too fragile to repair. But I brought it home with me anyway.
Piecing together curved seams in a quilt top is not an easy task and often attempted by only a skilled quiltmaker. The traditional “apple-core” block is even more daunting, as it is curved on all four sides! This maker was ambitious in her design, but as I studied her work, I wondered if she gave up on completing the quilt because of issues with puckers and pleats and those curves not fitting exactly right to make for a flat quilt. Oh, but all of the work that went into those apple-cores!
I became determined to save her quilt top, but realized that to do so, I would need to cut down each and every apple-core block and resew them all together again. It meant losing all of the hand-piecing, but keeping the lovely vintage fabrics, and staying true to the intent of the maker more than made up for the loss of the stitching. So I did it – my first apple-core quilt, and to go with it, a new-found respect for this quiltmaker and all those who piece curved seams!
I used the apple-core quilt top for the back of the Farmers’ Market quilt – it actually was the inspiration for the fruit and gingham checked theme for the front. The quilt’s vintage vibe is continued with the use of vintage fabrics for the front as well – these too, found at an estate sale, tucked away in an old trunk.