Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cotton Warp Quilt

Two dolls I made in 2002. They have painted hair and features. They need shoes, don't they? Hardly ladylike to sit around barefoot.

One of my other interests is dolls and dollhouses. I received a dollhouse kit for my birthday last year and have been wanting to start building it. At first I wanted to furnish it as 1950's era home, but have decided against it. Now I am thinking of making it into Green Gables and am reading Anne of Green Gables again. Green Gables has been recreated in Prince Edward Island and you can visit it online. Oh, what fun!

From Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery...
'That's Barry's pond' said Matthew.
'Oh, I don't like that name, either. I shall call it-let me see-the Lake of Shining Waters. Yes, that is the right name for it. I know because of the thrill. When I hit on a name that suits exactly it gives me a thrill. Do things ever give you a thrill?'
'Well now, yes. It always kind of gives me a thrill to see them ugly white grubs that spade up in the cucumber beds. I hate the look of them.'
'Oh, I don't think that can be exactly the same kind of a thrill. Do you think it can? There doesn't seem to be much connexion between grubs and lakes and shining water, does there?...'

Well, quilts, dolls, and dollhouses give me a thrill. I'm sure Anne would come up with some romantic names for my dolls, too.

Not two pages into Anne of Green Gables Mrs. Rachel Lynde is reported to have knit sixteen "cotton warp quilts" while she sits by the window keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the community. Cotton warp quilts? What is that? Being a knitter and a quilter my interest was piqued! A search on the internet revealed only that other Anne readers are curious, too.

I wonder if I've found the answer. On the Anne of Green Gables Knit and Read-Along blog there is a link to antique knitting patterns. At that webpage I downloaded The Lady's Book of Knitting, 1886 as a pdf file. I browsed through the pages and found this:

For A Common Quilt
Cast on with cotton two stitches, use pins No. 14, and increase every row. Do 6 rows of plain and 6 of pearl, so as to make lengthwise ribs. When half a square is done decrease at the beginning of every row. When a sufficient number of squares are finished, join together with a square piece of calico between each knitted one. Thus: take a piece of calico, turn down the raw edges, double it to the size of the knitted square, and tack the two edges together. Then sew the knitting and the calico together, as if you were doing patchwork. The raw edges of the calico must, of course, be turned inward, meeting each other so as not to be seen even on the wrong side of the quilt. This is a quick and neat quilt, but is not so pretty as other patterns.

I can't quite picture it, but I am definitely going to try it. I have some dishcloth cotton, which is probably much coarser than Mrs. Rachel would use, but it will give me an idea of the technique. Knitting and quilting, could life get any better?

I'll leave you with this...
"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"


MissRach said...

Wow, that is an intriguing idea!

Found your blog via Ravelry!

Karen said...

Wonderful dolls!