A New Obsession – Sawtooth Blocks

My very favorite quilt for using in my home is made up of sawtooth blocks with huge borders.antique sawtooth quilt

It’s an old antique, and it’s been in my family for at least a couple generations. My parents have no idea of its provenance (ask my dad where an antique rifle came from and he remembers the trade my grandpa made with detail, dates, and numbers, of course).

It’s backed with flannel, and though I thought it might not have batting I can see from some of the places where the top is coming apart that it does. It’s just the right weight and soft for wrapping up in. I used it regularly when I was pregnant and probably every day of my daughter’s first year of life and beyond. We would get up early and have our first nurse of the day under this blanket. And now I’ve been using it on my bed as a first layer to cocoon under due to the extreme cold.

I’d love to give it a good wash (it needs it!) but I’m scared to do it. I suppose warm water and some eucalan or soak that I use on handknits in the tub would work? Should I agitate by hand or just soak and then rinse? And I feel like this procedure needs to take place in the summer when I can hang it outside to dry in the sun, right?

I’ve always wanted to reproduce this quilt, or at least make a quilt with sawtooth stars. The block itself is fun to make – one big block in the middle, four flying geese, and four square blocks. Simple enough.

I’ve also been collecting a lot of vintage, mostly low volume pink and blue florals in a bin forever. Little bits and pieces, fat quarters mostly, for a future project TBD.

Well, the other night, I just decided to go for it. I started cutting into my low volumes, and I combined them with some modern fabrics both low volume and bright from my stash of fat quarters. And the result… well, I’m obsessed.

sawtooth quilt block floral with slothssawtooth quilt block teal and yellow

I love how random they are. I love how they’re not really balanced. I love the scrappiness. And those fussy cut centers… I just… I love them. They’re coming out just the way I wanted.

I’m having a lot of fun working very slowly and getting a little done every evening on these after my daughter goes to bed. The next block I’ve started is a sawtooth star within a sawtooth star, and I only have the center of that one done so far, so no pictures yet here (but I do update Instagram pretty regularly…) I’m experimenting a lot to just see how I like things, and sometimes it comes out, and when it doesn’t, well, I go back. These things might seem like they would come easily, but I get in the habit of following patterns blindly and not remembering that it’s my object, and it can be how I want it. I also feel like my piecing skills are improving (sort of, I’m still a very newbie quilter).

Also, while I have plenty of vintage/floral low volumes (I’ve been collecting for awhile) I’m quickly running out of the modern low volumes that I want to combine them with. Like I need another reason to add to my fabric stash…