Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Recycled Hexie Quilts, Using Vintage Hexagons in Today's Quilts" by Mary Kerr

When I was at QuiltCon, the Schiffer booth was right next to the Why Quilts Matter booth, and I was able to sneak over to get a peek at the new release, "Recycled Hexie Quilts, Using Vintage Hexagons in Today's Quilts" by Mary Kerr.

Mary has written five books and has several others in the works. This book is beautiful, and full of ideas about how to purposefully use vintage materials today. She offers creative, new solutions to the age-old questions about what to do with certain materials, whether they are damaged, unfinished or otherwise in limbo. It is important to note, she is very selective about which materials could be repurposed, and which should be maintained intact. Her advice regarding those choices is always sound, thoughtful and clear.

When I was thumbing through the book, there was a nice surprise-- an 1842 Hexagon quilt I sold to Mary a few years ago. It is red, white and blue, with a wonderful border, and it is a good example of a rescue quilt, maintained for study rather than being repurposed. The indigo fabrics are pristine, but all the Turkey Reds are worn.

photo from the auction listing, tan fabric covering the worn reds
When I first got the quilt, all the Turkey Reds were covered by a faded, once-red, tan fabric, hand appliqu├ęd over the worn Turkey Red. I removed the tan fabric, which was more of a brick red on the underside. Here are pictures from the excavation

what was underneath
halfway through the excavation
Even though the reds were worn, I felt like the quilt showed much better with the original reds exposed, revealing the maker's vision of a red, white and blue quilt. It was fun to see the quilt again in the book. I have always hoped people would see it and be inspired by the design.

Like all her other titles, this book is full of ideas, inspiration and lots of great images. For more information about "Recycled Hexie Quilts, Using Vintage Hexagons in Today's Quilts" and Mary Kerr's other four books, visit her website:

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