Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unexpected Correlation

Front and back view of a New York Beauty top found on eBay.
Last week, goodies arrived in the mail, but I didn't know just how good until I started opening packages. Earlier this year I'd found a piece of foundation fabric for the New York Beauty on eBay. I bought a large piece of it, thinking it would be a great addition to my upcoming show at the Benton County Historical Museum. I wanted to show viewers something about foundation piecing and the modern evolution of the pattern.

Detail New York Beauty foundation, printed on fabric.
The foundation, printed on fabric, is called "Foundation by the Yard" - designed by Sharon Hultgren for Benartex, Inc. Since I don't really know how to sew, I wasn't planning on using the foundation for anything but the show, and I couldn't tell you exactly how it is used. But it appears that you sew fabric pieces on to the foundation using the guidelines. At least, that's how I assume you'd do it.

Batik New York Beauty kit found on eBay. Same foundation!!
When the unfinished orange quilt top arrived, I looked at the back and thought, "How about that? It's the same foundation!" What a great coincidence. Last week I also bought a batik New York Beauty kit, also found on eBay. Again, I do not intend to make a quilt out of it. I just wanted it for my show. When I opened the package, same foundation. What wonderful luck!! Now I have a large piece of foundation, a kit with another large piece of foundation, and an unfinished top with foundation showing on the back. 

Using foundation doesn't always guarantee perfect points.
According to the people I know who do make quilts, foundation piecing revolutionized the New York Beauty by making the pattern much easier to piece. That makes sense to me, and it caused me to look closely at the details of the quilt top. Interestingly, the points aren't all perfect. I guess this pattern is still difficult, even when using foundation.

I'm simply giddy about the unexpected correlation between these three items. All three will make a great display in one of the recessed wall nooks at the Benton County Historical Museum, lending insight to viewers about how the quilt is made today. 

How cool is that?


  1. I think it was back around 2002 that I taught a NYB class at my LQS using that foundation fabric. I only taught it a couple of time because I found the fabric a bit bulky (hence the not-perfect points in your quilt-top.) Also, with the foundation fabric quilting the final piece is a bit challenging - there are some really thick spots that can grab your needle! Although the mere mention of it can send some quilters running for the door, I found I preferred using paper-piecing for NYB.

    Glad to know you have some of it though...I was rummaging through my studio hoping I still had a sample piece to send you!

  2. I love foundation piecing. It creates accuracy but it still requires sewing with your eyes open!

  3. How cool is that you ask? Very cool!!!

  4. Yes Bill, even with foundation piecing this pattern is still VERY challenging. Ask me how I know. Love all the beauties.
    There is a great rocky mountain/beauty in the current red/white show. It is is one of the on the floor frames.

  5. I've heard it is still difficult, but it seems more people are trying it since the advent of foundation piecing and kits with foundation. I saw pictures from New York and spotted a couple quilts of this pattern, one very similar to the pink and white one I just bought from Cindy Rennels this month.