Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Moore Ribbon Quilts

I really enjoy making these ribbons quilts! This is the third family I've gotten to do it for, and each time, it's so meaningful for me. I love looking through the ribbons and see where all they're from and how far they go back.

These ribbons came to me from the Moore family of Illinois. Their daughter, Emily (Adcock), was a little girl when I worked for the American Shorthorn Association years ago. Now she's grown and married, and she sent me their family cattle-show ribbons to assemble into memory quilts. I can't tell you how much fun I had, reviewing each ribbon as I stitched it and imagining the Moore family hard at work, side-by-side, smiling all the while, at each of these shows.

For some interesting stories about the history of Moore Shorthorns (including one anecdote about how Great-Grandma Isabelle's girdle saved her internal organs from damage during a sow mauling!), read the article recently published in Shorthorn Country magazine. It's the July issue on Page 18. It's worth the read!

This order was ESPECIALLY interesting. The quilt that you see below that has big sections of color-sorted ribbons: this was a quilt top constructed by Emily's great-grandmother, Isabelle Moore, in the 1960s. She hand-stitched each of these ribbons to a piece of satin. I wish I had taken a "before" picture, so that you could see it. Darn! It was kinda fragile, because the satin had aged and didn't really have much "structure" in it anymore. And the edges of the quilt weren't bound in any way, so the ribbons just fluttered freely around the edges. Emily asked if there was anything I could do to sure it up a bit, and I said YES. I just treated it like a quilt top - the kind I work with every day. I loaded it onto my longarm quilting frame, on top of a cotton backing fabric and quilt batting, and I applied a meandering stipple all over it. I used clear thread, to try and not detract from the quilt top. When finished quilting, I cut the unfinished edges of the quilt to a clean raw edge, and then I attached traditional quilt binding, as well as adding a rod pocket (hanging sleeve).

Just look at these ribbons! They are more than fifty years old! I was SOOOO worried about piercing them with my quilting machine needle. I've had cases with modern ribbons, where the needle holes actually work as a line of perforation, and the ribbon ends up ripping apart, just like ripping a page out of a coloring book. But with this antique quilt top, it was no trouble at all! I think the ribbons are made out of real satin/silk - and I bet modern ones are some kind of imitation, synthetic fiber. These antique ribbons were soft and supple and sewed up more like actual fabric. I'm so honored that the Moore family entrusted this piece to me. I hope I did it justice!

Below you can see the original edges of the quilt. It was just a pinked (zigzag) edge. Not great for durability.

This piece below is a table runner that I made for Emily's house with her husband. The ribbons and banners are from them both, and represent the three breeds that they each have exhibited. The ribbons are Emily's awards from Collegiate Livestock Judging. What a neat conversation piece for the table at their new family home!

With the regular, modern ribbons, I made two wall-hanging-sized quilts. One for Emily, and one for her dad, Ron, as a Christmas gift. So if you're reading this before Christmas 2017, keep it a secret! The ribbons were SO interesting. They were from YEARS of showing cattle all over the USA. Dating back to the 80s, and from Missouri, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and more! There were SO - MANY - RIBBONS! I didn't even make a dent in their stash. With the leftovers that I sent back with the finished quilts, they could probably carpet their whole house! If only those ribbons could tell a story. The miles traveled, the hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears. Lots of family memories and lasting friendships. The Moores are one of my favorite families from my time serving the American Shorthorn Association. I'm so happy and honored to help them preserve their memories!

If you would like more information on how I construct these ribbon quilts, as well as pricing and prep information, please click here.

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