Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Tumbler Quilts

Don't you just love the look of antique doll quilts?

 I've been playing around with my precious scraps and making some little tumblers. We're doing this for our small quilt challenge for June. I've always wanted to make one of these with an antique look.


This type of quilt was popular in the late nineteenth century, then again in the '30s and '40s. They've recently made a comeback in the past few years and there are all sorts of pretty pics on Pinterest and Instagram if you look for them. Antique Tumbler quilts were often charm quilts, meaning no two tumblers were cut from the same fabric. They were also called "beggar's quilts" since quilters of the time relied on scraps to make their quilts and would beg their friends for pieces of fabric to include or exchange. I think I have enough scraps to make more than a few large quilts, LOL.

I own two tumbler quilts made by friends. The tumbler flag was made for me by Sue Bennett and the blue tumbler quilt was made by Marian Edwards. Now it's time to make one of my own.

Depending upon how you place your tumblers and sew them together into rows, you can get different looks.

Using a ruler or a template, all you do is cut the shapes, arrange them and sew together in rows.

I bought this Mini Fat Cats template at Joann Fabrics. Makes 2" finished tumblers. You can also make your own template from cardboard or plastic. There's a file in my Facebook group with directions and two different-sized tumbler shapes you can trace.


I determined that my favorite tool for making these is the Lil Crumbler ruler by Miss Rosie.  You can use this wedge ruler to make tumblers in different sizes up to 4". After making a few 2" ones, I chose to make mine 1 1/4" finished instead. You can see the difference in the tumblers above. I will definitely make another one someday, maybe using the larger tumblers. These are a lot of fun. 

For some inspiration, here's the adorable little tumbler/thimble quilt Sue Bennett made using some of her pretty reproduction prints. 

I finished sewing my thimbles/tumblers and rows together but still need to decide - does it need a border? Thinking I might go with a lighter print like Sue did if I do decide to put one on. I'll trim the edges and play around with some prints for a couple of days to see what I can come up with.

But I'm still on my way! Damn cute if I say so myself. Hope to finish it up soon.


Gail in LV said...

Love the little flag quilt! Another item for my "to make" list!

Lady Locust said...

I like every one you showed! Yes, I like those little tumblers. Something in the imperfection of being top heavy or bottom heavy makes them a comfort :-)

Ann said...

I made a few mini flags ones last year. 4 or 5 years ago I made a larger charm thimble top. Need to find and pull them out for a photo op.

quiltgrannie said...

Love your mini scrappy tumbler!! I love the antique one you showed, now I HAVE to make that one. I love that it doesn't have a border. I'm working on the mini flag tumbler kit that Susan Price gifted us girls at your retreat, almost ready to share.

QuiltGranma said...

I've got three in time out right now of the tumbler quilts, using a Dresden Plate wedge as my cutting guide. One set of cut pieces came from I !/2" strips, the next from 2 1/2" strips, the third group from 4 1/2" strips. The first 2 I used the bottom (narrow) end to cut the tumblers, the larger ones I used the top. Most of that one is sewn into strips, that I need to regulate to a compatible size to each other then sew them all together, i.e. bring out Jack the Ripper!. I've already made one thimble quilt, and have more for another one. Using 2 cut pieces of every 1800's fabrics I have (cut while folded on the lengthwise, so have the rest of the strips to play with for other things) so lots of variety. Too many irons in the fire and not enough steam to get moving again right now.

Julierose said...

Such darling little tumbler quilts--loing that flag one and the blues--oh really nice-
thanks so much for sharing with us
Hugs from afar Julierose

Anonymous said...

Oh that old one is so stinking cute, I think I need to make that. Thank you so much for sharing. Stay well, Judy

marian said...

Kathy, I'm inspired to make another one, just like the vintage one in the photo, i love those muddy colours :))


Related Posts with Thumbnails