Pinetree Road, Rt 2, Box 442 Toccoa, Georgia 30577
Who ever heard of a gas engine quilt? Probably no one. I've never seen another one either. This one was not so long in the making, but it is a long time in the planning (and dreaming) stages. As a quilter, I had been trying to get an idea how to make something for my husband, Jim, regarding gas engines. It was November 1985 when our quilt club in Arizona had a program about transferring pictures or photographs to fabric. The instructor's pictures looked good, but when I tried the same thing it was pretty poor. I wrote to the Gas Engine Magazine to get some pictures of engines, and they were accommodating by sending a past issue with nice pictures in both color and black and white. My attempts were not satisfactory, and it all sat on the back burner for six years until I went to a demonstration again of putting photos on fabric.
You make a copy of your photo or picture and glue the right side of the copy to the right side of the fabric, usually muslin. After it dries, wet it thoroughly and rub off the paper carefully. But again I was not pleased with the results. About the same time I sent for information I had seen advertised from Photo Textiles in Bloomington, Indiana. By then I had enough good pictures of Jim's own engines that I could make it more personal, and I decided to try having them do it. I was more than pleased when I saw the results; much better than mine. Their color was much truer than my color copy-machine pictures, plus mine were reversed so that any writing was backward. (They also make a copy so that you get your original picture back unharmed.)
Now it was time to get serious about making the quilt. The light yellow around the pictures is to make them all the same size for the 9-patch arrangement. Dark gray sashing and borders complete the top. The three layers were basted, and I machine quilted in the ditch around each block, with no other quilting on the block. The sashing and borders were hand quilted. In each corner is an oiler quilted in gold metallic thread to look like brass. Jim is also a woodworker and has a brand he stamps on his projects, so I copied that and quilted a JR at the four intersections of the sashing; you may be able to make that out. The rest of the sashing was quilted, then the borders. There I first put in my own handwriting the name of the engine that was closest, and quilted the writing in the color of the engine. From the top left around to the right, they are: John Deere (green), Fairbanks Morse (darker green), Ruston (red), Sandwich (blue), another Fairbanks Morse (dark green), Domestic (red), Novo (green), and Lazier (black). I managed to complete this without Jim knowing about it, and it is now a 38' x 33' wall hanging, his birthday present last year. He sold some of these engines in Michigan before we moved five years ago, and more of them since we have lived in Georgia, so it is now a nice memento of his own engines.