Who Ever Heard Of A Gas Engine Quilt?

By Staff
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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.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines