Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Deacon Update ~ and Aprons!

I'm well into assembling all 85 blocks of the Deacon quilt but have a dilemma. 

This is the original 1842 quilt made for Ella Maria Deacon, Mount Holly, NJ, and currently in the Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collection. The blocks were offered by Gay Bomers at Sentimental Stitches, 4 per month for 21 months.

The instructions called for 4 yds of striped fabric for the sashing to run on the diagonal with no seams. The stripe at the top was my first choice until I saw the 2nd one which more or less resembled the original. But in the end I stuck with the first.

It took hours to cut these 2" strips figuring the longest lengths first then the shorter ones. That way I could get two out of each long strip--one long, one short. The longest being 138", the shortest 12-1/2".

Not to mention the shorter strips that go between each block and measure 2" x 9-1/2". 

Next were the edge triangles. I had purchased two different fabrics to audition and went ahead and cut into my first choice. Then I realized the size was based on 9-1/2" unfinished blocks without taking into consideration the width of the long sashing. 

So . . . once I had that figured out I cut into my second choice fabric and that was much better. Here are the first 4 rows . . . 

I've got two more draped over the railing and ready to go. These are rows 5 & 6. Row 7 is the center point. 

All the other blocks are sorted and labeled by row. 

Here's my dilemma and I can't believe I'm saying this:

The finished quilt will be 107" x 107" and I'm having second thoughts about making such a large piece. It is definitely challenging to line up all those sashing strips. I could eliminate a row or two (yikes!) and put those blocks on the back. That would reduce the overall size to 90" x 90" which is still pretty big. Any thoughts?

On another note . . . 

I broke down and bought a few aprons.

A cute patchwork . . . 

A great border print . . . 

And one with a stitched-in towel.

These are my apron books. The bottom two are my favorites :)

Well, that's it for now. . .


Copyright 2022 Barbara Schaffer


  1. Whew!! I thought your dilemma was running out of the striped fabric. I decided from the beginning to only make 50 blocks. Then had to decide which ones to leave out. You already have them all made. Which ones will you leave out? Instead of putting them on the back, you could make a whole 'nuther small quilt or wall hanging, or a dozen pillows, or give them to me. Just my thoughts.

  2. Lots of questions. Are you set on making an exact reproduced quilt of the original? Are you planning on using this quilt? If so, what size would better work for you? I don't see anything wrong with putting some of the blocks on the back. Your stripe fabric looks great as well as the setting triangles. I'll be interested to see what you decide.

  3. Well you do have dilema. Hard to know the right course to take. I don't make big quilts anymore and I guess I am not loyal to original quilts either. I always like to say, it's your interpretation so make it yours.
    I love your new aprons, especially the one with the silhouettes.
    How sweet! I have never seen one with a towel - clever!

  4. That sampler is amazing! I love the border and triangle print! I've got a little collection of aprons myself. Your additional ones are fabulous!