I have a book to recommend to you: Album Quilts of Ohio's Miami Valley by Sue C. Cummings. "From 1888 to 1918, a community of Miami Valley farm families who were neighbors and relatives made album presentation quilts to celebrate life passages. Their sharing of designs and construction techniques led to the development of a distinctive regional quilt style that has never been duplicated in any other region of the state or country."
This is one of the liveliest, most wonderful quilts I've ever seen pictured here on the cover. It's the Jesse Arnett Quilt, dated February 4, 1912.
The blocks were made in different sizes. To put them together, blocks were either cut down (look in the bottom left corner - the Pineapple block and whatever that one is beneath it were just whacked off - no splitting it in half or trying to make it look symmetrical) or spacer bars were added when needed.
Can you imagine how hard that would be to do without the rotary cutter and ruler? Now it's relatively easy...
Admittedly, not all the quilts featured in the book were made exactly like that, but my favorites definitely were. If you go to the publisher's website and look at the image gallery here, you can see more examples.
When Gwen Marston says that Liberated Quiltmaking is nothing new - she gets so many ideas from antique quilts - she's not kidding. Inaccurate wonky piecing is just ANOTHER way to make quilts.
The book is told as a detective story as Sue Cummings finds her first quilt with the Miami Eagle and then begins to track down more of them. There's admittedly more genealogy than I needed, but I can certainly see its value to historians.
There are loads of wonderful quilts pictured and the photos are fabulous. The publisher got a grant from Robert and Ardis James to help cover the cost. So the price is actually very slim for all that you get in the book.
There are other bloggers out there who love this book, check out reviews by: Craft Lust, and Inspired by Antique Quilts.
One other thing you may discover in this book is how horrible polyester batting is. Truly. Compare the barely quilted quilts that have the dreaded poly with the heavily quilted beauties from years earlier. They're just sad - the poly quilts. Oh, that's another thing to recommend this book - the beautiful hand quilting. In many of the quilts it was done block by block so there's a fun variety of motifs.
So get the book, it's fabulous.