In addition to collecting quilts and quilt tops I also have a large collection of vintage and antique quilt blocks. Most of these I use for fabric study. Like tops the fabric has seen little to no wear so it gives insight into what colors and styles quilters of that time period were using.
Occasionally I will use a block. For instance I have a stack (about 24) of these Dresden plate blocks. The center is really large. The fabrics are typical of the the 1920-30's but nothing really significant. So I felt it was ok to use a few to make some holiday pillows.
As I said the center part of the plate is very large so I decided to do some embroidery. Fits with the time period of the original blocks. I don't embroider as much as I used to and every time I pick it up again I am surprised how much I enjoy it! The muslin was thin so I added another thin piece behind the block before I embroidered. This helps the stitches lay flatter and hides the threadtails better. I used some batting left over from other projects (bonus...cleared out a bit of the extra batting bin!) It is quilted with #8 perle cotton.
One of my quilting friends commented on my small embroidery stitches. It reminded me of my sewing lessons in Girl Scouts. I was about 8 or 9 years old and Mrs. Lynch warned us, "you don't want to have people in church whispering there goes the girl with the big stitches " That must have made an impression because I still hear it in the back of my head every time I thread a needle!