Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quirky Old Quilt number xx...I've kinda lost count?!

Whenever I buy a vintage quilt I have my own intake form that I record all the info.that I can glen about each quilt.  Purchase date, location, any vendor info, size, the pattern/s, color/s, style of quilting, general condition, if it's dated, etc.  I also put each quilt on my design wall and take lots of pictures to show all the visual aspects of the quilt both back and front.  It's kind of my own archive system.  I have about 50 vintage quilts/ tops now so I'm getting to the point where I really could not keep all that info straight if I did not write it down!
You might have seen this quilt on Lori D's blog a while back.  It's one of the quilts I purchased at the Sister's show this year.  I'm posting it here, now, because since I've had a chance to study it I've noticed a few interesting details that I thought I'd share...

The tag said c 1870  I'd go along with the vendors guesstimation  plus/ minus. There are a lot of brown / pink, red, indigo and shirting fabrics that are consistent with that time frame.  It's pretty worn and somewhat faded but for all that it's pretty intact!

 Every central block (the flower part) is framed in a light strip but then separated by scrappy sashing so it's hard to tell is the blocks were assembled in rows or 4 patch style?!
There certainly is an amazing variety of old calicoes and shirting fabrics in this quilt!
Another interesting thing about the blocks is that they were pieced not appliqued.  You can see that clearly in this block where the seams have come apart and there is no foundation fabric underneath. al There are also seams leading off to the corners which you would not do if it was appliqued!
Here's a look at the edge.  The front and back are simply folded in at the edge and machine sewn together.  Lori called this a 'knife edge'.  I had never heard that term before but it is certainly fits!
 The batting was very thin and the quilting was simple; vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines
The back was plan muslin and has some water marks here and there.  But for all it's wear and tear it's still a grand old quilt!
cheers, CW


  1. It's a charming old quilt, Claire. Thanks for sharing the details.

    What do you do with your vintage quilts? Do you ever use them on a bed, hang them on a wall. If you don't use them how do you store them and how often do you get them out to look at them?

    I have an old blue and white quilt that could be from the mid to late 1800s. It's in good shape except for a few spots. I have it out on the back of a chair but we don't use it. Except that it seems like my daughters and son-in-law must think it's the perfect quilt to use because it's the one they grab when they head for a nap on the floor.... Maybe I should put it away? (Maybe I should have someone who knows quilts look at it and tell me more....)

    Thanks again for sharing this beauty.

    1. Hey Nancy, Lots of good questions! Mostly I store my vintage quilts in my linen closet. It has big wide shelves and I can fold the quilts less that way. I do take them out and lay them on a spare bed and let them 'rest' flat several times a year and then I refold them differently everytime. I do put various sturdy ones on beds for use now and then. I also have a silk premiums one that I display on a wall in my family room where there is is never any direct light showing on it! cheers, CW

  2. It certainly is a grand old quilt!

  3. this is such a beautiful quilt one I hope you reproduce. i was surprised it was pieced and not appliquéd . this quilt has so many great fabrics in it, a true fabric study for me! thanks so much for sharing it. I just LOVE it.

    1. I might make a doll size version of this quilt but hand piecing that big a quilt is completely OOML (out of my league) LOL! thanks for your vote of confidence tho' cheers, CW

  4. This was pieced?! So interesting, why would she go thru so much trouble, much easier to applique those stars/flower on a square piece of fabric, but all the seams make it much more interesting. I did see this quilt on Lori's blog before and loved it then. Thanks for showing and telling more of it.

    1. You would think that applique would be easier, but if you are hand pieceing turning those corners is no big deal and I imagine much faster than appliqué. Barbra Brackman wrote in one of her blogs about this a year or so ago (sorry I don't remember which one) so I had an idea of what I was looking at when I saw it. Also you can use much smaller scraps when piecing vs appliqué which would need a whole square of cloth. It might have been a question of resources as much as time etc?!
      I try to keep my text brief when I blog so I did not include all this info but I appreciate your question and interest! cheers,CW

  5. Of all the antique quilts Lori posted about this was my favorite. It just has a certain charm to it. Your explanation about the hand piecing makes a lot of sense. Do you think she pieced it with what she had and then squared up the blocks?