Monday, June 25, 2012

More Antique Goodness!

There were a few quilts that didn’t get edited down or uploaded before we left for the mountains – and I nearly forgot about them until I went to search for another folder – and boom! There they were!

Considering that these photos were only taken a week ago --- why does it feel like it was MONTHS ago?

I didn’t want to say I was saving the best for last, just that these were in a class by themselves!

It all started with me digging through this stack ---

ou never know what can be unearthed, and sometimes that means setting DOWN your purse, and getting onto hands and knees to see what is on the very bottom at the very back!

The first one I unfolded is at the very top of the stack, and I could see a lot of quilted muslin, with some bright red and some navy -- but I had no clue that when I opened it up, I would be seeing THIS up close and personal:

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The quilting on this early pinwheel variation is extraordinary…..double rows of cross hatching, with tiny tiny stitches.

The turkey red is as bright as the day it was printed!

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Can you see the interesting print on that red? And I love how the triangle corners of the pinwheel block frame the corners of the solid alternate block.

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This was just a wonderful quilt ---do you see the diagonal lines quilting the center of the pieced blocks? It’s not double cross hatched like the alternate blocks are ---- the diagonals go only in one direction.

I’m guessing this one to be about 1850 to 1870 ----the setting triangles are actually a madder print --- that might be easier to date than the others.

This next one is the one that took my breath away! But it would have also taken my bank account away, so I was happy to leave with just photos! I posted this one on Facebook getting dating help from Siobhan at Scraps & Threadtales as well as Pepper Cory and Mary Koval ---fun to hear their thoughts!

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There wasn’t room to lay this completely out --- but I love the snowballs in 9 patch format, positive negative!

The quilting was over-the-top gorgeous. The binding is very narrow and applied – every stitch in this quilt done by hand from piecing to quilting to binding.

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One block close up ----you can see by my hand the small scale. Each snowball is approximately 2.5” in size, with the whole block measuring about 7.5”.


Someone DID take a long time to quilt this baby…can you imagine the hours spent at the frame? The wreath spines are double stitched…there is not an open space in this quilting at all!

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More of the quilting. Oh, I wish I had time to quilt like this!

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Close up of the leaf vine quilted into the border….this is filled in by narrow parallel lines on the straight, where the blocks themselves are quilted on the diagonal and continue to fill in the background of the wreaths on that diagonal as well…

The binding IS the same fabric as the blue in the blocks….can you see the pink paisleys?

If the date is 1850 – this indeed tells me a few interesting things --- this lady had ENOUGH money to splurge and buy enough blue fabric and background fabric specifically for this quilt. Even the binding matches the quilt ---She also had lots of leisure time for putting in all this quilting detail, so her family may have been more well-to-do than the average quilter out there. Her points on the snowballs are precise, and she loved her piecework tiny!

I also know this is a quilt that I would never find myself making, but I love it to death. Just like the red and white quilts – you’d have to shoot me before I could make a quilt like this with two fabrics. I’m just a scrappy girl and I need more to keep myself going on a project before I hang myself from the nearest tree!

Don’t you wish you could watch this woman piece? Or see how she marked her quilt? Or sit and talk to her while you take in some stitches too? What could we learn from her --- what would SHE be excited to know about the future of quiltmaking if you could tell her --- about rotary cutters? About computerized sewing machines? About the choices of fabric we have to work with.

About the fact that we don’t wear stays, bustles, hoops, or girdles ---or gloves or hats!

How different is our life really? And what could we learn from each other?

I’ve ran errands once today ----and I’ll be out running errands again this afternoon. I’ve got today and tomorrow to get everything ready not only for Vermont, but for my trip to Idaho and Oregon as well ----I hope your Monday is turning out just like you planned!


  1. This is what I love about quilting. I love being part of a craft that is a method for women to explore their creativity and expertise...yesterday and today!

  2. Anonymous1:40 PM EDT

    All I can say is wow. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful quilts you discovered. Wish they could speak. It will tell a lot of stories.

  4. Did you buy the lovely red, white and blue quilt? I might have missed that part in the text as I was busy drooling over it!
    What a wonderful find; I'm in love . . .

  5. Faria com muito gosto as duas colchas,mas gostaria de começar pela azul e branco.Adoro costura a mão.Será que encontro este em PDF?Obrigada por compartilhar.Beijos.

  6. This makes me very, very happy to see. I wish she knew we were all admiring it by internet.

  7. Pretty, pretty quilts! Do you think the makers of these made one or two quilts a year? What would they think of our need to be juggling multiple projects?
    You are criss-crossing the country again! Safe journeys and enjoy!

  8. I want to travel with you, if just to see the quilts you find in person! Both of these quilts are wonderful but the quilting idea on the first one's open blocks has given me another idea for a quilt I'm working on and hope to hand quilt.
    We'll see.
    Thanks for sharing, Bonnie.
    Anna in IL

  9. These are both incredible!! Thanks so much for the close up pictures. What amazing hand quilting - I am inspired! The red print in the first one is fabulous - I'd buy a bolt of it - do you suppose there's any available :0) I wish!

  10. It must be so hard to leave the quilts when you find them. Wow, the two you showed are breath-taking to say the least.

  11. When you look at the individual snowballs, you can clearly see the angled corners.
    But something about this really makes the snowballs look completely round when you look at the whole block.
    It it because they're small? Because they're just 2 colors, because they're in groups of none? Because the points meet so well?

    The red fabric in the first one looks a bit Oriental? The binding looks tiny also.


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