Thursday, August 02, 2007

Antique of the week!

So, I'm dreaming that I'll actually get to create either one of these, but these finds were so wonky and fun I have to post them!

The first one is 9 patches and strings....look at the half row of blocks at the bottom! And don't some of the green strings look like stems/leaves to the 9 patch flowers? I thought this one was really fun.

The second one has pink sashing...and I think it is really funny how the sashings don't line up. I remember how when I first tried to do sashings without cornerstones that I was mortified when they didn't line up EXACTLY...now I think it looks so fun in this quilt with the pink.

Of course both of these quilts claim to be african/american made. They very well MIGHT be? But there is no proof that they are. That kind of provenance wasn't always documented, and many white southern housewives during the 1930's 1940's and 1950's made utility quilts like these. But on ebay it's as if just putting the name "african/american" quilter makes the price go up? Things that make you go hmmmmmm!

P.S. After Patricia's comment I realized she may have missed the point. Of course these quilts COULD have been made by anyone in that era. Depression times were hard on many and women of ALL backgrounds quilted (just as we do now) I just believe if someone is going to give a quilt more credence because it was made by African/Americans they ought to have proof to back it up. I think there is an increase in this type of utility quilt showing up on ebay because they can get more money for them if they are listed as African/American than just "old scrap quilt". It seems to have more folk art appeal if it was not made by a white woman (or hispanic or whatever) I believe the quilt should stand on it's own no matter the maker. Of course I love the stories behind the quilts, but we don't have anything other than what the seller says.



  1. They are lovely and so scrappy. A reminder to self that they don't have to be perfect to look wonderful.

  2. That top one is wonderful--just the kind of scrappy chaos that drew me toward making quilts in the first place.

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  4. Why is it hard to believe that these quilts were made by African American's? From my understanding, many of the quilts in this era were scrap quilts, which by definition means they were made with whatever was on hand---scraps. Given this, it would be reasonable to believe that at least "some" of the quilts made by these women would have been "softer" colors and not all "high contrast", just like probably not all of the quilts would have been "scrap".

    Ultimately, I am not sure why there is a special catagory anyway---almost like people are surprised that some quilter's were African American.

    Just my "hum-m-m-m-m-m".


  5. LOVE the 9 patch quilt at the top. I was thinking the other day about the quilt you made based on the antique top I have ... I never finished my blocks.

  6. I have to admit these look almost exactly like my gramma's quilts made from her cutoffs of her farmer's wife bonnets and aprons. She was still making these in the 50's and 60's when I was young, and then they were used for floor bedding. I only have one of them, and I don't know what happened to the others. Here in the midwest, these quilts are quite common. A lot of the scraps are from the depression, but you see that red plaid? It's from the 50's. So whoever made this was probably working out of an endless scrapbag. Sort of like Bonnie's scrap tubs, eh?

  7. Fabulous scrap quilts. I agree they don't look like the typical Gee's Bend type quilts I've seen. There's no reason to add on to the price because someone says it came from a paritcular quilter..not without some proof. They look like my grandma's quilts.

  8. I love them both. that mismatched pink sashing IS fabulous. agree they should be listed as "string" or "utility" quilts unless more info is known.

  9. I rarely trust what they say on ebay about a qult! I've seen them say a quilt was civil war era and it was a sunbonnet sue!

  10. Beautiful scrap quilts --- and much like the ones my Grandmother and Great-grandmother made. Great-grandmother quilted daily, giving away dozens of quilts to those in need. All were in this scrappy manner. They were English-Canadian, by the way.

    Thanks for sharing!


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