Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Recent Aquisition...

*NOTE* Please click on the pics to get the BIG PICTURE!!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a lady in Florida who was friends with an older gentleman who was looking for a purchaser for a couple of family quilts that had been passed down.

How she found me, I have no idea, but she put us in touch with each other and sent pictures of these quilts which blew me away!

I want to share this one with you today, saving the other one for another time because I think there are too many pictures to cram all into one post!

I emailed Richard on the quilt history, trying to gather as much info as I could to keep with the quilts, and this is what he sent:

I'll tell you all I know, which is very little. They were kept in the cedar chest and seldom saw the light of day. Being of the male gender I couldn't care less. When both parents passed away the cedar chest went to N.J./N.C./ and finally Fla. I think they were made in early 1900's in Washington County. 24 miles from Pittsburgh,PA. Probably in an area called Mingo Creek which is now called Finleyville or Crookham. The main family involved was ADAMS. The McFeelys may have been involved. (My mothers maiden name.) That's about all I have. If any thing else comes to my mind I'll let you know.

Well....Richard could be about 50 years off or more. They are second half of 1800s by what we can gather from the style and the type of quilting used on them. And wait til you see the NEXT one! (How's that for a teaser?!?)

These quilts showed up on my door step the day before I left for Pennsylvania and it was VERY FUN to be teaching in the same area that these quilts originated. I brought the quilts with me hoping to get some information from other quilt historian friends at the Hershey show....My breakfast partner just happened to be Pepper Cory, and she ended up using these as examples in her Quilt Marking class! So it was a double win, she helped me with some info...and her excitement over the quilts intensified my own, letting me know that I had really stumbled upon some treasures.

We are not sure if the quilts are made by the same maker...the stitches in the "Other" quilt I'll show you in a future post are a bit smaller, but it could have been made earlier in the quilter's life. Also, the batting in THIS one is thicker, which can account for stitches not being as small, right? the binding on this one....could have been a replacement binding. It's quite wide, and doesn't fill to the edge of the binding..it's not showing the quality of workmanship that was evident in both the applique and the hand quilting...why would a quilter who was THIS skilled put on a sloppy binding? So maybe....we'll never know! But it is fun to wonder!

This Appliqued "Peony" for lack of a better word has 9 blocks, and the green fabric was most likely a blue over dyed with yellow....the yellow has faded away leaving a teal color that is crocking a bit. If you look on the back of the quilt, you can see where the yellow dye settled around the applique motifs on the backside, nearly outlining them in pale yellow in the stitching lines.

The quilting in the blocks is executed in triple rows followed by a negative space, then another group of triple rows...the borders and wide sashings are crosshatched.

I just can't stop looking at these and running my hands over them! I was also able to show them to my friend Mary Koval (She came to the show on Saturday with her grandson...what a cutie pie!)and she also confirmed that they were definitely PA quilts (or made by someone from that area who quilted in that style) so again, I was thrilled with the confirmation that indeed, these were a treasure and I was so lucky to have them!

Little by little life is getting "back to normal" around here. I returned home on Wednesday evening as you know...Thursday I had some extensive dental work, so that day was pretty much a wash out. Yesterday was mostly an office work day, getting caught up on book orders and updating my calendar and taking care of piles of stuff that had accumulated over 10 days gone.

Last night I finished the last hanging sleeve on the quilts to ship out to Kansas City Star for photography! They are boxed up and ready to go to Fed Ex today, tomorrow, monday...doesn't matter, I'm ahead of the game at this point!

I'm headed to the Kansas City Area on the 8th! Whoot! on the 13th....we'll be doing the photo shoot for the next book and I get to BE THERE! This has me so pumped because it's always been a "ship and wait" kind of thing..and now I'll get the experience of being there, being a part of it...this will rock!

My laptop quit on me while I was in PA....so...I'm doing the win7 upgrade hoping it will fix everything. I saved all the photo files and all the documents to my external drive, and I'm hoping this upgrade will get me a couple years more use out of this poor laptop. I hate that technology is so disposable anymore...we need a new cell phone every how often? (this one is 1.5 years old..so I'm keeping it til it dies) and how often do we need a new computer, a new tv, a new EVERYTHING?!?

Don't get me wrong, I love technology...I love the advancements. I just hate the waste of the stuff that is obsolete.

And I've rambled on long enough....if you made it this far, thanks for listening in! I appreciate the comments on yesterday's post about the Canadian border issues. It's a hard decision to make. It has nothing to do with my love for the Canadian quilters, some who have become very close friends! It does have everything to do with bureaucracy, incompetence of officers on BOTH sides and the hassle factor that needs to be minimized in my life. At some point...I need to draw the line where jumping through flaming hoops is concerned.

The jury is still out, but I'm waiting anxiously on the sidelines to see what other designers and quilting instructors are doing to combat the insanity.


  1. How wonderful & at least they will be treasured & not cut up or used as drop cloths etc ...you are like a rescue service for Quilts...

  2. This quilt is amazing! I bet you were just drooling when you opened this package... I would have been. You sure are a busy woman. Have a great time in KC.

  3. OMGoodness Bonnie! The quilt is fantastic and how fun to have Pepper and Mary be able to look it over and confirm your thoughts. Did you get a bargain? Inquiring minds want to know.
    I think it's fantastic that the quilts are with a quilter who will care for them and enjoy them.

  4. I love when old quilts make it into the hands of those that will treasure them. They are beautiful!

  5. I had my laptop for 9 years before it recently died. Everything here gets used until it dies.
    Quilt is beautiful. Can't wait to see the other one.

  6. I read with interest the account of this gorgeous quilt, especially since some of my family lived in Washington County, Pa., in that time frame And since I am a genealogist it was doubly of interest. I know exactly the place those quilts are from, but alas, not my family. However my ancestors probably knew people where the quilt came from! This is a great treasure...

  7. Such a treasure, Lucky, lucky you.

  8. Bonnie, I am so happy that this quilt (and others not yet shown) have now found a new home. This is a stunning quilt and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest.

    Hugs, Karen

  9. What a beautiful quilt - I wish I could receive a phonecall like that!

    I am quilting right now with double diagonal lines - it was nice to see the triple ones on your quilt. Thanks also for showing the closup of the quilting on the applique. I have never seen an applique quilt 'in the flesh' - this is the next best thing.

    I look forward to seeing the next one.

    PS. I have some hand quilting on my new blog - not antique though:)

  10. Absolutely gorgeous! What a find (that found you!)!

  11. What a great quilt! On the tech front my techie nephew told me laptops were only designed to work for about 3 years...he almost fainted when he heard our desktop was over 7 years old!

  12. I moaned out loud when I saw the first picture of the quilt!
    I have never seen that flower before. And I may be weird but I do like the teal color it has faded to.
    The triple quilting is a great idea. What a lot of work.
    you did not show the binding...are you going to FIX it??

  13. Anonymous6:53 PM EDT

    oh i wish i had known you had the quilts with you... I ADORE old quilts!!!

  14. Wow! Just WOW--on so many levels. It's a beautiful quilt, and looks so pristine. What fabulous quilting.

    Can't wait to see the next one.

  15. How nice that this wonderful antique quilt has come to a new owner who will love it and appreciate its workmanship and story.
    I hope you will find a way to solve the border issues- there are lots of Canadians who would love to have you share your expertise.
    Warmest regards,

  16. This is a very lovely quilt!

    By the way, why do the pictures and the full blog article not appear on the reader? We only get the first couple of lines...that's it.


  17. Like I've said before...we just don't see quilts like that here in New Zealand...Oh I wish we did...just a comfort to look at.Do you think in a 100yrs plus people will say the same of our quilts?

  18. Oh how lovely...I do hope you get to
    learn more of their history.
    Thank goodness you saved them from someone " who couldn't careless"

    Happy Sewing


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