Saturday, December 17, 2011

More from the Antique Mall!

I honestly FORGOT I had more pictures to upload. How could I forget?! Well, it’s not hard to do when sticking a mystery part into the equation and everything else going on.

I get so much inspiration from finding old quilts – even the shabby ones. Maybe the shabby ones even MORE SO – because those are the ones that actually had a life in keeping someone warm and tucked in. The thread bare, worn out quilts are the ones that could tell the stories of living, couldn’t they?

Don’t you love this display of stockings made from antique quilts! OH! OH! OH! I wish I could see the whole quilt….the piecing and hand quilting on these stars is so beautifully done. And it ended up as STOCKINGS?! What was the story of this quilt?

Oh, and the one from the other day? I showed the pics to Pepper Cory, and she got back to me on them saying

About that antique quilt: I studied those pictures long and hard. I think it's a c1860s quilt. The wide border of faded older fabric (1850) and the style reminds me of VA or Maryland quilts of that era.

Thank God for ignorance--that's not a bad price.

The piece is intriguing and (spinning a yarn here-) I'd say the quiltmaker was older (high standard of workmanship and very competent), was referencing quiltmaking styles of a generation earlier (1830-1850) and worked with fabrics from two different time periods.

That makes sense to me! I’m still sewing with 1970s , 80s, 90s fabric…and here we are almost 2012. It makes sense that a quilter in her later years, would quilt in the style she loved from her earlier years --- the stars being out of newer fabric, and the border from a cherished piece of “vintage” to her fabric as well….wide print borders being a style from an earlier generation. Oh I wish these quilts COULD talk! “Maker Unknown” is such a sad thing when it comes to quilts, isn’t it?

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Here’s another one from an older era…..red and green hearts. VERY HEAVY fan quilting…these blocks are gi-normous! Very fun! This one had no history on the tag at all, just said “old red/green quilt”. Hmmmmm…..

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I love the texture of the fan quilting!! I just couldn’t keep my fingers from running over the stitches. That’s the other good thing about antique malls…you can HANDLE the quilts. I’m a touchy feely person, and when in museums, I just can’t get close enough. This was a treat!

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Ahhhh Blue/White!! Goose in the Pond! More fans! There is some pretty bad fading going on in the borders of this one, but I love it for its simplicity!

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I love the simple dot fabric in the sashings as well…..even the muslin, though so simple, shows the quilting stitches and texture so well. Busy background prints just do not ---but simple muslin is such the perfect blank canvas for showing off the quilting --

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THIS was my favorite of all! It’s a PA Dutch Sugar Loaf! I know it looks like it’s covering a casket – seriously! But it’s a jewelry case and it was the only flat surface I could find to spread stuff out on. The blue background of this just is SO WONDERFUL! I’m going to have to add this one on my to do list. The crazy thing about this one…all the sugar loaves are pointing side ways. The quilt is on the case side ways..what you see as a “bottom border” is really a “side border”.

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Love love love the chrome yellows with the red against that blue! Yeah Baby!

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Simple Pinwheels…Striped fabrics can give such motion and interest to a quilt! I like how the pinwheels look so masculine, but they are set against this terrific floral background fabric:

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But it is really the simple humble ones that get me…this one was really shredded in spots, which meant it was put to good use! Just look at the colors!

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Simple framed 9 patches set with sashings and cornerstones….I love the power of RED! It has no borders, and the sashings do not even go to the edge of the quilt. It was just done when it was done, and bound by bringing the backing around the edge to the front. SO CUTE!

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Who doesn’t love a simple double 4 patch? This one was also in tatters. It was a tied comforter, and it must have comforted quite a bit…..love how those deep reds pop amidst those other scraps on the creamy background. Quilts don’t always have to be rocket science projects to capture my heart!

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Loved to death as well….a 1930’s double wedding ring. Feed sack fabrics included! The rings on this one were large, and on the narrow scale. Someone put a LOT of work into this, and then a lot of use into it as well!

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Aren’t these fabrics great?! Love the double stitching inside of the melon shape.

The thing about antiquing is that you never know what you are going to find, if anything at all. Sometimes I don’t find a single thing – sometimes I hit the mother lode….But if you don’t look, you won’t find.

I love the connection to the past that finding these treasures bring. So --- 50 years or more from now…are MY quilts going to be found in some antique mall somewhere? Will someone be wondering why in the world I chose to put these fabrics together, and what the story of this quilt is? Maybe! I like the thought of leaving a bit of mystery behind! ;c)

The other thing I love to do at antique malls is take pics of really weird items that I can’t believe are THERE to begin with…maybe I’ll save THAT post for tomorrrow…LOL!


  1. Bonnie, thanks for the great photo tour of the quilts. It's a joy to see such beautiful creations from the past. They exude a special kind of warmth from the years of use that just can't be explained. And the basket from Thurs. post was a great find! You must have been the 'kid in the candy shop' on that trip. :-) I would love to come across finds like this...not sure anyone could pry me from the shop though. And thanks again, I really enjoyed seeing these.

  2. Such beautiful quilts thanks for sharing!

  3. I just love your adventures to the antique malls and seeing such a wonderful quilt show on my computer! That blue and white one is so cute and the simple pinwheel and four patches...... so pretty and easy. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  4. Love these quilts! What I love most about the framed 9-patch quilt is the black and white polka dot fabric. Those black dots just called out to me - and it looks like some of them might have been fussy cut!

  5. Love love love the blue and white goose in the pond quilt! I wrote down that pattern so I can look it up and make one! :)

  6. When I saw that wedding ring quilt it reminded me I have a piece of fabric with the wedding ring pattern printed on it. It is one piece and I've never opened it all the way up but it looks like a full sized top.
    It is not pieces, it is printed like a whole cloth.
    Anyone know about these?
    Lee in MA

  7. you have better antique malls than me!

  8. Anonymous12:50 PM EST

    That blue and white one was a real beauty...would like to make one in red and white....someday. I know I read this somewhere either in your blog or one of the postings of the red 5.5 strippy squares. Do you use spray starch on them to keep them from warping/ If you do, do you remove the paper first before using the starch? I know this must sound crazy..but I really would like to know!

  9. Another Sugarloaf! Isn't it funny how you don't see patterns for awhile then suddenly they are everywhere! Love the blue and white Goose on the Pond...but I'm not making another one!

  10. Thanks for the eye candy--so much to love!!

  11. Oooooh - I love those dense fans! And the stocking, although I hate the whole cutter-quilt thing. But if I made some quilted sections in a traditional pattern to make into stockings...that could work without any quilty carnage...

  12. As much as I love to know the quilter's name, I think it OK to not know their name. Their work stands as a testemant to their artistry and humanity, and lets us spend more time thinking about who they were, looking for clues in the work itself. If every single quilt said "Jane Smith, 45 year old housewife from Boulder, CO" or some such on it, would we wonder and dream as much about her? Would we study and say- "older woman, very competent, using multi era fabric in an older style" or would we just say, "hmm, Jane Smith"
    don't get me wrong, I love labels, but I really think it is just as interesting to have something to ponder and dream over.

  13. I love the old quilts - even the really tattered ones. I have a couple that parts were nearly gone by the time I got them and quite faded so I paid next to nothing for them. I have made Christmas stockings for family members and Christmas ornaments for quilting friends from the better parts so that the lovely stitching and colors of the quilts and the quilter's work has a whole new life. I have no idea who made the quilts but her works lives on over a hundred years later.


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