Saturday, May 04, 2013

Antique Love in Maine!

The day of my arrival, Callie and I met up with Ramona for lunch and then we decided to head over to a great old textile mill turned antique mall for a bit of browsing.

The cabot building has the date of 1834 on it.  Can you imagine the folks who found their way to this mill every day to put in their time to make a wage to feed their families and put a roof over their heads?

I know the north east has a rich textile heritage, as does the area I live in North Carolina…and I imagined as we walked the aisles….what it would have been like with the voices, and the faces, and the noise of the machinery and the sound of different bells and whistles signifying the time to start, the time to stop,

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The building has been restored and is now usable office space as well as shopping space….but it still very much has the feel of an old textile mill.

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And there were quilts!

This lovely old rail fence top dates to the late 1800s…..but it was tied at a later date.  The fabric on the back is much newer, it has a poly batting, and yarn ties:

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Rainbow colored acrylic yarn ties!

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ROWS of multi colored acrylic yarn ties!

But oh, the fabrics in this quilt….YUMMY!

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I’m thinking those browns would be gorgeous in my hexie-in-progress!

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This 1930s log cabin was rolled up in a basket – we almost passed it by!

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Each block uses two strips of RED in the next to the last row on the dark side, giving this interesting cross effect.  It was very unusal, and I loved it!

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Double T!  Indigos and muslin!

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Lovely feather quilting around a cross hatched alternate block.

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What a fun Maverick Block! This was the only one like this.

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Close up of block.

But look at THIS:

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F.J. Hutchinson, May,

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The 16, 1882


And while I’m pointing this out…please take a look at the binding ----MACHINE SEWN.  Someone was showing off some treadle stitching……LOVE IT!  They were so proud of their sewing machine, and the fact that they owned one that they were happy to have the stitching visible smack dab on the front of the quilt where everyone could see it.

Whoever this was.....ran out of fabric for that one block, but still saved enough to be able to bind the quilt in a similar fabric as the main quilt fabric.  Someone bought yardage --- albeit just not quite enough ---for this quilt!

It was such a treat to see these quilts up close and personal --- and there are more to come!


  1. How awesome to see a picture of an old mill building. We just finished talking about the industrial revolution in class. Not sure my students got it, but I love the time period.

  2. Wow! I would love to wander around in an antique store like that! That Double T with her name and date on it is just lovely! The one maverick block is a hoot! Thanks for sharing with us Bonnie! Your the best!

  3. I am well into my 60's but my great aunt, my grandfather's sister quilted and I sat with her to learn the craft when I could. I think I was about 7 or 8 then and she used to tell me about the craft. Yes, they used treadle machines and old men's suits to make wool quilts and sacks to make cotton summer ones and they were stuffed with cotton or wool and she even used hay for batting and yarn to tie it so the bat could be changed especially the straw but the most impressive was the fact one block was different on purpose as if to ward off bad spirits or show the maker was human and was on purpose. my sister does needle point and her work always has one error in it and initials of the maker more or less hidden in the work. She used to be a tour guide for Williamsburg and was working oh her phd in history and confirmed aunt sadies' sayings for quilts.

  4. Where were you in Maine? This looks like the old Hathaway building in Waterville where I grew up!

  5. How fun to get to go thru this old building. I always wonder if the walls could talk, what stories would they tell. And to get to look at these beautiful, old quilts is even more fantastic. What I want to know is if you brought any of them home? :)

  6. What a great history that building could share! Are you sure it isn't TJ? It looks the same as the T in 'the', I always thought F's had a cross piece... or did it wear off? What wonderful quilts! And quilting! Thanks for sharing.

    1. I agree with Sandie - it looks more like "TJ" to me, too. What fun you've had on this trip! Some time for sightseeing and antiquing as well as speaking and teaching. Thanks for sharing. Kathi

  7. What a wonderful indigo quilt!! I can't wait to see more. Thanks so much for sharing these!!

  8. What a wonderful jaunt through quilty history! I feel sad that the fabulous first quilt was tied with that awful acrylic multicolored yarn. Oh well. The indigo T-block quilt is a treasure. I wonder if they had big fancy price tags? Mostly, I'm hoping that you feel better from those throat tickles, too.

  9. The logcabin and double-T were my favorite quilts. Also it was super cool to see that owner of double-T quilt initialed there quilt and dated it. Which I'm not good at. I still have few quilts which I made for my kids without the labels. I should label them soon.

  10. Love all the quilts! Did you take any home? I especially would have grabbed the double-T one, as my maiden name is Turner.


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