Monday, June 8, 2009

A little antique quilt love

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit the home of a very talented local artist. Her home was decorated with beautiful antiques, but of course the items that really got me excited were her beautiful antique quilts! Wow. They were stunning. A lot of the themes for her paintings were early 19th century domestic scenes with women and children, and she used some of these quilts in her paintings. (She also made beautiful period clothing for her models to wear.)
As we visited her home I was dying to know where she found such beautiful old quilts and guess what she said. Ebay. Ebay! So I had to go home and try my luck at acquiring such a beauty and look what I got: this wonderful vintage crib-size double wedding ring. For a steal! (I haven't had any luck since then - I always kept getting out-bid in the final seconds. But that's okay, I don't really NEED any more quilts. I just LIKE them.)
I'm guessing this one is from the 1930's, based mostly on the fabrics. Maybe 40's? It's all hand pieced and hand quilted and SO wonderful and soft.
Check out these fabulous old fabrics.


Look at this cute little couple.
(right above the solid teal square.)
As far as wear and tear goes, it's in wonderful condition. Even the fabrics are in really good shape. It does need to be cleaned though, and here's where I'm a bit paralyzed. Anyone have any good resources for cleaning antique quilts? I figure now's the best time of year to do it so I can air dry it outside.

Isn't it fun?

15 comments:

  1. That is truly beautiful - I really like how the quilter used peach for the background.

    Re cleaning antique quilts - I have never done it, but I know people do it all the time - and sometimes with quilts that are much older than the 1930's. I've never paid much attention when people talk about it because I'm not lucky enough to have one! But there are a lot of on-line resources, and I know that the soap that's recommended is called "Orvus". And it should be much easier to wash a crib quilt than a full size quilt.

    P.S. Thanks for your help with the iron! I would love to have an iron that actually worked well - it makes a huge difference.

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  2. You were definitely lucky to pick up this quilt from ebay. It's beautiful. I love the peach color. I bought an antique wedding ring quilt done with cream colored fabric. I got it from Star Flour Mills out here in American Fork.

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  3. Thanks for sharing the beautiful quilt! What a precious find! Have a good week!

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  4. I have cleaned a few, and the washing machine is not their friend. Check the blog makin projiks:http://mamanjackjack.blogspot.com/
    Sarah has a good tutorial one cleaning them, She uses a big plastic baby pool, I did mine in the bath tub.

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  5. Old quilts really pull my heart strings... even when I know nothing about where they came from... they are like strays, I have to take them in and love them... geeez. crazy right?

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  6. I love antique quilts too. great find.

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  7. Beautiful quilt...I read in a Martha Stewart article a couple of years ago to wash old quilts in a bathtub and then gently roll in a towel to remove excess water...then air dry.

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  8. So beautiful. And I LOVE red and white dots so that makes it even better. I also so that Martha Stewart show--bathtub and airdry.

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  9. i love vintage quilts... i have a double wedding ring that was passed down from my great aunt... and i should get it cleaned too but i don't know much about all that...

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  10. Wow, what a find you have there! Such a treasure. Imagine the stories it could tell if it could talk! I wonder what little babies were lulled to sleep wrapped in this quilt. I have an old quilt that was my Grandmother's and I have hand washed it and air dried it. Have a happy Tuesday. Alissa

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  11. I haven't washed an old quilt but I've washed old children's clothing and my method is to soak it for a good long stretch in lukewarm water with OxiClean. (Biz works, too.) Then I put it in a mesh bag and wash it on cold in the washer (I have a front-loader and it's a lot gentler than one with an agitator. Plus, the things I wash are meant to be used and I'm not going to hand-wash them every time.) I'm sure the bathtub method would work well, but I'd still start with the OxiClean soak. And just make sure to rinse really well.

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  12. If only quilts could talk. I always wonder with antique quilts who the maker was, what was it made for and all those things. What a wonderful quilt to have in your collection.

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  13. I've done the bathtub method with success. The main thing to do is to have a sheet or towel under the quilt so that you use that to lift the quilt out of the tub. Otherwise the weight of the water on the old fabric can produce tears when you lift the quilt.

    I have a few ebay rescue quilts - most need repairs or have some age spots. But I adore them and love the fact that I'm rescuing them from being cut up or discarded. Nothing seems to beat the softness of an old quilt!

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  14. You don't know me, my parents and your parents were friends way back when (Allen's) Anyhow, my mom told me about your blog so I decided to take a peak...This antique quilt is EXACTLY the same color and pattern of the quilt made for my grandmother for her wedding! My grandmother would've been in her nineties...so subtract about 70 years and you're probably dead on with the date!

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  15. What a treasure. I love it. Covet covet covet.

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