Antique quilts

Last month I shared the vintage Red Lattice quilt from my husband’s aunt’s home in Maine. Today I’ll share the two other antique quilts she let me photograph.  I love the simplicity of this red and white quilt. It’s probably early 20th Century.  I think this was made by my husband’s great-grandmother.

So basic and yet it makes such a nice graphic statement. Plus red and white is always so classic.   I think I want to make a reproduction of this one. I love everything about it.

Here is a close-up of the quilting. Part of the quilt is quilted with this circle/orange peel pattern (which I LOVE) and part is quilted with a simple straight-line, cross hatch pattern. Makes me wonder if there were multiple quilters and why the two drastically different patterns. To be honest, I didn’t even notice it until writing this post. Funny.

The final quilt is this amazing 19th Century Log Cabin quilt. It looked equally amazing from a distance as well as close-up. 

Check out these fabulous fabrics.  Lots of madder-red hues in there. I wonder how much the colors have changed since the quilt was assembled? Because of the log cabin pattern and the fabric colors, my guess is that this quilt was made between 1870-1890. (I’m not ready to start as a judge on Antiques Roadshow – nowhere near a professional – but this site helped solidify my guess.)

This quilt felt very well-constructed, but fragile. The quilt was very light weight – it didn’t feel like there was any batting. Not a lot of quilting either. It also had an interesting side with notches on two corners as if to go over pillows on a bed, so my guess is that it was made as a decorative bed-covering rather than for warmth or durability. 

I would be interested to know the history of this one.  It came through the family, but they were unsure of the details.  Another reminder to label your quilts. (Note to self: would you just start labeling your quilts!)  It was fabulous to see this beauty for myself. I had no idea of its existence so it was very fun to see and admire it up close. I love old quilts. They’re one of my favorite kinds of quilts.


  1. says

    I love to see how antique quilts were actually quilted. Today, I see many machine quilted quilts that are so overly fancy; the intricate piece work is ignored and the quilting is all you see. I am happy to see simple quilting on these. It is how I hope to quilt all my quilts.

  2. says

    Old quilts, there&#39;s nothing quite as lovely, or as lovingly made. These quilters didn&#39;t have all the gadgets and gizmos we do, and yet there work is just as beautiful :)<br /><br />I have a very old red and white that I picked up at a consignment shop. The pattern is Burgoyne Surrounded, not 1 single machine stitch, and to me it&#39;s priceless.

  3. says

    Such beautiful quilts…thanks for sharing! I&#39;m wondering if that graph quilt pattern is repeated again at the top of the circe/orange peel section in the red &amp; white quilt. So unusual.

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing! Love the red &amp; white.<br /><br />Could the notches on the log cabin be for a 4 poster bed? I have seen some older quilts with the corners &quot;missing&quot; so they fit around the post at the foot of the bed.<br /><br />Sandy A

  5. Diane says

    These are beautiful quilts…I agree that they should be labeled…I have started to label mine by doing a message in the actual quilting stitches…I do free-motion quilting..It is quite easy to write to who the quilt is given as well as from whom its made …I also include the name of the design of the quilt…<br />Thanks for the pictures…Diane from Louisiana

  6. says

    Wow. They&#39;re both just stunning Amy! (Thanks for the link to the antique quilt info site.) And I see someone already told you about the notches — I&#39;m thinking they&#39;re meant for the foot of the bed too.

  7. says

    You have two priceless treasures there! Do you get to keep them? I agree that there were TWO quilters on the red &amp; white one! The Log Canin is stunning and the color palette is very unique.<br />BTW, was this taken by a lake cuz I see what looks like a &quot;dock&quot; or something in the background!! I&#39;m so nosey!!<br />Blessings<br />Gmama Jane

  8. says

    That log cabon quilt just mesmorized me. I love it. The details in the fabrics is fabulous. That is a great quilt to have cherished for so long in your family.

  9. says

    I keep coming back to look at the red and white quilt. It is liberating to me to see the love and longevity this quilt has offered. Without typical modern day quilter obsessiveness: the edges are not symmetrical, the hand quilting is varied throughout, etc. <br />And yet, this quilt speaks to me.<br />I am liberated to just create beauty.

  10. Anonymous says

    Both Quilts are so beautiful. To me it looks like the orange peel quilting on the red and white quilt is in the center and the crosshatching is in the outer parts of the quilt. So maybe it was only one quilter who wanted to make the quilting a little more special. Some of the fabrics in the Log cabin Quilt look very modern.<br />Greetings from Germany, Inka

  11. says

    Beautiful quilts and very well preserved brown or madder quilt usually are very fragile and disintegrate over time. I believe the notched corners on the quilt are for a four post bed. thanks for sharing.

  12. says

    I love the log cabin quilt! Who would think to put mint green in there, but it looks so great with it! What a nice surprise instead of plain old whites and off whites!<br /><br />Thank you for sharing!

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