Friday, October 12, 2012

What I learned.....or Confessions of a Quilt Collector

I was planning to share some things I learned at the AQSG seminar in this post but I was overwhelmed...there is just so MUCH!
I will still do that and hopefully soon while the event is fresh in my mind - but for now I decided to tell you what I learned on the way TO the seminar.

I learned that I have to stop saying I'm not collecting quilts anymore.

I ended up with three new (old) pieces before we even arrived. Well, what do you expect on a road trip with two quilt loving friends - about 450 miles to cover- and numerous stops (at antique stores) since one must stretch once in awhile to maintain good circulation?

This top is from what I have for some time referred to as  "MY time period" - the first quarter of the 1900's. I love the look and have a growing number of examples of both quilts and tops.
For that reason I had signed up for Virginia Gunn's study center, "Exploring Early 20th Century Quilts", so I brought it to the class and she held it up as a great example; fabrics include chambrays, indigo and cadet blues, claret (burgundy), plaids, dots, stripes etc. Each individual square is about 4" to give you the idea of scale. I'll share more about that study center later.

24" X 32"

But the funniest shopping experience happened when we made a quick stop at the Brass Armadillo in Des Moines, Iowa, to ask directions to the restaurant which I knew was nearby. We were hungry and decided we'd eat first and then come back and shop. I ran in and as the nice lady gave me directions my eyes wandered....I spotted a quilt...I couldn't resist going just a few more feet into the store.... and as I looked down a long aisle to my right this caught my eye!

I snapped it up and quickly asked if she could 'hold' it for me. I was laughing so hard by the time I got back to the car my friends didn't know what was going on. I said, "I found a quilt!" I had not been gone 5 minutes!

We did go back, of course - we HAD to now!

The tag said it was made by the daughter of the maker of a red and white Irish Chain displayed with it. It could be the work of a young person as it is crudely pieced and quilted but all such quilts are not made by children. Either way, I love red and white quilts. The close up shows a small pink and white check used with the red for the triangle units and a shirting for the 'white' block. I like the little check - would you think to do that? Was she out of the white shirting or did she just like the check?

Somewhere near Omaha  I bought this embroidered bird quilt - a  Ruby McKim design. Ruby designed a total of 22 'series quilts' between 1916 and 1937, according to Designs were published in newspapers; a different design each week. This quilt is from her Audubon or Bird Life series. There are 24 blocks in this quilt but some are repeated.

It's nicely hand quilted and the pieced diamonds border with angled corners really adds a nice touch, doesn't it? I'll post a full photo when I get my stand set up. My friend found this one first but she decided not to get it.... so what could I do?

So there you have it - I'm a Quilt Collector and I am having fun!


  1. It's best to just admit to your obsession and not fight it--or even pretend to. : )
    You found some wonderful specimens. I would love to have been along for the ride just to watch the fun, because I am not a quilt collector (I can't afford to be)!

  2. You got some great finds for a "non-collector"! I love embroidered quilts.

  3. I'm glad you had fun with your collecting! The little red and white is especially cute!

  4. Hooray, Jean! I am so glad to hear you say you're having fun!! That's what it's all about.

  5. Yes. Bill - and YOU know that for sure, don't you?

  6. I couldn't have left those behind either!

  7. I always love to read and see what you are up to Jean. Sounds like a fun trip.

  8. LoL Jean - I had the same kind of drive! They are the best. Someplace we took a picture of the backseat piled to the head rest.
    Thanks for sharing your finds.

  9. I am glad you found quilts you love. I am in denial. I do not collect quilts or antique fabric. Really I tell you I do not. LOL

  10. Meredith - give it up! It's such a relief to just confess...embrace your collecting self!


Thanks for adding your comments!