Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Facing Winter

My last post looks rather ridiculous now; butterflies in November! Winter is closing in on Minnesota but fall lingers a bit, a day here and a day there, and today was one of those 'fallish' days. Sunny, with a light breeze - we made it into the 60's.
I got up intending to do some machine quilting on a small quilt; finish it maybe. But suddenly I had the urge to take advantage of the nice day and wash a vintage quilt.

I bought this in Arizona a few years ago. The simple arrangement of nine- patch blocks grouped into a larger four-patch appeals to me. Was the wide double pink sashing with intersections of a 4 patch done to enlarge the quilt? Did she happen to have a nice chunk of that pink?

An assortment of fabrics from the early 1900's includes mourning prints, double pinks - lots of that in the wide sashing - several chambrays, stripes and indigo from light to dark. Notice the swastika print shirting.  This would indicate it being made before WWII when that symbol took on such negative connotations.

The sashing within the 4 patch is an unusual blue print that feels like a soft wool challis. The batting may be wool, too. It has that sort of 'slippery' feeling when you rub the layers together as opposed to cotton which just sticks...it doesn't move at all. There are no holes or openings so I can only guess about that but it I have 'sleep tested' this one and it feels like wool. Lightweight but instant warmth.

Hand quilted in an overall diagonal grid about 1"

It didn't seem particularly dirty but, after all, it's over 100 years old so why not freshen it up?
I used my top-loading machine leaving the lid up and doing the agitating with my own hands, gently. I laid it outside with large sheets under and over it.
(I took the sheet off for the photo!)

I enjoy close study of my old quilts. On this one did you notice in the full view that two sides have an extra strip of pink?

And especially intriguing is this blue square in one corner. Did she really run out of that pink? Or did she mark a corner so that she could more easily rotate the quilt for even wear?

The backing is plain cotton muslin

  It turned out beautifully! As always, the quilting design is enhanced and...
it smells like sunshine.

Sweet Dreams!


  1. That is a great old quilt. I have one that needs that treatment. I'd love to have it smell like sunshine. : )

  2. We had our first snow last night and it's still snowing this morning. Nice nine patch quilt. You are always so brave gently washing your quilts. It did freshen up nicely. Thanks for sharing the details in the quilt. It was almost as fun as exploring it in person.

  3. A wonderful find, Jean! I love it! By the way, speaking of washing quilts, I just tried Vintage Textile Soak for the first time. I bought it a very long time ago, but never used it until a few days ago to try to remove some brown spots from a pink and muslin basket quilt I recently received from a cousin (my grandmother made the quilt). I was thrilled to find that it worked, removing the brown spots, and freshening up the quilt overall.

    1. Thanks for that tip - I don't usually 'work' on stains too much - concerned that what I do will show more than if I leave it alone Did you soak the entire quilt? Did you notice any color loss? Thanks for checking in on my blog!

    2. Yes, I did end up soaking the entire quilt, and there was no color loss. It removed the brown stains, and even lightened up quite a bit a dark mildew stain on the back of the quilt.

  4. I am so glad that you shared this cute quilt. Also glad you bought it, I was a bit concerned for a while on blogs when even a certain block also made pre WWII in quilts was causing quilters to not buy or take apart quilt tops that had the block.


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