Thursday, December 1, 2011

When you're least expecting to find a treasure....

Anyone who knows me is aware of my love of sewing; especially quilts.  But lets just make it simple and say anything having to do with creating with a needle and thread brings me joy.  I have been known to leave the house with bits of clipped fabrics and threads attached to the back of my sleeves or dangling from my pants where I am the least aware of their presence.  It doesn't bother me, just as a gardener is not alarmed having a bit of dirt on their hands and nails; often their badge of caressing the earth and flaunting it.  At times, for me at least, those threads were conversation icebreakers with those next to me waiting in line at the post office or grocery store. 

So you are warned....stare at the threads, you're getting a story about what is underneath the needle of my machine!

I have always found writing difficult.  For this I apologize.  But, hopefully, I can share enough beautiful quilts, vintage fabric and funny stories to coerce you into returning to my blog.  So, I will begin...


This past summer, I reluctantly decided to go to an estate sale.  Reluctant and garage sale are seldom in the same sentence for me, I even feel akward writing them together.  However, for some reason, this day I had prematurely decided from the estate sale advertising that it really didn't fit my needs.  Maybe it was the location of the sale, or the goods listed, or just that it was one too many rainy days in a row, but I went late in the day, and I was wrong.

I was warned the house had been "picked over" by the crowds who came early, but there were still plenty of counters filled with china sets or holiday decorations and odd pieces of vacation memories.

But, how many had passed over this early piece of quilting history?

Personally, I know the style to be a Medallion Quilt.  The fabrics are early 19th century.  I inquired with the woman whose household good were on sale as to how she had acquired it.  She said her mother had gotten it from the Humes Family from Watertown, New York. 

The quilt design, style, fabrics, quilting, backing, binding, appliqued shapes - everything was consistent with dating the quilt to the 1840's.

At the sale, the quilt had been draped on a rack with a late 18th century chintz quilt with family provenance from Ireland pinned on the back.  The hefty price tag of the chintz quilt was still pinned next to the quilt's paper history.  The price was a deterrant to attracting a new owner.  I understand how the medallion quilt may have been deemed the ugly duckling next to the more pristine quilt whose fabrics did not have the daily use.  Its colors were not faded from the sunlight, washings and everyday use.  The chintz quilt had well established fold marks which indicated its value and seldom use.  I wondered how many times it had ever been brought out in the sunlight for others to admire in the past two centuries.

This quilt speaks.  It says it served its purpose with its worn bits of fabric.  I believe it says it has loved and been loved.


  1. Nothing makes me happier than 1) being the first person to leave a comment on a brand-new blog 2) seeing a gorgeous quilt 3) leaving a blog a little smarter than when I arrived and 4) finding a kindred spirit. Four out of four - that's a pretty good start to my day!

  2. Barbara...
    I believe meeting you after admiring your Etsy shop and then being able to enjoy your company is a 10 pincushion kind of day!