Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lovely Old Thing

While traveling recently in Missouri, I had the chance to see a wonderful early quilt. My hostess brought out an old family quilt from upstate New York that had been in her grandfather's family. It's a huge four block piece, with interesting applique shapes and classic side sprays of vining flowers in the border. The quilted motifs are trapunto (stuffed) and oh yeah, the quilting stitches are minute and there's about 12 stitches per inch!

Not a seamstress herself, my friend assumed her quilt's repair was far beyond her limited sewing skills. Moreover, she also had been told that the quilt dated from 1720 and was afraid to touch such an ancient object. My opinion: this quilt is well worth saving and repairing. Even when an applique element is totally missing, the tell-tale stitches remain in the fabric as a guide to future repairers. Plus I think it's a 19th century piece, not as early as thought, and has the look of a classic 1840-1860 design.

Although usually drawn to applique, this old beauty took my breath away. At the least, I have to record and draw this wonderful folky pattern.


Joyce said...

What an awesome piece of history. Thank you for sharing. I don't think that I would attempt all of those "dippy" leaves in a million years.

asimplequilter said...

What a wonderful treasure! The feathered leaves are fantastic. Does she have any information about the maker or just that it had been in the family? From the photos the quilting looks very dense. There might be a signature quilted somewhere in those stitches, has she looked?

Looking forward to going back and reading your older posts.

have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the eye candy! I'm from upstate New York - wish I could claim it as mine. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

No matter how many old quilts you look at and study, there's always a new pattern! Fabulous.
An old friend from Lansing

Pepper Cory said...

Hey Beth-Yeah, ain't she a beaut?

Anonymous said...

When I look at all those appliqued circles, I know why I continue to "piece"! ...but, I loved looking at it! Carol Sc (another old friend, from Lansing).

antique quilter said...

just beautiful!
thanks for sharing Pepper.
my favorite type of quilt!

Carole said...

A beautiful quilt! I love antique quilts. Sadly, I own none. One day! There's something about old things that attract me. Hum... I'm wondering why it was originally considered from the early 18th century? The quilting is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Pepper Cory said...

When the present owner was given the quilt in the 1930s, she was told it was 200 years old. She loved handmade things and had never seen a quilt quite like this so she simply passed on the mis-info.