Friday, July 26, 2013

Quilts from an Antique Mall

Here are photos of a few quilts we saw at our local antique mall.  (If you'd like to see any of them closer, click and they'll enlarge in a new window.  I'm not using Lightbox so you'll be able to click again and enlarge even more.)

This purple and chrome yellow quilt is probably one of the ugliest color combinations I've ever seen.  (And the photo is not too far from the actual colors -- maybe just a tad brighter than in real life.) 

On the other hand, the quilting was probably about the finest I've ever seen in person.  The stitches were miniscule!

Then we came upon this colorful 9-patch.  Were these prints and plains from the '40s, the '50s, or the '60s?

This gentle green and lavender applique was hanging next to the one above.  I suspect the quilter created the pattern herself.

We also found a pale yellow and red quilt,

and this blue and white 9-patch with a great "diamond" border.  I like the quilted design in the white squares.

Then there was this 9-patch alternating with red striped fabric.  This one delighted me because of the quilter's use of red stripes.  Was it necessity or by choice that she used the stripes?  I think of this as a scrap quilt because of the variety of fabrics in the 9-patch blocks, and yet there's a planned quality about it because of the uniform red-striped blocks.  This was definitely a utility quilt.

Could we say that red is used as a neutral in this quilt -- or not?  I liked the quilter's use of borders.

We came upon this quilt with quarter-circles in purple and colors.  The circles were hand-stitched with an overhand stitch.  (Click the photo to see what I mean.)  This quilt was tied.

This churndash had colors similar to the 9-patch, above toward the top, but with different fabrics.

The last quilt was probably the craziest quilt I've ever seen.  The stars all but disappeared in the jumble of flower beds.  It was positively delightful.  I love its "make do" quality.  I can imagine the quilter cutting and stitching with abandon.  I hope she was pleased with the result.

It was definitely a utility quilt as evidenced by the expansive stitches, the knots exposed on the back, and the hard use.  I think it was loved nearly to death:  the edges were thin and fragile with nearly nothing between the top and bottom layers.

And it had this little gift of a red and green star.  A sweet treasure!

I feel sad when I think of all the work that went into these quilts and how unloved they are now.  Several  were priced at $40.00 or less, certainly a pittance when one thinks of the hours spent planning, cutting, and stitching them.  I hope they find good homes.



  1. What a nice collection of old quilts. Thanks for taking the time to get photos and then to share them here, Nancy.

  2. I know how you feel! I hope my quilts do not end up like that! Thank you for sharing the pictures!

  3. Thank you for sharing pictures of these old quilts. Let's hope they will find good homes to be in

  4. Did you see the "mistake" in the churndash quilt? On the right side, in blue
    I like those little things in quilts and sometimes I deliberatly do that in my quilts.
    Love to see those beautifull quilts.
    Greetings from Janny Schoneveld

    1. Hi, Janny. Yes, I did notice the "mistake." I read an interview not long ago between an author (whose book I can't remember) and an Amish or Mennonite quilter. The author knew of the idea that some Amish/Mennonite quilters purposely included blocks sewn wrong way in their quilts. She had noticed a block with a "mistake" and asked the quilter if she'd put it in on purpose. The quilter stopped, looked at the quilt, then smiled. She responded that she hadn't even noticed that she'd stitched it wrong way. I thought that was interesting. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.


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