Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wool Star Quilt

A year or two ago I found this quilt at a thrift store and something about it "spoke" to me.  It was hard to lay it out and examine it closely but the price was right and so, with little more than a quick once over, I brought it home. 

Every block has a red center.  And every block is blanket stitched with a contrasting color of perle cotton.  There are some fun color combinations.  Some stitching is evenly precise while other stars have slightly irregular stitching.  It makes me wonder if several people made the quilt. 

The seams in each block have the same number of precisely made French knots between the star sections and the center hexagons, but not every star is the same.  Some of these stars look crooked or cock-eyed but it is because I photographed while the quilt was hanging on the clothesline.  In real life the stars are symmetrical.

All the fabric is wool.  Some backgrounds use loosely-woven fabric and some stars are twill.  This blue background, below, is not as durable as the other background fabrics used.

The quilt is tied, not quilted, but the ties don't seem to show on front, only on the back.  Without quilting it seems less durable, more fragile.

The backing is a wool paisley. Unusual colors, don't you think?

There are two unfortunate things about this quilt.  First is that someone spilled something on it.  It's yellowish and hard, almost liked dried varnish.  There are two small spots on the block below but there are several larger sections on the quilt.

The other unfortunate thing about this quilt is that it smells.  It's an old smell.  Not musty or mildewy but just old and sour.

I don't know what to do for this quilt to preserve it.  I wish I could get the spots out, and the odor, too.  It's crossed my mind to cut it apart but I haven't been able to make myself do it, especially not without a plan for it.

I'm such a sucker for an old quilt!  Are you?  Do you rescue old quilts?  Are you very careful about which ones you bring home?  Have you ever cut a quilt apart?



  1. I've never cut one apart, but I can see why you bought this one! It's really fantastic in color and design.:)

  2. It must weigh a tone it's gorgeous though. The work! I'm always surprised someone would toss a family quilt. You might try just soaking it in a 'quilt soap'. Tepid water so as not to shrink it.....

  3. Have you tried sprinkling it all over with Baking soda gently brush the soda all over the quilt and leave it for several hrs shake off and hang out side in the sun and wind constantly. If you can smell a difference do it again several times if you have too. I have use it on some of the old. Quilts I bought some were not even finished but from 1930. clean but old smelling. Good luck.


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