Saturday, October 15, 2016

Blue and White Antique Quilt

I showed you a photo of the antique quilt I picked up at Fence Row Antiques in New Bedford, Ohio a week ago (was it already a week ago? Seems like just yesterday in some ways, and seems like last month in others, sniff...).

At first I thought those were faded areas, but upon closer inspection, I'm not so sure.  The blue fabrics look like shirting, and the paler blues are not the same pattern as the darker ones.

Maybe this quilt was made from old shirts or dresses? Maybe the quiltmaker bought or was given some fabric but there wasn't enough to make her queen sized quilt?  It is big, measuring 75X90"!

The block is new to me; I've never seen this.
It isn't square, as I'd first thought; it's a hexagon with triangles and diamonds pieced in along the sides, and lots of Y-seams.
Look what appears when they are placed together!
MacGyver saw it with the blue ones; said it reminds him of a Maltese cross.  I saw a white 'star' where the blocks come together.  It has a 3D effect to me here!

I just love the scalloped edge.

Yep, you see that some edges are fraying.  I'm okay with a well-used quilt!  The texture is just incredible:

It is hand-quilted, 10 stitches to the inch.  Do you count the top and bottom stitches?  I presume you do not; I counted 10 stitches on the top per inch, 19-20 if you count the gaps where those on the bottom layer show.  Way better than this girl's handquilting! 

There are wreaths in the large white areas...

...and straight lines of echo-quilting in the other parts of the blocks.

Here is a better photo showing the overlapping wavy lines quilted in the borders.  I think this is called a cable design.  It's one of my favourite quilting motifs.  In fact, on my Stars Christmas runner, I did this very one along the edges. :-)  Well, not as many lines; there are 8 altogether here!

I am so pleased that with all this white there is barely a mark on it.  I did wash it after talking to Julie of Pink Doxies, on the delicate cycle in my tumbling washing machine.   I laid it flat to dry, easing the scallops into place.  It didn't come out as soft because of air-drying, so right near the end when it was barely damp, I put it in the dryer for 10 minutes.  It softened up a bit, but not like it was originally.  So I'm a bit sad I did wash it after all.

A cotton batting was used, but it has let go in most places except around the quilting lines.  I'm guessing it to be from the 1930s/1940s.  Any thoughts on that?  It came from New York State.

This brings my antique quilt collection to a total of three!
No sombrero needed on MacGyver's head this time; he used his head and both arms spread wide but still couldn't hold out straight the entire quilt!
I plan to recreate this in smaller form; I'm curious to figure out the block construction.  I will keep you posted on that development.  Always more projects right?!  Quick note: if you would like to create your own version of an antique quilt, I got an email this morning showing a new Craftsy fabric collection just out, a Civil War reproduction line by Boundless Fabrics, that happens to be on sale this weekend.  It's not just on kits (but all kits are on sale, even the newest as this antique-inspired one), but all supplies, and fabrics.  Debbie Caffrey, a well-known designer, has created an Ocean Waves quilt measuring 69X89", that is gorgeous, and mimics the original Civil War quilt that inspired the collection.  That kit is also on sale, for a great price, $99!  (Note: these are affiliate links, that I think/hope will work with the new website, which I really like btw!)

Linking up with some favourite parties on my sidebar and in the Linky Parties tab up top.


  1. This antique quilt is gorgeous!! I can't wait to see your recreation of it.

  2. Where you say it's hexagons put together, I think you meant octagons :)

  3. Beautiful, and I didn't see the Star or Maltese Cross until you zeroed in on it.

  4. Hand quilted, and would it have been sewn on a treadle machine? Beautiful, and a treasure to show us of bygone days. I wonder if this was always on a bed for use, or on show? Beautiful scalloped edging too. For me, I saw the elongated blue and white diamonds first. And back then, would the largest size bed be the older double one? This would truly cover it down to the floor.

  5. It is a beautiful quilt. A treasure for sure. I can only imagine the amount of time that went into it. Perhaps it was a wedding quilt made with love.

  6. I love this quilt, I think it has a modern flare to it. I still think you can piece as a square, I see square blocks when I look at your first picture.

  7. Sandra, thanks for sharing! It's a real treasure!

  8. Oh, you temptress you! I love vintage looking fabrics. But after unpacking all my fabric, really got to feeling convicted about not using my stash enough. I'm going to try and not buy anything new for a while. That blue antique quilt you found is wonderful. That would be interesting to know the history of the pattern.

  9. I judge local shows but am not certified...I have, however, studied quilts since the mid 1970's....I'm guessing your lovely antique quilt with those cadet blues is more likely 1880's to 1900's....It's just beautiful, Sandra.

  10. This is quite a find. Really pretty!

  11. Lucky you! This quilt is gorgeous. I'm so glad you shared the pictures.

  12. What a beautiful quilt, so classic and timeless.

  13. The hand done blue quilt was calling your name I think . Shame it hardened up but I think you have to wash it really to get rid of the Dust mites or sneeze continuously .

  14. I'm with Helen, and you HAD to wash it! It will soften up over time, and remember that clean quilts will last longer, too.

  15. I think it is a square block. Look at a corner block, that is how you determine the block. Lots of y seams!
    Almost all old quilts are made of old clothing cut up and recycled. You cloud probably find the name of the block on Block base.

  16. How did I miss that this quilt was so big?? I even touched it in person and for some reason I thought it was like lap size. The workmanship is just amazing on it. And it's okay, we both know he does have that sombrero on behind that quilt, that's why the middle sticks up higher than the two's resting on the top of the hat :P

  17. It's gorgeous. I wouldn't have been able to pass it up, either! XO


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