Thursday, January 15, 2015

Recommencing this blog--2015

I can't believe that I let all of 2014 slip away without a single blog post to Quilt Flap. I do love antique textiles but hadn't been buying many--perhaps that's the reason. Sounds better than laziness! But then I go and look into the quilt storage room at the studio and realize that over the years I've gathered 100+ quilts and quilt tops so truly I have no excuse for not talking about them.

Every once in a great while, I stumble upon a vintage quilt that's too pretty and cheap to pass up. All I'll say about the price of this butterfly quilt from the 1930s or 40s is that I broke a $20 bill and got change.

The detail photo shows its pieced pattern--I think it was a mail order pattern from Chelsea Station. Not to be attempted by beginners! The quilt needs minor mending and to be washed but for right now it is folded, gently, and waits its turn.

A quite different piece is the all plaids quilt top I bought on ebay. It was a tour-de-force of blissful non-regard for grain--some of the plaids are pieced and others wonky! But the overall effect is really endearing. Unfortunately it's also very fragile and, shall we say, has eau-de-old-attic (a mixture of fuel oil, dust, and tobacco smoke).                                  
Being all plaids and hand-sewn, the age of the quilt top is difficult to estimate. Second half 19th century will have to do.

Who would have thought to make a Storm at Sea type pattern out of plaids?

The final drag-n-brag is not a quilt although it displays both hand quilting stitches and trapunto.

This is a ladies' lingerie bag probably made in the 1930s in either France or Italy. The fragile silk cover is tearing but when peeled back, you can see both the second batting (lightweight wool-right picture, on left) side and the trapunto bits--colored yarn threaded through two layers. It's an enormous amount of work for such a small domestic object but really lovely.