2.15.2014

Vintage quilts

I've never written about how I learned to love vintage quilts (thanks to Linda), or photographs of my own small collection.

My own tale began as a child, really. My mother inherited a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that was made by her grandmother, Katherine Lilley. She would bring it out occasionally to show us girls, then carefully pack it away again. It has a lot of damage, unfortunately. When our parents passed away, I found some photographs of me as a baby, lying on the quilt. They're some of my most prized possessions.


My friend, Linda, was the next catalyst between me and antique quilts. She started buying them at yard sales and antique shops in the 1980s, before they got expensive, and has acquired a fairly large collection. Every so often we'd spend a few hours and pull out all her quilts, spread them out on the carpet in her bedroom, and admire each one. The colors, the fabrics, the applique and traditional blocks, the amazing (and not so amazing) number of stitches per inch. All of hers are hand quilted, and I love examing the wonderful craftsmanship of these works of art. When they downsized before moving to Ellensburg, she sold a few of them to me. I've also purchased a few at yard sales and antique shops over the years, and bought a number of quilts, quilt tops, and quilt blocks on eBay in the 1990s.

My favorite is this Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt I bought on eBay, and it's been hanging on my living room wall ever since. The seller was kind enough to send along the history of the quilt, which was made by her mother and two sisters in the 1940s.


If you're interested in learning more about antique quilts, the Alliance for American Quilts is a good place to start. Besides providing information on historical quilts, they maintain an index of quilts.

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