Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Treasures

I did survive all that heat, in case you were wondering if I really had melted! Just taking a little blog break, due to being quite busy. Our normal weather has returned. . . highs in the upper 60's and overcast. We even had some rain the last couple of days! (which we really needed)

We went to an art fair 2 weekends ago, and I found this little hooked wool mat. It was only $15!! I couldn't pass it up for that price. I have no idea who the artist was, but they did a lovely job. I just love this.

Last weekend we were selling pottery at a local art festival. We were happy with how well it went. Perfect weather and the rain held off. Remember the little leaf dishes I showed you in this post? (scroll down some to see them) DH made quite a few more too. We sold out of them! They were our best-selling item.

We were sitting across from a country "stuff" store that was having a 75% off sidewalk sale. They had some good stuff. I got a couple of woven tablerunners. They had some little quilts displayed out there, and I had to go check them out. Someone had cut up an old quilt into the squares and put new binding on them. I hate that - it just steams me. But the worst part was, I wanted one too. But no price, so I left them. After a while, another one showed up that I hadn't seen before. So I ran over there to check it out.

It was this doll quilt. I think this was an old un-finished top that someone put new batting and backing on. It's not quilted or even tied. It was on sale for $5!! Needless to say, it came home with me. It was hand-pieced and I believe that these are truly old fabrics - I would guess approximately 1880 to 1910 or thereabouts.

Shade is lending his paw for scale in this photo!

It is pretty smelly and slightly stained. I'm afraid to wash it like it is. The backing and binding are a dark rust solid, and I think it will probably run. So I'm going to take it apart and re-do it with new batting and backing. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to hand-quilt it or tie it. Probably tie it, as my hands don't really like quilting much any more.

If anyone has any ideas about how old it is, I'd love to hear your opinion. I'm just guessing about the age, based on other quilts I've seen. The fabrics seem kind of "frail", if you know what I mean. I've tried to make this photos big enough that you can really see the fabrics.

I have a bunch of links to share:

First, I found a fun little thing over on Jacquie's blog Tall Grass Prairie Studio. It's called Mr. Picassohead. Check it out. A fun design game.

A book I found a few weeks ago has really intrigued me. It's by Janet Bolton, and it's called Patchwork Folk Art. She is an Englishwoman who is very "liberated" and works very freely. Most of her work is applique, but she also does some patchwork. If you're interested, you can see more of her work here and here. I'm not really into applique, but I find her work very charming and very inspiring.

I found a new (to me) blog via Barbara Brachman's Material Culture blog. It's Thrift Shop Quilts by Deb Rowden. Deb's got photos of some wonderful old quilts that are pretty "liberated" and fun to look at.

Studio Kat Designs
has some free patterns available. There's tote bags and an ID tag, a cash keeper and other patterns.

Here's a closeup of the most worn patch in the doll quilt.

I got this
info in an email from my sister:

LNPB National Plastic Quilt Project: Call for Artists. Calling all creative minds and environmentally conscious people! Leave No Plastic Behind (LNPB) is asking outstanding artists, community members and celebrities to participate in the National Plastic Quilt Project by designing a square to be auctioned at our fall fundraiser. For the National Plastic Quilt Project, participants design a 12” square out of plastic materials that are usually thrown away. In the past,people have chosen to give plastic bottle caps a new life, woven plastic bags, and even sewn together various collected items to create an original piece of art. Proceeds from this fundraiser will contribute to Create Plenty, the new non-profit organization formed in support of LNPB and other projects that will promote community engagement and single use plastic reduction. To design a square, simply email Cheryl at and we will send you further specifications and information. Deadline: 10/15/09.

So, if you're into art quilts, or recycled art, this could be an interesting challenge.

Last, but not least, I found this over on Be*mused Jan's blog, who found the information on Kristin LaFlamme's blog. To quote Jan: "Kristin and her husband are facilitating a project they're calling Iraqi Bundles of Love. Briefly, he is stationed in Iraq and is collecting *bundles* of sewing or knitting supplies to distribute with local women when his unit leaves Iraq this fall. This sounds like such a wonderful project and since the contributions can be sent to his U.S. (APO) address, the expense to participate would be minimal. If your stash could use some thinning or you would just consider sharing your fiber wealth, do click over and read Kristin's post."
I've signed up to contribute a box of fabric, threads and buttons. Even after at least 3 passes through my stash while moving and unpacking, there's still stuff that I'll probably never get around to using. So, if it can help someone else, that's much better than taking up space in my quilt studio. I've already started searching for stuff to send. The deadline to get the boxes to him is September 7th.
I haven't done a lot of sewing lately. I'm working on a bunch of stuff, and not much is actually getting finished yet. Maybe next time I post, I'll have some stuff to show you. Meanwhile, happy quilting to all!


  1. what a great find for $5.

    will be interesting to learn how old the little quilt is

    thanks for all the pictures, it was great seeing the fabrics up close.
    the hooked wool mat is great too, yes a find for 15.

  2. I am intrigued by your old quilt. Those fabrics look like ones my grandmother would have used. I wonder if any of them are old feed sacks. I remember my mother talking about using those.

  3. Wow that little mat is amazing - I can see why you had to bring it home! Love the little quilt too, but no help at all on the ages of the fabrics. I think I'd take it apart too. The Bundles of Love project is awesome.

  4. Thank you Sharon, for such great links! And your finds were great. I love great finds, and that makes up somewhat for the disappointment of someone cutting up a perfectly beautiful quilt! I suppose that person thought they could make more money by shredding it up into small little bits. Shame.

  5. Great bargains. Cute heart. Wonderful old quilt. Too bad it was cut up, but luckily you have some. Glad you did well with the pottery sales.

  6. well those were certainly some good's hard to be at a show and see all the other goodies the other vendors bring!!
    I'm glad you are getting some sewing time in.....

  7. Aren't you glad the temps have dropped back to normal?! Whew! And I'm actually looking forward to more rain (but that won't last long).

    I'm thinking your guess as to the age of the fabrics in your little doll quilt is fairly accurate. I wonder if someone was piecing from a multi-generational scrap bag when they were making it. I can't say that I've seen many of those prints before but a couple of them look very similar to prints I have in a quilt made at the turn of the last century (ca. 1900).


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