Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Vintage Eye Candy

I've been sewing and sewing, but since I'm only making parts and pieces so far, there are no photos to share with you.  So, since I'm sorely lacking in any good blog material, I thought I would share some pictures of vintage quilts with you.  Unfortunately, in the case of these quilts, I didn't manage to get a photo of the entire quilt, but I got some closeups, mostly because I love looking at all the vintage fabrics!  I hope you'll enjoy them too.

These quilts were in the bed turning in our local quilt show in October.  If you don't know what a bed turning is, I'll explain.  When I first came to the Pacific Northwest, I'd never heard of a bed turning.  I had visions of putting a bed with wheels in the middle of the floor and turning it all around.  To perhaps view a quilt on the bed from all angles?  *giggle*  I had no idea!  I'd never heard of or seen a bed turning in California, but I've seen them done at a lot of the quilt shows in this area.  Do you ever see them where you live?  I'm just curious.

Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt

How a bed turning is done:  First, you take all the quilts and layer them on the bed.  Then the audience sits on chairs placed around the bed while one person reads the story about the quilt (from the owner or maker of the quilt) while two other people (the "holders") hold up the top edge of the quilt to show it to all the viewers.  Then the holders "turn down" or fold the quilt down to the foot of the bed to expose the next quilt in the pile.

GFG closeup

Usually the quilts tend to be antiques or vintage but this year our theme was "quilts with stories".  Because, really, isn't that what we all want to know?  Who's grandma made it, where and when did they live, or did you find this for an incredible price at Goodwill or a yard sale?  Whatever your story was, we wanted to know.

sorry about the shadow

I love these bright fabrics, and the rather random placement of some of them.  Fun!

Isn't that misplaced polka dot fun?

We had a lot of people come to watch the bed turning, which we had 3 times a day during the quilt show.  There were a lot of people who didn't know what a bed turning was, but they came out of curiosity and just loved the little show!   There was a lot of comments and interaction between the audience and the reader and "holders" and that was fun.  No one else wanted to be the reader so I usually read the stories, which meant that I didn't get to see the quilts very well.  The last showing on the last day, I had someone else read the stories and I was a "holder".  I took these photos as we were folding up the quilts after the show.

quilt with string blocks

This was an interesting quilt.  It was found at a garage sale a few years ago.  It has another quilt inside of it!  In places you could kind of see another pattern through the top fabrics, and there were some fabrics where you could see some printing, which I think must have been feed sacks.  This quilt was very heavy!

string stars

This quilt is owned by the same person as the other string quilt above, and was also purchased at the same garage sale.  It also has another quilt inside!  I'm guessing both quilts were made by the same quilter.  This quilt was a little more used and there were a couple of spots that were coming unstitched so that I could peek inside.  I could see another quilt inside that was pieced and quilted, but quite worn out.   Both of these string quilts were the ultimate in scrap quilting!

By the way, the oldest quilt in our bed turning this year was a top, purportedly made by the mother or grandmother of Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame.  It had been passed down in the family for many generations.  It was very thin and frail fabrics, and it was believable (to me) that it just possibly could have been from the late 1700's.  It was a pieced pattern (all by hand, of course) in burgundy and white solid fabrics.  Dumb me, I didn't get a picture!


  1. Oh, yes - the stories DO matter!!!!! Thanks for sharing this post ... Like you, I was unfamiliar with bed turnings until a few years ago. The one you read for sounds like it was extra fun because of the interactions!

  2. Thanks for sharing these here and on the string blog!

  3. Lovely, I'm in the dark about bed turning until this post. lovely quilts!

  4. How very interesting to hear of the Lewis and Clark connection! I would love to see a 'bed turning' especially with vintage quilts!

  5. I have the making of a quilt turning and didn't even know it. LOL - I'm in California My quilts are piled up on a bed in our guest room - alas the oldest is in from the 90s. I've a couple of times shown visitors (who've asked) that pile of quilts with their stories. Thanks for giving this a name. I invite you to link to Hexie Weekend. I'm sure others would like to read this great post and see the great eye candy. Thanks!

  6. I've never heard of those - thanks for explaining that!! And the pics, I'm swooning. I love old quilts. The ones with the quilt inside sound fascinating, talk about using what you have, I love it!!!

  7. I would SO love to attend a Bed Turning!! How FUN!!
    Love your vintage eye candy…..I'm swooning don't cha know?!!

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas my friend!!


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