Friday, March 11, 2011

A Day at the Quilt Show

I'm going to get my stash buster report in early, because I haven't done a thing this week. 0 in and 0 out. To see what others have accomplished this week, check out Patchwork Times

I went to the Dallas Quilt Celebration today. I was going to take one of my great-grandmothers' quilts to see if they could help me narrow down the time period, but when I emailed with that question, I was told that they only give a valuation. So I didn't take anything. While there, I went over to the appraisal area and talked with a few ladies who were waiting to do appraisals, and they said dating the quilt was part of the appraisal, and there is one appraiser who is an expert in antique quilts. So I made an appointment to take a quilt tomorrow. So now the question, which quilt?!!

Which of these three would you take?
1. (click the picture to to go to the post about it)



I'm leaning toward #3 but I'd like to know more about all three. I hope she can tell me something that will lead to an answer.

I think I got a clue about quilt #1 today too. This is a block from my quilt:

And this is a block from a quilt at one of the booths at the show, dated 1880, the double pink fabrics aren't exactly the same, but very close:

But for now, I'm kicking back in the recliner with a heating pad on my neck. Carrying a purse and camera were hard on my neck and back today.

Update: Saturday, March 12. I just got back from the appraisal. I took the #3 quilt, and I know just a little more than I did before. First she said that the magenta fabrics in this block, weren't available before 1880, so that date set the lower age range.

I was trying to find something about that online and found that the color magenta was actually discovered in 1856. It was produced by Hofmann and very popular in Britain, but it was a fugitive dye and unstable until a new process was developed in 1862. So I wonder if 1880 is a realistic lowest date, or if it could be lower. I guess it depends how long it took the fabric to make it's way to across the U.S.

She also thought the blue and yellow fabrics were one of the oldest in the quilt.

She said the red on white shirting used in each block, indicates the quilt was made around 1910, as were many of the fabrics, since there was enough of it that it was probably bought for the quilt, and not from scraps. There were a couple of panics followed by recessions in the years between 1907 and 1911, and the quality of fabrics went down with the economy. This red on white fabric is obviously a looser weave than many of the other fabrics in the quilt. There were several recessions in the 1890's and those first years of the 1900's, and to cut costs, print fabrics only had two colors. And most of the fabrics in this quilt are two color prints.

She also said it was a variation of the Wheel of Fortune.

She did say a couple of things that make me think this quilt was made by Mother S. First, several of the fabrics are the type that would have been in a farmer's workshirt - the blue print in the center of each circle and the blue stripe. There are a couple of shirtings she called lacy because the print on it looks like lace. After Mother S's father died, they probably would have remade the shirts so Mother S's mother could wear them since she now had to run the farm; remade the nicer shirts for Mother S's younger brother, or used the shirts for other things, keeping the scraps for the quilts. Also, the quilting is done in the Baptist fan, which was Mother S's favorite pattern, and one that was done quickly. She said that while the pattern looks difficult, it really wasn't, except for the circle of triangles around the wheel, and even that wouldn't have been too difficult for a teenager who had been quilting since she was young. Mother S married in 1906, so this could be a quilt she made for her hope chest, and that would also explain why I haven't seen any of these fabrics in her other quilts.

I also asked her about the stains. I thought the blacks had run since most of the brown stains are around them, but she said no. She said it looked like water marks. She said a couple of the brown prints might fade in washing, but I can test all the fabrics to see if they are colorfast, and then she suggested washing it first in Orvus to remove any dirt, and then soaking in Biz to remove the stains. I asked her about Vintage Quilt Soak, and she said that Biz was the same thing. She cautioned me not to dissolve the Biz in water before pouring it on the quilt though or it would cause damage. She also said that she has soaked quilts for two or three days before to get out the stains. So wish me luck, I'm going to try it tomorrow.

Now a look at the rest of the fabrics in this quilt. If you recognize any, please let me know.

Final update: I got the appraisal and she listed it as circa 1900, and valued it at $750 in today's weak market.


My ordinary life, Quilt show, Vintage fabric


  1. I would take 3 - that pattern looks like it would be older. But then who am I to say - I don't quilt.

  2. Love to see your old quilts and hear about them. Your G-ma did beautiful work. I hope soaking and washing goes well.

  3. Great quilts - I have an old one that I wouldn't wash since there are some tears in the fabric. I'll have to pull it out to see if we have any matching fabric.

    Glad you had fun at the quilt show!


  4. Wow they are all wonderful quilts.

  5. Thank you for sharing about your quilt appraisal. So may details! Good luck washing/soaking your quilts.

  6. Beautiful quilts. Very interesting post, enjoyed all the information on how they assigned the various ages.

  7. Love the colors in the quilts and your bench a the side. Thanks too for stopping by the blog.

    Now, I can say mom had that pattern of the basket in some of her craft books, and I always loved it for some reason.
    It makes me think of home to see your quilts. thanks,jo

  8. What fun to have a little more information on your mysteries!

  9. Love your quilts - sorry, no knowledge here on fabric timing though. Love the 3rd one with circles the best as well. So much history in quilts - and so many thoughts, prayers,... buried in them as well!


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