A Vintage Quilt

Monday, July 7, 2014

 A few months ago I ran a few quilty errands with a friend and one of our first stops was to a fabric store in American Fork, Utah called The Sewing Basket.  They had a few antique quilts hanging around which were on consignment.  There was one hanging behind the cash register that really caught my eye.  And the more I looked at it the more I fell in love!

After much oohing and ahhing (and debating) we had the store owner call the quilt owner and make an offer for $100 less than the asking price.  After the offer was accepted I then had to work out how I was going to justify the purchase of $300 for this antique quilt.  To me, $300 was worth it for a hand pieced, vintage, queen size quilt - in GREAT condition!  I could really appreciate all of the time that went in to piecing such a quilt!

But at the time, I really felt bad about spending the money.  Lucky for me, my birthday and our wedding anniversary were coming up so my husband bought it for me as a gift for the special occasions.

The store owner found out a little information for me.  It was made by the grandmother of the lady who brought it in to The Sewing Basket.  She found it in her grandparents attic wrapped in an old newspaper dated 1944.  All of the fabrics are supposedly from the 30's.  I'm hoping to get a name of the quilt maker. I'm so curious what her story is.  I imagine this took many years to make and I want to know what she was doing when she wasn't hand piecing it.  What was her name?  How old was she when she started and finished it?  Did she have children and if so, how many?  Was she a farmer's wife?  I want to know the answer to these questions!

I think she must have been an avid quilter.  Her stitches were tiny and her color choices were great!

There are so many cute fabrics in it and the more I looked the quilt over the harder it was to decide which was my favorite! They really don't make prints like this anymore...

I love these novelty prints.

And I love this orange geometric print.

She even fussy cut some of the hexies!

And did I mention the colors are fabulous!?!


There is a slight discoloring on the muslin but I kind of love the charm it adds.

Overall, the quilt is in fabulous condition.  There are no holes in it but there are a few little stains like this one below.  I think they might come out with a gentle washing but right now I'm not ready to do that since it's still just a quilt top.

The maker finished off the edges with a triple row hexagon border (I just made that term up - I don't know what the actual name of this design and border is called...:) 

Someday I may start looking for some 30's yardage to back it with.  I've heard that a quilt is as old as it's newest fabric so I don't want to buy any current fabric to finish it with that will diminish it's value.

 For now it will stay a quilt top and hang in my sewing room.  

Do you have a vintage quilt?  Do they appeal to you?  
This one really makes my heart beat faster.  I love it.

Happy quilting :)


  1. Hi Amber, great find its so pretty. I have an old English Durham quilt which is gold on one side and a lovely dusky pink on the other and covered with hand stitched quilted feathers pattern. Found it in a charity shop, even put it in the washing machine which got rid of a couple of stains. Regards Sharon

  2. What a wonderful find, Amber. It looks lovely hanging on the rail.

  3. Oh, how fun that it hangs in your sewing room, you can look at it all the time, I have lots and lots of vintage quilts,and I do finish them, sometimes I just use muslin for the back, that way it does look authentic..Yours is a beauty!!

  4. Hello Amber,
    What an interesting story! Yes, by all means start to track down all the information you can find. That would be a great nod to the quilt maker.
    Since it is hand pieced will you one day hand quilt it? For now it looks great hanging & you can refold it & show different colours.
    A belated happy birthday!!

  5. Oh, what a fabulous post! Thanks so much for sharing it! Gorgeous quilt, and yeah, I want to know more about its maker, too.

  6. My mom recently found two quilts in her mother's cedar chest after her father died. She had never seen them before and never knew they existed. My grandmother died when my mom was seven so my mom said these quilts must have been stored in that cedar chest for sixty years! My sister and I are the only family members that quilt so we were beyond excited to discover that the grandmother we never knew was a quilter. One quilt is in excellent condition. The other has one fabric in it that has almost disintegrated but the rest of the fabrics have held up well.

  7. I love my vintage quilts and I use them too.

  8. Orange and green - those must have been the easiest colored fabric to get hold of! The vintage quilts I have all have those two colors. Or maybe that is the color skirts and aprons were made of? Would love to know.

  9. Amber, What an awesome find. It is beautiful. The colors wow. When I saw the lazy like edge, it added so much more to the quilt for me.

    Patricia C

  10. WOW! What a beauty, you lucky girl. Those fabrics are wonderful -- I think you got a great deal!

    My mom has quite a few vintage quilts and I LOVE them. She has quilt tops too. I know some people say not to quilt the quilt tops, but they don't seem to be much use to me as a top, so we're slowly getting them quilted. Please, Oh Please -- don't have that gorgeous top machine quilted. It deserves the beauty of hand quilting!!!!

  11. what a great quilt! Vintage hexagon quilts are my favorite - here is my vintage quilt http://www.cascadequilts.com/2014/06/grandmothers-flower-garden-hexagon-quilt.html - I sent plain unbleached muslin backing when I sent it to be quilted, wanted to go with something that would be traditional.

  12. I love your beautiful quilt! What a wonderful find and I'm going to have to track down that quilt store, I've never been to that one.

    My mom and I took a trip to South Dakota in October and I did the same thing. We went to a quilt shop and she had some antique quilts. I fell in love with one but unlike your mint condition quilt, mine is tattered and ragged. I fell in love with it's worn out state, enchanted by it's usefulness and wondering who it warmed and covered over it's years.

    Mine is also a hexie quilt but in the traditional flower shape. Also from 30's prints. It's full of stains and holes and I love every inch of it.

    I also have a Dresden plate top pieced by hand by my great grandmother.

    I really need to get them both out of their packing boxes and displayed now that I have my own home =0)

    Maybe I should also do a blog post about them LOL

  13. I have never come across a vintage quilt in England that I have fallen in love with. But wow I have visited America lots and am always lucky with finds but have not been able to bring it back due to luggage constraints. Maybe oneday....

  14. WOW Awesome quilt As a family member of a quilter parting with such a treasure would have been difficult for me

    Hope you learn more about the quilt and its maker

  15. Oh Amber, I think you totally scored. It is such a beauty. I have found 30's fabric around at estate sales and such. You will find a couple of pieces or three eventually. Don't forget to post if you finish it. It is killer!

  16. Hi Amber,
    It must be fate that I saw your post today !
    Many years ago, I inherited a pieced hexi quilt from my paternal grandmother. I'm told it was pieced by her mother - I think the pattern is flower garden. It has been stored, folded in a pilowcase by me for probably 20 years. I'm guessing this top was made in the 30's-40's (???). Anyway, I have several of those dark spots in the muslin area of my top as well. I would like to try and get this top layered and quilted, but just can't figure out what to put on the back.
    My best idea so far is to perhaps think about a denim colored chambray or something like that. I'd love to chat with you about our tops....I really could use the help.

  17. Ooh! This is gorgeous! I have a quilt my great-grandmother made for my grandparents early on in their marriage. It's made from bits of old clothing. I love it. It stays in my closet right now. It needs repaired. :(

  18. what a treasure! sure hard to suck up $300 bucks but judging by the looks of this find, i think you scored one heck of a deal! enjoy! :)


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