Vintage Quilt SAL

A couple of years ago my daughter was helping clear her other grandmothers house when she came across an unfinished old patchwork quilt stuffed inside a trunk. She brought it home for me to look at and asked me to finish it, thinking her grandmother had probably started it.

The more I looked at it the older I felt it was. It’s English paper piecing and many of the papers are still in the back, some of them are gorgeous, a glimpse into history. It looks like an old handwriting exercise book has been used, some letters, newspapers, I scanned them for dates to give me a clue who made it.

Whilst I couldn’t see a printing date on a newspaper, the events they were referring to were in the 1870’s. This means we need to look at least three if not four generations further back. I decided I needed some advice!!

I took it to my Embroiderers Guild where one of our members has worked in the textile department of a nearby museum. She felt the fabrics were scraps from a dressmaker, as they didn’t feel worn, like they still had some size in them. She felt my dating was about right, but also felt some of the fabrics were much earlier, like the 1750’s!!! By now I was beginning to wonder whether or not I should touch it!! She gave me contact details for the textile curator at the museum.

I had a long e-mail discussion with the curator, she was very helpful. She encouraged me to finish it, but to make a book detailing what I’ve done. So that’s my project for the next little while…

There’s one big piece and then several bits. The main piece measures 60″ by about 75″, my thought at the moment is to add one more strip. If I want to add more then I would have to find a light fabric that worked as there aren’t anymore light diamonds. Whenever I tried various shades of neutral fabric they just looked too new.

I’m hoping to quilt it on my vintage singer sewing machine. It’s a hand-crank from the 1870’s, so it feels right to use it, I don’t fancy hand-quilting it as, apart from it’s size, the fabric doesn’t feel like it would be easy to sew.

I’m hoping to be able to piece some of the backing papers together to maybe find out who made it, or at least a more accurate date, maybe a suggestion of a place, see if we can discover a bit of the history.

Hopefully in three weeks time when I next share this I’ll have pieced a few together.

Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, Margaret, TracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy, Connie, Monica and Sherrie

I’ll also be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for more hand-sewing inspiration.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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25 Responses to Vintage Quilt SAL

  1. Amanda says:

    Oh my! I’m not sure if I’m more interested in the fabrics or the papers but what a gem!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. katechiconi says:

    What a fabulous find! Why don’t you put out a call for vintage textiles of the right sort of era; I know there are people out there who collect and refurbish them? If you work out approximately how much you’d need to finish it to a sensible size, it would probably help. If I had any, I’d be delighted to contribute towards finishing this lovely and historic piece…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Fascinating. I didn’t know people used paper as backing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb says:

    It’s a gorgeous treasure! Do hope you find out more about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CathieJ says:

    How wonderful to find this quilt. I think it is wonderful that it will be a family treasure that crosses generations!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, that is amazing, what a treasure!!! I hope you can save all those papers in the book too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. WOW! I wonder if fabric designers might also be interested in the prints as inspiration…what a treasure have found!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laura says:

    This is so fabulous! What a wonderful treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathyreeves says:

    Double WOW! A family treasure for your daughter, a fabulous mystery for you, and what a perfect project for the old Singer! We will all get to enjoy reading as the story unfolds.😄 Maybe this will become a novel! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sharon says:

    This is so amazing and fabulous! What a treasure! I am excited for our next posting to find out what you learned.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Karrin Hurd says:

    What a treasure and a great bunch of history!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a completely interesting project to work on and share with all of us!! Such a great find and I’m looking forward to seeing this as it progresses.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Deanna says:

    What a great find! And that your daughter knew to keep it and bring it to you to finish!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. mandycurrie says:

    Hello Margaret, what a wonderful find, I’m sure you will enjoy working on such a heritage piece. How exciting to be able to look through all the backing papers and see what more you can discover, are there any old letters? I’m looking forward to hearing more as you discover more. Regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jenny Benton says:

    So amazing to have something special of that vintage to carefully work on. Perhaps you can find some used light fabric from an OP Shop somewhere which will tone in nicely without looking too bright and new? Looking forward to seeing this beauty evolve back to life again.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lynda says:

    I will be looking forward to your updates on this lovely gem. How exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Amazing find, Margaret, and you’ve done wonderful research! How about tea dying some of your current fabric to see if that will age it appropriately. As you well know, the longer in the tea, the darker the colour, and wet cloth is darker than dry. 😉 Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. nanacathy2 says:

    How incredibly exciting- looking forward to the updates.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh my goodness that is amazing! What a find! This will be quite the heirloom now!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What a wonderful find, Moda do Civil War reproduction fabrics. I am doing a “dear Jane” quilt with them. The colours might go with this one.


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