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Thread: Interesting Vintage Quilts - looking for information

  1. #1
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Dallas area, Texas, USA

    Interesting Vintage Quilts - looking for information

    My SIL showed me a couple of very old tufted coverlets made of whole cloth, the same printed fabric on both sides. They're a lightweight wool (I'm pretty sure) in a twill weave. They are tied with a string similar to fine crochet cotton, which is stitched through and then tied around strands of wool yarn on top, creating nifty little pompoms all over the quilts, just a few inches apart. They're filled with thick wads of stuffing, I'm not sure whether it's cotton or wool. I should have taken a closer look. They're from her father's family who lived in New England for many generations. They had cold winters, and did not use anything resembling our thin modern batting.

    I have been studying a couple of reference books I have on vintage fabric, one by Barbara Brackman and the other by Eileeen Jahnke Trestain. The paisley has a lot in common with some mid-19th century fabrics, and the other one seems a little later, but still possibly 19th century. I could find nothing about the style of tying that was done on these. Both of these quilts are in bad shape with the fabric shredding in spots and the stuffing falling out. They have had a lot of use, but there's still some fabric in them that is intact, and most of the tufts are holding tight. Any opinions about the age? Was this tufting method common, or can we conclude they were done by the same person around the same time (as is likely, since they're still together)?

    Another question would be, assuming she will want to have a keepsake from each of them, what would be the best thing to do with them? They can't be used or displayed as they are because they're pretty big and in bad condition - not even cleanable. Would it make sense to cut off a nice section and make a pillow or frame it in a shadowbox, or what would you do if it was yours?
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    True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you donít need to regularly escape from. ~Brianna Wiest

  2. #2
    Super Member marilynr's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    I have made teddy bears or framed wall hanging.

  3. #3
    Gay is offline
    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    May 2012
    S.E. Queensland, Australia
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    I remember the paisley one from 6 yrs in the 1950s. It was filled with wads of cotton threads and was very heavy. I don't know how my mother ever lifted it from the washtub or got it dry - we had a copper tub with a fire under for washing. Brings back some memories.

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