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Thread: Need advice on antique quilt tops.

  1. #1
    skacian's Avatar
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    I have two quilt tops that were hand-pieced by my great-grandmother. I would guess these were made in the 1800's. Does anyone have a connection with knowledge of old quilts?

  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    What did you want to know? Can you post pictures?

  3. #3
    Super Member Mplsgirl's Avatar
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    I don't, but I'm sure someone here does. I just wanted to say how lucky you are!

  4. #4
    skacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    What did you want to know? Can you post pictures?
    Yes, I will get some photos....they are wrinkled from sitting in a garage for years, and I am afraid to press them. I'll do the best I can....appreciate your help.

  5. #5
    skacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mplsgirl
    I don't, but I'm sure someone here does. I just wanted to say how lucky you are!
    Thanks....I had previously received one, about 17 years ago, and I put a backing on it and hand quilted it. I don't want to do that with these, as the backing on the first one is modern, and these quilt tops are antique. I wonder if I should remove the backing from the first one :roll:

  6. #6
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    post pictures so we can see what you have and Im sure you will get lots of feedback.

  7. #7
    skacian's Avatar
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    Both of these quilts were made by my great-grandmother in the 1800's in Fayetteville, MO. Her quilts were made from scraps left from clothing she made for her children. One of them does not have any border. Is there someplace where I could get an appraisal of their worth?










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  8. #8
    skacian's Avatar
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    This is the other one......
    Attached Images Attached Images


  9. #9
    Senior Member Missi's Avatar
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    Shirley if anyone PMs you will you please let me know. I have a few tops that my great grandmother finished and do not know what to do with them either. You out there that know please help us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Those are beautiful , my Favorite is the second one, so lovely

  11. #11
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    I don't know much about it, but I googled it, and I came up with two links, I don't know if they'll help or not, but perhaps they might. Very pretty quilt tops!

    http://www.materialpleasures.com/Oct...005_ep_32.html


    http://antiques.about.com/library/weekly/aa101199.htm

  12. #12
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    OK girls,

    I have a little experience with this, but you may not like what I am going to tell you..

    The first quilt from what I can see, looks to be made in the 1930s not the 1800s. .

    As to value, tops like this were selling for around $50 - 75 depending on the pattern and condition as well as the workmanship.

    Today, the prices have droped a little due to the economy.

    This one is a common design, but the addition of the solid blue diamonds is a little unique.
    As to whether you should quilt them or not.. it also depends on the age and condition of the fabric. This is a very personal choice also. And if you as three people, you will get three different answers.. But this is my opinion, after having thought about it for a while...
    If the top is not of historical significance.. and the fabric will hold up to it, I think it is fine to go ahead and make it up into a quilt. Especially if it is a family quilt as it will last longer and be more useful as a quilt than a top. I do feel that it should be finished in the manner that it was intended.. in other words, if it would have been hand quilted, I would hand quilt it.


  13. #13
    skacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstitch
    OK girls,

    I have a little experience with this, but you may not like what I am going to tell you..

    The first quilt was made in the 1930s not the 1800s. It is very definately 30s fabrics.

    As to value, tops like this were selling for around $50 - 75 depending on the pattern and condition as well as the workmanship.

    Today, the prices have droped a little due to the economy.

    This one is a common design, but the addition of the solid blue diamonds is a little unique.
    As to whether you should quilt them or not.. it also depends on the age and condition of the fabric. This is a very personal choice also. And if you as three people, you will get three different answers.. But this is my opinion, after having thought about it for a while...
    If the top is not of historical significance.. and the fabric will hold up to it, I think it is fine to go ahead and make it up into a quilt. Especially if it is a family quilt as it will last longer and be more useful as a quilt than a top. I do feel that it should be finished in the manner that it was intended.. in other words, if it would have been hand quilted, I would hand quilt it.
    Thank you so much for your honest evaluation. My mother gave me these quilt tops, and led me to believe they were made in the 1800's, so your information that they were actually made in the 1930's is more in line with what I had originally thought. (Mom is 86, so lots of stuff she tells me is questionable...lol)

    Your information has made my decision what to do with these tops much easier. Since they are not "valuable" to anyone but our family, I will finish them myself. I do only hand quilting, so that will be easy for me.

    I would like your opinion as to what to use for a backing. Should I look for some fabric that is reproduced from the 1930's. Also, one does not have a border, and I was thinking of adding a border. What do you think?

    Really appreciate your input...... :)

  14. #14
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    Oh, I was still working on my response to you...

    So here goes..

    I am looking a little closer at the first one and it would be easier if I could see it in person. But, some of the fabrics in the first quilt could date to the turn of the century, around 1900 - 1910... So, I think it was made in the 30s propbably with fabric from her stash.

    The second one is a little less common from a pattern standpoint as it is more difficult to piece. It is later than the first.. but a nice design.

    They are never going to be more valuable on the market than they are to you personally. I think it is very special to have quilts made by your own family member. Nothing is more valuable that than.

    And I would finish them.. As to backing, quilts of this period often used muslin as a backing and it works quite well today. As a matter of fact you can get 108 inch muslin backing that works up very nicely. My preference when doing these is to use a cotton batting.

    Here is a link to one that I did for a friend.. her blocks were 1900 fabrics..
    http://www.myquiltfabric.com/RhondasQuilt.html

    Let me know how it works out...


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    One more thought, you asked about appraisers.

    First of all, it costs between $35 and $50 for an appraisal, so it is up to you if you want to spend the money. If you do, I would wait until you have them completed .. Oh and when you quilt them, put a label on that says who made them, when and your name as the quilter and when.

    I think that these mulit generational quilts are going to become a collectible in their own right some day...

    Anyway, if you get an appraisal the only advice I have is make sure they are AQS certified. You can go to the websit and they list contacts for appraisers..

    Ok im done...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missi
    Shirley if anyone PMs you will you please let me know. I have a few tops that my great grandmother finished and do not know what to do with them either. You out there that know please help us!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Missi, take pics and lets see them.

    or you can bring them to the retreat..we would love to look them over.

    Judy

  17. #17
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I just wanted to add that the rule of thumb is that the quilt is no older than the newest fabric it contains. The 1930's pastels are easy to date - stripes and solids are harder. By the 40's, synthetics began to creep into use.

    In bygone days, fashions did not change as quickly as they do today, but the overall color schemes repeat in quilts, clothing, kitchen appliances and home dec.

    If you jumped in a wayback machine and went to 1880, the pastels would be jarringly out of place with the somber Victorian decor. Indigoes, cheddar, and natural dyes were all that was available then, and while they fade over time, they did not spout 1930-vintage patterns.

    Also, for finished quilts, smooshing your fingers to feel for cotton seeds can help reveal the age. Unginned cotton wasn't used much after Reconstruction, with the exception of some home-grown Southern vernacular pieces.


  18. #18
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    How lucky you are to have those quilt tops! I just wish that I had a quilt from either of my grandmothers...it would be just like getting a hug from them whenever I snuggled in it. I would definetly finish them.

    Judy, you did a fantastic job with Rhonda's quilt! What a story!

  19. #19
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    They are beautiful. How wonderful it is to have your grandmother's quilt tops.

  20. #20
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    You are very lucky to have such special quilt tops :D . I agree with what others had said about the dating of the tops. One thing to note is they are much more stable when made into a quilt. I would finish them with reproduction type fabric if you wanted to do a boarder and muslin or other backing. I would use cotton batting also and a quilt pattern that was popular during that time.

    One other thing, do not iron or wash it. I would wait until the quilt is assembled if you have to wash it and do it carefully in the tub. You can find articles about caring for antique quilts on the web.
    http://www.quilthistory.com/quilt_care.htm

    This sight gives a good description on cleaning.
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ts.html?cat=24

    Jstitch - the work you did on the quilt is beautiful. I appreciate the story.

    Good luck and enjoy them as they were intended to be used by her family when she made them.

    Lisa

  21. #21
    skacian's Avatar
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    I want to thank all of you that went to the trouble of giving me advice and information on the quilt tops that my great-grandmother had hand-pieced. I will add a border to the one without any border, use cotton batting, muslin for the backing and hand quilt them. My great-grandmother was a wonderful woman who lived in Fayetteville, Mo in the days of the James Gang. She lived into her 90's, and was a tiny lady, less than five feet tall, with white hair. She died when I was a teenager, so I did get to know her a little bit. She had a big wonderful family, and everyone loved her. We had huge family reunions until her death.

  22. #22
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I was wondering what the name of the pattern in pic 061 was called? I haven't seen it before.

    My book just calls it "The Pin Wheel"

  23. #23
    Bernadette Harwood's Avatar
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    Yes, Edna Hurley has old quilts on e bay and knows them well. Her e mail address is [email protected] i know she would be happy to write you.

  24. #24
    Bernadette Harwood's Avatar
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    Also see if you can find old fabric for the backing, like old muslin. I would not add new fabric not even reproduction to it. But that is just my own ideas. It is yours so do what you like. I bought several old quilts and I intend to hand quilt them too. in that spare time that never seems to happen.

  25. #25
    pawquilts's Avatar
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    I would suggest contacting the nearest quilt guild or quilt shop in your county for a reliable appraiser. Just put "quilt guild in ...... county, TN, in your internet search engine and see if you get a link with contact information. Good luck with that! -Pat

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