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Thread: Antique Quilt Piece

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ann Marie O's Avatar
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    I had an old settee refinished/reupholstered last summer and in the process, we found this old piece of quilted material used in the stuffing. I know the settee was built for my great grandfather around 1900-1910 so this quilt had to be old at that time. The man who did my settee felt the quilt was probably from the Civil War days. My question is "What do I do with it?" I am looking for suggestions. I had thought of using it as a mat an old picture frame and putting our family tree centered on it but the frames are too shallow and don't leave any air space between the quilt and glass, so decided not to do that. I think the only thing I could do is use a shadow box type of display with something in front of it. Although the quilt is in bad shape, it is amazing how bright some of the fabrics still are. What do you think?

    Overall size is about 24 x 40
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    I don't know what this black and white square is - do you?
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  2. #2
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    What an interesting find!! I hope you find a really cool way to keep it!

  3. #3
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    WOW! I would go with picking out a good piece and putting it in a shadowbox along with the story. and a picture of the setee, before and after if possible

  4. #4
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    If you have a university close they would have a clothing and textile dept. that would be able to help date it. What a great find.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dpparris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    WOW! I would go with picking out a good piece and putting it in a shadowbox along with the story. and a picture of the setee, before and after if possible
    That is a wonderful idea.

  6. #6
    a regular here Demshine's Avatar
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    Wow, that is a fabulous find.

  7. #7
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I would create a shadow box with it as the backdrop for other antique sewing implements. That would be beautiful.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ann Marie O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy
    If you have a university close they would have a clothing and textile dept. that would be able to help date it. What a great find.
    I didn't know that University's would do that (or could do that). I also have an antique wedding dress that has been in my family for years and while we figure it is about 120-140 years old, we really don't know. I would love to find out more about it and it's age.

  9. #9
    Senior Member estherblair's Avatar
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    frame it honey what a find

  10. #10
    Senior Member lileth1374's Avatar
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    First, I would contact your local university to see if they could date it. Then, I would go from there. That small black and white patch may mean the quilt is of some historical importance. You never know.

  11. #11
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    I don't think you would want to expose it to too much light or it would fade a lot. If you do frame it, use a UV glass.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ann Marie O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewecansew
    I don't think you would want to expose it to too much light or it would fade a lot. If you do frame it, use a UV glass.
    You are right - I will make sure to protect it from the light. I will probably put it on the wall in my spare bedroom where I have furniture, etc that belonged to my grandmother. It should fit in there nicely.

  13. #13
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    Looks like that little black and white patch matches the same fabric that is next to the navy piece.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ann Marie O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana katie
    Looks like that little black and white patch matches the same fabric that is next to the navy piece.
    It is similar, but not quite the same.

  15. #15
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
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    I would definitely have it framed. It would then be protected!

  16. #16
    Senior Member redturtle's Avatar
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    i like your idea of using it as a mat for your family tree...definitely a shadow box...and definitely uv glass...

    will be a little expensive but well worth it...

    what a wonderful find

  17. #17
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    What a treasure! I'd frame it or shadow box it and put the legend of where it came from on the back, along with old pictures of your great grandparents. I also love your idea of using it as a backdrop for your family tree.

  18. #18
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
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    I'll bet the original quilter was removing stitches she didn't like, or dropped her scissors on the quilt while working on it, and created a small hole in the fabric. She went to her neighbors who also were quilters, and showed them the small hole. She was very upset about it. One of the neighbors told her to applique a small patch over the hole, and it will look like she intended it as part of the design. And so, her hard work was saved.

  19. #19
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    Hi AnnMarie,

    I would have the whole cloth piece framed. I would not cut up the piece at all. I would not use it as a mat either. You want to be able to see all of the different pieces of fabric.

    There is uv protection glass and you can have a small shadow box frame and need to use acid-free paper and matting. Your local Hobby Lobby and frame stores can give you suggestions. I would check out several with their pricing. There are some that let you frame your own.

    What a wonderful heirloom that's probably from past family members. The wedding dress is an heirloom as well. There are places would love to have such as item if you really don't want to keep it in the family. Do you know any of the history of the dress? Handle it with care and don't do anything to it until you talk with an expert. Keeping it intact without cleaning keeps the value and integrity of the dress.

    Good luck with your treasures.

    Pam M

  20. #20
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Marie O
    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy
    If you have a university close they would have a clothing and textile dept. that would be able to help date it. What a great find.
    I didn't know that University's would do that (or could do that). I also have an antique wedding dress that has been in my family for years and while we figure it is about 120-140 years old, we really don't know. I would love to find out more about it and it's age.
    I'm sure that one of the Universities in Michigan has an extensive quilt collection -- I remember seeing a magazine story about it once. If I can find something on the Web I'll send it to you.

  21. #21
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    Contact the Great Lakes Quilt Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing. The collection is more than 100 years old, and they are the contact point for the Michigan Quilt project. They are sure to know where to find the experts in dating fabrics.

    Good luck! Have fun!

  22. #22
    Super Member Lynneander's Avatar
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    I agree with some of the other comments ... have it framed to preserve ... then enjoy!

  23. #23
    Super Member dglvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynneander
    I agree with some of the other comments ... have it framed to preserve ... then enjoy!
    Me too agreeing with the others on this. What a beautifal piece.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ann Marie O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milp04
    Hi AnnMarie,

    I would have the whole cloth piece framed. I would not cut up the piece at all. I would not use it as a mat either. You want to be able to see all of the different pieces of fabric.

    There is uv protection glass and you can have a small shadow box frame and need to use acid-free paper and matting. Your local Hobby Lobby and frame stores can give you suggestions. I would check out several with their pricing. There are some that let you frame your own.

    What a wonderful heirloom that's probably from past family members. The wedding dress is an heirloom as well. There are places would love to have such as item if you really don't want to keep it in the family. Do you know any of the history of the dress? Handle it with care and don't do anything to it until you talk with an expert. Keeping it intact without cleaning keeps the value and integrity of the dress.

    Good luck with your treasures.

    Pam M
    Hi Pam,

    Don't know anything about the dress except it was found in my great grandparent's attic along with other items from the Civil War time. I have had it at the end of my hallway on a manikin for years now and just love it!

    Of course, the manikin is too big for the dress but I was always going to make a chemise for it and then just drape the top on one shoulder.
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  25. #25
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    WOW. That wedding dress is fabulous.

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