April 22, 2021

Antique Photo from Melrose, MA

A few years ago, I did a lot of research on a quilt with many names inscribed.  It seems to be fund-raising quilt, and was made in Melrose, MA, in 1897 or 8.  The information and connections made via this quilt just keep on coming...

You can read about the quilt, the research process, and the results - there are 14 blog posts - starting here, if you want to read through the whole process step by step.  There also is a summary of the process, a description of my adventures taking the quilt "home" to Melrose, and downloadable sets of data that I collected.  

But wait - now there's more!

April 12, 2021

Good-bye, Amazon....

I've decided to make a change to my business plan.  I am going to stop selling my book on Amazon.  The sales page will be set to "out of stock".  

The book will now be available only on my website, which links to my sales page at Square for the financial paperwork.  I hope that folks who come looking to buy on Amazon will now come looking for me as an independent seller.

*****  https://www.annquilts.com/book.html  *****

Read on if you want to know why I'm making this change.  I am much crabbier about this than I sound, believe me, and have decided to put this in the most positive way I can. 

1: Selling through Square costs significantly less for nearly the same list of services.
2: Square provides a smoother and more flexible seller interface.
3: I feel much more in charge of my business decisions by selling this way.
4: My sense of morality is not nearly so threatened. 

One change to my seller rhythm is that I needed to design my own receipt since Square doesn't provide a pre-formatted one.  This was not a hardship.  The only thing I've really lost is Amazon's huge marketing reach.  And I'm quite happy to trade that in for peace of mind and making my own decisions.

It's definitely the way to go for my small business and for my world view.

I am happy to say that I’ve been getting more and more orders at my website this calendar year, and am very, very grateful to those of you who are already shopping from small businesses and independent producers and artists.  

March 17, 2021

A Beauty of a Quilt

 Here's a gorgeous quilt.  It's as simple as that.

This quilt came to me for repair.  The quilt dates to c1850.  As old as it is, it is in nearly pristine condition, save for a place in the center where it got wet somehow with something.

Here's how fabric looks in an undamaged block.

You can see that whatever spilled on the quilt ate away at the brown fabric, and also carried some of the dye into the white background.  It's interesting (though sad, of course) to witness how the liquid ran along the fibers of the fabric. 

The dye also shadowed on to another block, and bled all the way through to the back.

The owner and I agreed that patching with another fabric was not an option, given the age of the quilt and skill of the quiltmaker.  

I put crepeline over the 4 damaged diamonds to help protect the damaged fabric.  Crepeline is a super fine silk.  (A previous post about crepeline.)  Here is one of the damaged diamonds - as is on the left - with brown crepeline lying on top the right.  You can (just barely) tell the crepeline is there because the batting in the holes is just slightly darker, and you can see the edge lying against the pink diamond on the right.

Here is the finished block with crepeline:

And now - here are many photos for you to enjoy!

So many gorgeous fabrics:

The quilting is gorgeous - a unique alternate block design:

(Photo courtesy of quilt owner)

Quadruple diagonal lines in the tulip border!

The overall views are spectacular!  I couldn't stop myself from adding a few more.

February 5, 2021

Virtual Quilt Restoration Workshop - Update

Here's what my living room looks like when it turns into a video production studio!  

Martha and I are pleased that our February workshop is now full.

The good news is that you can still register for alá carte lectures and private sessions.

You can also add your name to the mailing list in case of cancellations, and to be notified of future workshops.  We are considering holding another in late spring.

Visit my website for full information on content, to register for alá carte items, or to add your name to our mailing list.

January 17, 2021

Learn to Repair Quilts! New Virtual Workshop

Hello!  Martha Spark and Ann Wasserman are hereby announcing our brand new Virtual Quilt Restoration Workshop!  

February 20 - March 20, 2021
Five Saturdays, 3 hours per day  


Two sessions per day
North American time zones:
    10:00-11:30am and 12:30-2:00pm (Pacific)
    11:00am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:00pm (Mountain)
    noon-1:30pm and 2:30-4:00pm (Central)
    1:00-2:30pm and 3:30-5:00pm (Eastern)


Maximum class size: 15. You will get lots of individual attention! 

We will be teaching via Zoom. There will be both lectures and group discussion sessions.  

Topics will include:
-- Philosophies, techniques, and supplies used in restoration, conservation, and preservation
-- Fabric history and quilt dating
-- A show-and-share of participant's quilts, and a discussion of how and when to use the various techniques
-- Tips on how to run a quilt restoration business

You can register for the full workshop or for selected individual events.

Details of content, cost, and registration can be found on our webpage


Visit our website or contact for further information:
-- Ann Wasserman
-- Martha Spark

Ann Wasserman has nearly 40 years experience with quilt restoration and conservation. She is the author of the book Preserving Our Quilt Legacy: Giving antique quilts the special care they deserve.

Martha Spark has over 30 years experience working with historic textiles in the museum environment. She was Collections Manager at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. She has been a professional quilt restorer for almost 20 years. 


December 22, 2020

More Snowflake Quilts for the Winter Solstice

Yes, I'm a day late for the Solstice, but better late than never, I figure.  Let's slow down for a while and appreciate the cycles of time and the amazing Earth we all share.  Wishing everyone health and kindness. 

And so, let's talk about the quilts.  I've showcased two Snowflake quilts here on my blog made from a Paragon kit.  And now, here come numbers 3 and 4!!!  

The first quilt I wrote about was a repair job.  The quilt was made in the late 1930s.  There are two posts.  One tells about the quilt and its history, which is noteworthy because the owner also has the diary of her great-grandmother who made the quilt.  She describes details of shopping for the kit and how the sewing progressed.  The other post details the repair work I did, which is noteworthy because the owner asked me to add an embroidered dedication to her great-grandmother and the cousin who received the quilt as a graduation gift in 1940.

The story of the second quilt was sent to me by a reader.  She inherited her quilt from her grandmother's house.  She doesn't know who exactly made the quilt, but it is likely someone in the family. 

Now come these two quilts!  This information was sent to me by a quilter/quilt historian friend.  She says:

December 15, 2020

Quilt Repair Success!

Tooting my own horn here for a moment! 

Here's the lovely email I just received from a woman who bought my book.

My mother-in-law made the crazy quilt in the photos in the 1920's.  My daughter inherited it.  It had damage where it had been folded for all those years.  Otherwise, it was in pretty good condition.  I show the before and after pictures of a pink piece (photos 1 & 2), and the last photo is of the quilt.  I used your book to plan and make the repairs.  I would not have known where to start otherwise!  I used a lightweight silk fabric to make the appliques, and 100 wt silk thread to do the repair.  I bought silk organza to cover the binding which was badly worn.  We were pleased that the color was so good with the original fabric.  Your book addressed all the issues I was working on, so thank you!

It's so gratifying to know that the book is working just the way I intended.  Here are her photos.  Didn't she do a super great job?!



And the horn-tooting isn't complete without a link to more info on content and purchasing.