July 25, 2016

100-Year-Old Christening Gown


This christening gown is a family heirloom with a full pedigree.  The left photo is the front, right photo is the back, third photo is the matching slip.  Here's what the current caretaker knows about the gown:

July 19, 2016

LeMoyne Star Plus 9-Patch Equals a Great Quilt

This quilt is signed and dated, one of my favorite kinds of quilts.  It was made in 2002 in Intercourse, PA, by Esther Martin.  Sign and date all your quilts, folks!  Quilt lovers of the future will thank you!

Repairing fairly recent quilts like this one is very different from repairing quilts of the 1800s or the early 20th century.  It's so easy to find patching fabrics!  All I have to do is go into my sewing room and look at the piles of fabrics I've bought over the years for my own quiltmaking.

July 16, 2016

Shopping Spree

I'm sure many of you know how easily this happens....

I was sitting down to repair this lovely Victorian silk and velvet log cabin quilt. 

And lo and behold, I discovered that I somehow had let my supply of black thread run completely dry.  And then somehow, my thread order ended up with just "a few" more spools than just the black.  The pages and pages of yummy colors were just more than I could resist!

This, by the way, is 100% cotton size 60 thread.  It's what I use for repairing quilts, especially ones like this log cabin with very fragile fabric.  Regular sewing thread is larger, size 50.

Close-up photos of the fabrics in the quilt and of the conservation work I did on the fragile old silks are in the previous post.

July 13, 2016

Lovely Victorian Log Cabin


This quilt exemplifies why people are drawn to the silk and velvet quilts of the Victorian era, don't you think?  Rich glowing colors and shiny fabrics.  It's all about the fabrics!

The counterpoint of the black vs. color makes the strong visual impact that quilt collectors love to see.

The logs are mostly silks.  They are about 1/2" wide, though you can see that it's not precision piecing - they do wobble a bit.  This makes me happy.  It says to me that a quilter doesn't need to lose the fun of fabric and color by stressing over precision (unless precision makes her happy) and can still make a stunning quilt.

July 6, 2016

An Amazing Day at an Auction ~ Quilt Rescue!

 Beautiful Windmills, 1930s;  lovely, fine quilting.  
Tried hard to win, but lost to the antique dealer.

What follows is a guest post by one of my readers.  I think of it as a cautionary tale about what wonders can be lost without a bit of research into the proper care of antiques.  She had the good luck and good sense to help rescue an amazing and amazingly mistreated quilt collection.  I am grateful to her for the time she has taken to share her story here.  (The photos were taken when the quilts were on display, before the "disaster".)

After reading this sad tale, I hope you'll join me in thanking her for giving it the happiest ending possible.