Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vintage Quilt Top! & A Few Questions? (HELP!!)

Look at this old quilt top my sis gave to me! She found it at a garage sale earlier this year! (It was marked 1930's. Who would sell something like that?!)

I'm so excited to get it finished, it's going to go in my "vintage toy" guest room once I get it done (this spring, I hope!!).

I have a white chenille bedspread I got at a garage sale for the bed and this quilt will look gorgeous folded and laid across the end of the bed.

I am looking for the right fabric for the back, but I thought I'd ask your input. On an old quilt like this, would they have used muslin? A calico print? Dark, light, white? Please help!


I plan to do cotton batting to keep the old look and will probably tie it off since I'm not a hand quilter and I think it would look strange to have it machine quilted?

What do you think, I'd appreciate any and all input, this will be a first for me, finishing off a vintage quilt! I'm excited, but a little scared, too, because I really don't want to ruin it.

I think this fan-pattern quilt top will look mighty happy with all the vintage toys and games I have saved for my kids. The bright yellow is, to me, FISHER PRICE yellow....and the other colors are bright and cheerful, just like kids toys.

Speaking of old quilts, have you seen the latest issue of MARYJANE'S FARM?

(I'm a new subscriber to her magazine, and so far I really like it. It's the only magazine I now subscribe to, since all the other "country mags" have either gone out of business or stupidly gone the way of cheap, Ikea, thin, Pottery Barn, quick, citified and UGLY!!!!!!)

In this issue is a really nice spread on ideas for vintage quilts and quilt blocks. I know my daughter just bought a bag of quilt blocks at an antique store and there are just some of the cutest projects in this issue.

If you'd like to see a magazine before subscribing, you can pick up an issue in Tractor Supply Co. and check it out and if you like it, just take one of their subscription postcards while you're there and put the magazine right back on the rack!

I am full of questions today.....I have another!

In addition to your input on the quilt top, I would like to ask:

Have any of you had a digital camera stop recognizing the memory card?

My old stand-by and trusted friend the Kodak has stopped reading the memory card I had. So I went and got a new one and I still get the same message: "Memory card is not formatted. Please format the memory card." So, I hit continue, and it won't format?!? I checked my lock, made sure that wasn't on and it still wouldn't format the memory card. What the heck?

HELP! I really miss my favorite little workhorse camera. Today I wanted to shoot video, ran to grab the camera and suddenly remembered, it won't work!

I hope you are all warm and cozy tonight, it's mighty cold here all of a sudden after our week long January thaw. Tonight sounds like the perfect time to sit and read MaryJane's Farm from cover to cover!


Julie Harward said...


Farmgirl Cyn said...

Can't help you with any of your questions, but I am SO jealous of your latest issue of MJFarms!

Cousin B said...

Ooooh! That's a great quilt find! A wise person once said: "One's persons junk is another persons treasure!" And aren't we happy about THAT?! I think some people just decide to change gears on their style, or like my mother, was not interested in keeping anything that reminded her of her past. It was not a pleasant past, so she kept nothing and got everything new. :-(
I am not a quilt expert so I can't advise you on how to finish it off...but I know someone will help! And I look forward to pics.!

morninglorycottage said...

Hi Joni,
That's a great Grandmother's fan you've acquired. Some of your fabrics are definitely 30s, but you've got a good smattering of other eras in there too. If you're going to tie it though go with a higher loft batting because it will look better. Quilts that are tied with a thin, cotton batting always look skimpy to me. But I really think you should hand quilt it. That would look the best and most authentic. Your local quilt guild or Mennonite group would probably help you. It doesn't have to be a large design and hand quilting isn't as hard as it looks. Had it been finished in the 30s then they would have probably used a blanket for the inside and muslin on the back. My grandmother still uses old blankets on the inside. She's definitely a product of the Depression. :) But really how you finish it is up to you. Just don't use old sheets. They're tough to needle through. I would use warm and natural batting and a fun I spy type novelty print on the back with black binding which would make that yellow and all those other colors just pop. Red might do the trick too or a deep blue. Buy good quality fabric not something cheap. You want your work to last. So expect to pay about $8.00 a yard. You'll love the hand quilting during the winter, it's nice and warm. :) Especially while watching a movie. Any other questions you can just e-mail me.
Loved the newest Mary Jane edition. I'll be using the mini cheesecake recipe (I'll substitute flour no gluten problems here)for my best friend's birthday tea party I'm throwing her. She's turning a certain age this year and this is what she asked for. Should be a blast.
As for your camera that's interesting. Google it and see what you get. Hope it works again soon. I'd miss your photography. :)
{{HUGS}} Amanda
Good luck with your quilt.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Beautiful quilt top; what a wonderful sister!
Re what would have been used - the middle batting would very well have been a worn, used blanket. Store bought was costly.
Re the back - muslin would have been used or an old sheet or even more cut up fabric in large pieces.
The 1930's were terrifically difficult, in the midst of a depression and the woman would have used what she could have gotten her hands around.
I just put together a vintage top with muslin and had it machine quilted with angles and hearts - simply lovely! I'll post later today so you can see.
As to do what pleases you. I'm not a fan of ties, it never looks pretty to me but it is fast.
Just a beautiful quilt top!

peggy said...

I can't figure out people who don't recognize the value of an old quilt, once I looked out my front door and my neighbor was lying on the driveway, changing the oil in his car, on a Dresden plate quilt. You know what I did.

Anyway, I agree with you, I would tack it before machine quilting, I think that's like putting a new fender on a Model T. I think machine quilting is beautiful but not for the oldies.

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

My sister has a quilt that her Grandma made VERY similar to that. I will have her check the back and let you know what it was done in. Also have another quilting friend that can advise you on the stuffin'. I will send you her email. Our little Kodak did the same thing with the SanDisk memory card I bought. It would NOT format. I can check with hubby to see what he did. I know I bought a Kodak memory card tried different batteries and it seems ok now. I am NOT looking forward to 20 BELOW windchills tonight YUCK!! I will also direct my sis' attention to that MaryJane's Farm magazine. Sounds like eyecandy for her. Stay Warm and stay tuned to your email as I will try to get you some answers since I am quilting and camera impaired!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have a quilt top with similar fabrics that my husband's grandma did in wedding ring design. I have thought about hiring someone to finish it but haven't even considered tying it - thats a FANTASTIC idea it would keep the integrity of the age of the quilt. And I think the cotton batting idea is perfect. You may have inspired me to finish the quilt myself - tying it, as I have dabbled in hand quilting but not ready to take on a full size quilt. I hope you take pics of it when you finish it, cause I would love to see it! As far as backing, I think you could do what you want.. I even used flannel on the back of my daughter's raggedy anne quilt I tied. If you want to keep it old looking I would probably stick with a light muslin or something..

the canned quilter said...

The Grandmother's Fan quilt is beautiful. I would maybe find someone to help you or look for a local quilt group who could assist with hand quilting it. For the backing maybe a retro print from the 30's or light muslin. Many of the fabric houses have beautiful reproduction prints from the 30's and 40's. What a treasure.

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

All our family quilts from the 20's & 30's are backed with domestic (the off white cotton that's sold in the quilting section) or with old feed sack material. Both will have to be pieced to make it large enough probably. If you are tying the quilt off and using cotton batting, wash it carefully by hand so it does not ball up. The close quilting was done done way back then for this reason. Cotton batting will not stay flat and in place through repeated washings.
What a wonderful find, I too can never figure out why people get rid of such treasures.

Buttonchief7 said...

Family quilters used sheets or muslin for their backs. I sewed buttons on a lap quilt instead of tying and used the thickest loft available. Keeps one very cozy during this season. Old quilts deserve respect and I feel that machine quilting is a cop-out. Can't believe they allow them in the quilt shows nowadays. Peggy

Von said...

Just continue with the way it's been done already and follow that closely.The back will probably have been calico in black for a dark quilt, light colour for a bright one like this,it's lovely!

Anonymous said...

I am so into MJFarms -- you'll love it - so much information and the photos are beautiful! But about your camera so sorry can't help! About quilting I do very little of it -- to aid you any ideas but I know a sweet lady who might beable to give you some help -- if you are interested email me kandgough@gmail. Because I first need to get intouch with this lady and send her here..

Annieofbluegables said...

Kristeen sent me here.(thank you, Kristeen in your confidence in me)

I have read the comments and agree with Amanda@MorningGloryCottage, except for the binding in black. I would try to match something on the front. But that is my opinion.
I wouldn't tie it. I would try to hand quilt it. You can get those great big hoops and do a little at a time, but first go to visit Amanda at CrazyMomQuilts
she will show you a tutorial on how to baste. She has several other tutorials on binding and other essentials.
sorry I can't help more
Good Luck

Anonymous said...
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Mary Jane Plemons said...

You have probably made your decisions by now, but I just read this. I am a quilter. I have many old quilts that belonged to my grandmother and her mother and sisters. They are all backed with muslin. Be sure to buy it from a quilt store, and you will get much better quality. They will have wide muslin that won't need piecing. It seems sad not to hand-quilt this top. It would be simple to do in a large hoop in your lap; that is how I have quilted a number of big bed quilts, since sitting at a frame hurts my back. This would be a good opportunity to learn to hand quilt. The stitches just need to be uniform in length; they do not have to be tiny. That comes with practice. It is so relaxing. Don't try to do a complex quilting design; just follow the design of the quilt pattern and stitch in the ditch. Your stitches won't show as much that way. You might need to do a straight-lined crosshatch in the background if the spaces are too big between the fans. That can be marked by laying down masking tape and sewing next to it. The old way used in the thirties was frequently Baptist Fans quilting...arcs of quilting across the quilt. Look up a picture of that. If you decide to mark the quilt, be sure and do not use a pencil; it won't wash out. The wash-out pencil marks must be thoroughly soaked in cold water, then the quilt washed to remove the traces of it, and it must be kept out of heat/sunlight, or the marks will be permanent. That is why I prefer following the pattern or using masking tape. Don't leave the tape on long, or the adhesive will stick. Fons and Porter have an excellent book that covers every question you might have. I wish you well! You can contact me for more info, if you wish.
Mary Jane, (but I don't have a magazine!)