Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Help! Comments, Takers, Advice?

A few days ago I was given several discard boxes from an elderly lady's house cleaning efforts. She saw no value in the discards, but I feel like a got a vintage treasure! There were several hand sewn quilt tops, some batches of hand sewn blocks ready for assembly, lots of old Quilter's Newsletter Magazines from the 60's 70's and 80's . . . . and in the very bottom of the box were several flour sacks from the 30's and one sugar sack! WOW, was I blessed to be the receiver of these goodies!!!

Some of the tops are soiled, how they can be cleaned? Any advise? Also, anyone recognize any of the fabrics, what era they might be? Some may be old feed sack fabrics??!!. Also, any takers on some of the magazines? (I will catalog and list the dates of each in a later post.) Anyone know any collectors of these magazines. I list a few of the photos here, a more complete album of the box contents can be found on my facebook page. www.facebook.com/pruittCreations


Splendid Little Stars said...

What an amazing gift! I will pass this on to a neighbor who quilts to see if she has any feedback.

Then I Got Fat said...

Wow, you got such an incredible find here. I do quilt; however, I don't have any tips on cleaning the quilt tops.

As far as the era for the fabrics, it is very possible they were made from old clothing. A lot of women didn't have money to spend on fabrics and used old clothing instead.

How fun it must have been to dig through all of those treasures.

auntsuesoldnewlovely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
auntsuesoldnewlovely said...

Wow! What a great treasure you got!

You can wash these in cold water/line dry.

I am not sure of the fabric, I haven't learned about feedsack yet.

They are hot items and sell real well!

FabricalaCarte said...

They look like they're from the 1930's. Feedsacks can usually be identified because they are a little heavier weight and weave than the regular cottons.

If you wash them, wash by hand with a gentle laundry soap, and be very careful with lifting in and out of the water, and squeeze the water out gently. Dry on a low machine setting.

DownHome Designs said...

I can imagine your excitement when you started going thru the box! I would rather have something like that as a gift than anything that could be bought in a store. Lucky you! I know the fun will continue as you find out more about the fabrics, etc. and decide what to do with them. : )


Beautiful find. These are hand sewn tops and I would wash them very carefully by hand in a sink or bathtub. Then squeeze the excess water out, fold them in half and roll them in a towel to get as much water out as possible. That way you you can now drape them over something to dry them. If these Quilts are not finished, you might want to find a machine quilter to finish them up for you. Enjoy

Laurie said...

Lucky you! What fun that you have "inherited" these! I have some pieces of the 'squares' like in your last photo, too -- I never know what I should do with them! If you find a project for them, let me know! I don't recommend drying any of the tops in the dryer -- the stitching will likely come out and that will be such a pain to repair. Do as the other commenter said and hang to dry after squeezing out as much water as you can. Then, enjoy ironing them and admiring the fabrics!

whimbrella said...

You've got a gorgeous collection there. Here is a good website for advice on cleaning antique quilts:


As for dating, most likely you have 1930s or 1940s quilt tops -- based on the types of fabrics and the quilt patterns used.

If you're going to have these tops finished into quilts, remember that a quilt is dated from the NEWEST fabric in it -- so you need to find the same or simlar aged fabric for the finishing in order to maintain the official date of each quilt.

One of my favorite experts on dating fabrics and quilts is Mary Koval. Mary is very approachable and also sells from an extensive collection of antique fabric for repairing and finishing old quilts.


Have fun with your treasures!

MrFilthyRotten said...

Wow! Thanks for leaving a link to your blog on the vintage thread on etsy. These are gorgeous and I really appreciate being able to see them! You have some treasures there!


Nancy said...

I am so jealous! What a gift! I agree with others that they look like '30's especially if made with feed and sugar sacks. Have fun with them!

Marlene said...

What a wonderful, beautiful gift. I do not quilt and don't know muh about fabric so I am of no help. My sister is a quilter, I will show your post to her and see if she has any ideas.

TiLT said...

I am unfortunately of no help...but just had to shout a congrats for such an awesome find!

Nancy said...

Your fabrics are definitely 1930's with some possible 1940's fabric. The sunflower fabric in the center of the dresden plates looks like 40's.
I would test the fabrics carefully before washing. The stitching and edges may ravel with out care. If the fabric has been exposed to a wooden cedar chest the stains may not come out and rough handling would cause the fabrics to disintegrate. Your soap should be ph neutral: Orvis, Ivory or Dreft are good choices. Do not use a dryer or hang the tops..lay them flat on a sheet in the yard covered by another sheet. This will keep seams from ripping out. The fresh air will help with any musty smell.