vintage quilts, etc.

It has been a busy Saturday. We took ten more bags of books to donate to the College Women's Club book sale. They raise about $50,000 ever year for college scholarships and we've been going every Saturday morning for weeks. More to go.

Nearby, there is a fabulous farmer's market so Phil and I went over after dropping the books. I could have bought everything in the place, but I don't have enough room in my fridge produce drawers.

I forgot to take pictures while we were there (actually, didn't have a spare hand): kohlrabi, some exotic squash, NJ clams from Barnaget Bay, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, white NJ peaches, farm-made bacon that is $12 a package and is the best I have ever had; and farm-fresh eggs.

Then, I saw sorrel (sour grass), which I have never seen anywhere, I bought it.

When I got home, I made schav, which is a Russian/Polish cold soup. My father loved it (you serve it with a dollop of sour cream) and I thought it was the worst thing I had ever tasted when I was a kid. My mother bought this in a jar but they no longer make it. Now I love it, so when I had the chance to make it, I jumped.

But what about the vintage quilt tops?, you ask. I am going to apologize in advance for the terrible photos. I gave up my studio, so I no longer have a design wall to put up my quilts for photos. I had to settle for a portion of my sewing room floor and had to fold the top in half. But you can figure out how these really look. I did manage to crop out my bare feet.

I bought this 1930's butterfly & green scalloped edge quilt top in 1995 in West Palm Beach. It is 72" x 90" in absolutely mint condition. Blanket-stitched with black embroidery thread and embroidered antennae. Fabulous 1930's fabrics!

This photo is only 1/4 of the top, since I didn't have room for the whole thing on my floor. I suppose I had planned to finish it...but oh, well.

This is a better photo of a detail.

Since I haven't finished it in more than 20 years, you might like to buy it and finish it yourself. It is $90 - guaranteed virgin condition. Send me an email if you can't resist this beauty and I will send you higher resolution photos by email. First come, etc.

This next one I have no notes on and no memory of when/where I purchased it. It is a summer coverlet, probably 1920s-30s, likely for a child's bed because it is 60" x 60". Redwork (but in varied colors) and absolutely charming. It isn't quilted so i thought it was only one layer, but I turned it over and realized it was two layers when I saw the lines of green stitches on the back. The thin green binding is machine sewn.

Also great condition -- with one little stain I nearly missed (left side).

I could soak it but I'll let you do that part if you want to buy this beauty. The big photo was poor, so I am just showing you a detail. I am asking $75.

I don't think I can part with this next one. I'm a sucker for orphans and in the 1980's and early 90's I rescued and repaired a number of quilt tops and finished them. All by hand; I wasn't machine quilting then - fortunately. I'll show you my two faves some other time.

This one is late 1800's, fair condition, bought in Palm Beach in 1987. It is 80"x82". Some of the browns (see upper right in photo) had disintegrated, as browns tended to do in those years. The blocks are 7" set on point with that green sashing. Binding is frayed and was handsewn.

I lovingly repaired/restored some of the blocks (see the brown in the middle) with repro fabric. But at some point, I went on to other things and haven't finished what I started. I may still have some of those brown fabrics - or others from that era -- although I did get rid of a lot of those repros. The reds and greens held up beautifully.

Have you ever repaired/restored orphan quilt tops or quilts? All you need is time and love.

 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019