I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turquoise Star Quilt - Polka Dots Included

Sunday's flea market was big, busy, and exciting---but a little junky. Late in my fruitless searching I spied this folded blob of polka dots on top of a grubby old oak armoire.
It looked like a mess of old pj's or boxers, lol!

I reached up, shook it out a little...saw those big almost-turquoise dots! And made an offer. We haggled a bit but for a tiny price I brought home what I thought was a crappy cutter quilt, maybe a cheap import even. (I never really opened it up even!).

When I got home I was thrilled to see that it was a charming vintage (or antique?) full-sized handmade Blazing Star or Star of Bethlehem in really very good condition.

And of course I LOVE the color, soft white with shades of off-blue verging on my fav turquoise. The photo below has more acurate color....

Very interesting! The stars are all different sizes of polka dots from tiniest pin dots to big fussy-cut coin dots! Aren't they adorable!

The ground print is a cheery blue and white aspirin dot. Some of the midsized "dots" are squiggles but definitely dots.

The smaller stars, to my surprise, are pieced then appliqued...see the background dots showing through?

Even the traditional "ribbon" border commonly seen on Blazing Star quilts (like twisted garland or bunting?) is one of the dots plus a blue check, then the binding is a blue stripe.

The very faded backing is (was ) palest aqua blue with pale tan figurals that remind me of spinning tops (or Christmas ornaments!) and refers to the theme of polka dots too.

Was this a kit? If not, how did this 1940s-1950s-ish* quilter accumulate all these dots? And why?
Was her name Dot?
She loved to polka?
Loved dots?
Wish I knew...the anonymity of quilts always intrigues me, though makes me wistful too. Don't you just wonder?

The hand quilting isn't excellent but it's nice and far superior to what I originally thought. "Dot" did a very nice job...

Yes it's a little soiled...actually at this very moment it's being cleaned...fingers crossed!
Oh, here it is all washed and pristine! The white is much brighter than my photos...

And it needs a little mending and TLC---but I think it's a treasure! Lucky me, I was so happy.

And this is my latest little turquoise heart, with close-ups of the quilt fabrics in the background.

I've had fun researching this bracelet, so more about that treasure soon. It will also will be on etsy, since sometimes I must share and sell to support my turquoise treasure hunting!

*I am just estimating the age of this quilt: surely pre-1960/ post 1900? Any thoughts? I'd love some input!

PS A fun recent post about polka dots by quilt expert Barbara Brackman.



gone to the beach...........


  1. I adore the quilt! It is absolutely gorgeous!

    I don't have much of an imagination, so I'd be a lousy quilter, but I do love color on color or one color which is the focus (unless you count white as a color in which case 2 colors, please) ...

    I find precious little worth buying at a flea market here - I dream of living in the midwest or the east so I can go to 'real' flea markets! Then again, if I moved, I'd need a house with outbuildings for 'my' finds!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. What a darling little bracelet! Looks like the perfect piece to inspire something for V-Day!

  3. What a wonderful find! I LOVE the polka dots..they're so cheerful. I think "Dot" must have been a fun person? I wonder if she gathered up dots as she found them and saved them for her special quilt..or if she had friends that helped her collect? Too bad the quilt won't tell it's story?
    I like your turquoise bracelet too. You and I couldn't go shopping together. I collect turquoise too! LOL
    Great scores Lizzy! :)


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