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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sleigh Bells Ring....!

or...''Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh!"

and..."The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh ..something something ..."

Hi guys! Yay! Blogger was fixed by my son, thank goodness for children, right?
And no I haven't reverted to Christmas-y posts. But today [or when I wrote this, lol] we have a feeling of snow in the air and I have a beautiful antique sleigh blanket or buggy rug to show you.

It's from the summer flea but not a rescue since the condition is quite good, though I did have it drycleaned before I brought it in my house. [ya never know].

These date from the late 1800 s through the early 20th century. Before cars---and cars with heaters!---in the winter folks traveled in unheated buggies or sleighs. You do see cast iron and brass foot warmers sometimes at antiques show, but I'm willing to bet almost every vehicle had what nowadays we'd call a throw.

Many carriage blankets were wool, or wool and velvet. This beautiful quilt is made up of small-ish---5 x 7"? rectangles of beautiful woolen fabrics, classic suitings, tartans, twills.
It has a couple frays but the woolens are in amazing condition, so beautiful.

The blocks are hand pieced with a running stitch then the seams are decorated with a fascinating array of fancy embroidery stitches similar to what we'd see on a good crazy quilt. Sadly the stitching has deteriorated a bit, but it's still lovely.
These are some favorites.

The back is a somewhat rough plaid, not a fine tartan but that sort of multicolored plaid. The textile is just two layers with no quilting or ties. And it's quite heavy!

Until I took these photos I didn't realize the design is a central one-patch with a rather chubby piano key border on three sides.

I love the touch of bright cerise-pink. The quilter distributed the bright accents evenly throughout the quilt. The pink is a tightly woven wool sateen.

The best touch? Just one sweet freehand rosebud.

Did the maker finally get bored with her handiwork task? Or was there a sudden cold snap and the blanket was put into use unfinished. Or maybe it's a signature--her name was Rose!? I love that idea.

So when was this quilt made? Could it have been made as late as the 1930s or 40s? I had to look up and find out when car heaters were invented. here I loved this comment: " There were after market heaters for Ts, but they were never an option, at least from the factory. Dealers may have installed them, though old Henry frowned on what he called 'spurious parts'.'' Apparently a good car heater wasn't invented until the late 1930s. (And here I am 80 years later, loving my heated / AC car seats and heated steering wheel!)The beautiful Victorian crazy quilt stitching leads me to believe the blanket is earlier, maybe 1890-1910? Lovely condition since it may be 100 years old!
Speaking of cold weather, here is Mo being cozy! Isn't this just a classic exhausted baby photo.

Mo loves the cold and we are taking long fast walks these days. We miss seeing the bright Christmas lights but check on the neighbors' koi pond daily. It's frozen solid! Poor koi. Can they even breathe. [no one is ever around to be nosy and ask.]
And yesterday I was thrilled to see a few crocus tips peeking out from under the melting snow.
I'll be back soon, we have catching up to do!



gone to the beach

  PS If anyone has a link for more info about quilts of this kind, I'd love more info. Thx!


  1. Oh, I LOVE it! What a find. The embroidery is charming. It LOOKS heavy, didn't surprise me that you said so.

    My Dad, for some reason, bought a pretty old Corvair in the late 70's (he must have gotten a deal on it) and to say the thing had a heater would be a stretch. That blanket would have come in handy!

    Cutie pie Mo is irresistible :)


    1. A Corvair! LOL . Don t you wish you had it now!! My dad bought a Model A Ford a one point. I can t remember if it had any sort of heater.

    2. NO! I don't wish I had it now. It was death trap! Left me stranded or nearly stranded more times than I want to remember! It WOULD remind me of my Dad though :) A Model A Ford? Have to look that up.

    3. Model A Ford 1930. Think of gangster movies, Al Capone on "Prohibition" last night on PBS?

  2. What a great quilt! Those stitches make it so precious!! It doesn't look that big..enough to cover your legs?

    1. Actually it is quite large, approx double bed size tho a bit narrow. 72" x 60".

  3. I love the embroidery, and I like your idea that the maker's name was Rose - that little rosebud would be a perfect 'signature'.

    Once upon a time I had a 1979 Fiat, and although I loved the stupid car, the heater must have been designed somewhere that 'cold' meant 40-degree temperatures. It'd get warm, but if it was REALLY cold out (below freezing) it couldn't keep up. And the defroster vent intake was on the hood so turning on the defroster was a crap-shoot -- sometimes you got a face-full of blown snow. But it was a blast to drive and I never got stuck in the snow! I even drove around a stuck Jeep full of college guys once, LOL!!

    Mo looks like a little angel sleeping like that. And bonus, when he's sleeping he's not off decimating your TP storage!

    We're having a warm spell, it was just over 60 yesterday and might be today, too. Have a good Sunday and week!

    1. What kind of Fiat and why was it good in snow? Warm here too---sort of. 49*. Pouring rain. and fog. [= migraine, sigh].

  4. Oh how beautiful!! I love it!! The first thing I thought of when I saw that rose was maybe it was her signature!! :) wouldn't she love it to know we (today) found her lap quilt and appreciated her hard work!

    Hope it warms up soon for you.


  5. I've started collecting "worn out" Aloha shirts to make a cover for one of my futons. I'm not going to use backing, either. I may use a flannel sheet if I can find one to recycle.

    This one is so pretty. I bet "Rose" would be tickled to know that it's found love again.

    Mo looks so snuggly and warm.



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