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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Red and Dill Pickle Green Quilt for Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm still baking cookies, lol, this last batch was a flop. Lucky for me my mom's snowballs came out great, so we won't starve.

A few days ago on the Humble Quilts FB page, Lori asked if we decorated with quilts for the holidays. I don't display many quilts in my home, despite having a collection that numbers in the hundreds, antique and vintage / not made by me. The rooms are too small, the atmosphere too beachy, my kids don't much like floofy country stuff, and so on. One quilt on my bed sometimes and one or two folded over the arms of the sofas. This year I got out this beautiful red and green quilt. It is a pattern called Chimney Sweep or sometimes Album, I believe.

I'm guessing it dates between 1880 and 1920?

It was a rescue quilt from the old now defunct Thursday pickers market. I bought two quilts and a top for 30.oo. The second finished quilt was also red and green, a similar patch to this but the red squares formed an X. I sold it to a woman who needed a ''red cross'' quilt for a fundraiser auction, and she couldn't find a traditional red and white version.

Anyway these quilts were so damaged by cigar fumes that when I dug them out from under the dealer's table, they simply looked icky brown. The pink and brown Churn Dash top from the same estate sale must have been stored carefully as it was in lovely clean condition.

I was glad it was a cold autumn day and I was wearing gloves because the two quilts were untouchable. We put them in a black garbage bag and I brought them home.

Now what? I finally soaked each quilt in the bathtub until the rinse water ran fairly clean. Then I washed them and dried them. And their antique charm and beauty was once again revealed. [yes, I scrubbed the bathtub afterwards, eeeeew.]

I knew the nasty brown tint was nicotine because the quilts I inherited from my aunt were similarly stained---and scented. She was lifelong smoker. My mom showed me how to remove the grime of years...and the icky smell.

I love this quilt for its fabrics. There are at least six different reds and six or more ''dill pickle greens''. What a fabulous repro quilt fabric line this would make!

Some damage where the prints have cracked, this stripe being the worst.

I'm always collecting repro and vintage fabrics in hopes of repairing it someday.

Muslin back, fine utility quilting, simple cables on the sashing and borders. Handpieced.

Unfortunately the exposed stuffing attracted Mo's interest and the quilt again went into the storage armoire for its own protection. Maybe someday...


On a looking forward to the New Year note, I am in love with this quilt on the cover of the current Simply Moderne.

I'd love to make it in all red and white, a holiday topper for my all white bed? I'd do shades of red for the wool work tree and red cottons for the borders. I'm torn...should I start gathering fabrics or send it to its turn in the project queue?

I think it would have such a lovely Scandinavian look in red and creamy white....

See you soon! I still have presents to wrap! How about you? And what are you cooking? Do you celebrate on both Christmas Eve and Day?



gone to the beach.....

dense fog advisory today:

Mo had his Christmas bath. But Santa is gonna bring him COAL because he ran away the other night. Bad dog! I looked up why dogs run away and it said it's because they aren't happy at home! Isn't that awful, we love Mo and try to make him happy. I think he just has the car-chaser gene, though.


  1. Wow! I love that quilt and all the close ups were awesome!!
    How large would the tree quilt be? I think red and white would be very pretty.
    Now that our kids are grown and away every year is something new as far as celebrating the holidays. I'm keeping it simple and making pork tenderloin for Christmas day dinner. Merry Christmas!!

  2. I love stories of rescue quilts and this one is a beauty! The tree quilt would be pretty any which way! I make almost the same cookie - pecan butter balls - melt in your mouth and powdered sugar everywhere. We eat a big turkey dinner (though I'm lobbying for switching back to ham next year) on Christmas Eve and then Eggs Benedict for Christmas brunch. Merry Christmas to you at the beach!

  3. I love the red and green quilt! Our big celebration will be today with our Italian feast of seven fishes. We start around noon and go into the night!! Christmas Day will be a quiet one probably with some sewing! Merry Christmas....

  4. Ha-ha! I do not believe that dogs run away because they are unhappy at home. They are like kids and have a natural curiosity. Plus they likely let their nose lead the way. :) Bad Mo! Love the dill pickle quilt. Can't imagine the grimy damage from smoke. ugh! Your furniture is just right for displaying quilts to change up the seasons or holidays. A shame you don't use them more. I made a vegan meal again today for me (mushrooms & dumplings, roasted sweet potatoes and cornbread). And we HAD plenty of cookies from my friend's cookie festival last Saturday but my husband turned into a cookie monster and they are all gone now. :) Merry Christmas!

  5. What a lovely quilt. Hard to believe you bought all that for $30. I had no idea how many you own, lol! I vote for you to make the quilt that's on the cover of Simply Moderne.

    We're more Christmas Day people. I'll be working tonight, but if I don't get home too late, we'll visit with friends across the street.

    We've been invited to two gatherings on Christmas Day, so I won't be cooking much. We have tamales in the fridge for when we need something quick to eat at home. I'm baking some biscotti, but keeping it simple otherwise.

    I think Mo is just curious. He's not unhappy at home, but he wants to see what else is out there :)

    Enjoy your warm Christmas! Look forward to seeing your home all decked out!


    1. Hi Kel! Hope you had a fun holiday. My kids loved the idea of tamales in the fridge, we must remember that. Yum.

  6. Mo is probably like my cats - they run because it SEEMS like a good idea at the time (curiosity) and then they get a little freaked out and panic! I'm just glad neither one of you was hurt.

    I love the red and green quilt, it's beautiful! I'm not sure I would have taken on the rescue - the smell would have put me off! - but I'm glad you did. I hope someday you can repair it's damage.

    The Tree quilt is pretty and looks like something you'd love making! I like the multi-colors but red and white would be gorgeous, too. I'd say start collecting your reds, LOL. How many projects do you have going? I'd probably beat you, but I won't admit how many unfinished things are laying around my house!!

    Have a great Christmas!

  7. This quilt is absolutely gorgeous ! I know you will save it one day ! Bad Mo!! I know he is loved!!! Merry Christmas !!!!

  8. Hi! Good advice from everyone about Mo running away. I feel reassured. My New Years resolution is to take him to the doggy park more, tho oddly, there he doesn t run, unless chased by the big dogs. thx, guys!


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