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.