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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chinese Coins Quilt

Hi! I wanted to share this antique/ vintage quilt. It's a flea market find, but not a ''rescue'' as it is in very good condition.

I had it out for my red and white Xmas decor and took some time to photograph it. With  help of course!

I call this pattern Chinese Coins, which may or may not be right but makes it a fun ''good fortune'' themed piece for the new year and upcoming Chinese New Year. Other than in my imagination it is in no way an Asian textile. Instead it's an interesting collection of what I estimate to be late 1800s  dress/ shirt/ apron prints.

I find this quilt interesting because it truly seems to have been made from someone's scrap bag. The prints all have a similar style [and are not exactly beautiful! Utilitarian would be a better word.]

Lots of checks and plaids, and the occasional part of a Nine Patch or sawtooth strip is thrown in.

Paisley, indigo:

A lace print, ticking stripe, ''moon'' or circle prints, turkey red solid:

I'm very fond of little sprig prints, especially warm brown with pink or red leaves or buds:

The scraps form strips, alternating with a cranberry calico that is also used on the back. [This is the type of quilt that is sometimes taken apart, and the antique yardage sold on eBay. I'd never disassemble a good piece though.]

It is actually not a quilt, but a summer coverlet, despite its dark winter-y look. There is a pieced front and a solid back but no batting or quilting. It's held together with simple string tacked knots here and there. It has never been washed so the fabrics look  pristine and pretty.

I always have fun poring over old scrap quilts, wishing, wishing---"Oh that one would be perfect, for...!" And then I find repros, of course---but too often they are modernized and miss the mark, especially color-wise. Do you notice that? Anyway, according to Barbara Brackman, if I understand her recent blog writings correctly, repro fabrics are ''going out of style', and will soon be much less available.
OMG, girls, let's stock up! 
Like Heidi Klum says on Project Runway, ''One day you're in, and the next day--you're out!'' And so it goes with any commodity that is based on the whims of fashion or fad. Once upon a time, circa 1895 these prints were, perhaps, the height of fashion!?


We've had a few beautiful days, the snow has melted! Mo is back in his chair on the deck. He was pretty upset that I didn't want to join him. He does a "Lassie'' thing, comes and gets me and leads me where he wants me, lol.

The blue fabric is out there still. I'm trying to age it so it works better for my favorite blue rescue quilt's someday repairs. So far the blue cotton from Kona  has withstood six months of weather, still looks brand new.

Have a good weekend! Stay in stay cozy... I found these old pictures of pot pie I made! Doesn't that look delish?

And I'm going to make potato soup. How about you?



gone to the beach.....


  1. I like that quilt. I found a top that I rescued, and redid. I love it as I love yours. I've been fixing lots of soup but tonight is leftovers. Glad Mo is soaking up the sun. :)

    1. Your redo sounds familiar, did you write about it on your blog?

    2. click here to see and read about Lori's beautiful Chinese Coins rescue quilt : http://humblequilts.blogspot.com/2016/06/chinese-coins.html

  2. Too funny. My potatoes are cooking on the stove for potato soup!

    I love the quilt and I have a top I put together and I'm going to back it and not use batting.

    Off to get back to work.



    1. Sounds great, you could do it ''pillowcase style'', right sides together, stitch around , leaving an opening. Turn it like a pillow cover. No binding needed. You can actually put a layer of wide flannel, like a sheet? inside since you re sometimes chilly? I have a resource for wide flannel if you won t find them =in Maui thrift shops...

  3. That quilt find is a real gem! So pretty in its simplicity and so many different fabrics! I love those kind of finds, and love seeing them on others' blogs knowing they will be cherished and well taken care of. I've been thinking of making scalloped potatoes the past couple weeks, must do it soon ...

  4. Simply a "Perfectly Imperfect" Quilt! Its a lovely quilt. Always makes me wonder who made it? When? Where? So pretty.
    Pot pie, potato soup - all comfort foods. YUM!

    1. The dealer got the quilt in Maine from the original maker's family. It dates to approx 1895 [1890-1920?]

  5. I love the scrappy quilt, the colors are so nice. I love the blue & white rescue, too. Maybe try washing the blue Kona in warm/hot water with towels - that seems to instantly age/destroy anything it accidentally happens to!! (To me, anyway...)

    Potato soup does sound good, but I just made it a few days ago. BUT - if you have leftover potato soup here's a quick redo. Thin it a little if necessary with chicken broth (or water) and toss in some sliced and browned kielbasa and some shredded or chopped cabbage and heat through until the cabbage is cooked. WONDERFUL! Lol, I used to hate cabbage and now I love it raw in salads and cooked in soups. Weird how tastes change!

    No ice here yet - nothing falling at all but it is cloudy and gloomy. It's still threatening us for tomorrow though. Ugh.

    I'm glad your snow melted! And Mo looks so cute and hopeful, trying to coax you outside with him!

    Have a good weekend!

  6. That's a pretty cool quilt. Lucky you. So interesting to really get a good close up look at it. I never would have realized that there's a market for the fabric, and that people take them apart to sell it!

    I had heard there was a bit of a warm spell back that way. Mo is saying "come on Mom, we might not get this chance again for awhile."

    I made a pot of black bean soup this week. Easy peasy, and the house smelled great.

    Little break in the rain today. I was supposed to take the Christmas down... :)


    1. This has been your fisrt big rainy period in ages, right! Must seem strange, is it chilly, too?
      Yes authentic antique fabrics are quite valuable. The fabric from this quilt would, sadly, probably sell for more than the quilt as a whole, despite being in the somewhat unpopular cranberry/ claret shade.

      Poor Mo, sitting out and waiting. It really wasn t all that warm.

    2. Yes, it's been more than a few years since we've had any decent rainfall, so this has been wonderful. We still need more, but at least this is a start. No, not that chilly...mid fifties to low sixties during the day.

  7. Now that is an unusual quilt. I don't think I've ever seen one like it. Hope your weather is not too bad. :) Kit

    1. Chinese Coins isn t so common but Lori, above, gave me the link to hers. Prob the same era, tho hers has nicer colors.
      We had snow all day, kind of pretty...



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