Saturday, May 15, 2010

Unexpected Find

Today I spent the glorious sunny morning in my flower beds.  Yes, I do have some flowers.  Unfortunately it's been so rainy lately that the weeds and grass have taken off like...weeds!  Isn't it amazing how grass can grow everywhere but where you need it to grow?

I was so tired from working in the yard I felt like I wanted to take a Motrin and then a quick nap.  But I didn't.  Instead I got caught up on my email.  There was an alert from my quilting friend Pat about an estate sale that was only a couple of streets over from me.  Well, I had to go check it out.  There was supposed to be all sorts of antique quilts, blocks, books, etc. from a quilter who has been losing her eyesight.

I headed over to the house and when I let myself in, I was the only shopper there.  I'm not sure how many had come before me but there were plenty of great items for collectors still available.  I pored through many books and decided on three that had loads of antique quilt pictures, overflowing with inspiration for potential needle felting designs for my wool coats.

I also spotted a Shoo Fly quilt top that I knew I couldn't leave without.  I ran back out to my car to get my purse and made a quick phone call to my quilting friend Deb, whose favorite block is the Shoo Fly.  'Sure' she said and I added the quilt top to my loot.  The quilter, 90 year old Lois Lance, gave me the history of the quilt top, which I jotted down so Deb will know and can add it to the quilt label someday. 

According to Lois, the quilt top was made by Rachel Hampton of Detroit, prior to 1920.  I'm guessing by the shirting fabrics that were used that the fabrics look more like late 19th century.  We have a few friends who are well versed in dating fabrics so I'm sure they'll love to take a stab at its age.  Rachel was the grandmother of Lois's friend, Alice Hampton Ross, who she had met in 1936.  Rachel's husband had fought in the Civil War so you know it's an old quilt top.

I left with my bundle of treasures and came home.  After laying the quilt out on the front lawn I snapped a few pictures ~~

Isn't is a beauty?  It's definitely not pristine but it is hand pieced and well executed ~~

I'm hopeful that most of the spots will come out with a good washing.  One of the curious things about antique quiltmakers is that they didn't care if they didn't have enough fabric -- they just sewed an extra strip on and made it work -- without Tim Gunn to coach them along!  You can barely see the extra piece attached to the red rectangle below ~~

So I hope my friend Deb will be pleased with her new acquisition.  I'll take it to our quilt guild board meeting next Thursday unless I'm able to drop it off tomorrow after attending a party in Rochester.  More on that function tomorrow....


Heather said...

Suzanne--Tile books are great for design ideas, too. Try this one
or this one
(I have both and find them very useful!!)

Suzanne said...

Both are great looking books Heather -- thank you! I hadn't thought of tile books as inspiration before.

SusanQuilter said...

Love the photos! Glad you had some garden time, it was a good day for it. I did the same. The estate sale looks like it was fun and that was a good score for Deb!!

janet said...

I love old quilts, and it is so cool that you got the history of the top!Great find:)