Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I like quilts
I  like new quilts
I like old quilts
I like thrifted quilts

I found this poor old quilt at a yard sale - for 1.00

Most of the YoYos had come loose - some were completely missing

But the base was in good shape - and had some interesting quilting - and it was only 1.00  I have removed the damaged YoYos and have been making new ones in reproduction 1930s fabrics - some of the reproductions are exactly the same as those on the quilt

Poor old quilt!

 I got this quilt for 25 cents,  an autograph quilt. It was lying on the ground under the yard sale items - which were all being sold for 25 cents each. I asked the seller how much for the quilt and she said - 25 cents - well, I couldn't resist that.  One end of the quilt is ragged - like it had been tied over something in a truck and then went on a long trip, flapping in the wind until it was worn ragged.  I can cut that off and hem it up without damaging the look of the quilt (then I will take pictures of the whole quilt)

I like finding old quilts with names - it is fun to imagine what each person was like.

I had talking to friends about making a Dresden Plate quilt, and one friend gave me the blocks to this quilt. She had made them and didn't want to make them into a quilt.  Free is even better than thrifted, right?

Because of the color of the centers, it was hard to find a fabric to use for the background.  I finally settled on 1930 green.  After I finished the top - another friend wanted to buy it - so off it went to her house

I was shopping at a thrift store with a friend and she spied these blocks - they are big - about 17x17" - all stitched down to the background fabric (centers were not sewn on).  There were an extra four unfinished blocks, but enough background fabric to applique them to.  The whole bag of finished blocks and unfinished blocks was priced at 2.95 - TOTAL.  I offered to  let my friend to buy them, since she has spotted them, but she declined - I didn't offer twice.  They are vintage 1970s fabrics (if we are calling 1970 vintage) and well made.  They look a lot like men's ties to me.

This is the setting that I chose - I think it sets off the older fabrics quite nicely.  This top is waiting in line to go to my machine quilter. I decided instead of appliqueing a different color circle to the centers that I would turn under the edges and just let the white background fabric show through.

And then another friend asked if I wanted more Dresden Blocks - of course I did.  She said her sister had found them in an old sewing basket that she bought at a yard sale, and neither of them wanted the blocks.  They are 1960s fabrics.  I have great friends!

These blocks were done in English Paper Piecing and still had the brown paper on the backs - which I removed before putting the quilt top together.

 I picked a solid dark green for the sashing and border.  This one is in line to go to the machine quilter also.  One day soon I hope.

One day I was talking to my daughter and she told me of a thrift shop right downtown that I had never been to.  Can you imagine that?  How did I miss it?  She had seen a quilt that she thought I might like there - so as soon as I left her house - I headed to the thrift shop - and searched for the quilt she had described.  I had almost lost hope - someone else must have gotten it before me - oh no.  And then, there it was - folded up in a corner, just waiting for me.  The pattern is Crossed Canoes, one that was often sold for 25 cents in stamps or coins, from the newspapers of the day.

It is a specific 1950s green that was very popular during that time, well  made, in perfect condition - hand quilted in the Methodist Fan design - and only 30.00 - and mine!!

The Methodist Fan design of quilting was usually used for utility quilts, which then were used until they wore out  -  but this one obviously had not been used very much.  The quilting design goes by a lot of other names, but I prefer Methodist Fan - it was called that because the ladies from the church would get together to quilt a top - it was easy to quilt, repeating arcs - and fast.  I've always wanted a quilt done in that way, and now I have one - in perfect condition.

There you have some of my thrifted quilts - hope you enjoyed the tour.


Pondside said...

Well, I would love to go thrifting with you! So many lovely old quilts, saved by your good eye and nimble fingers.

GardenofDaisies said...

The old quilts are so wonderful and I am so glad that you rescued them and gave them new life! I LOVE the crossed canoes quilt. And I really love that 70's style green english paper pieced dresden plate quilt too. And I want to go thrifting with you and Pondie. :-)

Jeanne said...

Oh my goodness, how talented you are. I promised myslef, when I retire, I am going to make a quilt!

Faye said...

I love the way you appreciate these old quilts that are in need of rescue, JoAnn. They deserve to be preserved both for the utility and beauty that they brought to a home. The women in my family were fine Appalachain quilters. As a child I remember playing under the quilting frames which were mounted in the ceiling and then let down each day so the womenh could quilt after getting their household chores done. Great memories.

Since you enjoy quilts so much, you may enjoying reading a book that I just finished recently-- "The Last Runaway" by Tracy Chevalier. Highly recommend.

Karen Frost said...

Beautiful old quilts, JoAnn and I learned a few things from your post. I just love how you rescue these old quilts and pieces of quilts. You did a wonderful job turning them into beautiful works of art! I love the '1930's green, what a nice color that is. Interesting information. My Mom made quilts and I have one that she started and didn't finish. I have to finish it and you have inspired me. xoxo

Debra @ Homespun said...

There is so much beauty here! First I love that you are re-doing the yo yo quilt and repairing the autograph quilt. Then the last quilt is a true treasure ...such a bargain! As to Dresdens I have a vintage ( perhaps antique...made in 20's or 30's ) from my grandmother and that's what got me interested in quilting in the first place.You have some real beauties there! :)