Sunday, July 09, 2006

For Finn


I have so enjoyed reading Finn's blogs about her antique quilt blocks. I have two very large tubs of Civil War blocks and fabric, as well as a nice collection of '30s. While going through those this morning, I came across this set of basket blocks.

These were on eBay by an antique dealer two or three years ago. She posted a set of six blocks. I immediately emailed her and asked if she had more. She did. I haven't counted them, but there are roughly 50-60 blocks. I hated to see the collection sold off piecemeal, so I offered to buy all of the blocks, and she agreed to sell them to me -- for $300.

I don't know if that's a good price or not, but I really don't care. While a good many of these blocks are discolored, they are in remarkably good shape. The fabric is intact. All she knows about the blocks is they are circa 1860-1900 and were made by one quiltmaker. I have authenticated a lot of the fabrics, and her dating is correct. As we know, quiltmakers used fabric they owned pre-war as fabric was hard to come by during the war, especially in the South.

What is fastinating to me is how accurate our Civil War reproduction fabrics are. Judy Rothermel and others have done an amazing job reproducing this fabric, both in color as well as design. We are truly lucky to have access to that repro fabric.

I am torn as to whether I want to set these blocks. I also was able to find a large chunk of muslin from that era, but it is not discolored. It would be hard to set these blocks so they would be "pretty" color-wise, but it's tempting all the same. Of course, I would want to handpiece the blocks.

I chuckle when I think of all the amazing things I have collected, and all the things I want to accomplish quilty-wise before I get to The Home. There's not much space in those retirement communities, so perhaps I'd better get busy! I'm 54 and not getting any younger! LOL!

11 comments:

Norma said...

Are you going to stop when you get to "The Home". I plan on quilting while I am there, too! I will have to in order to finish everything on my list! *VBS*

Mary said...

I don't know it you got a good deal or not but the blocks are great. I've bought some tops and one set of blocks off ebay but had to stop since they just added to my list of UFO's.

Linda_J said...

Vicky, I wonder since there are so many blocks if the maker intended them to be set block to block rather than with alternating squares? True, you would still need the muslin for setting and corner triangles.

I'll be your same age in about a month!

Karen said...

Just love stacks of vintage and antique blocks. The plain muslin is interesting; how do you know how to date it?

The Calico Cat said...

Lovely blocks - I too don't knwo if that was a good price or not, but I do know it was a lucky find!

Screen Door said...

I always say, if I can bring my sewing machine, laptop for ordering and a credit card...send me to that retirement home ASAP. My mom laughs and says not to rush it, knowing my luck I'll get one of those nursing homes that makes me do aerobics twice a day!!!!!!

I love the blocks, the muslin sets them off as classics...

Patti said...

The blocks are wonderful!

ForestJane said...

I'd be tempted to just set them edge to edge too, on point, so they'd finally be together in a quilt. You don't want somebody in another 20 years finding this tub of blocks and selling them again on e-bay!

quiltpixie said...

I'm from the school that says owning it and not using it is wasting it, so I'd go for getting those blocks into a quilt and enjoying it! A pile of blocks in a corner is only so much enjoyment....

Bonnie said...

To me 54 is very young - however, the time does go flying by faster and faster each year.
Those basket blocks are terrific and would make a sensational quilt. Are they big enough to use in several quilts?

Finn said...

Thank you so much for sharing those really great blocks Vicky!!! How lucky you are to have that many of them. It was great thinking on your part to ask if there were more...they look to be in very good shape, and it's nice to hear that the fabrics match up with her dating.

I've been pouring over some of the Linda Otto Lipsett books, looking at the quilts made in the 1850 up through about 1900. I am going to do the Civil War Diary quilt(I just got the book on Wednesday), and I want a better "feel" for the fabrics. My thinking is that it wouldn't have been possible for them to buy new fabric and they would be working with fabrics from before the War began. That seems pretty evident in the quilts from about 1880 and on into the 1900. The scrap bags still had scraps..*VBS*