3.01.2009

My new old quilt

I've been wanting a quilt for a while now, something warm and cozy to curl up in on the sofa while I read or watch a movie. I have two upstairs that have been deemed "family heirlooms." Knowing my dad wouldn't take kindly to spills or muddy paws on them, I decided to get a third quilt and put it to use. My requirements: dark (see above re: spills and muddy paws), patchwork, vintage. Quilts to me are homey and comforting, not a decorating statement. I was hoping for something that looked like it had been thrown together from the scraps in a grandmother's fabric sack. I also love the idea of using something from another era, something with a story.

After searching antique stores with no luck, I finally found what I was looking for on eBay. It's not in perfect shape; a couple of seams are ripped and there is a small stain on the back, but that just means it has history. I find it kind of satisfying actually. It's fun to wonder who made it and their circumstances and how many homes it has been in before it reached me.

Made in the 1930s, it is composed of rectangles in a variety of fabrics. There's lots of printed cotton, but also some squares of satin that seem to have been taken from clothing. The white satin square reminds me of a piece of a wedding dress. I'll never know if that's so, but it's certainly a nice idea. The back fabric is what sold it for me though. It's a French (or possibly Cajun?) kitchen print in vivid orange. As this blog has established, I am a sucker for all things French.

There is a downside, of course. Vintage means, well, old. And old means ... let's just say it ... smelly. While the quilt arrived in solid shape, it had a musty smell. I took a risk washing it last night, and two rounds with a good amount of detergent have made a huge difference. It didn't fall apart or bleed in the washer - hallelujah! If it ever gets warm enough, I think I will hang it outside to air out a bit more. That should take care of the rest.

My new quilt

Orange print on the backside

Ernie approves!

2 comments:

Craig Miyamoto said...

Looks better than -- and has more character than -- my Snuggie. You did good, Becca.

casch said...

Oh I just love the quilt! Glad you aren't afraid to use it. Ernie has good taste, too.