Something Old, Something New

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A friend of a friend is downsizing, looking to sell some of the quilts she inherited years ago and no longer has room to store. She is not a quilter, but her mother, grandmother, and greatgrandmother made quilts and also picked them up at garage sales and antique stores. She is keeping the ones that are near and dear to her but has dozens of quilts and coverlets that she is willing to part with. And they are, as the saying goes, priced to sell.

Now, I am not a quilt collector but something about this situation compelled me to take a trip across town last week to look at the quilts. I fell in love with the very first one I saw. That’s the one you see above, my “something old, something new.”

Isn’t it a beauty? It measures 86″ square, making it queen size. Except for some stains, it’s in perfect condition. It’s hand pieced and appliquéd, machine pieced, and hand quilted. The blocks are 11″ square, with a feathered wreath quilted in the plain blocks and outline quilting and leaves in the basket blocks. The borders are quilted in a cable design.

Sadly, we don’t know who made this quilt. My guess is that it was made in the 1930s or 40s, possibly the 50s, perhaps from a kit. The embroidery and appliqué are expertly done, and the quilting is uniform, about eight stitches to the inch. The edges are scalloped and bound with bias binding.

This may be my favorite block:

blueberry basket

But oh, look at this one:

berry basket

And this one:

fruit basket
And this one:

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Do you suppose the fruits pictured below are pomegranates? I love the  pink and purple embroidery at the tops of the fruit:

pomegranate basket
Each of the 25 basket blocks is filled with fruit. Bananas and pears and apples. Lemons and limes and grapes. Even some fruits I don’t quite recognize. Each basket “filled” by an expert needleworker who clearly loved her craft.

I am so happy and grateful that this vintage quilt has come into my possession. I promise to love, honor, and obey — oh wait, wrong vow. I promise to love and honor this quilt for the rest of my days, as a tribute to the maker and to quiltmakers all over the world who create treasured keepsakes with needle and thread, putting love and care into every single stitch.




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11 Responses to Something Old, Something New

  1. Lisa Phillips says:

    I hope this one makes an appearance at quilt camp 2015!

  2. Arden says:

    You are so lucky! These are delicious and beautiful. 🙂

  3. Diane says:

    This is a pattern I have never seeen! SO lovely!

  4. This is a delight – I love the details in the appliquéd fruits – stunning!

  5. Louise Muldoon says:


  6. Glenda says:

    Dawn, this quilt is gorgeous! You are truly a master quilter!

  7. Kristi says:

    What a treasure! I also hope you will bring it to MPS for inspiration.

  8. Vickie says:

    Wonderful addition to the White House! But how can you pick a favorite block, they are all stunning! Congrats!

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