Monday, July 27, 2009

cool quilts

In the mid 80's I lived in a small town in FLA. They had an incredible antiques market that I would visit often called Rennigers. There I was introduced to what I call "cool quilts". These quits from the 20s, 30s & 40s were mostly scrap quilts with muslin backs and backgrounds. Because of the generation of the quilts, my guess is that they had manufactured cotton batts. Not sure if it was the fabrics, the backings, battings or a combination of all 3 but these quilts were cool to the touch, even in the hottest of summers. I was able to rescue several of these quilts from the "quilt farmers" (contemptable people who would cut up perfectly good works of art in favor of creating pigs and chickens out of the material. I hope when I get old and worn, no one cuts me up for parts). I also inherited a small collection from my husbands grandmothers, both quilters.
I have begun making my own "cool quilts". With the inspiration of wonderful blog A Quilt Is Nice here.


  1. Oh, no! I know someone who cuts up old quilts! I never thought about how people might be against it. I guess it's like when I see a beautiful old primitive antique chest painted white. Anyway, she cuts out hearts and hand stitches words of life on them. I thought how great is that. She's taking something that has been discarded and is using it in a way to glorify God. Please check out her work and read her Profile at her shop. I've never seen the pigs and chickens you're talking about. I am hoping that vintage quilt collectors would not be upset by what she is doing. She is creating little works of hand stitched art when she is finished. For her it's kind of a ministry.
    Please check it out and let me know what you think.
    Is that your cool quilt in the photo? It's beautiful!

  2. The law of mathematics and supply and demand generally compromise peoples view on art. The quilts that I rescued were in good shape, but because they were under valued by less than enthusiastic relatives trying to "get rid" of grandmas stuff, crafters would buy them by the truckload to cut them into profitable smaller pieces, with no regard to whether they could be repaired or salvaged. I tried to find a picture of some of these "country" decorating faux pas', but happily could not. I still see quilts on ebay cut into yardage and sold by the piece. I understand using quilts that are beyond repair and damaged to the point of no longer being used or enjoyed as quilt...hopefully these are the type your friend is using. A better alternative to cutting up old quilts is to create new patchwork and "age" it. I did take a look at her work, it is very pretty and her idea is wonderful. Perhaps I am a little sensitive about the subject. :) Imagine if the quilts from Gees Bend had been available to those without appreciation of their beauty.

  3. so glad you were able to rescue some lovely utility quilts. woohoo! I'm betting those quilts in the pic are the new ones you've sewn, right? They're gorgeous!

  4. yes- I've found that baby quilts are a great way to try new things quickly. Plus there is a constant supply of babies at church, and I wouldn't want them to be cold!