Sunday, July 20, 2014

Laundry Day For Quilts

quilts, launderingIt was laundry day for six quilts.  Now I will say up front this is NOT a professional talking about priceless quilts.  These are old quilts which are used around the house.

Once every two years each quilt is washed.  They are used in rotation.  The quilts are stored in a chest rolled in a non-bleached white cotton sheet.

I wash them with Restoration in my washer on low agitation (delicate) after soaking for an hour in warm water and dry them on hot.

This is one of my favorite quilts. Yes, it is ONE quilt.  I have three from this lady who quilted in the 1940's.  I bought them at her estate sale.  She was a thrifty lady as you shall see.

Each side is divided in half with coordinating fabrics and a border of a different fabric.  

Instead of a traditional quilting stitch pattern, she used French knots to hold the fabric in place.

So the quilt can be folded four ways - each different.

When used on a bed, it can be turned back to display two patterns.

(My next post is how I make my bed.)

I also steam the quilts in between laundering.

Just stick them in the hot, hot dryer with a wet towel.

I know some of you are cringing, but I assure you there have been very few casualties over the years.

I have another stack to wash, but six is a day's work.

This quilt is used during the summer.

This is the fabric I most like on the quilt.

Here is another by the same lady.

Also divided in half on one side with the pink and the green fabrics.

The back is a green canvas.

Notice she used pink and green French knots.

And why was she so thrifty?

The quilts are quilted over other quilts.

You can see where the seam has come loose the other quilt inside.

A much, much older quilt.

The pink and green one above has two quilts inside.

It is like having a Christmas present and not being able to make yourself open it.

And she made all three quilts coordinate.

Come back tomorrow to see what is special about this quilt when it is spread across a bed.

This is a light-weight one for summer.

I use this quilt in the winter with the one below.

It has intricate stitching and the fabrics are lovely.

As carefully as the front is blocked, on the back the quilter used various sizes, colors and shapes of gingham.

Just a willy-nilly pattern.

Years ago I was at a storage facility where people had set up to sell their belongings.

One man there noticed I fell in love with this quilt.


He wanted more than I had to spend so I moved on.

As I passed him going back to the car, he called me over and asked if I planned to sell or keep the quilt.

I said it was for my home.

He reduced the price in half and threw in a huge green splatter enamelware bowl.

His grandmother had quilted using every uniform his grandfather had worn from World War One to being a train porter.

There are wool pieces and canvas pieces.

The back is tan canvas with beautiful stitching.

This guy was the last of his family and he wanted it to go to someone who would love it.

And I do.

It keeps us very warm in the winter.

I think of him every time I make the bed.

Quilts are such wonderful bits of history.  

Unfortunately I do not know the history of all my quilts.

Some were bought at antique stores or thrift shops.

We have several family quilts and have written down what we know of the history.

Well, I now have the quilts being used as cushions on benches to wash and dry.

And there are the ones to be stored for awhile.

Remember when you have a quilt, you are protecting a small piece of a person's life.

See y'all!

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  1. i collected a few vintage quilts back before they became trendy again and they all get used repaired and used again and again . the look of horror from people who collect them as an investment is worth it

  2. I love quilts and have a couple very old ones and others are newer. One old one I found in a dirt floor garage of an old home I was renting 30 years ago........I washed it and it turned out to be very pretty showing heavy wear in some spots.........I still love it.

  3. You've got some wonderful quilts-love the history! I have some that my grandma made and I cherish them.

  4. Your love for these quilts shows, Donna. That man was right to sell the quilt to you.
    I watched my Mamaw quilt as a are so right that they are such a piece of that persons life. My favorite of hers is one that she made with my mom and two aunts when they were kids. Each daughter embroidered squares. So special!

  5. I love your quilts and I especially like that you use them. So many people just display or store them but you are actually using them and loving them. Great post!

    Hugs, Dianne

  6. Thank you for sharing your quilts, I have many that my grandmom's family made. I am glad you shared your washing and storage hints!

  7. Such beautiful stories behind your quilts! I think blogs like yours make me more in love with quilts!

  8. What a beautiful post, Donna! Looking forward to seeing them on beds. I love quilts, too. I grew up with one my great-grandmother made me--a patchwork made of various left-over fabrics. It's all but demolished now, though I still have it. My mother made me one when I went to college; I used it for years. When my grandmother died, I inherited a fabulous one that had been stored for years--never used. It hangs on our stairway landing on a quilt rack--a place of honor :) They all have stories to tell--

  9. Love your quilt post....I have several quilts that My grandmother made she had stashed two in a trunk to hold for my boys . She passed almost 15 years ago. My mother this christmas pulled her presents out of the trunk and gave them to my boys...we are very very lucky...she hand quilted both of them and they are beautiful...I get the quilt love...and yours are beautiful...

  10. Thanks for that; I made a quilt in the 90's for our bed and it's been in constant use since then. This year, before I dared wash it, I had to spend weeks repairing it with the same size patches; hundreds of them! Your post confirms to me that I wasn't wasting my time and effort.

  11. Oooh! I love the colours of your quilts and that's such a nice story about the military uniforms. My mom has made several quilts for me. I hope I can pass them down someday to someone who will cherish them.

  12. Your quilts are so pretty, and I love the story behind them. I have quite a number of quilts made by my grandmother. In her day, they stitched the quilts with very fine stitches and then stored the beauties in a chest.
    Mary Alice

  13. I really enjoyed reading the stories behind your quilts, and I love that you're using them. I'm sure the quilters who made them would want them to be used. That last story was so touching. I guess he just knew that you would treasure it... and you have. How wonderful!

  14. Love, just love. Quilts are my favorite. I have some that I need to get restitched. Tell me how that can be done.

  15. Beautiful old quilts with wonderful fabric. Love how you fold them so neatly. Sometime the back is as interesting as the front when they use different prints to make it. Love that some of the quilts have stories. I remember my Mom, Grandmother, Aunt and maybe others sitting around the quilt hanging from the ceiling, quilting, telling stories or listening to Stella Dallas on the radio and sometime crying about what was happening in the life of poor Stella. (early soap opera, I guess) ... End of day, the quilt would be pulled up to the ceiling until the next quilting day. I can still see that wonderful 'picture' in my mind. Thanks for sharing your quilts and how you use and care for them.
    Audrey Z @ Timeless Treasures

  16. I so LOVE vintage quilts. Every time I come across one I'd like for myself, it is usually crazy-priced. Ones I have bought are small baby quilts, as I sell them quite well. Plus the fabric used on them is usually the most darling fabric.

  17. Your quilts are beautiful Donna, how wonderful to have so many! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY...

  18. That's a great story about the man giving you a good deal because you loved the quilt and planned to use it. Your collection is just wonderful!

  19. Awww... So sweet... I love vintage quilts.. so cozy and homey.


  20. I went to my first quilt show this past spring and fell in love! I have a whole bunch of pieces of quilt that my grandmother was making before she passed, and one day I would love to be able to finish the quilt. That being said, first I need to learn how! :)

  21. Quilts are rather tricky things to wash and keep clean, mainly because of the intricate embroideries you have to keep intact. However, it is all doable, as how you have shown. What really matters in cleaning them is that the dust particles are all cleared, because those things tend to linger and accumulate. Thanks for sharing!

    Bernadette Howell @ Allergy Relief Store

  22. The quilts are lovely, and I love how the lady coordinated the fabrics. She had a good eye for using color. The story about the man and the quilt, and how much you love it is so sweet...I want to feature this tonight! Thanks for sharing at Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday Link Party!

  23. I love the quilts, but the stories about them are even better! Quilts are stories in themselves and when you have the story to them, that is where the "value" is.
    I make quilts, and always try to sign them and tell where they were made and when....a wonderful thing to do that my neighbor taught me when I took up quilting for real...


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