We had a little mini-vacation down on Galveston Island, and found a few treasures.
First we came upon this bookstore —
Where I found some wonderful books –
After I bought them, I was ready to just sit in the hotel room and read them, and ignore any other vacation-type activities. But it is a good thing I didn’t, because the next day we went out to an architectural salvage store in a 1940s Sears building —
And right next door was a resale shop with some nice quilts.
So it is a good thing I didn’t hide in my room to read.
We also went down on the piers and out to the Seawall, and if you are interested, you can see the birds I saw there in my new blog, Little Wild Streak. I am going to keep writing here about textiles, but usually I go days without time to work on textile projects, and really, I don’t even buy something for my collection every week either(although lately I’ve been on a roll!), so too many days go by between posts. Whereas every day I see something interesting outdoors, and I think it is important to record and share those bits of nature. So I hope to see you there too!
What a fun adventure!
Oh gosh, yes it was. I am so content at home and I have so much I want to do here, that sometimes it is hard to make myself leave. (My husband will ask me, “Did you leave the compound this week?) But it is refreshing to get out and see different things than usual.
Love that quilt! These days all kinds of $$$$ is spent on expensive fabric that perfectly coordinate and don’t have half the charm of that one!!!! A real prize!!!!
And I am pretty sure I will never do a quilt with 2500 pieces either, so I just have to buy them already made when I see them. 🙂
Very wise!!!! I sure understand that rationale……………..
You likely know that the book by Jon Thompson (1988 edition) is still likely the best introductory book on oriental carpets.
Hurray! I see so many books on oriental carpets, but I think, I have got to put this off to learn about later, it is such a huge topic! But what drew me to that one was the pictures of the people spinning and weaving, and using the carpets. It felt like that would give me a handle to begin to remember all of the categories and facts. Oh, now I can’t wait to read it!
They are uniquely made. Be Blessed because you are, Mtetar
That late 19th c. quilt: was it labeled as from that era, or were able to date it yourself? Which is, I suppose, a backwards way of asking: what about this quilt puts it in the late 19th c.?
(Both are beautiful finds, by the way!)
Oh, shoot, I meant to put in the post about the books I use for that. The big important one is Clues in the Calico by Barbara Brackman — she considers types of fabrics, dyes, printed designs, techniques, everything — and she backs it up with period documentation and dated quilts. (And that is why we love her so much! Documentation!) The quick and easy reference book is Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800 -1960 by Eileen Jahnke Trestain. I think I have the links on my books page.
After reading these two books, I have a pretty good idea what era I’m looking at, and then I go to Dating Fabrics just for a recheck.
This particular quilt is a perfect example of the 1880- 1910 era. Some clues are the dark fabrics with white motifs, the beautiful madder reds and indigo blues (the synthetics were available, but I think these are the natural dyes), and the fabrics that are washed-out tan now but were probably green or purple at one time. And also the threads that are missing because the chemical dyes and iron mordants were harsh and ate away the threads.
There is really nothing trend-wise in this quilt that says it has to be 1880s on – the fabrics are all very conservative, and it is hand-pieced and hand-quilted, so it could be a little earlier. I think it is that one piece of purple that has stayed true that says later 1800s to me, but I could be wrong.
I do feel lucky to have found them because they are both in great shape, and they were really inexpensive too! 🙂
Just think how long ago those stitches were made! Jane
I know! I had a friend who hated antiques because she said she didn’t want “dead people’s things”, but I love them. I feel a connection to those women and I bet they would love to know how long their work has lasted.
Please let me know when you’ll be shopping for old quilts next. You seem to have a nose and eye for great finds. All I seem to turn up are badly made cheater cloth quilts. The shapes in the two you show are daunting to construct with modern methods. I applaud their makers for taking them on with cardboard/paper templates and scissors, and keeping the lines straight.
I always like quilts with a big variety of fabrics, but when they are done in a technique I know would be difficult for me, like those hexagons, it really tips the scale towards the “buy” decision.
And I am always amazed that there are still a lot of bargains around. Of course there are a lot of people who price their cheater cloth quilts way too high too, but I just leave those at the shop for you to find later! 🙂
ooh – I am so envious! What lovely shops and places to visit! The bookstore looks amazing…. but the quilts! I love them. I don’t know anywhere in the UK where one might find quilts like that. The quilts are beautiful, but also the individual pieces of fabric, the patterns and colours. Sets me to thinking of the clothes they came from. Nice too to think these quilts that someone has put so much care and effort into have found a caring home with you! How very interesting to hear in the comments how you’ve dated them.
I am surprised to hear that quilts like these wouldn’t be easy to find in the UK. I never really thought about it though. I guess you just have to be content with all that beautiful Harris tweed, Irish linen, Aran knitting, and Shetland wool…
Now I do need to come over for a shopping trip. 🙂
The quilts are amazing!
They are such great collections of fabrics from their era, I feel very lucky to have found them.
What a nice refresher trip yout had. We’ve not been down to Galveston for a while. ..maybe la terrible this fall. I love those quilts and couldn’t help but wonder how many of those you purchased!! Great finds! I especially love your rationale in purchasing them!
Galveston is looking pretty good! It looks funny without the big live oaks on Broadway but otherwise I don’t think you’ll notice much difference.
I think I am up to 13 old quilts now and about 6 tops. I usually get the quilts for $50 – 75, and the tops for $15 – 40, so I couldn’t even begin to buy the supplies for new ones for that! And my husband loves the old quilts too, fortunately for me! 🙂
hello, I am REALLY late to this post, have been in Germany for 20 days and what a treat to come home and see your posts and other favourites. Those quilts are ‘stunning’ and was surprised at the comment of one woman who didn’t want ‘dead peoples things’
around…I on the other had get so much comfort from these ‘old’ things. A real connection to those who have laboured before. thank you.
That’s how I feel too. I was just reading this morning on a Rare Books Collection page about a book they have that was printed in the 1500s, and the people who bound it used a scrap from a manuscript from 1175! Can you imagine keeping materials around for 400 years and then using them as part of something new?!!! That is a very different attitude toward old things than we have – we either throw them away when they’re a little old or put them away as something too precious to use if they’re a little bit older!
How was Germany? I hope you had fun! What did you see?
Thank you so much for commenting on your comments! love reading what others have written and your take on it. In Germany I did not see any new fabrics or yarns but saw some amazing vestments and pieces there of in a museum in Oldenburg, at the castle, and in Bremen where I stayed, from the 1100’s and we were wondering how they were saved, where were they kept? Unfortunately all museum information was in German and English tours are few and far between or you have a tour, as we did in Bremen with English and German, so the tour takes twice as long! but while the guide is speaking in German it gives you a chance to take more time and look around. We also had a day trip to Hamburg and that was Fantastic!! It was in English and the history of that city is mind boggling, want to get a book on that history. The guide was from the states living and studying there and very enthusiastic. Tour is free and after you give what you thought it was worth. There is also a 1200’s law that protects their swans. You MUST NOT, kill, maim, eat or ‘insult’ a swan…the guide said maybe you do this by calling it a goose 🙂 Come winter they gather the swans up and take them to a temperate place to ‘winter over’. I can send you my blurb from the first part of my trip if you want and do not hesitate to DELETE it .
I would love to hear about the first part of your trip too!
I have been to Europe a few times, and I know I have seen some church vestments and a whole floor of a museum that was ethnic costume (I don’t even remember where this was! Maybe Athens), but I just didn’t pay attention the way I would now. I need to go back!
And I think I can promise you that there will never ever be any swan-insulting going on in this blog! 🙂
Why do one if a kind finds satisfy us so? My daughters 15th bday was yesterday. She’s a maker, so I’m always on the prowl for raw materials. Her favorite gifts were mostly thrift?! Heavy but soft mens flannel work
Shirts. Not sure if she’ll wear as is, or cut up for another project. I found beautiful yarn, sold by the pound, alongside some huge stencils. She instantly wanted to make t-shirts fir her friends?!
I simply love the adventure of finding “treasures”; everything has a story.
My two daughters have always been thrifters/makers too. Isn’t it so great to be able to share that with them?