Wednesday, October 13

Wednesday Farm Photos: Vintage Quilt Love (Again)

Quilt 1

We haven't been out cutting firewood yet this fall (we've been busy catching up with other stuff, like cutting 310 more bales of hay), but there's no chance we're going to freeze. I have an ever growing stack of cozy vintage quilts to keep us warm.

Quilt 2

The thing I love most about vintage quilts is that every one—no matter what its condition, colors, pattern, pedigree, or style—is wonderful and beautiful in its own unique way. Choosing a favorite quilt is like being asked to pick out your favorite pet or child. I'm crazy in love with every one of mine.

Quilt 3

I happened upon this one a couple of weeks ago, tucked away in the same junk/antiques mall where I've found three or four others over the past couple years. I think it may have been the only quilt in the entire several thousand square foot store—which has a lot more new junk than cool old stuff—that day, and it suprised me until I realized I hadn't been in there since early June. (See how good I've been?) In my summer absence, all the road tripping dealers and pickers had been through and wiped the place out. I know how it works, as I used to be one of them, only I wasn't yet into quilts—maybe because I'd never been to Missouri before moving here (yes, sight unseen!) in 1994.

Quilt 4

The fabulous apple green corners (of the fans? the sunbursts? I have no idea what this quilt pattern is called) are what caught my eye first. That color is so chic these days. And then I started admiring the rest of it. All those carefully cut pieces of material. All the great fabrics.

Quilt 5

One of them has bunches of carrots on it.

Quilt 6

And one of them has donkeys!

Quilt 7

And all of these stiches are sewn by hand. Two of the edges of the quilt are frayed and worn, but otherwise it's in fabulous shape.

Since I'm on a slow but steady campaign to massively declutter my entire life (and making progress!), I'm a very careful shopper these days. Everything I bring home has to not only make me happy when I look at it, but must also be immediately functional.

Quilt 8

I guess I'm making the right choices, because I've noticed that I repeatedly suffer from the opposite of buyer's remorse when it comes to my vintage quilts. When I'm deciding whether or not to buy one, I spread it out as best I can in the store—either laid gently over a piece of furniture or on a clean area of the floor—so that I can see the whole design and tell what kind of shape it's in. I use all my vintage quilts, so they have to be able to survive being washed over and over.

Quilt 9

But it isn't until I bring a quilt home and have it hanging outside on the line, drying and freshening in the sun (or in this case, under a cloudy sky in hopes the sun will come back out) that I'm really able to take a good look at it. And then, every time, in awe of the person who made it—and the fact that I now own it—I fall about five times more in love with my new old quilt than I already was. Happens every time.

Quilt 10

Now that I've accumulated a nice little collection of quilts, I'm running out of excuses to buy more. My first thought when I saw this one was that I would buy it for the Etsy vintage shop I'm going to open one of these days. (It's time to start parting with some of my treasures.) But that was before I got it home. I may decide to sell it someday, but for now it's going to be staying with me—especially if we don't start cutting some firewood soon.

I love to pile on the bedding in winter! Do you?

More vintage:
6/22/09: Vintage Laundry Line (more quilts)
2/18/10: A Nice Day (quilt photo)

More laundry line (some repeats here):
1/2/06: Winter Color
5/6/09: The Lamb and the Laundry Line (a look back at Baby Cary)
2/18/10: A Nice Day

© 2010, the snuggled up foodie farm blog where I once piled so many quilts and blankets onto the bed during winter (The Shack bedroom gets cold!) that I was literally stuck under the weight, unable to move all night. It was still nice and cozy, though.


  1. I love that quilt. Everything about it. The colors are fantastic. Great find! If you want to ever part with it, let me say, I want to be the first one you call!

  2. That's a gorgeous quilt! Love the little donkeys!

  3. The quilt looks like a fan quilt. Really, that's the name.
    I know what you mean about the quilts - I've bought some and after looking it at home had to "rework" it so it could be used. That quilt has some holes in it but it's on my antique bed at this moment.
    HMMMM, maybe I'll go "antiquing" this weekend.

  4. Oh I love this quilt. What a great design and the colors are so perfect together.

    I love it when I have to pile on the covers. The weight some how makes it easier for me to sleep. So bring on the cold weather and the extra blankets.

  5. Love the quilt! Think I would be tempted to hang it on a wall and enjoy it. Prettier than paint or lovely.

    We use quilts here, too, and will switch to down comforters long about January!

  6. Love it! My step mom recently had a quilt made for me from my great grandmother's stash of fabric : ) I absolutely love looking at the vintage scraps. I feel I discover a new one each time I stare at it!

  7. The pattern is called Grandmother's Fan. It's a nice traditional block.

  8. Beautiful. I have several vintage quilts.

    I'm scared to wash them because I'm afraid I'll damage them.

  9. I love looking at the fabric in vintage quilts, thanks for the close up!

  10. Oh beautiful! I am completely in love with reading your blog---- it's wonderful! I'm also documenting our transition to an off the grid farm in CO!!


  11. Quilts really make me wish I were crafty. I feel like if I were to do any kind of craft, it would be quilting. I really dig the idea of re-using fabrics and creating something functional that is also beautiful and evokes memories with every piece of fabric.

    But I am not crafty in the least, and so I must just admire others' quilts.

    P.S. Don't you ever get to the point where no matter how many blankets are on the bed, your face is still cold? I do. I HATE it when my nose gets cold at night.

  12. I've always loved LOTS of covers on my bed, but now that I'm middle-aged, I find that I can only sleep comfortably on my back -- and then my feet hurt from the weight of the covers pushing my toes down!

  13. Beautiful quilt! I grew up in Northern MN where it gets down right COLD in winter and I've always loved the weight of many quilts piled on top of me :) That was one of the hardest parts about moving to the Middle East--no more quilts! It feels strange, even two years later, to not have any weight on me at night--in "winter" we might resort to a flat sheet or light blanket to keep comfy. I'm green with envy!

  14. That quilt is gorgeous! What a wonderful find for you!
    When I was a kid, I would sleep with so many quilts on my bed that my Dad would wonder how I turned over. He said that I must have a stick in the bed to lift all that wieght, and that I kicked it out after I got in!


  15. OMG, you should hold an online auction on your blogsite! I live in NYC and never see such lovely quilts, the ones I see are astronomically priced. Buy more antique quilts and then give your faithful readers a chance to own them - that way you can both keep buying quilts and then make some money selling them!

    And yes, I have a down comforter in winter but on top of that are always 3-4 antique quilts. But none like yours! Enjoy, they'll faithfully do their job of keeping you warm, I have no doubt.

  16. OH MY!! you did find a Beautiful one!!
    and yes it is called a Fan quilt.
    FYI because it is so old ... when you wash it and go to dry it ,instad of "hanging it" lay it out on the ground if you can. that way the weight of the water won't pull on it.causing the stitching and fabric to brake. make sense??

  17. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the nice comments - and for the help identifying the pattern. I had a feeling they were fans but wasn't sure.

    It's been such a treat finding (and using) these quilts. Like Lisa in NYC, I could never find any affordable ones when I lived in California - and I was an antiques dealer for years so I was always at flea markets and junk stores, etc.

    One of my (hopefully not so distant future) goals really is to open at Etsy shop, with both vintage and newly handcrafted exclusive Farmgirl Fare items from artists around the country. In the meantime, I think maybe I need to see if I can find a few more quilts to stock the store. Any excuse to go antiquing! ;)

    Funny you should mention hanging this quilt on the wall. The other day my hunky farmguy Joe (who is definitely not into quilts, though he doesn't say anything about the ones all over the bed - and doesn't mind my going on and on about how much I love them) said about this new quilt, "When I saw it hanging on the line, I thought, that's the kind of quilt we should hang on the stairway wall in the new house, from a wooden hanger thing so we could take it down to wash it." How sweet is that? Just don't tell him I told you! ;)

    Your quilt sounds wonderful. I, too, easily get lost staring at all the different fabrics in my quilts. If only we knew all their stories!

    Japanese Redneck,
    I'd always heard that the best way to was quilts was in the bathtub, and that idea never appealed to me - especially now that I use mine so much. But my washing machine has a special handwash setting that's even more gentle than the delicate setting, and so far it's worked great.

    I keep telling myself I need to learn to sew so I can make myself a quilt. And then I realize that's an insane idea - especially when somebody has already done this beautiful work for me. So for now (and probably forever) I'm just a very grateful quilt collector.

    As for the cold face in bed despite all the covers - I kind of bury mine in a blanket or quilt like a cat. I've also been known to sleep in a little wool cap! ;)

    Lorna Jean,
    Oh, I feel your coverless pain. That's one of the annoying things about summer here. It's too hot and sticky for anything more than a thin cotton sheet, and without more weight than that on me, I can't sleep!

    Ha! That's too funny about the stick. I love it.

    The idea of a quilt auction is interesting! I'll definitely keep it in mind if the Etsy shop (which would be advertised on Farmgirl Fare) doesn't work out.

    Thanks for the helpful tip about not hanging the quilt to dry (and thanks to another reader whose name I'm spacing out but who offered the same advice a while back). It makes perfect sense. Now all I have to do is figure out some place I could lay the quilt in the sun where it wouldn't get trampled on by dogs, cats, chickens, donkeys, or sheep! ;)

  18. Love the fan pattern quilt - a real "find" in the best sense of the word. Hand made quilts are simply sleeping in love (to my way of thinking)
    No we don't like heavy covers - purchased a very nice down comforter and pottery barn duvet cover - LOVE feeling like I'm sleeping inside a warm marshmallow!

  19. That quilt is absolutely gorgeous. oh the stories and history behind that quilt are probably fascinating.
    Be well, Angela


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