Quilts, New and Old

Last week I mentioned I was going to a workshop on dating antique quilts. We were a small group and each of us had brought two to three quilts that we got to examine. It was a very pleasant way to spend a morning. I own two antique quilts of unknown provenance. While the presenter, Dale Drake, was unable to determine the age of one of them, she said the date on the other is probably 1850 - 1860 due to the green fabric. (!!) Can you see how the green has discolored the muslin around it? 

Here are some of the things we talked about. You should not wash an antique quilt unless you are prepared to lose it. If you wash it, use a very clean bathtub and two tablespoons of Orvus soap. Rinse thoroughly and remove as much water as you can. It's best to air dry flat between two white sheets. 

Another way to clean a textile is to use a fiberglass screen and the hose attachment on your vacuum. I did purchase a polyester ironing screen on Amazon, but haven't tried this yet. 

Rather than typing more things, I will refer you to the Smithsonian Institute for more information on cleaning and storing textiles.

If you own an antique quilt that you know any bit of information about, make a label that notes what you know and hand stitch it to the back of your quilt. It could be where and when you purchased it, how much you paid, who made it, approximate age, etc. Of course, labeling is always a good idea for any quilt. I am the worst about putting a label on a quilt!

After the workshop, we had open sew day. I worked on my Grassy Creek borders a bit more. I had to leave a bit early because my husband needed my vehicle (the only one with a hitch for the utility trailer). I sort of want to work on these now and get them done. I'm not even close to halfway, sadly. Maybe I should be brave and pick it for next month's OMG. We'll see.

I have been very slowly making progress on my Betty quilt. I finished all the blocks yesterday. I changed my mind on which fabric I want to use for the sashing and borders. This means that I will need to very creatively piece the back--and remember to pull out some fabric for the binding before I start piecing the back. I was going to use the brown in the lower right for the sashing, but changed my mind. Now I'm going to use the aqua in the lower left. I also have charm squares and the other three pieces. Should I use the aqua math print or the brown ruler print for binding? 🤔 I'll probably let my daughter decide. 

Here are my completed blocks. 

Over on the longarm, I've completed a few quilts. I got slowed down a bit when I decided to do my annual cleaning on the longarm and discovered an issue in my tension assembly. The inside of the one piece was covered in some brown dust. This part was very easy to clean with rubbing alcohol.
You can see the shaft is very dirty and grooved. The check spring was also full of the dust. My husband said that it is copper dust from where the chrome plating wore away. We cleaned all the parts with rubbing alcohol and he sanded the shaft with emory cloth as directed by APQS service. The picture is prior to sanding.

We put it back together and it seems to be running very nicely with no tension issues. I did order a spare tension assembly just in case. And spare motor brushes since you have to replace those in pairs, and why not have some on hand?

Ok, back to quilting now that the machine is put back together. These quilts all belong to Linda. This first one is quilted with Alfalfa. She hand pieced all the hexagons!

This one is quilted with Primrose Stipple.

And Stipple on the last one. 

Out in the garden, I harvested 12 ounces of green beans, which I promptly blanched and then froze. I learned my lesson from last week's loss.

I also had more cucumbers than I thought. I discovered that I accidentally planted the wrong type. This particular variety has very fine, prickly/hairy skin (think 5 o'clock shadow) and shrivels almost immediately after picking. In my opinion, they aren't good for eating, but are okay for freezer pickles and/or relish. I DO NOT need any more relish since we're still working on jars from years past. I thought I'd have enough for a quarter batch of freezer pickles, but decided against using the parts that had major insect damage. So I bought a few small cukes at the grocery store to have enough and made my quarter batch, using four to five cups of sliced cukes, which is two freezer containers, of pickles. The chickens got the insect damaged parts. They were scared of the whole cucumber, but ate it once my daughter broke it in half. 

My zucchini are still struggling. All but one have gotten blossom end rot. Not sure of the cause or combo of causes. No ripe tomatoes yet, but lots of green ones. The beets are very close to harvest. Have you ever eaten beet greens? What is your favorite method of preparation?

I've been having issues trying to comment on blogs, and I'm thinking I'm not alone based on all the anonymous comments I've gotten recently. Thanks for still making the effort to comment! Leave your name and/or blog or email and I'll try to respond to you directly. Or send me a message using the form at right so that I can email you. 

Linking with For the Love of Geese, My Quilt Infatuation,  and Alycia Quilts.


  1. I've used chopped red beet greens in salad. I've heard of people using the leaves for pesto. Some years are just not good garden years. Happy stitching!

  2. That lecture/class sounds amazing!! I love the idea of labeling a quilt with what you know - That would help so much, especially if you have heard stories.. its a great way to save the history!!!
    Your garden sounds like its trying to grow good!!!

  3. Your red/green quilt is lovely. Thanks for the advice from the appraiser. Fresh green beans are wonderful!

  4. That antique quilt of yours is a treasure for sure! I feel like I might have used beet greens in something once as a substitute for some other kind of green that I couldn't find at the time, but my brain is fuzzy about it and I couldn't tell you what I was making. I'm sorry your zucchini are not faring as well this year; zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables.