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Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 22:04:41 -0400
From: Eileen Doughty <Quilter@DoughtyDesigns.com>

The father of a friend of mine is in the process of moving from his home
of 40 years to an apartment.  Cleaning out stuff, big time!  They asked
me if i'd be interested in some old fabric.  sure, i said.  so today
they gave me nine garbage bags full!

so, what should i be looking for while i sort through this?  i make
landscape quilts myself, but help someone else do restoration.  plus
there are neighborhood kids that like to cut and sew and do crafts.  but
mainly, from the wisdom on this list, is there any kind(s) of fabric
that are really useful to keep on hand for restoration, that you've
found yourselves using a lot or found yourselves wishing you had?

there were also about a hundred spools of thread, about half on wooden
spools.  how do you know when it's too old to use?  is there any value
to the wooden spools themselves?

thanks for any advice!

eileen doughty


Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 22:19:25 -0500
From: "Leigh Fellner" <hcquilts@peoplepc.com>
To: <

The fabrics do appear to be early 1930s.  I don't know the origin of the
block designs, but unless Ms. McLean either designed the blocks herself (or,
if these are authentic vintage blocks, unless she's acquired the copyright
from the designer), I don't see how she can either make copyright claims or
bar anybody from copying them or the antique postcards she has on her site.
(This reminds me of another well-known site wherein the owner claims
copyright on traditional quilt block designs.)


Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 06:24:46 -0400
From: "Zendelle Bouchard" <zendelle@indri.mv.com>

Those quilt blocks are fabulous. They remind me of the Colonial Lady
pattern, but taken to the next level!
I noticed the copyright message at the bottom of the page too, but it didn't
occur to me that she might be referring to the designs; I think she just
means the photographs.
Zendelle in NH


Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 08:51:47 -0400
From: Beth Donaldson <quilts@museum.msu.edu>

I remember seeing a quilt on eBay last year made from these same blocks. As
I was outbid for this quilt I don't remember anything else about it, except
I loved the patterns.



Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 11:00:23 EDT
From: Palampore@aol.com

I received an email from a dealer in NY (Long Island) who has some quilt tops
she wants to have finished off.  If anyone out there is interested send me
your email address and I will pass it on.  I have no idea the age of the
tops.  I will ask a few questions and give a bit of advice (my opinion) on
quilting old tops, but I can't be the quilt police and tell her to leave them
Really anxious to see many of you next week. 
Lynn Lancaster Gorges
Historic Textiles Studio


Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 11:14:11 -0700
From: quilter@flash.net

wasn't someone looking for vintage textile soak recently?  i came across it
in a catalog from better homes and gardens quilting.  $9.99 for 1 pound
"decoratively packaged."  item AB070069
patti in san diego


Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 20:55:19 -0400
From: "Cinda Cawley" <lrcawley@dmv.com>

    I got lots of responses from QHLers (35) who want to meet while in
Williamsburg.  The schedule shows breakfast at 7 a.m. on Sunday.  I'll get
there early and stake out some tables with signs that say QHL.  Please be
aware:  this is a social occasion, a chance for us to put faces to names and
to catch up with friends we see only at AQSG.  It was great fun last year in
Lincoln and I look forward to a repeat in Williamsburg.  See you all at
breakfast on Oct. 14.
Cinda on the Eastern Shore

Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 20:54:54 -0700
From: Gail Ingram <GIngram@tcainternet.com>

I noted with interest Lynn Gorges' query--- "If anyone out there is
interested [in quilting tops for a NY dealer] send me your email 
address and
I will pass it on. I have no idea the age of the tops. I will ask a 
questions and give a bit of advice (my opinion) on quilting old tops, 
but I
can't be the quilt police and tell her to leave them alone."

Would you be kind enough to offer others of us "a bit of advice" on 
subject, Lynn? I have some 19th-century tops I will never quilt, 
but I
also have a couple late 19th-century tops from my family that I am
considering quilting so they might be passed on to my daughter and
succeeding generations along with a bed that has been in our family 
the early 1840's. They were made for the bed but never quilted. My 
thinks it would be nice if the two of us, along with a first cousin 
and her
daughters, quilted these as our "gift" to the ancestor who clearly 
intended they be quilted. That we have M.B.A's, Ph.D's, and teacher's
certificates, not serious quilting experience, hasn't dampened her
enthusiasm. She is a second child and determined. I would appreciate 
thoughts---both police-like and otherwise.

I do not wish to be negative, but I must say that for me, all the 
talk of Williamsburg is like polish on that Edenic apple the serpent 
Eve. For I will be cooped up in a classroom in North Louisiana, 
teaching the
fiction of Melville and Hawthorne. While y'all are chatting one 
another up,
debating the matter of Quaker quilts, learning all sorts of wonderful
things, and feasting your hungry eyes on all those gorgeous quilts, I 
be in deep discussions of Innate Depravity, the Unpardonable Sin, the
Hardening of the Heart, and similarly cheery notions. When I let my 
dwell on the matter, I feel like Eeyore with a lost tail or misplaced
birthday. All of us who will be tied to jobs and homes expect all of 
you who
travel to Williamsburg to give us full reports---like those Cinda 
gives of
NOVA goings-on. 

With all good wishes for safe travel and a fine conference in Wmsbrg,
Gail Ingram


Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 23:05:46 -0400
From: "J. G. Row" <Judygrow@rcn.com>
To: "

From personal experience....

I have added period fabric borders to a machine stitched cotton crazy 
from the turn of the century, added thin cotton batting and a 
contemporary homespun type backing and successfully hand quilted it 
gentle elbow (Baptist/Methodist fan) quilting. The fabrics were 
checks, stripes, chambrays, gingham, solids, in indigo, tan, some 
pink and
greys. Very solid fabrics which withstood quilting with so sign of
weakness. The quilt looks great. Every now and then I rotate it onto 
a bed,
but I take it off if company comes and needs a covering.

Also did the same on a cheddar, double pink, and shirtings quilt top 
which I
took apart and remade with smaller blocks because of shredding seams 
too many washings as just a top). Here too the quilting did no 

But, I have also hand quilted on 1850 muslin and turkey red 
applique, and
had my quilting thread cut the red fabric. Ditto with a circa 1870's 
T with green, yellow, and lots of madder browns. The madders are 
ever so

My advice (even though you didn't ask for it) is to choose with care 
tops you want to quilt. And stay away from the early madders
(red/orange/brown/black together).

Judy in Ringoes, NJ


Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 14:43:47 -0400
From: "pepper cory" <pepcory@mail.clis.com>

Hello all-Lynn Gorges will be bringing my silk quilt quilt to AQSG. 
anyone has comments/helpful advice, please jot it down and hand it to 
We looked today at a tuft of batting from the quilt. At first Lynn 
it old brown cotton and then, no,maybe there were little nodules on 
fibers. Could we have been looking at a silk batting? I have seen 
early 20th
century silk quilts (both fabrics and batting) made in China, by 
seamstresses, under the direction of American missionaries. The 
while ostensibly American, had subtle differences in color choices. 
somber brown and green of this quilt look Quaker but silk batting? 
have some obervations on this mystery when you meet the quilt in 
And about this AQSG meeting, I agree with Gail--some consideration 
here for
those of us who'll be toiling elsewhere! I'll be in Kansas teaching
Drunkard's Path and Quilt Marking and wishing I was in 


Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 14:42:10 -0600
From: Xenia Cord <xecord@netusa1.net>

Silk has been a fiber for fabric production since at least 5000 BC, 
the Chinese maintained a monopoly for nearly 3,000 years. In the 
States, interest in serioculture and in the commercial spinning and
weaving of silk advanced by fits and starts with differing degrees of
success. Silk thread was being spun and plyed in Connecticut by 
silk manufacturing was known in Philadelphia by 1815, Massachusetts 
a short-lived silk manufacturing industry from 1832 to 1839, 
watch ribbons and silk vests. In 1837 there was a general financial
collapse in the country, and the beginnings of a depression. As a 
of recouping their losses, many people speculated in mulberry trees 
which to feed silk worms, intending to make a killing on the market.
(Sounds like ads for raising chinchillas, doesn't it?) Trees were
bought and sold in a wildly fluctuating market, with the expected 
that the boom went bust.

New Jersey was one state where this new enterprise was fairly
successful, begun by Christopher Colt (of pistol fame), who made silk 
a pistol factory in Paterson. Three years later Colt sold the silk
works to a New York company, whose employee Samual Ryle was to make 
it a
profitable silk weaving and manufacturing business.

I say all this in preface to the reminder that there were many 
in the Deleware Valley region of New Jersey. See the information in
several places in New Jersey Quilts 1777 to1950 (1992), by Rachel
Cochran, Rita Erickson, Natalie Hart, and Barbara Schaffer. There is 
good essay on silk production in Paterson, as well as considerable
information on Quakers and their silk quilts.



Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 16:50:57 -0500
From: pcrews@unlnotes.unl.edu

The International Quilt Study Center is on TV!

In February of 2001,HGTV's Simply Quilts, visited the International 
Study Center (IQSC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The 
are four programs that feature the IQSC and prominent collectors in 
state. The IQSC was created to encourage the interdisciplinary study 
all aspects of quiltmaking and to foster preservation of this 
tradition through collection, conservation and exhibition of quilts 
related materials. We hope that you will take the opportunity to 
watch the
following shows so that you can see the IQSC and learn more about it. 
you have any questions regarding the IQSC, please contact Alta 
(aottoson2@UNL.edu). For questions regarding your local listings, 
refer to the Simply Quilts website ( www.HGTV.com then click on the 
Show List" and then on "Simply Quilts")

The Romance of Chintz
Episode QLT-709
Air Time: October 18, 2001 2:30 p.m. EST

The Simply Quilts camera crew goes to Fremont, Nebraska, to meet 
collector Sara Dillow and see her extensive collection of chintz 
Then host Alex Anderson is joined by Brenda Papadakis, who shares the
history behind the famous Dear Jane quilt and demonstrates two of the

African Masks
Episode QLT-716
Air Time: October 29, 2001 2:30 p.m. EST

The Simply Quilts cameras visit an exhibition of African-American 
from the Cargo Collection recently donated to the University of 
Then quiltmaker Karen Boutte shows how to create an African mask 
ultrasuede and decorative machine stitches.

Heirlooms, Past, Present and Future
Episode QLT-722
Air Time: November - Date & time TBA

The Simply Quilts producers visit the amazing quilt storage facility 
at the
University of Nebraska and learn how they keep their valuable quilts 
good condition. Then, quilt appraiser Nancy Kirk joins host Alex 
in studio to discuss making a "new heirloom" quilt. Nancy also 
making a reduced-sized clone of a quilt, working with old fabrics and
combining old and new fabrics. Nancy helps Alex give advice to a 
viewer with an old quilt that needs rescuing.

Fanciful Flowers
Episode QLT-736
Air time: November ? Date & time TBA

Simply Quilts visits the International Quilt Study Center's botanical
quilts exhibition at the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. to see how
important a role flowers and gardening played in women's lives 
centuries ago. Then, quilter Carol Armstrong joins host Alex Anderson 
studio to share an innovative way of using quilt lines to resemble 

Patricia Cox Crews, Ph.D.

Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 21:56:44 -0400
From: Newbie Richardson <pastcrafts@erols.com>

Dear all,
As a costume historian, I'd like to remind you all that when reading
inventories from the 18th c remember that the term quilt can just as
easily mean quilted petticoat(s). The term "quilt" as a noun was used
for clothing as well as bed covers. In fact, there were more quilted
petticoats than bed covers til the end of the 18thc. You've probably
all seen bed covers that were made from recycled petticoats!
Regardless of whether petticaot or bedcover, they were among some of
the most highly valued items in an estate inventory.


Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 22:05:59 -0400
From: Newbie Richardson <pastcrafts@erols.com>

Dear all,
Think of fabric as though it was human skin. As it ages, it looses
"elasticity" and supplness. Nothing can reverse the effects of UV light
and the stresses of humidity/dryness.
Just as older beneficiaries of plastic surgery have more problems with
healing and scarring, so do old fibers.
We are only just now assessing the long range effects of quilting old
tops. The quilt revival is about 30 years old - one generation. I have
been hearing of the earlier quilted older tops starting to split along
the quilting lines. Even if the fabric did fine when first quilted.
We KNOW that you can preserve your old quilt tops for another 100 +
years. We DO NOT know if they will last that long when newly quilted.
If you must, then use 100% cotton thread and a very fine needle and
not too much quilting. The fibers of the thread and the fabric must
match so that they absorb moisture/ dry out at the same rate.


Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 21:49:57 -0500
From: Jennifer Perkins <qltrstore@harlannet.com>

Hi All, I found my quilt calendar for the new year from Barnes & Noble web
site. It is called Classic Quilts and features quilts from the America
Hurrah Collection, and one from the Canadian Museum of Civilization. They
are neat; a depression era Figurative Crazy Quilt, with Santa Claus, Joan
of Arc, Pope Pius XIII, Aunt Jemima and more on it, several 19th c.floral
applique, an 1857 eagle applique with funky fat eagles, an 1860 eagle
applique that looks like a jacquard coverlet, and my favorite, an 1890 silk
quilt with thousands of pieces in a variable star and crazy quilt design
with lots of flying geese borders. Extraordinary!

Good luck with your search, I can be happy for the year with this one!
Jennifer in Iowa


Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 23:15:46 EDT
From: SSQuilt@aol.com


I've come across another box in the attic from the Wurzburg Company and it=20
contained 22 of the original applique and pieced quilt kits. I'm not sure if=
I should complete these kits so they are finished quilts to use in exhibits=20
or would it be better to leave them "as is" for future study? =A0I also foun=
special swatch sets of fabrics stapled together and labeled for each kit=20
quilt. There are solids and calico prints. As a designer and shop owner I=20
have never seen colors or prints available in these shades. Any suggestions=20
would be appreciated. I had no idea how much I'd find while getting ready to=
stamp the first kit. Do I sound overwhelmed? I am a little. I also am still=20
looking for information on a quilter or quilting service like Margaret=20
Caden's in Kentucky but under the name of Frost.

Gay Bomers


Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 23:38:00 -0400
From: "J. G. Row" <Judygrow@rcn.com>

this topic has come up at least 3-4 times a year.

From personal experience....

I have added period fabric borders to a machine stitched cotton crazy quilt
from 1900-1920, added thin cotton batting and a lightweight contemporary
homespun type backing and successfully hand quilted it (cotton thread) in
gentle elbow (Baptist/Methodist fan) quilting. The fabrics were mostly
checks, stripes, chambrays, gingham, solids, in indigo, tan, some pink and
greys. Very solid fabrics which withstood quilting with absolutely no sign
of weakness. The quilt looks great. Every now and then I rotate it onto a
bed, but I take it off if company comes and needs a night covering. It is
definitely not a "best" quilt, but one of my favorite quilts! I showed it
at the Quilt Restoration Conference Crazy Quilt show in Omaha a few years

I also did the same on a cheddar, double pink, and shirtings small quilt top
which I took apart and remade with smaller blocks because of shredding seams (from too many washings as just a top). Here too the quilting did no
damage. It gives constant pleasure and will not get heavy use.

But, I have also hand quilted on 1850 muslin and turkey red applique, and
had my quilting thread cut the red fabric. Ditto with a circa 1870's Double
T with green, yellow, and lots of madder browns. The madders are ever so

Choose with care the tops you want to quilt. And stay away from the early
madders and Turkey reds.

I am thinking about just backing my most favorite tops, with no batting, and only ditch quilting with longer stitches along the block seam lines. That
way the seam allowances are protected and you have minimal quilting to worry about. Not toe catchers, but not my usual 8-9 spi. Call it a summer
spread. That's what I am planning to do (in my 2nd lifetime) with some of
my favorite older tops.

I think a lot of purists, museum folk, and conservators ( dear pal Newbie,
for instance) say "No, never!" but not every quilt is an heirloom masterpiece.
Even the most humble quilt can give pleasure, but won't last long if every
time you unfold it to look at it another seam opens up. I think that
possibly a modern backing, judiciously applied with minimal interference to
the original is the way to go -- sometimes.

That's just my purely emotional opinion, with only personal experience to
back me up.

Judy in Ringoes, NJ


Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 08:31:08 EDT
From: CBENBERRY@aol.com


I do not know whether anyone has written to the List to identify the "Lady"
quilt blocks. Perhaps I may have overlooked the reply. It was a quilt kit
sold in the 1930s by "Grandmother Clark" of W.L.M. Clark Inc. of St. Louis,
MO. The design was listed as No. 95 Poster Girl. It was described as "A
set of six white 18-inch applique quilt blocks. Price per set of six, 75.
Post Paid."

In recent times I bought a paper pattern of this same design entitled
"Colonial Ladies" by "GRANNY SWEET Quilt Patterns by Edi Sweet,
Artist-Designer. 1989 Edi Sweet Art, Gulfort, MS."

Cuesta Benberry


Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 08:39:50 -0400
From: "Louise Burford" <louisejburford@hotmail.com>
>Hi - I have never replied to the list before so am unsure if I am doing so
>correctly not.
>Further to the query on silk batting, it is common here in Japan to lay
>'cobwebs' of silk thread over batting - which secures it to the outer
>cloth and decreases movement of the batting. Works wonders but with
>friction and time quite often the fine silk 'hair' will reveal itself
>through the outer fabric, and often pill, depending on the fabric.
>Just a thought
>Louise in Tokyo


Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 08:54:24 -0400
From: Patricia Keller <berrett@UDel.Edu>


I've been very interested in the recent discussion on Quaker quilts, as you
might guess. I want to respond to at least one of the points made, from the
writer who said she " can't imagine any group of Friends(quakers) getting
together to make silk quilts...it would be so totally in disagreement with the
philosophy of the society of friends....."

I rather think that our ideas of "Quaker-ness" in the early 21st century are as
interesting to study as are the actual lives and behaviors of Friends living in
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries! From at least as early as the 1760s
Quaker women worked individually and together on quilts made from expensive
silks. The documentation exists in written form, and in the quilts themselves.
For example, the diary of Philadelphia Quaker Hannah Callender Sansom, which she
kept between 1758 and 1788, records in 1761 that Hannah Callender and her two
Burlington, New Jersey Quaker cousins sewed a quilt for Hannah's upcoming
marriage. This quilt, currently in the collections of the Independence National
Historical Park, is inscribed in its silk top along the margin (in stitching):
"Drawn by Sarah Smith Stitched by Hannah Callender and Catherine Smith in
Testimony of their Friendship, 10 mo. 5th 1761." This quilt was included in
the exhibition, "'Of the Best Sort but Plain: Quaker Quilts from the Delaware
Valley, 1760-1890" and is illustrated in the accompanying catalogue (and its
center is featured on the catalogue's cover). Other silk quilts with Quaker
provenance are themselves documents of their making. I have studied many silk
pieced signature quilts inscribed with Friends' names, similarly documenting the

If I were asked to define, "What is a Quaker quilt?," my answer would be, "A
quilt made or used by a member of the Society of Friends." I might even include
"purchased" or "acquired" in this definition, depending upon the circumstances
surrounding the acquisition. The "Quaker"-ness is in the quilt's provenance.
At this point I've been fortunate enough to have surveyed between 200 and 300
quilts fitting this definition with provenance to Delaware River Valley Quaker
families and usually, to specific Quaker makers/owners/recipients. Many of
these quilts fit within distinctive parameters of materials and design. There
are very strong ties,
in materials and design, to British quilts of the same eras. Others are
indistinguishable from pieced cotton quilts of their era made by makers of other
religious denominations in the Middle Atlantic region and elsewhere.

"Quaker quilts" remains an area of interest and study for me. I'd enjoy
corresponding with anyone about this subject as I am happily continuing to
research this topic.

Patricia Keller


Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 11:01:01 CDT
From: jocelynm@delphi.com

In the discussion about quilting old quilttops, I didn't see an answer to
this question: Is there anything that can be done to slow down the drying
out of old fabric?
Someone referred to the similarities of old skin and old fabric- but most
of us are doing something about the former. <G> I'm just wondering if
there are fabric equivalents to using moisturizer and anti-aging creams. <G>



Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 12:24:51 -0600
From: Xenia Cord <xecord@netusa1.net>

It should be possible to rehydrate fabric by placing it in the freezer
in an open plastic bag for a day or two. I believe I'd practice first,
before submitting anything really good to the process. I know you are
supposed to be able to return old silk thread to usable by doing this.
Of course, there may be differences in the way protein-based fabrics
(wool and silk) react, and the way cellular-based fabrics (cotton and
linen) do.



Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 17:53:12 EDT
From: @aol.com

Actually, Quakers in the mid-19th century preferred silk to cotton because
silk production did not involve the African slave trade and most cottons did.
It was a common abolitionist practice in several liberal denominations such
as the Quakers and the Unitarians.

Karen Evans


Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 17:05:14 -0700
From: Gail Ingram <GIngram@tcainternet.com>

On Wed, 03 Oct 2001 20:54:54 -0700 Gail Ingram wrote:

>. For I will be cooped up in a classroom in North Louisiana,
> teaching the
> fiction of Melville and Hawthorne.

Sounds like a reasonable punishment for requiring innocent people to read
Melville and Hawthorne. <G>

Far from it: I've taught Herman and Nathaniel many times, but never at a
more relevant time than the current. Both explore the nature and psychology
of evil. On Sept 12, my students were true believers in the relevance of
great books. One boy wrote, "Our reading of Hawthorne gave me the vocabulary
and ideas with which to understand the men who flew planes into the
buildings in NYC and Washington. Although my religion taught that evil
existed, I had never really thought of it as active in the world until I
read Hawthorne. Last night as I watched television, I realized these were
men who had lost all reverence for human life and thus, for whatever divine
exists in human beings. Hawthorne uses the term Unpardonable Sin to describe
the absolute loss of sympathy with other people. It was a term that helped
me make make sense of what otherwise would have seemed only madness. Last
night affirmed what Hawthorne's stories are about---the need to keep love
alive in each of our hearts, the horrific results of yielding to hatred. I
never thought I would say this---but thanks for making us read these works."
You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather.

We are now studying Melville's "Billy Budd," which explores the danger of
innocence in a world where evil also exists. Never have I had such rapt

But Joycelyn, I'm going to forward your remarks and your smile to thse kids,
and they will absolutely love you. They will come and rake your yard. It
will keep them with me through Melville. After that, we've agreed to kick
back and read a book we read each year as a treat----"Huck Finn." So, I
hope to be floating down the Mississippi with Huck while y'all are looking
at those Quaker quilts. A little consolation. But not enough.