Frans Vintage Friends


It was a picnic even if we were inside and the food was yummy. It amazes me how much wonderful stuff this group comes up with. Wednesday seemed like "chintz day" with many early quilts to drool over. Nancy Hahn, our source for all things British, was home again with copies of "Through the Needle's Eye." (Nancy, of course, was greeted by the age-old question "What is Sally Ward really like?") 

We saw a couple of pieces that would fit nicely into the York Castle Museum collection. On pp. 12-13 is a bedcover that looks very much like a large piece of linen (no seams) with a crochet edge (maybe a Victorian tablecloth?) decorated with early chintz appliqués of Arabs, exotic birds, monkeys, lions with an oval medallion in the center.

 There were a number of quilts that elicited comments that many of the fabrics were not quite what we expected (for instance, a top of 6-point Stars c. 1830), could they be English? Yes, I think they well could be. Nancy showed us a linen framed center quilt (1810) which we know was made in England, no batt (I guess I should say wadding) but quilted. 

There was a most unusual quilt, c. 1880, made to look like the old-fashioned photo albums (the kind with the tabs at each corner). In the center of each block fabric was fussy cut to look like a photo image of a woman. 

It was a good day for baby quilts: a nautical theme from the 1940s in red, white and blue with little animals in sailor suits (very cute), a Snow White crib cover and pillowcase, a feedsack with animal shapes quilted in, a very early (1810?), very English looking baby quilt from VA, tiny Ocean Waves c. 1860 and a fabulous, like-new double sided 1840s Four Patch and Random Patch. 

A lovely Nine Patch variation from the 1830s had a brown and pink chintz border of roses and carnations. My 1840 crazy pieced diamonds set in zigzag strips with it's great earlier chintz border got an enthusiastic reception (I had made an emergency "tell me what to do call" to Hazel Carter before buying it). 

The prize for elegance goes to an 1840s Orange Peel made of a single lovely blue and pink floral chintz and white. Also from the 1840s was a Long Island Strippy of large squares on point (love to see big chunks of early fabrics). We saw two c. 1900 Mennonite dresses: one grey and one black. An incredible Lone Star from southeastern PA in brown, orange, green and double pink (c. 1870) came out of Barb Garrett's fabled attic. We saw an Amish sheet and pillowcase set beautifully embroidered "Annie King" from Intercourse, Lancaster, Co. and five (count them 5) Amish scissors holders. Suzanne Cawley immediately produced hers and scolded me for not bringing my scissors holder. She was somewhat mollified when I confessed that I had just bought a second one last weekend. 

Suzanne, Barb and I share a weakness for the bizarre. There was an Amish Irish Chain (peacock blue and bright pink) with great quilting, a lovely fine wool crepe probably 1930s. Also unmistakably PA was an 1850s Whig Rose with an appliquéd vine border: turkey red, double pink, poison green on a double blue background--all the bells and whistles. 

The 20th century was represented by a Grandmother's Flower Garden with lots of Disney fabric--busy, busy, busy with no paths between the flowers, a white quilt with a lovely inner border of green and yellow appliquéd morning glories, a red, white and blue version of Ruby McKim's colonial history embroidered blocks. 

I started with the off-beat Photo Album quilt and I'll end (although there was a lot more we looked at) with the Parcheesi Board quilt. It was predominantly red with green bars and squares very like the game board (maybe 1890)-curious. 

Read Cinda's comments on the Jan 20th meeting here.

Read Cinda's comments on the June 24th meeting here.

Read Cinda's comments on the March 21, 2005 meeting here

Read 's comments on the May 2005 meeting here

For more information, contact Fran Fitz at



Tell a friend about this site: