reinventing another vintage quilt

I haven’t written about quilts in a while. I love vintage quilts. I think they help make a house a home. Their colors and patterns light up a room.

Sure you can buy new quilts, and I do. But I don’t live in a beige, beige world. I like color. And I like the stories that quilts often tell.

When I find vintage quilts, sometimes I hear a story and other times I don’t. This is a quilt I bought off of a Maine dealer on eBay a few years ago. It wasn’t much money and needed a fair bit of repairs. I don’t know it’s story, but it comes from the land of snowy winters so I imagine it was well used.

I am OK with repairs. I can do patches of my own design. I hand sew, I actually don’t know how to use a sewing machine anymore. It’s been too many years and I was never very good to begin with. My mother is great with a sewing machine and my friend’s mom is a real quilter and she and her friends use those long arm machines. So my repairs are neat but more basic than real quilters.

You definitely can’t classify me as a real quilter. Those folks are true artists.

However, I do try to be artistic with my patches. I get fun fabric odds and ends when I can find them. One of my favorite sources of fabric odd lots is the Smithfield Barn via their pop-up sales which are online, and places like The Harriton Fair and The St. David’s Fair. I look for calicoes, nice solids, some fun patterns. I even repurpose old flannel shirts and jeans past their prime.

I have said before that I feel like quilts are a form of folk art, but my quilts are used. I know people who have amazing quilts mounted on walls as textile art.

Quilt shows are fun to go to. The patterns and colors are amazing. Quilts as I have said before are such a happy thing.

I have been working on this one for a while – like 3 winters. I usually work on them here and there in the winter. It’s a nice heavy quilt. It actually kept me toasty warm today as I worked on it. The quilt is about 3/4 restored now.

Old quilts often have another life waiting to happen. Buy them, mend them, use them.

Thanks for stopping by.

yes, vintage linens are among my favorite things

So I know I must be pretty boring every time I talk about how much I love vintage linens, but I do.

I bought a couple new old dish towels and these two amazing embroidered vintage pillowcases that were all remainders of an estate sale.

I think people overlooked the pillowcases because they were super yellowed with age in spots including covering the fabulous embroidery. They are embroidered with pine cones and pine branches. I just thought they were so incredibly special.

So I soaked them overnight in Restoration and a little Woolite. You can buy Restoration directly from Engleside Products or on Amazon.

I have said before how terrific this wash is on vintage linens and quilts and old crocheted items. But I wish I had taken a photograph of the pillowcases before I soaked them because this was that amazing a transformation!

Now my old linens are drying on a clothes rack and when they are dry I will press them and put them on my pillows next time I change my sheets!

Don’t overlook old and vintage linens. They add so much charm and character to your home.

I am also in the process of restoring and patching an old flannel-backed quilt from Maine. I love them on our beds in the winter there’s nothing cozier and nicer than an old patchwork quilt and vintage embroidered pillowcases! and if you shop smart and aren’t afraid of cleaning items up you can usually find both of these things at less than fancy dealer prices.

quilt repairs and flu days

I have had the flu since December 28 when I felt that first tickle way in the back of my throat.


This was the year I forgot to get a flu shot. And I got full-on flu. Including the scary nights you are afraid to sleep in the middle of the night because you can’t breathe. Last year when I got the flu shot it made me as sick as a dog (but ironically not this sick), so this year I kept procrastinating… next year? Back to flu shots.

As someone who was treated for breast cancer, I do live with a slightly compromised immune system. My husband, however, attributes this lengthy flu to not resting properly. Or, I haven’t stayed in bed enough. Now I hate to admit it, but since I have been getting in bed and staying in bed I am starting to feel better.

But who has the time to stay in bed, I ask? (And by the way I am writing this on the WordPress app not my computer.) I for one have learned the hard way that one has to make the time.

Staying put is a hard thing for me to do. So what have I done besides read and watch TV? Sew. I have a bunch of quilts to repair and restore.

I have written before about my love of old handmade quilts and re-making them when repairing them.

I love hand made and vintage pieced at patchwork quilts. Although I can repair and reimagine them, I am not a quilter and would never presume to call myself one. Real quilting is such an amazing art form.

I have now repaired and reimagined several vintage quilts. And then I add my own touches. Ribbon, lace, quirky odd pieces or fabric, and even embroidery are my touches. Hand sewing as I don’t have my mother’s talent with a sewing machine.

Some people only display their quilts and afghans, but I use them. I love them and to me they are among the things that make a house a home. To me it is home to have these quilts.

I am almost finished reimagining this blue and white one. It’s fairly large and has some weight to it. My friend Sara who is a real quilter had given me some odd lots of fabrics, and the one I am using is just perfect – a fun dog pattern on a blue background.

I don’t make the patches that necessarily mimic what the original quilter did. I stick to basic shapes I can cut out and stitch evenly.

This is a fun way to make myself relax…and stay in bed. Seriously, those are two things which are very hard for me to do.

When I finish the blue and white quilt, I will move onto an old Maine-made patchwork quilt. Maine if anyone is interested is a place where I think some of the most amazing handmade quilts come from. And a lot of them are flannel backed. And this certainly is a winter where you can appreciate flannel- backed quilts.

Thanks for stopping by!

vintage quilts and dear friends


This morning as I was out in the garden planting ferns that someone generously gave me when they were thinning theirs out, my friend Sara stopped by. She had with her a beautiful vintage quilt that she had made herself in the early 1960s.

Her kids didn’t need it, and neither did her granddaughters, so it came to me. Now my friend is one of the most practical people I have ever met in my entire life, and she would shake her head and tell me that she was merely giving it to someone who would use it. To me it is much more than that.

It is no secret I love vintage textiles, especially things like quilts and other kinds of linens. I am not a quilter, but I do know how to repair and reuse vintage quilts that need a little love. This one is in almost perfect condition so all it will need is a bed.

Beyond that I am touched that she would give me something she made like this. Sara is a friend I made as an adult. I find her to be a very remarkable person. She means a very great deal to me.

Thank you for the quilt, Sara.