More unplanned acquisitions

I really did think there would be no further quilts entering The Cupboard for the foreseeable future.  Wrong again!  I think that Myself and Himself probably need to curtail our occasional outings to antique fairs to a zero limit – we had a lovely day out at Antiques for All at the NEC in Birmingham last weekend where there were relatively few vintage textiles on display.  But then I turned a corner at the end of one aisle and there it was –

Tumbling Blocks quilt

and at an affordable price – what’s a quilter to do other than pay up and bring it home to be shared, enjoyed and appreciated?  Measures 88x 76inches, no provenance or information.  Possibly USA in origin the vendor thought and I think I’m inclined to agree.  The fabrics are a little more fragile than they first appear, beautifully handpieced (no papers), very thin cotton wadding, knife edge finish with one line of neat running stitch, an all over quilting treatment of clamshells (just about visible in a couple of the pics below).  I really couldn’t say if it is more usual to see the lines of tumbling blocks set across the width of a quilt but in this instance they run the length of the quilt.

Tumbling blocks quilt

quilt detail

quilt detail

quilt detail

quilt detail

quilt edge and back

A special touch though in the line of machine stitching near the edge of the quilt – this seems to fit pretty well with a guesstimated date of 1860 -1880.  Someone out there who has more specialised knowledge of early sewing machines would be able to help date this style of machine stitch – my uneducated guess is that  this chain stitch is earlier rather than later in the technical development of sewing machines … do add to this information/guess if you can.

machine stitching at edge of quilt

And, although this next acquisition doesn’t belong in The Cupboard and isn’t textile, I thought you might be interested to see it all the same.  Some of you know that I have a strong ceramics heritage within my family and also where I grew up, and our house is stuffed with quite full of various bits and pieces.  Which really explains why I felt obliged to bring this lovely early 19th century tankard home. It’s  hand painted and well-worn, with a typically sentimental verse and looks good sitting on the kitchen dresser above The Secret Drawer –


The verse reads ” Long may we live, Happy may we be, Blest with Content, & From misfortunes free”

Note the pin (lower centre)-  we quilters have a habit of leaving “clues” everywhere!

6 thoughts on “More unplanned acquisitions”

  1. The stitcher was obviously a skilled technician as it all looks very neat and tidy with stripes running level etc. and also looks like she had an impressive stash for her day. Love the pottery ware. You are indeed blest.

  2. While checking the expo site in Veldhoven, I found your blog. I than ended up reading a lot (back to christmas:-). Very nice to see all your old quilts and also close-up. I’m very impressed by the work of the tentmakers. Hope to meet you at a workshop, hope I can come.
    Annemieke( from the Netherlands)

  3. My experience is that life usually presents us with a feast or famine so I say snap up these great finds when opportunity knocks. Let us know if more info comes to light on this great quilt. Take care.

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