Quilt History banner


Home Page








Member Links

Study Groups  







The Yellow~Ribbons Project - Quilters who care

Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 10:53:17 -0600 From: "Dale/Jean Carlton" 

Hi, I did a Quilt Education Day today at a local quilt shop - Free dating of quilts and general info about appraisals. It's always interesting to see what gets brought in. One woman had 5 crazy quilts from her husband's family. We were looking at one of them and everyone commented on how depressing it was - very dark overall and somber. There was an "S" embroidery in the center - looked commercially done - The piece measured 46 x 74 and that size made me wonder if it may have been used as a funeral pall. One set of 4 blocks were turned to create a diamond design but all other blocks were random. The diamond motif was positioned toward one end and someone speculated that maybe they had the toward the top and left room for flowers below it. Anyone with information or thoughts on these possibilities? Jean Carlton MN Quilt Appraiser


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 13:04:01 -0500 From: mreich@attglobal.net To: <QHL@cuenet.com> Subject: QHL:Funeral quilts/Coffin quilts 

There were a few quilts turned up in the Connecticut Quilt Search Project that had a connection to death. One in particular was long and rectangular, constructed with dark, mostly black wools in the crazy quilt fashion. There was embroidery work but it was kept at a minimum. It certainly had the appearance of a cover that might have been appropriate to use for a wake. I am amazed that it survived to be saved. Most coffin quilts were probably destroyed. In the pre-antibiotics era and with all of the infectious disease that contributed to deaths, I thought that nearly everything that came in contact with ill or deceased people was usually burned. Anytime I see a long rectangular, dark, wool, sparsely-adorned, crazy-pieced quilt from the late nineteenth century or early twentieth century, I always think about the possibility that it was a coffin quilt. Sue Reich, from the iced-over part of Connecticut


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 23:15:20 -0000 From: "Sally Ward" <Sally.D.Ward@btinternet.com> To: <QHL@cuenet.com> Subject: 

> Anytime I see a long rectangular, dark, wool, sparsely-adorned, > crazy-pieced quilt from the late nineteenth century or early twentieth > century, I always think about the possibility that it was a coffin quilt.

A friend of mine who lives in the Dales area of Yorkshire and researches wholecloth quilts in the locality, says the same thought occurs to her whenever she sees an unusually rectangular and impossibly well-preserved white wholecloth. Apparently the presence of clamshell quilting is also an indication of possible funeral use.

Sally W in UK


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 06:10:21 -0500 From: "Sharon's" <sstark@nni.com> To: 


I am a fabric and quilt dealer living in Pennsylvania Dutch country, where these things are relatively abundant. Recently I've gotten a couple of emails from an eBay quilt buyer/seller who insists that there are a large number of newly made quilts being sold on eBay (and off) as antique Pennsylvania quilts. Perhaps some others on this list have heard from her as well.

While many of us are familiar with misdated or reproduction Amish quilts, it seems this person is convinced that PA calicos are being reproduced in great quantity and foisted off on the unsuspecting public. She says she wants to know how to identify the repros, so that she can put up an informative website.

My question, then, is this: Does anyone on the list know of an abundance of these repros being turned out? Newly made from reproduction or old fabric? And if so, how is it economicallly feasible, given that most antique PA calicos are not bringing huge amounts of money, unless they are spectacular, and that making the spectacular ones would be particularly time-consuming, even for the most skilled quilter?

My belief is that this is a myth, which arises from the abundance of these quilts in our area; every estate auction turns up one or several that have never been used. Some eBay sellers seem to have an endless supply of crisp, unwashed quilts, but I know they're old because I see where they come from. At one sale I attended four weeks ago I bought seven, all unused and unwashed, that had been in two blanket chests since the 1890's until last month, for prices from $175 to $400 each. I couldn't buy old fabric to reproduce them for that price.

I will be interested to hear others' experiences or impressions of the reproduction calico quilt trade.

Sharon Stark


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 09:29:04 -0700 From: "Karen Housner" <texasthunder@cox.net> To: <QHL@cuenet.com> Subject: QHL, silks from India 

Greetings to all from Arizona where it's sunny and 80 degrees. This is  my first time to post on QHL and I'm hoping some of you can help or send  me in the right direction. I'm a new appraiser in Arizona and a client  brought in some hand woven silks from India. Some pieces are hemmed  long rectangular scarves and others are simply yardage. All of these  pieces were imported back in the 60's and one still has a price tag on  it, ($350). They all appear to have gold woven into the silk and are  deep jewel tones. I've taken several pictures and will send them to any  and all that can help...I've told her I'm not qualified to value these  but would try to find someone who was.

Karen Housner AZ Quilt Appraiser


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 09:36:29 -0700 From: "BOBBIE A AUG" <qwltpro@msn.com> To: <qhl@cuenet.com> Subject: Coffin quilts Message-ID: 

An actual coffin quilt (documented) is pictured on page 152 of our book,  Vintage Quilts. It measures 42" x 72" and is covered with embroidery det ails.

Bobbie Aug


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 17:13:32 -0600 From: "Ellen Lessmann" <lessmann8@cox.net> To: <QHL@cuenet.com> Subject: funeral quilts Message-ID: 

>There was an "S" > embroidery in the center - looked commercially done -

Just wondering, when did commercial embroidery become available? Thanks, Ellen


Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 23:38:46 -0500 From: "gb-best" <vitale@ptd.net> To: <QHL@cuenet.com> Subject: The Reproduction Trade??? 


I am a quilt dealer also living in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. I also = sell on Ebay.

I agree with Sharon that there are so many estate sales in = Pennsylvania. One just about every day of the week. There is an = abundance of crisp quilts because the PA Dutch ladies or PA Germans = would make quilts and never use them. That is something that is well = known here in Pennsylvania.=20

I went to one sale (a few weeks ago) that had 6 redwork quilts. All = crisp, never used or washed. Why someone would make so many, who knows, = but all were in mint condition and they were old. Also at this sale were = many whole cloth quilts in pairs. The maker made the same quilting = design on just plain muslin, but used all different thread colors. She = must have made about 12 of them. Again, they were all crisp, never used = or washed. This is very typical to see here in Pennsylvania.=20

Occasionally I see new quilts or imports being bought on line and later = sold as old.=20

Here is one new Amish quilt, that once sold as new and reappeared for = sale again, but not as new.


If you need any information about this practice, give me an email, I can = send you the details.

My congrats to you Sharon, I missed that sale where you found all those = quilts a few weeks ago. I still have the original newspaper ad for that = sale.=20



Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 11:03:01 CST From: jocelynm@delphiforums.com To: pepcory@mail.clis.com Cc: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: How 

On Fri, 15 Nov 2002 15:29:47 -0500 "pepper cory" wrote:

> Before some bright QHL'er has the idea to take an Oriental rug to the local carwash

Several years ago, a friend and I took a canvas pavilion to a truck wash to clean it. For those who haven't seen one, truck washes are 2 storied, and there's a staircase inside them so you can climb up and wash the top part of the truck. We tied the pavilion to the landing at the top of the stairs, so that it hung down, and sprayed it with the wand. WARNING! WARNING! WARNING, WILL ROBINSON! Spraying a vertically hung textile will result in the threads being moved- you can literally blast a hole in it. The pavillion was made of awning fabric, too. I can only imagine what it'd do to a less tightly-woven textile. Jocelyn


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 11:13:08 CST From: jocelynm@delphiforums.com To: mreich@attglobal.net Cc: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL:Funeral 

On Sun, 17 Nov 2002 13:04:01 -0500 mreich@attglobal.net wrote:

In the pre-antibiotics era and with all of the infectious > disease that contributed to deaths, I thought that nearly everything that came in contact with ill or deceased people was usually burned.

Sue, Germ theory was known in the 1890s, and people were pretty accurate about which diseases were contagious and which weren't (cancer being the notable exception). Accidents and ailments like heart attacks wouldn't have resulted in a fear of contagion. Also, a pall might have been used on top of a closed casket, so that it wouldn't matter. My mother remembers burials being a community response, where you were 'laid out' by the women while the men were building your coffin.



Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 21:15:41 EST From: Trishherr@aol.com To: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: response to reproduction quilts Message-ID: 

I am of the same mind as Sharon Stark. This idea that there are lots of reproductions flooding the market is probably a myth. Certainly there are some alterations out there to deceive people. Cut down large quilts to look like small quilts. Lots of old Lancaster County Pa. Amish dress fabric over the years has been recycled into "wall hanging" or crib quilts. Some of those were made to deceive. But that is not a new phenomenon.

There a certainly many old quilts of no specific artistic or collectible merit that do sell over the auction block here in southeastern Pa. that would not be worth your time to recreate for the money they bring.

Trish Herr

--part1_ca.14cf1bcd.2b0c4a4d_boundary Content-Type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 21:47:57 -0500 From: "Annette A." <nettie@mindspring.com> To: QHL@cuenet.com Subject: Re: QHL: Take a look at this beauty! Message-Id: <> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

At 08:24 AM 11/19/2002 -0500, gb-best wrote: >Did anyone see this beauty? Isn't it great! > > ><http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=921606744

Click on the thumbnails....    i-11.jpg (32023 bytes)

i-4.jpg (33171 bytes) i-5.jpg (37451 bytes)
i-6.jpg (44279 bytes) i-2.jpg (47308 bytes)
Measuring 72" wide x 75" long this is an incredible patchwork quilt. The quilt comprises a central picture bounded by rectangular borders of strips and broader patches. The flowers in the central picture and on the second border out are appliqued and the patches are diamond, hexagonal and triangular shaped in a quite complex patterning. The colours are strong and vibrant and many of the materials are flower and leaf patterned. Stripes and checks are also well to the fore, in fact the whole is a kaleidoscope of form and colour. The quilt does not yet have a material backing and the majority of the paper shape backings and tacking are still in place. The paper backings appear to comprise of old account books, child's exercise books and newspapers and from a study of these, I have noted dates of 1879 and 1880 and a newspaper advert seems to date the making of the quilt from about Edward VII's Coronation in 1902. Similarly, from the paper work and where the quilt was bought, I believe it to be of West or South Yorkshire origin. For a 100 year old quilt this is in superb condition. It is the most beautiful piece of hand work and adding a backing would give the owner a very special and unique bed cover. The colours in the photographs are not as strong as in reality.

Thanks for sharing this with us. The description of the quilt top brought up a question for me. The quilt top on ebay has paper backings, including newspapers. I have a lovely quilt top which still has the newspaper backing on it, from the 1920's. Is it advisable to remove the newspaper backing, or should one leave it as is? Finish the quilt or don't finish the quilt?


Annette Lawrenceville, GA


Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 21:08:11 -0600 From: "Lisa Erlandson" <quilter@cooke.net> 

Does anyone know of a person/source for re-weaving of fabric? Thanks, Lisa




319 ]


Copyright ęPhoebeMoon Web Design Solutions