For years, I’ve had a minor interest in American Patchwork Quilts, since finding one bundled up in the back of an old barn sale. It was about $20, so I felt like I didn’t have much to lose if I bought it. When I got home, I consulted some of my old Martha Stewart Magazines (this was in the pre-Google days!) who had consulted specialist, Laura Fisher, to see how to wash it.
The basic recommendation was to soak it in the bathtub to remove the surface dirt and continually change to water until it ran clean. I was then able to lay it in the back yard to begin the drying process, and after it was almost dry, I hung it on the clothes line. The quilt was white with huge green, orange and pink tulips on it. I loved it.
That was about 20+ years ago, and I find that I am still buying American quilts and use them in my everyday life, not, unfortunately, giving any thought to their value. The white star quilt that shaggy Figgy is sitting on is now her bed and she loves it. The stars were rather worn out, so I didn’t feel too bad about using it for her.
One of the first things I made when I taught myself to sew about six years ago, was a patchwork quilt in no discernable pattern. I figured it would help me learn to sew in straight lines. I backed the patchwork with a cozy fleece and still use it today, as evidenced by this image from a year ago, while I had Halas the Brown Dog, staying at my house.
I am pretty casual about chucking the quilts into the washing machine and then hanging them out to dry in the sun and the breeze. This weekend was a perfect time to do that, so out they went!
I know that they’re not the rage like they were 25 years ago, when Ralph Lauren cornered the market on them, but they’re such an American icon.
I am in major de-accessioning mode and these and others (except my beginning sewing project) will be on my Etsy shop within the next week or so. Regardless of that, I have my eye on one at a local auction that just has me swooning! Killer shade of yellow!