14 May 2012


One of my favorite farmers asked me if I wanted a stack  of old quilts they unearthed in a barn on their property, I was warned they were pretty disgusting and they were. Moldy, damp and reeking.

 But, you know me, I always believe there is something worth saving, specially if its an old textile.

 I am working my way through the pile.  All from the turn of the century. The top one was relatively easy to take apart.

 Managed to remove the primitive homespun or Alamance type backing, but there is still a lot of raw cotton batting sticking to it...even though I have washed the cloth.

 The tweed squares are very interesting, since the original patches were about 12"  I had hoped to make a small sample stack, alas, even I gave up...

 specially when it was obvious that some small rodents had taken up residence at some point.

 OK, on to the next one, just as damp and smelly. I am still having trouble with the old batting and  might try shaving it. I have rescued the grey and lilac striped backing.

 Two down, four more to go. At least the weather is with me and I can work outside.
Sigh.... these working men's  quilts have been very handsome in their day.


  1. That is some hard work there! They might wash beautifully, when you are done...

  2. What a shame they have been left there for so long. I admire you for trying to save them! M x

  3. What an exciting stash, despite the damp & stink. Good luck with rescuing what you can from the pile!

  4. Anonymous15 May, 2012

    This is a real labour of love Jan. I particularly like the remains of the rodent nest!

  5. Wow, pretty amazing the lengths you go to to save a quilt, I have a lot of admiration for you. N x

  6. These are fabulous! Even if you're able to salvage just a small part of each one, it's well worth the effort to have these beautiful textiles around for many more years to come.

  7. I do admire your persistance, not sure I could keep going after the first two. it is a shame though that they are in such a condition. Good luck with the rest of them

  8. Oh, you must have the patience of Job! Don't know if I could do all that or not. Hope you're able to save them. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  9. Isn't it horrible what some people will do to quilts! Bless you for trying to save them.

  10. I think these are real treasures and well worth the effort you are putting in. I love the quilts in your link too...beautiful.

  11. Jan you are more dedicated than I - touching things with rodent remains. Yuck! Hope you get some nice things from all your hard work.

    Warm hugs,


  12. I enjoyed reading your article and appreciate these finds and your careful way of tending to them. I am sure you will find something to be of good use and will await to see if you find any .

  13. Just catching up on reading your blog, Jan, so you might miss this late comment :-(
    This post reminds me of some of the embroidered tablecloths I've rescued from garages, where they have been used to polish cars, wipe up oil spills, etc. Like you, I just can't bear the thought of someone's hours of hard work being destroyed..


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