Saturday, November 14, 2009

Prairie Sky Barn Quilts - Support Home Businesses!

If you drive through Iowa or Illinois on any of the country roads, U.S. Highways, or interstates there is a good chance you've seen them hanging on barns, silos, grain bins, garages, or displayed next to a lane/driveway welcoming visitors to a country home. These "eye-catchers" are called wooden "Barn Quilts" and they aren't just for barns (or farm people) anymore! These quilts would look great on your gardening shed, next to your front door, in your flower garden, on your garage, or "eye candy" at your place of business.

Check them out......

Prairie Sky Barn Quilts is located in Southeast Iowa and specializes in handcrafted wooden barn quilts made to your specifications. They handcraft their wooden barn quilts from the highest quality wood, paint with several coats of high quality exterior paint and seal with an excellent exterior sealant. They can handcraft any design you like or you may be interested in one of the designs they have already completed. There are also several sizes to choose from and they are reasonably priced.

The owners are two working mothers who have been friends for over 20 years. They love quilts and art and finally combined their talents to begin handcrafting wooden barn quilts. Each of the "wood" quilts are created in their studio, not in a factory. They paint each barn quilt individually and use only the highest quality wood, paints, and sealants. They do quality work!

I have one on order - they are personalizing it for me because I collect a specific type of quilt.

Contact Information:

Prairie Sky Barn Quilts
33146 263rd Trail
Milton IA 52570
Phone: 641-680-0086
Support Home Businesses!!!! The Mom and Pop type places!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cost of a Crazy Quilt

Let's forgive them for they do not know of what they speak ... read on...

"Cost of a Crazy Quilt

A certain girl has pieced a crazy quilt containing 9,000 bits of ribbon. It must have taken at least three minutes' sewing to the piece. That would take 27,000 minutes - an hour a day for a year and nearly three months. In that time this foolish girl might have learned a modern language, became an accomplished cook and house-keeper, studied no end of history and science, or have done benevolent and educational work among the ignorant and poor that would have lasted to eternity - Exchange."

May 7, 1884
Newspaper Editorial Page

The fellow(s) that wrote the above never lived long enough to see the Aids Awareness quilts, the breast cancer quilts, the alzheimer quilts, the memory quilts moms make which keep their children warm years after she has passed, and the countless other quilts made to raise funds, awareness, or to honor a loved one.

Nothing "foolish" or "ignorant" about that.

Quilt Collections: Passing them On

Sea Wings to Glory
Mountain Mist Quilt Kit
Author Collection

You are building a collection of antique, vintage, and new quilts in certain motifs or classifications. What will happen to them when you are gone if your family is not as interested in collecting quilts as you are?

On my online history list a topic recently surfaced about donating quilts to museums and how much “control” you have over the collection once it is donated to the museum. Do you have the right to make certain stipulations when you donate them? What happens when the museum decides to part with your item? Will they give it back to the family? Do you even have a right to ask them to do that? Also what if you can’t find a museum interested in taking your entire collection? Like you, I would like to see my quilts in a museum, but what if you are unable to find a home for them there.

It is hard to see a collection you built be taken apart because of the emotional investment we have in what we choose to collect.

But take heart – if you collected that “motif” or classification of quilt, there is someone down the road who is building their personal/private collection that will want that quilt, the provenance, and the story of how it came to you in their private collection. Let someone else experience the same joy you had in acquiring “that quilt.”

Choose a good quilt broker/dealer you have faith in – give her or him the provenance, sell the item through them and, if you are financially able, set up a scholarship fund at your local high school or college so generations of kids will have the opportunity to go to college on your collection – you can put a stipulation on that scholarship that if a family member related to you comes of college age that particular year, the scholarship goes to your family member.

Or give the money to one of the quilt museums to fund quilt related programs/storage or an organization like the American Quilt Study Group for an annual grant/scholarship?

Quilts are like our children, they are ours for awhile, but no matter how much we want to we are not allowed to keep them forever.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NRA Eagle Quilt Research

Author's Collection

I am without a doubt an eagle quilt junkie and I am always collecting research information about eagle quilts. Those of you who are familiar with my web site Illinois Quilt History at know that I am also interested in quilt and textile history research and I always like to share the ways in which I find information.

Yesterday I was on in the newspaper portion of the search engine and in the keyword search I put in “eagle quilt” and then later “NRA Eagle Quilt.” More on the result of that search a little later.

I know of three NRA eagle quilts in existence - one is at the West Virginia State Museum, one is in private hands in Minnesota, and one is at the FDR Library at Hyde Park, New York. Personally, I am hoping there are more out there and if you do know of another one please share its whereabouts with me There is a possibility of one in the Massachusetts area, if anyone knows anything about that NRA Quilt, please e-mail me, as I know someone with a special interest in that particular quilt.

It would also be interesting to know if there was an actual quilt pattern commercially produced with the blue eagle logo or if creative quilt makers created their own quilt pattern from scratch. If you have any information on that I welcome an e-mail on that too.

I love all the NRA Eagle quilts, they are as important as any historical document on that subject. Each tells a story about a time period in American history, why they came into being, and of course there is the story of the creative soul who made them. I love stories and I like endings to stories.

Back to the newspaper search….The NRA Eagle Quilt search only netted two hits. The first was a dead end. The second wasn’t. It was the newspaper database for (The) San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas). A light bulb went off in my head and I said to myself (yes I said it out loud and scared my dog) that is where the FDR Library NRA quilt came from. I know this because I had requested a picture of that quilt from Michele at the FDR Library some time back.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library
Hyde Park, New York

NRA Quilt --FDR Library - Description

“Quilted white sateen bedspread, ca 1933, (MO 53.1091). It has six copies of the NRA Blue Eagle symbols embroidered in red, white, and blue. The background of the quilt is decorated with dollar signs. It comes with red, white, and blue fringe around the side and bottom edges. It was presented (sent) to FDR by Jaske Bros., San Antonio, Texas, date unknown, quilt maker unknown.”

That “quilt maker unknown” always haunts me whenever I see it. Please – Please – Please find an archival safe way to sign your quilts – attached a piece of muslin to the back of your quilts with the provenance information. Quilt Makers name, city, and state, date, who you make the quilt for, and why you made the quilt. Sorry – being haunted makes me a tad preachy, but please sign your quilts.

ALLRIGHT! Enough already – what did I find from the NRA Eagle Quilt search? A newspaper article and photograph of the quilt maker holding the FDR Library NRA quilt before it was sent to FDR.

The name of the article is "New Deal For Wintry Nights." The caption under the picture reads, “This NRA Quilt, made by Mrs. J. A. D. Robinson, 73, of 157 Burr Road, above is for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. When the quilt is sent to the president, it will have attached to it the names of persons who contribute to a fund for a new roof for the nursery of the San Antonio Mission Home and Training School which is operated at 223 South San Saba Street.

“New Deal for Wintry Nights” (The) San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas)
September 10, 1933.

NRA Eagle Quilt at the FDR Library

Quilt maker: Mrs. J.A.D. Robinson (age 73)
Date: 1933
City and State: San Antonio, Texas
Quilt Made For: President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Quilt Type: Presentation Quilt

Research information is out there – it is waiting for you. Researchers don’t give up hope of finding the answers you are looking for. It took me two years to find the name of an art needlework designer for a company, but once I found her all the rest came flowing in, including a photograph, but I’ll save that story for another time.

You can do this too! Press on and keep working towards your goals!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exploring Women's Creativity - A MUST READ

When I have down time between projects, I have been known to go online looking for treasure of the informational and/or textile variety. Well today I hit the mother lode on Judy Anne Breneman's web site in the form of a series of articles under the heading of "Exploring Women's Creativity."

The URL is

When you click on the URL, look to the left side of the web page at the table of contents for a series of articles which begins with "What is Creativity?" Start there and work your way down, reading through each section. It does not matter where you are at on the "creative path," I promise you will take away something from reading Judy's piece.

This is my latest textile acquistion from one of my treasure hunting trips on the web and a dear soul who loves quilts that tell a story as much as I do. Thanks Semper Fi - always faithful!

Twin Towers - September 11, 2001

This quilt, like all good quilts, tells a story and the creative soul (and mind) that came up with the idea for this quilt is a historian as well as a fiber artist. Bravo well done!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Andi Reynolds Tele-Interview on Women On Quilts

You will want to mark Monday evening, November 11, 2009 down on your calendar and make a date to participate in an informative (and free) tele-interview event featuring Executive Book Editor of the American Quilter’s Society Andi Reynolds. Andi will be available to answer questions about writing how-to quilt books and articles, publishing, and being an AQS author.

Event Subject
Andi Reynolds
Executive Book Editor of the American Quilter’s Society
Paducah, Kentucky

Event Time
Monday, November 11, 2009
5 p.m. pacific, 7 p.m. central, 8 p.m. Eastern

Event Sponsor
Women On Quilts
Kim Wulfert, PhD

Event Information

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to talk with this amazing editor in the comfort of your own home!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Collecting Quilt Motifs....Cowboy Quilts

Cowboy Quilts

Well Pilgrim, glad you stopped by my blog for a visit, but before we begin I’d like to introduce you to my favorite cowboy. This former wrangler turned sodbuster is Keith Wildemuth (minus his horse Jackie) and he has been my husband and partner for over 28 years.

Keith and I are children of the 1950s and 1960s who grew up watching and loving westerns. We both have fond memories - him in the country and me in the city - of watching the Wonderful World of Disney and Bonanza on Sunday night and don’t even get us started about Saturday night and Gunsmoke. Did you know James Arness has a web site and that fans can e-mail him ( Did we? Yes, we emailed Mr. Arness because we wanted him to know how much we enjoyed his show, his work, and how much Matt Dillon (my dad used to call him Matt Drill-em), Festus, Miss Kitty, and Doc were a part of our childhood memories. Gunsmoke, pizza from a box, Pepsi (our own bottle that we did not have to share with our siblings), and Saturday Night at the Movies with a John Wayne flick gives you an idea of what we considered fun in those days.

All right maybe your memories go back a little farther than Gunsmoke to guys like Gene Autry or Roger Rogers? Raise your hand if you remember going to see John Wayne at the movie drive-in or maybe Tom Mix at an early sit-down theater. Come on if you don’t remember anyone else you have to remember Rawhide and Rowdy Yates, whatever happened to that guy? Let’s ask Clint Eastwood, maybe he will know.

Well let’s get rolling rolling rolling and get this blog a movin’ on to the topic that you came to read about … quilts. I love cowboy quilts and I have a few of them. They are the one quilt motif that my husband will actually set down his newspaper for and take a real interest in even during a Packer vs. Bears game – now that is something.

LeeWard Mills and LeeWards (1950-1983) featured four different cowboy quilt kits in their catalogs. (Notice I say featured, not in-housed designed and produced.)

Ride ‘em Cowboy

LeeWards Mills
Catalog 15 1953
Catalog 16 1954
Catalog 17 1954-55
Catalog 18 1955
Catalog 20 1956

Round-Up Time (With the words Round-Up Time embroidered on the quilt)

Catalog 21 1956-1957
Catalog 22 1957
Catalog 23 1957-58
Catalog 24 1958
Catalog 31 F/W 1961-62

Round-Up Time (Same design, but without the words Round-Up Time embroidered on the quilt)

Catalog ?? Xmas Sale 1961
Catalog 32 S/S 1962
Catalog 32F S/S Sale 1962
Catalog 32F Spring 1962
(Yes, there are two 32F catalogs)
Catalog 33 F/W 1962
Catalog 33F Xmas Sale 1962
Catalog 35 F/W 1963
Catalog 35F Xmas Sale 1963
Catalog 36 S/S 1964
Catalog 37 S/S Sale 1964
Catalog 44 S/S 1966
Catalog 46 F/W 1966

Little Mavericks

Catalog 34 S/S 1963
Catalog 34F S/S Sale 1963

Side Note

Westerns were the most popular genre of TV show in the 1950s and 1960s. Remember these:

The Adventures of Jim Bowie
The Adventures of Kit Carson
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
Alias Smith and Jones
Annie Oakley
Bat Masterson
The Big Valley
Bret Maverick
The Chisholms
The Cisco Kid
Death Valley Days
Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
F Troop
The Gene Autry Show
Guns of Paradise (originally, Paradise)
The Guns of Will Sonnett
Harts of the West
Have Gun – Will Travel
The High Chaparral
Hopalong Cassidy
How the West Was Won
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
The Lone Ranger
Paradise (later Guns of Paradise)
The Rifleman
The Roy Rogers Show
The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show
Stoney Burke
The Virginian
Wagon Train
Wanted: Dead or Alive
The Wild Wild West

Special Note: I would be interested in hearing from anyone who collects cowboy quilts. Contact Susan Wildemuth

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Collecting Quilt Motifs..... Jack and Jill Quilts

Jack and Jill Crib Quilts

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

It's hard to trace the exact date each childhood nursery rhyme came into existence as many of them were passed down word of mouth long before they ever reached print or to ascertain the exact meaning behind each rhyme without creating or perpetuating a myth. This much is true, sometime between 1760 and 1790 London publisher John Newberry and his employee Oliver Goldsmith gathered and created a collection of these childhood jewels in book form entitled Mother Goose's Melody: Sonnets for the Cradle - In Two Parts.

Nursery Rhyme quilts featuring a group of rhymes or narrowing the design field down to one particular rhyme are popular motifs with crib quilt collectors. It's no wonder we love them so, we cut our teeth on them nestled next to our mother, auntie, or grandmother listening to their comforting voices as they rocked us to sleep.

Each of us has a favorite nursery rhyme that speaks to us, mine is Jack and Jill. The Jack and Jill quilt motif must have been popular with quilt designers too because at the present time I have found 11 different crib quilts or summer spreads featuring this motif "standing alone" (not a part of a nursery rhyme sampler) and I know there are more out there.

Jack and Jill Summer Spread
Circa 1930s
Author's Collection

Wards Catalog of Stamped Needlework - "I Made it Myself"
Spring and Summer 1934 Catalog
Montgomery Ward and Co. Ad
Author Collection

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who collects Jack and Jill Quilts. Susan Wildemuth

Lynn Miller of Arizona sent me a scan of this Jack and Jill Quilt. Does anyone recognize the date for this quilt and the company that manufactured the quilt? If you do please e-mail me at

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Counting Blessings and Quilt Care

I wish you could meet my brothers, you'd want them for your brothers too. As some of you know our son got married, both of my brothers stepped up to the plate when I needed them. That is what family is all about -- it is easy to be there for someone when it is "easy," but it is another thing to be there when things "get challenging."

My youngest brother and his family faced a challenge yesterday. It is hard to say when you have lost everything you spent the last 18 years working for in a fire that you won, but my brother, his wife, their two girls, and their family pet won yesterday, because everyone is safe and they are here today to tell the tale. They do not have a home - their clothes, mementos, and household items are gone. They have the clothes on their back, their vehicles, each other, and their family(ies).

When my sister-in-law called me and later my brother, I asked how can I help? They are going to stay with her parents for a few days while they figure things out and I am taking care of their German Shepard mix named Hutch. I'd like to do more. Our oldest brother feels the same as me, he wants to help. We are being patient to find out how we may serve, youngest brother would do the same for us in a heartbeat. Did I tell you I got to hug my brother when he brought me the dog? I needed to do that for him and for myself. Hugs don't solve every woe, but they are healing and I am a firm believer in that kind of medicine.

So the next time you're having a bad day or you get "petty" over some real or imagined slight or you have to wait too long in the grocery store line or someone puts you on hold or you are sitting in rush hour traffic with your "undies in a bunch" or "your nose out of joint" -- use that time to reflect on the abundance in your life instead and make the conscious effort to count your blessings. Life can change in a moment.

Looking for information about Quilt and Textile Care after a fire? Here are some key phrases to Google:

Fire Restoration Specialists
Quilt Restoration
Smoke Damage to Textiles
Fire Damage to Textiles
Quilt and Textile Care
Quilt and Textile Care After a Fire

Something else to think about -- do you have your quilt collection appraised and insured?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eagle Quilts: Antique, Vintage, and New Quilt History Study CD – The Rest of the Story…..

Something new!

My Eagle Quilt History Study Cd is a mixture of photographs and descriptions. It is part quilt exhibit – part quilt history study – part visual timeline of the evolution of the eagle quilt motif in the United States. I hope you enjoy it.

The Rest of the Story......


The first in a series of Quilt History Study CDs created by Susan Wildemuth is now available.

“Eagle Quilts – Antique, Vintage, and New” is a PowerPoint-formatted presentation of the eagle motif in U.S. quilting history. Utilizing photographs and descriptions, the study of quilts featured in the CD are from Susan’s own collection.

The other CDs in this series are still in development. Each focuses on a one-of-a-kind quilt history topic and will be uniquely different from the others. All are carefully researched and thoroughly documented.

Susan is an author, historian and quilting aficionada. Her research, writing and photographs have been published in national, regional and local quilt and textile history publications. Her web site Illinois Quilt History: Quilt History from the Midwest was established in 2008, and her blog Eye of the Needle: Quilt History Conversation from the Midwest followed in 2009.

Eagle Quilts - Antique, Vintage, and New – The Parks-Wildemuth Collection

Order No: SEW-1

Cost: $9.99 plus shipping (Priority Mail – Flat Rate - $4.80 in U.S.)
Check or Money Order:

Susan Wildemuth
18621 US Highway 6
Atkinson, Illinois 61235
309-936-7455 or

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wedding and Anniversary Quilts

I would be interested in hearing if any of you collect Wedding and/or Anniversary quilts. I have been thinking of these motifs because our son got married this past weekend on June 13, 2009.

Meet Brian and Nicole "Nikki" Wildemuth

My best friend from high school Luanne Evans or as I like to call her the "camera kid" was the first person to get photographs to me. I want everyone to e-mail Louie and tell her "you need to become a professional photographer."

Do you recognized this? We, the Baber and Wildemuth ladies, love the movie Twilight --remember the gazebo scene at the end of the movie? Nikki's mom Sherry arranged for them to have a quiet moment at the reception - in the gazebo.

This picture goes to show you how amazing my daughter-from-love is. She got Brian's dad, her f-i-l, and my husband out on the dance floor to dance with her. How did she do that? I've been trying for 30 years to wrangle Keith Alan Wildemuth on to the dance floor and he always outmaneuvers me. He usually has it timed perfectly -- he asks me to dance, just about 3 seconds before the song is going to end. I plan to dance at Nikki and Brian's 50th wedding anniversary - maybe I can get some tips from Nikki on how she got her father-in-law up on that dance floor. I love this picture of them.

Do any of you collect Wedding or Anniversary quilts? They are out there and imagine what a wonderful uplifting "motif" to collect, especially if the interested party also collected "wedding/anniversary lore" to go with it or vintage wedding dresses. I'd go to that exhibit or lecture. Wouldn't you?

Here's one from Mark French's store to get you started

(Mark French - French72 -

It was a beautiful wedding thanks to Nikki and Brian, Sherry and Vic and all the people who stepped up to the plate to help make it a day to remember. This might be a "catholic" thing, but I found a quiet spot at the church before the wedding to take off my shoes, do my rosary, and count my blessings. I'm so grateful the "big guy" sent Nikki to Brian and us. Brian is lucky too -- he now has two families who love him. Life is good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How May I Serve - The American Red Cross and Quilts

I just drove passed it again; the American Red Cross billboard near the county fair grounds with the Red Cross Symbol and the words Equals Hope.

Every time I see the “Equals Hope” billboard, it takes me back to February 2007. My husband and I were on a trip – our first “big” trip together in years and through a series of interesting events, we wound up in a nearly deserted Puerto Rico airport in the middle of the night with about ten other people who, like us, had missed their connection. The next morning, in the same airport, waiting for “our ship to come in,” I spotted an American nun wearing the post Vatican II headgear and speaking fluent Spanish. I’m Catholic – a product of the parochial school system – we notice things like that. We would later learn, she was working with the Red Cross and was taking a plane load of novices to a remote island – some to teach and others to act as nurses. She was a person of action, living the message - the Red Cross equals hope.

My husband and I were coming home to Illinois, from this same trip in the aftermath of a nationwide ice storm which had caused some major delays for us in Miami. The storm had set about a chain reaction of events where we missed our successive flights, but we made it to O’Hare in the middle of the night – 1 ½ hours from home, but we had missed the connecting flight to take us that last leg home. . I am NOT complaining, this had been an amazing trip for us – one that I will cherish for a lifetime. After we landed at O’Hare that night and the plane was slowly making its’ way to our eventual departure ramp, I looked out my window and there between the rain and ice I spotted an American Red Cross airplane – my airport loving dad would have called it a cargo or a supply plane – getting ready to taxi - destination unknown. The Red Cross equals hope.

Have I shared that I randomly chose three vintage quilt history books to bring with me in my carry-on to read and one of those was a WWI pattern book which had a Red Cross Quilt in it with the instructions on how to create it?

To add more "wahoo" to this story, did I mention about a month after that trip this quilt top came to me?

Is it a quilt made to honor the American Red Cross? I’ll never know because there was no provenance with it, but I did feel like somebody was trying to tell me something – so I decided to read a little more about the American Red Cross and quilts! I began that journey by putting American Red Cross Quilts in the Google Search Engine and discovered quilts and the Red Cross have a long history together. If that is not enough to give you a fabric fix, check out the history of the Red Cross Uniforms themselves. Google Shirley Powers and Red Cross Uniforms.

Before I close the books on this day, I want to make one more comment. Does anyone else think the ARC “Equals Hope” billboards would make a nice center for a signature quilt – maybe even a fundraising quilt to benefit the American Red Cross efforts to help those who need it.
It could be the answer to "How May I Serve?"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box: All the Good Research Projects are Taken

When my brothers and I were kids we learned early on to never tell our mother or father “I’m bored” or “There’s nothing to do around here.” Before the last word was out of our mouth we would find ourselves transplanted in a flower bed with instructions to “weed” or loaned out to the widows in the neighborhood for chore duty. It was better to use our noggins and think outside the box for our own entertainment solutions than to use the B-O-R-E-D word in their presence. That’s the kind of parents we had; they were so “mean” to teach us responsibility and to use our imaginations to find ways to creatively entertain ourselves!

Which brings me to the quilt history portion of this entry – all the good research projects are taken, right? Wrong. Here is one of the hundreds of ideas still out there - what about utilizing the newspaper archives in the libraries located in your county and documenting your county’s quilt history? You might even be able to take one of those stories, research it deeper, and have an informative quilt history article for your efforts - a piece you could submit to a quilt history magazine or journal like the Iowa Illinois Quilt Study Group’s Pieces of Time or the American Quilt Study Group’s Blanket Statements.

Life is full of opportunities – think outside the box and remember the next time you drop by my home, do not use the B-O-R-E-D word, because the next thing you know you’ll be in my backyard picking up rocks out of the grass near the driveway for a penny-a-piece. Just ask my son, he’ll tell you his mother is mean that way.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weathered Warriors - Quilts Only a Mother Could Love

You know who you are – the thrift store tootsies, garage sale girlies, moving truck trailers, or dumpster diving divas who can be found carousing the curbs on clean-up days in your local communities – all because you saw a flash of fabric three lanes over in “going home” traffic which you know is a part of a quilt that dates back to the 19th century. You also know when you get there that this quilt you chased the garbage truck three miles on foot to get to is going to be far from perfect, it’s going to be one of those quilts only a mother could love, but there is something in your soul that makes you want to save it or if it is low on the “historical value scale” or “holier than your grandma’s hairnet” harvest the fabric to give your quilt history students the opportunity to touch a textile that “came to life” during the Lincoln administration.

I share this because I am the recent beneficiary, the “new momma” of a 1930s quilt. I like this quilt – it has value -- some dear soul, a quilt history sister or brother, took the time to create a quilt to honor an event that took place in Illinois in the 1930s. She is a beauty “to me,” but she is in “only a mother could love” condition. I also have a few other quilts that have been given to me as the caregiver in this shape that I just can't send on to their great reward. These quilts come to me like my doggies from the Humane Society – one look at these “weathered warriors” and I make room for them at my home.

One is a 1870s-80s signature quilt with "inked" signatures - again "sad" shape, but I can document the history of the quilt. I have to be honest though, I only keep the ones that I can document their history and the others I share with quilt friends who are interested in harvesting the vintage fabric. First thing I do when I get one of these quilts it to bag them up and freeze them, thaw them out and freeze them again. I collect quilts with two types of motifs and I NEVER put these "savers" with my good ones. I also put what documentation I have in a ziplock bag which I wrap the bag in aluminum foil. Then they are stored in a place “far far away” from my antique and vintage quilts.

One time -- I was so fond of the Eagle pattern in one of these “savers” that I made a reproduction of the quilt and kept the original inspiration -- now when I show them, I show both quilts together in a kind of before and after. I’d never seen this eagle pattern before so I am also proud to have saved the pattern for prosperity.

Do any of you have quilts like this tucked away that have seen brighter days, but you can't bring yourself to set them out on the curb? Or is it just me? If you have any savers to share, e-mail Susan Wildemuth at