I recently went to an estate sale with my friend Connie. We found many wonderful stitching related items there and I felt I got a good bargain on everything. I would share pictures of what I picked up but it is the usual stuff: fabric, lace, patterns, a couple of old books, etc. I am sure I will find a way to use everything I bought.
The best buy of the day is this 8" x 8.5" crazy quilt block from 1904!
I actually saw another lady pick it up and set it down. I couldn't wait for it to be out of her hands. I snatched it right up and set it on my pile of goodies. I didn't even really look at the price right away. The date alone was enough for me to want it.
Connie and I took our gathered up goodies into the living room, sat down and began to weed out what we really wanted vs. what we might want to keep if we could still afford it after paying for what we just had to have. When I got to the CQ patch I let out a "Yippee". Connie looked at me and asked if I had just hit the jackpot. I handed her the quilt block.......it was marked 50 cents! Obviously no one who set up that sale knew what they had in this little treasure.
The back is a muslin foundation that is very much discolered with age but so neatly done that the little stitches look like small road maps for a doll's town. The knots are tiny and the stitches pretty much uniform. The thread colors are a bit brighter on the back than on the front so I imagine the back saw less sunlight wherever it had been stored. There is no evidence that the block was ever sewn into a quilt or other object.
The front has 3 dark wool patches (a man's coat?), 1 purple velvet patch, 1 red gabardine patch,1 beige oriental print damask-like patch and the rest are all pure silks. Only the gabardine has a shredded rend in it. The red silk patch (ladie's dress piece?) has 4 tiny holes in it might be bug related. Other than that the fabrics are still in very good condition.
The seam treatment stitches are all single stitch herringbone. They are done in perle cotton #12 or embroidery floss using 2 plies and there are some basting stitches around the outer edges done in cotton sewing thread.
I believe this quilt block might have been made for a Memory Quilt when someone was going to be moving from one place to another. The names/initials are done in tiny chain stitch. A few of the stitches have been snagged and are waving little flags of "hello" at me.
I wish I knew who the block had belonged to and more about the "girls" Mollie, Lula and Clara who signed the quilt. One set of initials is definitely JH. It is hard to tell if the other set is MH or HW. I am going to fanticize it is MH and that JH & MH were a newly married couple moving to another state......maybe the girls were little sisters of the bride?
I am looking for suggestions of how best to display this treasure.
Ever the romantic.........