Since that fateful day in October when I was invited to a private viewing of the heirloom quilts at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, I have been continually searching for more “T” quilts and any new information that I can find on the topic. This means that I spend a significant amount of time searching throughout the vast network of the internet, books on vintage quilts & quilting and I send a lot of eMails to museums and collectors across the United States. Sometime I have a bit of luck and sometimes I hit dead ends, but the journey is always fun and quite exciting when I come across new information or a new pattern design. So far I have collected 22 patterns!
I am always searching for dates on quilts too. Throughout history, there have not been many women who would date their quilts. Occasionally though a person who is inquisitive enough to seek one, will find one. If this quest for antique quilts has taught me anything, it’s that tenacity will eventually pay off.
Take this quilt for example:
This is a quilt that I found recently on Bonnie Hunter’s site www.quiltville.blogspot.com . Graciously she has given me permission to use her images. You can view her complete article on the subject here.
This is a very fine heirloom quilt that has been seemingly well cared for therefore well preserved.
Look at the intricate hand stitching, it is simply lovely. If you look carefully you can see that it has been pieced in the same manner as the first “Double T’” that we made here on Then and Again Quilts: 8 flying geese, 4 half square triangles and 1 whole square for the center.
Take a look at this block. Apparently it is the only one on the whole quilt like it. I think the maker must have run out of fabric and simply improvised. It’s funny how if this happened to a modern day quilter, we would simply purchase more fabric to complete the block, because most people would not want an imperfect quilt. Yet today we look at this irregularity and think it’s an interesting historical feature. Funny how that works.
What I really like about this quilt is that the maker signed and dated it with thread. She sewed her information on it, not embroidered: Very unusual, very unique.
It was the date that really caught my eye: 1882. On May 16 of this year, it will be 137 years old! This is not the oldest “T” quilt that I have found so far, but it sure is close. It is however the only one I have found so far with a date on it. I fell like I hit the quilting jackpot, LOL.
I found this quilt so interesting that I sent images of the blue fabric to the owner of my favorite quilt shop and she will be talking to her fabric representative about it sometime next week. I know it sounds silly, but I get giddy just thinking about reproducing it. Then and Again Quilts is proving to be great fun.
I would like to send out a HUGE thank you to Bonnie Hunter, for allowing me to share these fantastic images with you. If you are unfamiliar with Bonnie’s work then I encourage you to visit her website and/or blog to see all the wonderful quilting inspiration she brings to the world.
I hope you have enjoyed these heirloom blue and white T-quilt photo’s as much as I have. Happy Creating Everyone!!