Friday, March 16, 2012

Antique Charm

While I was in Indiana last week for a workshop, I stopped in Zionsville, IN, on the way home. It's a charming town with cobblestone streets and lots of little shops.

One store had a nice variety of beautiful hooked rugs, made by a local craftsperson (I didn't really want to call her a  "hooker").

As we walked along the streets, I lamented to my husband that it would be nice to be able to drop $500- $1000 for some of the  things I see at antique shops (one rug I adored cost $1200), but we both know that right now that's a little frivolous with 2 kids in college.

I am often asked if I collect antique quilts and most are shocked when I say that I do not. What! A quilt designer who loves antique quilts and you don't have a stack of them?! Again, it would be nice to buy old quilts on a whim anytime I wanted to, but I justify it by saying I don't really ever see that many antique quilts that speak to me strongly or that don't cost an arm and a leg, quilts that I love and have to have and cannot live without. Usually, when I see one I like I just end up reproducing a small quilt based on it and that suits me just fine.

As soon as I said that, we walked into another shop and didn't get far past the door when I pulled this blue and white one out from under a stack of nothing-special quilts. Lesson: ALWAYS look under piles of textiles . . .

For some reason, it spoke to me -  "Oh, look at my indigoes and shirtings!"  But I was pretty sure I couldn't afford it. So I asked the price and then walked away and forgot about it.

We went to a few other shops, saw a few more quilts,

Nothing struck me.

 We ate lunch, stopped at a gallery -

And, wouldn't you know it, all the while I couldn't stop thinking about my blue and white quilt. MY blue and white quilt, she said . . . LOL.

So I went back because by now I know how it goes - I will probably never see a blue and white quilt quite like this one again and if I didn't grab it now while I was here, I would regret it. I'm getting much better at jumping on impulses. The clerk smiled. I offered her a little less than she was asking and SHE SAID YES! Granted, I still think I probably paid way too much and don't even know how old it is - probably more vintage than antique -  or if it was worth what I paid, but I felt okay with that because I really didn't care. I didn't buy it for the investment - I fell in love with it and that's all that matters. Now if only I had a nice place to display it . . . away from prying puppy paws.

Reminds me of Spring!

*  * Another REMINDER *  *

If you are making the small baskets quilt for this month's challenge, your pieces are cut, right? You should put them together this week/weekend. Take it piece by piece and you'll get there. If you don't have time for 12 baskets, make 4, make one, whatever. Still counts as a quilt for this month.



  1. Loved your story about the blue and white quilt. It has found a good home. I also enjoyed browsing through the antique stores with you. I need to get out more.

  2. The blue and white quilt is beautiful. Sometimes, we just need to pick something out for ourselves, and since blue is your colour, how could you resist.

  3. What a lovely picture you took of your new quilt with the flowers. The backing is so pretty as well.

  4. Many an antique quilt has found its way to our home and I love every one of them...congrats on your find. And next time, pleasepleaseplease, call her a 'hooker'....LOL!!

  5. I did not want to be sued for defamation of character in case someone sends this to her/him LOL

  6. Your quilt is just perfect!! I love the blue, but also the backing fabric. I live very near Zionsville, and it's my favorite place to go wandering around. There is a great quilt shop there too!

  7. The antique shops look great. You are giving an abandoned quilt a very good home. I posted a quilt I made from your latest book on my blog.

  8. It's a lovely quilt, when you can't stop thinking about something then I think it's calling out to you to buy it or make it.

  9. Great story, Kathy. So glad you got the antique quilt that made your heart sing.

  10. So glad you gave in to your impulse Kathy!! A really nice choice and sometimes quilts just know where they want to live and you can't ignore that LOL!!!!! Sounds like you had a wonderful day, and.....brought home a treasure to boot!!!!!!

  11. What a wonderful post of your day Kathleen. At the start when I noticed the blue and white quilt and thought what a beautiful quilt! It looks adorable in your home. Could I ask what price range do they ask for some of these antique quilts? Would they all be handmade? The houses and shops look just gorgeous. I love how you put your fabrics together. Kind regards, Ann

  12. I want too look at this store's too :o))))
    Thanks for sharing it with us !!!!
    Oh ... nice you have the blue and white quilt for yourself by now ...
    Quilts can make (us) so happy ... only by looking at them ...

  13. I'm so happy for you that the blue and white quilt went home with you. You will love and care for it always!!

  14. I am so glad you went back and bought your quilt. It's worth is in the eye of the beholder, and for you it is priceless. I like when something just speaks to us and we pay attention. Have a good weekend.

  15. As I read through your post, just kind knew that lovely blue and white quilt would go home with you...a person knows when something is right. Good for you and how nice that quilt has found a loving home...puppy and all...

  16. Quilts have a way of finding themselves with the right person. Quilts are SEW special. Enjoy.

  17. It looks like you found a great quilt!! I love it and the scrappy shirtings in it are wonderful. It would be a cute one done in a smaller version. Hint, Hint!! Karen/IL.

  18. Thank you for the great photos...lovely to 'see' places from the other side of the world. After holding off buying other quilts, your new purchase will be even more special.
    Also love the hooked basket rug.

  19. Kathleen,
    I have followed your blog for some time now but this is the first time I have posted to let you know how much I enjoy your books, quilts and blog.
    I do not consider my self a good quilter but love to try all the same. My mother was a wonderful quilter and I think I grew up under her quilting frame!
    I have made the first two quilts and I am working on March's quilt now. I am really enjoying it.

    Thanks for all the great pictures and the beautiful blue quilt. Glad it came home to live with you.


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