OT: Old (Antique?) Quilt Squares

Wise Ones,

My mom has Parkinson’s Disease which has severely limited her ability to do the crafts she loved so much. She used to knit, crochet and quilt but the disease and the medication she’s on has taken that from her. The last time I visited we went through her closet and I took home some unfinished quilt tops and pieces so I could work on finishing what she started.

While we were sorting through her things, we found a bag of quilt squares that she says are from the 1920s or possibly 30s. They are very simple applique squares: calico butterflies on muslin. My first reaction was to sew them together and make a quilt. Then I wondered if they are worth anything and if so, are they worth more if I don’t sew them together and just leave them as is.

Anyone have any idea? Quiltlady?

Thanks in advance!

I’ll try and get some pictures up sometime tomorrow.

Don’t do anything with them until you find out for sure.
If they are worth something on the ‘antique’ or ‘vintage’ market, you will ruin the value by sewing them together. A possible collector will not want them if they’re altered in any way. A collector might possibly have them professionally cleaned or treated by a textiles conservator.

Why don’t you GOOGLE “antique textiles”?

Another idea: offer them on Ebay with a “hidden minimum price”. A bidder makes an offer…and if their offer isn’t making the ‘minimum’ bid amount, they are told to bid more. If they never sell at the minimum, you keep them. However, Ebay may charge you a nominal fee for the service they provided to you for the ‘no sale’ auction.

They are most likely only valuable to a very select few of collectors or perhaps a textile museum. But to people like us, it’s very valuable. To you they are very valuable for sentimental reasons.

I have an antique quilt made by my great-grandmother about 100 years ago. I took it from my mother as she would have totally ruined it by letting pets sleep on it or just lost it. I would love to have it preserved it some way and then hang it on a wall in my bedroom.

If you do find someone who wants to buy one, I recommend keeping one and perhaps having it framed or encased in glass as a momento of your mother.

You might also want to contact a national quilt organization. I used to know the names of a couple off hand, but I’ve been out of quilting for a while and my memory has gone.

I have been a quilter for about 25 years. I am new to the knitting thing. As for the antique quilt blocks. You could have them pieced together and it will still have value for being antique, as long as you don’t add any different fabric to it. The quilt is only as old as the newest piece of fabric in it. As for washing any of it. I wouldn’t do that. Definitely do NOT have it dry cleaned. the chemicals are too harsh and could cause damage.
I think maybe the sentimental value may be more than the dollar value. You may want to contact your local quilting guild and they can recommend an appraiser to give you an idea of the worth.

My first thought when I read this topic is “Feed Sack Fabric” (BTW I paid a couple of bucks for some on Ebay) if that’s what you have, you might want to pick up a copy Fon’s and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine…occasionally “dealers” advertise looking for “vintage” squares/fabric:hug: