My 1880s Silk Quilt

Over the past 40 years, I collected vintage quilts. Most of these were found at antique markets in Maryland and Pennsylvania. I haven’t added to the collection since moving to Florida.

A few months ago, I took one quilt to the Davenport Quilt show for appraisal. I opted for the quickie appraisal, not wishing to spend the $40 for the written one that would have included an estimate of value for the quilt.

The quilt appraisor with my 1880s or 1890s silk quilt.
The quilt appraisor with my 1880s or 1890s silk quilt.

Here’s what I learned about it. The pattern is a star block. It appears to have been made from a grey silk dress as there are tucks in some of the pieces. Due to the iron content used in dyes for silk, those pieces are likely to suffer some disintegration over the years. A few small pieces show this with the silk shredding. The appraiser said there is nothing that can be done to prevent this since the harm was done at the time the fabric was made.

The red parts are not silk, but linen. The backing is a paisley that looks to be of 1880s vintage.

The batting is very thin and it is probable that this was never intended for use on a bed for warmth. More likely it was for show or for a lap robe.

Rather than being quilted, it is a tied quilt with red and green ribbons. The green ones have faded to a yellow over the last 130 years, but in a few places the original color could be detected. With the red and green ribbons plus the poinsettia look of the stars, this might be a Christmas quilt.




Finding the Perfect Card for My Brother

My brother loves going to rod runs in the summer but sure misses his time in the garage fine-tuning his vintage street rods. Since his stroke, he’s not able to do the hands-on work that used to bring him such pleasure.

For Christmas last year, I found a super card on Zazzle that was fun, included a street rod and conveyed my holiday greetings. Now I’ve set a precedent so I can’t just resort to a ho-hum snow scene or a jolly Santa kind of card.

Looking around on Zazzle, I’ve found just the one for Christmas 2014. Not only does it include a hot rod, it was customized just for a brother. The artist had cards for all sorts of combinations like brother and his fiancee, uncle, and so on. If you have a car buff on your list, why not send him or her one of these! Just click the link to see all the variations or customize it with their name.

Here’s the one I found:

Thinking of Custom Christmas Cards?

I love how one can create unique holiday cards using Zazzle or Cafe Press. My sister took a marvelous photo last year of her Maine Coon cat sitting under the Christmas tree. It was such a delightful photo that we turned it into a Christmas card on Zazzle.

Now anyone can order it here:

A Maine Coon Christmas Greeting Cards
A Maine Coon Christmas Greeting Cards

I must say it turned out lovely. I’ve ordered cards from Zazzle in the past and the quality of the printing and the weight of the paper stock is excellent. Proceeds from the sale go to my sister. She’ll probably spend it on cat food for Olive, her Maine Coon cat.

The Perfect Christmas Card for My Brother

In browsing around on the Zazzle web site, I found a great card for my brother. He’s been a car fancier all his life and gets together with his hot rod friends weekly.

I didn’t want just any old snow scene or Santa to send to him. It seemed like the card should have a car, some humor and some Christmas elements to it to fit his personality and interests.

Here’s what I found. Don’t you think it’s perfect!

I featured this card on a Squidoo web page last year and someone bought 200 of them. Guess there are others who thought it was the perfect card for anyone who loves street rods.

Never Too Many Christmas Ornaments

I collect Christmas tree ornaments as momentos of places I’ve lived, pets I’ve had, as travel souvenirs and so many other reasons. Needless to say, my Christmas tree is pretty eclectic. Eventually I got a bigger tree, but still there wasn’t room for all the meaningful ornaments.

Now I put up two small trees in other rooms of the house. They are just little 3-foot trees, but I can work with a theme on these, so one is my basket tree to show off all the miniature baskets I’ve collected.

Here are some other themes that I like and that might appeal to you. I grew up in Kansas, so decorating the tree with a Kansas theme takes me back to my childhood roots.

I found a variety of themes to make your Christmas tree special.  Check out the ideas for a themed Christmas tree.

There have been some weddings in the family lately, so I looked for special Bride’s Christmas Ornaments. There are some wonderful ones, so I made a webpage about those.

I worked in public libraries for thirty years. Over the years we tried out many ways to get the tree decorated in an interesting way. If your library needs ideas, check out my webpage on Decorate a Library Christmas Tree.

My sister collected angels. I have a few, but never really concentrated on just angels. When I started looking at what was available, I was amazed. Take a look at all the Angel Christmas Tree Ornaments I found.

The End of Christmas

Last week, I plunged into a hard day’s work putting away the Christmas decorations. It’s not nearly as much fun as putting them up in December. Usually I procrastinate on storing them away. Partly that’s because Christmas is fun and I hate to say it’s over, but mostly it’s because I begrudge the time spent boxing it all up.

The librarian in me want to sort all the decorations by categories as I pack them into the boxes. All the straw ornaments and wheat weavings go into one box, carefully layered in tissue paper. I wrap all the glass ornaments in lightweight foam or tissue paper and box them together. The really old ornaments like the turn-of-the-century santa get wrapped and placed in individual small boxes. It probably was hand-blown in Germany in the 1890s.

My feet were aching from standing on the hard, tile floor for so many hours as I removed items from the Christmas tree and collected holiday decor from all the rooms of the house. I always miss one or two things and discover them days or even weeks later in obscure places. There was no energy left to tackle the big tree, so I left it up for one more day. It stood denuded, but still a stately presence in the living room. The following day, I wrestled it into three sections and, with some assistance, stuffed it into its oversized canvas carrying case.  My husband dragged it to the garage where it will be in the way for the next eleven months.

It’s done… all the boxes stored on shelving. Each box sports a fresh label that says merely “XMAS” and so for another year, Christmas is stored away.

I Love Holidays

At the moment, I’m decorating the house for our annual St. Patrick’s Day party.  Before long, everyone will be in the mood for Easter.   Whatever the holiday, it gives a lift to our routine lives.  I think everyone loves holidays.

Here are my articles on eHow about the different holidays: