Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cheddar & Mustard Vintage Quilts

Carpenter's Wheel
74" x 74"
Cheddar or Mustard Quilt

I wanted to show this newly acquired quilt even though I have much left to discover about it. The friend who found it for me asked, "Is it still called a quilt if it's tied?" And I replied without seeing it, in general, I would call that a comforter or comfort. "But it's thin not puffy," he said. "Hmmm. I don't know then," I replied. I thought, where do we draw the line exactly? I needed to see this quilt.

A Few Missing Ties

 When I saw this for the first time, a pieced top, thin batting, and all the little cotton ties blended from 2 colors embroidery weight threads, I said, "This is a quilt." I went on to pick out more reasons why.

A comforter is usually not pieced as elaborately, but in this area might be. Less often in this area would we think of a comforter made from just squares sewn together and tied. Even today I see quilters use pieced tops, tie with heavy weight thread, and bind by pulling the backing to the front. It's also common to add separate binding. Many of these go for Relief to countries in need, but I have some in my own house I made decades ago. I had to have learned the technique from someone local as there were few other ways to learn quilting methods then.

On closer examination, I found one line of hand quilting the entire border around the quilt. So it was both hand quilted and tied. Interesting.

The Y seams throughout were nicely constructed, and all seams I could see were done by machine. I thought I got a real prize, but it desperately needed a soak in the tub. We'll see what happens when this one cleans up.

Lovely, Embroidered Summer Quilt

Now I will contradict myself once again. I would call this beauty a quilt also as it is made from hand embroidered blocks stitched together, embroidered over the seams, quilted, and bound. The catch is there is no batting. Around here these are know as summer quilts, and yes, I sleep under this quilt during warm weather. 

I have a strong inclination to believe this was made from a kit popular during the first half of the 1900's. Note the quilt lines that have been created freehand.

Small, regular stitches here were carefully taken under the embroidery.

The quilter simply alternated directions between blocks. KISS

This quilt was used very little before I found it in a local shop. There are some basting stitches still in the quilt even after a gentle trip or two through my washer on delicate.

Note how the quilting stitches are visible in the outer border/binding. The quilter stopped her stitches in the body of the quilt. She then quilted the outer border/binding all the way to the edge...

...and turned the wide border in the front to a narrow border on the back on this quilt. She finished the binding in surprisingly large stitches. 

When Do You Think It Was Made?

I think it would be hard to pin down a date on the first quilt. The style of a two-color quilt is timeless as is the use of cheddar or mustard from the mid-1800's to the current date. The Carpenter's Wheel pattern is documented in the early 1800's, and perhaps earlier. The use and condition along with the ties make me feel 1940's at minimum, and perhaps a few decades earlier. The clues are confusing. I'm always open to your suggestions.

The second quilt might be discovered by researching the pattern to see if it was indeed published as a kit. One day I may do that, but at the current moment I'm just loving it for beauty and comfort it brings to my bed.

Have you ever slept under a summer quilt?

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


  1. I have slept under a summer quilt - a comforter I made with orphan blocks plus swap blocks. It's two layers SITD. Lovely finds. I especially like the embroidered one.

  2. I think a quilt is just two or more layers sewn together in some fashion. Sometimes there isn't even a batting but it's still a quilt to me.

    I love this cheddar quilt. Is is so graphic. Cheddar is an acquired taste so I guess I've acquired it.

  3. Though technically I've never slept under a summer quilt, I dare say some of our earlier quilts with thin poly batting that have been washed aplenty are now pretty much similar to a summer quilt. I especially love that embroidered quilt, the embroidery and her quilting stitches so beautifully authentic.

  4. The first quilt is so beautiful that I would take out the ties and quilt it. Probably not kosher to do that.
    The embroidery on the second is so wonderful.
    I would love to make a summer quilt and have it on the bed. I miss my regular quilt when it gets too warm.
    And I would love to have a winter quilt with wool batting.
    So if I make so many quilts, why do I only have one for my bed?
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful quilts.

  5. Love the first quilt, I think the tying adds something to it, I prefer quilting personally but I think I would look into replacing any missing ties. I love seeing all your heritage finds Julie.

  6. My grandmother made me a summer quilt when I was very young, a Dresden Plate. There is no batting, quilting or tying and it was sewn right sides together and flipped, so no binding. I still have the treasured quilt, although it is tattered and worn and a twin size, so I no longer use it. I have thought that I should at least, make something with the better preserved parts of it, but I could never bear to cut into it. So it sits on a shelf in a cabinet, until I can muster the courage. To this day, Dresden Plate quilts are my all time favorite.

  7. Two very lovely quilts. You have some wonderful treasures there.


Thoughtful comments are Honey to My Heart! Thank you for taking time to leave such words. Feel free to email me directly with any specific questions at julie@pinkdoxies.com
Pink Doxie Mama