Sunday, June 30, 2019

Walnut Creek Vintage Fair 2019 & Linky Party

The Rosy Fingers of Dawn: 7:00 Arrival

Living in the heart of quilt country has its advantages if you pay attention. The Walnut Creek Vintage Fair has been around for several years now, but I first heard about it last week when a friend said she was vending vintage fabric there, and I should come. I coerced my daughter and soon-to-be daughter-in-law to wake early on their Friday-day-off, and off we went. My advice to bring extra shoes was helpful because there was water in the parking field despite the gorgeous dawn. Little did we know that the dark skies we had experienced in the late afternoon the day before had brought a torrential storm here. It wreacked havoc on the vendors who had already set up shop. Large puddles persisted as we entered the market. Muck boots were haute couture, and more than just a good look.

The first peek of a quilt I saw was this beauty. Yes, my heart aches a little when I see old quilts used as table covers, but it is one way that people appreciate them. (You knew I stood there thinking, "I could get those stains out with a good soak.") 

Another quilt in their booth intrigued me as I didn't recognize the pattern. The richness of the old indigo dye's fastness stayed with me. Beautiful! I think those quilts set the mood, and I started hunting.

Early 20th Century Amish Quilt

As an armchair quilt detective, I'd say I hit the jackpot on this one. I was bartering with a woman on a hutch my daughter wanted, and then asked if she had any quilts. Just this one folded and hanging around unassumingly. I really wasn't excited with it, and we didn't even open it all the way up to look. But it was incredibly cheap, Amish made, local, and I guessed easily made before 1950. She made a last remark that she thought it as reversible. Neat, I thought. I bought it, and off I sloshed.

Back home in the light I realized this was a find. One side was periwinkle and green, and the other was a royal and maroon. Quadruple chain quilting on the borders, a star and concentric feathers throughout the body, and hatching in the corners. The border areas have a broken leaf of sorts.

Though well-washed and used, it has no visible wear spots. 

This area of Ohio, Holmes and Tuscarawas Co., typically made quilts in rectangles, while Pennsylvania Amish made them square. This quilt was square, but still a 'plain quilt' which I don't see much here. Could it have been brought in when someone moved? Tiny white stitches led me to believe it was quilted here, though, as the Pennsylvania Amish in that era tended to quilt in black thread. Oh, if these fibers could only talk! In the end I guesstimated this quilt was 1930-1940's. It has that feel with the colorway, and Nile green binding.

Ocean Waves

Happy with my first bundle, I did one last pass of all the stalls. People were still setting up when we'd gotten there, and not everything had made it out. Lucky I did because there was a table with a few quilts stacked haphazardly. The fabrics and pattern jumped out at me on this one, and I put my hand on it immediately. Dibs. It smelled wonderful! It had been kept somewhere clean. As the stall owner helped me unfold it, it was hard to contain my breath. Madder-dyed fabrics with hardly any decomposition to them, entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted, a clam shell border appliqued in double-pinks, and no wear at all on the binding! Controlled breath--"Will you take___?" She said, "Yes, that's fair." I paid and nearly floated off not minding the puddles or mud one bit. 

With no provenance it's impossible to give an exact date, but the last half of the 19th century is a pretty sure bet here. Madder prints, turkey red, checks, conversational prints, and the lovely green made with yellow dye followed by blue to make green. 

The double lines and dense quilting were also popular pre-1900. Notice all the perfect points. A skilled seamstress made this quilt. Maybe someone my age, I'd like to think.

The batting is a little heavier in this quilt, and you have that lovely crinkled look after washing that comes from quilting in a large frame. This was likely a 'good quilt', and didn't get much if any use.

I heard last year's event drew 7,000 people. The girls admitted the hadn't been actually thrilled with the idea of going, but went to be nice. The same two girls that had to go home to get a truck to haul all their furniture treasures! They summed it up as a Joanna Gaines special without the price tag.  

We had a celebratory breakfast at Boyd & Wurthman. Yes, I had peaches and ice cream, and the girls had HoHo cake at 8 a.m. When you're up at 4:30 it's totally legal.

One last score for the day at Miller's Dry Goods for some bargain basement fabric in the $1-$3 a yard price range. Yes, that's an Ann Kelle print along with some other goodies I already had in the washer. (I should really tell you they have a beautiful store full of all the most current fabrics upstairs, but I'm such a bargain shopped for charity quilts. Don't miss this shop if you're ever in the area.)

I want to say, "I'm back to blogging!", but I'll hold off a bit longer. "I'm here," is more the truth. I've had an extraordinary few months with family and life, and made the choice to limit my time spent with electronics. It helped to keep my energy centered, but I have spent my time reading other blogs. I've noticed I'm not alone in my sabbatical. There has been a blogging slow down all around of late. July is a day away, and in a blink of the eye it will be September when we northerners think of holing back up with our indoor work. I won't whittle or waste away my summer, but I'm already planning ahead for those days of restful sewing and quilting. 

Linky Party

How about a pop up linky party to share what you're doing this summer? I'm trying out Linky Tools for the first time in a while, and need you to help me out. Reconnect with each others, me, and create community. No name for the linky right now, but today it seems important. Show me what's happening where you sew wonderful things! I'd love to come visit. (The first link is my own needed to test things out.)

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


Tanya Quilts in CO said...

I tried to link, but it would not work. I am glad you posted your beautiful finds!

Linda Swanekamp said...

Those quilts are amazing. Wow. I know where that was! I bought fabric at Millers Dry goods and have the Tshirt to prove it. I have been sidelined with a respiratory virus my husband brought back from his Grand Canyon trip. Fever, cough, aches, the whole nine yards. I love the Ocean Waves quilt. Going to a fair like that would be a dream!

patty a. said...

I had never heard of the Walnut Creek Fair in all the years I lived in Dover. You scored some wonderful quilts! Did you stop at Coblentz Chocolates while you were in Walnut Creek? They have the most fabulous turtles - the pecans with caramel and chocolate.

mangozz said...

You found some wonderful quilts which appear to be in excellent condition! I especially love the Ocean Waves one with the pinks and browns. It looked like a lot of fun, especially when you didn't need to go alone. You seem to be pretty good at dating fabrics and quilts. Would that be from books or experience or both?

piecefulwendy said...

Looks like a fun day, and the quilts you brought home are wonderful! I'd love to bring that Ocean Waves quilt to our quilt shop in town; the owner is very knowledgeable about fabrics and would enjoy looking at that quilt! I'll have to share your post with her.

PaulaB quilts said...

I could not link up for some reason. You have some real treasures. Please take a look at my post of June 22 called A Mystery Quilt . I go into detail about this top that I found and the type of fabric that it seems to be. I would appreciate any comments you have about it. I’m thinking it might be Amish. I just bought a copy of Clues in the Calico by Barbara Brackman to try to identify that and my other 19th century quilts.

jeannette said...

WOW! What a fun day. Oh, I miss Ohio. Used to live there in my younger days.
The quilts are fantastic. No doubt you saw many other treasures. It would be fun to a fair like that!

Barb Neiwert said...

You made some great finds! You would be so dismayed at the quilt prospects in our fairs and second-hand shops out West. Both are beautiful!

KaHolly said...

So pleased to see you, Julie! I took six month blogging/electronics break over the winter months. Guess it was just what I needed because I'm back with a bang! You found some true treasures. It would be so much fun to attend something like this with you. I learn so much just reading your blog, I can't imagine how much more I'd learn by trailing along behind you. I've thought of you often, my dear.

audrey said...

Hi Julie! Glad that you could find time to stop in for a few minutes here.:) Always enjoy hearing what you've been up to! There has definitely been a blogger slow down of late. It happens every summer and I cross my fingers it's not permanent for all my fave bloggers! Your link-up is open for several more days, so I'll try to link up later in the week. You scored some wonderful quilts! I would have floated home too. Both are exciting, but that prim look clam shell border is exactly what I've been eyeing lately. Going to have to incorporate it into a quilt for sure.:)

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

It sounds like a great adventure. I hope you're having fun with the new machine. A break is a good thing.

SandraC said...

What a wonderful post! I wish I'd known about this Fair....I've put my husband on alert to find a nice idea for a two-day getaway. Last Summer went by with too much time at the longarm and not enough enjoying the weather. I'm determined this year to make the most of Summer. I get what you mean about blogging....I've not done much of it lately. I took a self-imposed hiatus and now it is difficult to get back at it. Have a wonderful rest-of-Summer!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

The rains and storms in Northern Indiana have been hit and miss so you never know what you will find when you travel to local towns. The fair looks like a great place to visit and see such wonderful quilts. I live in an area with a large Amish community. Though I am not drawn to make quilts with tiny pieces that fit together perfectly, I love seeing them. There is so much to do and so many places and events to go to at this time of the year I limit the time I am on the internet. It happens naturally. I'm coming back now that the heat and humidity are here.
xx, Carol

Kyle said...

I'd say you got some incredible finds. The Amish quilt is a treasure being double sided and the quilting is lovely.

Shelina (formerly known as Shasta) said...

Looks like a fabulous way to spend time with family and get some bargains in the meantime! I don't live that far away, but I still haven't been out to Miller's Dry Goods. I've heard all sorts of good things about it.

Angie in SoCal said...

Your lucky to be back east where such finds can be found. Here in CA, we don't have the history to find such treasures. Love the wonderful color of that Amish quilt. It's nice to hear from you again.

Rebecca Grace said...

WOW, Julie — that Ocean Waves quilt is exquisite!! I am so glad you rescued it because I know you’ll take good care of it. I am curious, though — I’ve never been to a venue like this and if I ever stumbled across a treasure like that, I’d have no idea how much to offer. Would you mind sharing a ballpark of what these antique quilts sell for?