Dating antique coverlets

When they described a small sized log cabin quilt as a child’s or doll quilt I knew they were rare, so I bid and I bid till I won.

It was the most I had ever paid for something so small.

Their quilts speak to them and tell their story through clues in the style, fabric, pattern, quilt stitches and sometimes stitched or inked words, names, cities or dates.The first time I went to an all antique quilt auction was in Southern California.One of those large Mid-western quilt dealer auction houses was holding an auction at a nearby hotel and I was very excited to go.It showed wear on many of the tiny pieces in the postage stamp variation.It still is a beauty from a distance, but I would not have paid as much as I did for a 1940s worn quilt.I do this on the spot during a quilt lecture using the audience’s quilts which I don’t see fully open until they are opened on stage.On the internet, I refer to scans of full shots of the front and back and close-ups of the binding, fabrics, and quilting.The name difference is regional, but both depict the same pattern and style and the names are used interchangeably today. The way it is made changes, but the finished look of one large star made from rows of diamond shaped pieces covering the quilt top is the same through time.It is the manner of style in which the border and the corners are treated, and the fabrics being prints or solid colors that help determine if it’s age is early or later, regardless of what they call it.Excitedly I bid on another, a large early 20th century quilt (so they said), that from a distance was visually dynamic, colorful and in great shape. I say thankfully because when I took my finds to my quilt study group, they told me what I had actually bought.The early log cabin was a cut down large log-cabin.

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  1. Betsey Telford-Goodwin's Rocky Mountain Quilts features 500+ antique quilts of the finest quality, for use on a bed or displayed as fine art on a wall. Betsey is a leading authority on quilts dating from c.l780-c1940.

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