Most of these quilts were purchased on
Ebay by searching on the keywords "quilt top." There are
literally hundreds of quilt tops for sale on Ebay at any one time,
usually about 1000. Approximately 25-50% are vintage quilt tops
from the late 1800's thru the 1950's, bought at auction or found in
flea markets. The history of these quilt tops is rarely known; in
fact most Ebay buyers hardly know anything about the person that sold
them the quilt, much less the originator of the quilt. Some quilt
tops have passed thru many hands. The only information I get is
whatever the seller remembers, sent thru email. Some of the
emails are quoted below.
It is a little sad that the history of
these beautiful, mostly hand-pieced, quilt tops is being lost.
However, there are many buyers on Ebay snapping up these treasures, so
the good news is that they will still find some use and hopefully be
finished into quilts. Some folks just use the quilt top as a
table cover or a sofa back cover. I prefer to finish them into
Most of the quilt tops I buy are hand
pieced and the quality of the piecing varies. Most however are
exquisitely hand-pieced in a very precise manner, all points matching,
etc. The energy,
creativity, art, and persistence that went into these quilt tops blows
me away. Sadly, it is rare to pay more than $50-$80 for these
tops, which does not reflect their real worth at all.
This quilt top was found in an antique store in Rancho Bernardo, CA in the early 1990's. The store owner claimed it was turn of the century (i.e. 1900) but who knows. It was entirely pieced by hand. Originally I thought this was the Drunkard's Path pattern - but this is incorrect. This is the first vintage quilt that I completed. It was sold at a charity auction and was purchased by my friend Luann Brown. Completion date: 1996?
This Brown Postage Stamp quilt was born in
This Lavender Postage Stamp quilt top is made up of 1 1/2" squares. It measures 57"x76". Another beautiful postage stamp quilt, this time with lavender edging on the bars. Unfortunately there is a lot of staining in the muslin; not sure if it will wash out. Believed to originate in Long Beach CA. Purchased on Ebay in 2004.
This Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt top was purchased from someone in St. Louis, MO who bought it at auction in Kahoka, MO disposing of the stock of a defunct antiques dealer in Canton MO in 2002. Some of the flower "petals" are "fussy-cut" meaning the design on the fabric is centered in the cut pieces. All hand-pieced. Interesting triangular design of the green "garden path" design element. Unfinished.
"TERI, [THIS SMALL 56"x44" POSTAGE STAMP] QUILT TOP CAME FROM A LARGE COLLECTION OF QUILT TOPS, SQUARES, AND BLOCKS I BOUGHT AT AN ESTATE SALE. THE LADY THAT OWNED THE COLLECTION IS 93 YEARS OLD, I DID NOT TALK TO HER BUT I DID TALK WITH HER DAUGHTER. THE 93 YEAR OLD LADY USED TO PROMOTE GUILTING AT DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS. WHEN ASKED SHE WOULD DO DEMONSTRATIONS AND WAS A MEMBER OF QUILTING CLUBS. MOST OF THE ITEMS ARE 50S' 60' VINTAGE BUT IT WAS HARD FOR THE DAUGHTER TO BE EXACT WITH THE AGE OF EVERYTHING." Buyer from Wenatchee, Washington. Unfinished.
Another Ebay quilt, this pattern is similar to the Chimney Sweep pattern. The word "Leroy" is written twice on it, in pencil. Was the family name Leroy? Or was the quilt intended for a son or nephew named Leroy? We will never know. The seller "found this wonderful piece in the "antique" section of an indoor flea market in Mexico MO. I don't know anything about it other than that!" I added the dark border & medium green outer border, the batting, and backing ($2.88/yd at Walmart!). This quilt is currently in progress. Not my favorite top and not my best job at border design either. This may be an experimental quilt to find out if these old hand-piecers will hold up in the wash.
This gorgeous 8-pointed Star Quilt top is from Texas. "I acquired it right here in our area of the small town of Quitman, TX (population 2,025). Quitman is the home of Sissy Spacek also! The lovely lady who made it was a native of this area, having gone to school in Yantis, an even smaller town, just across Lake Fork, about 10 miles north. She later moved to Quitman. She quilted all of her life, having learned from her mother, and became very experienced and quite 'the perfectionist' as illustrated by the beautiful work that she did. Your quilt top is one of the last ones she made, back in the '70s or 80s, and then was never able to complete. The fabrics look to be from the '30-40s. She had many patterns and unfinished projects. Having no heirs, her things were then in the hands of estate people who cleared her home." This will be the first quilt made specifically for Samantha. Of course all the quilts I have at home already, are hers. :-)
This beautiful hand-pieced Spool Quilt Top is an Ebay find from South Carolina. "All I know is that it came from a Ladies estate here in SC and the son just wanted to clean out, that is how I got all the tops that I listed, they were from her estate, that is pretty much all I can tell you, except she just had them packed away after she finished them." Unfinished.
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