Steve's ancesters have always had quilts, as shown in the picture taken at Otsego Lake dated September 2, 1875 above ~ the love of quilts must be in his blood!! Three quilts are shown in the picture, but we're sure they had more hidden away in the tents!
We have a good friend who was in the new quilt business for most of her life, and she recently shared some costs with us on making new quilts. Her quilt shop was located in the heart of Amish Country in Holmes County Ohio, and she had many good Amish piecers and quilters working for her. The Amish charge about 90 cents a yard on average to quilt (although the better quilters charge more), and the average quilt has at least 250 yards for straightline quilting (diamonds, angles, etc.), and up to 750 yards for elaborate feather wreaths and vines. How about the fabric? Well, that depends on what grade and style of fabric you decide to use. For about $7 a yard you can probably get some inexpensive cotton, although from our experience you could spend $15 or more per yard for quality cotton. For an average quilt measuring 100" x 100" you'll need about 11 yards of fabric and 5-1/2 yards of batting, although the amount varies slightly by pattern considering waste when cutting, and you'll need thread to both piece and quilt at $5 a spool. You'd be lucky to find someone to machine piece a quilt top for $100 to $250, again depending on the pattern. The bottom line: if you total the above, you would be lucky to get a new quilt made WHOLESALE for $650. Keep in mind it takes about a year to get a quilt made in our area. How about applique quilts? Depending on the pattern, that is if you can even find a skilled person to do it, add several hundred $$. Again, these are wholesale prices, the cost our friend paid. Now you can see the high cost of a new quilt. Vintage and antique fabrics cost up to $50 or more a yard (if you can find them), so it's easy to see how INEXPENSIVE Antique quilts really are! Check our quilts that are clean and ready to go - you couldn't have one reproduced for our asking price, and antique quilts (in our opinion) will be worth more long term. Keep these prices in mind as you browse our store.
Did you know that quilting has been around for centuries? Europeans used thick quilts to ward off the bitter winters as early as the 15th Century. Americans tend to identify with "Quilting Bees", one of the earliest ways of socializing available to frontier women which made quick work of a tedius and time consuming task. As they say, "Idle hands are the Devils workshop"!
A popular 19th and 20th century past-time were "Quilting Bees", where women would get together to piece and quilt. Many of these Bees were held at churches, where ample space was available to set up several quilting frames. These women (and the Amish women today) believed that only God was perfect, and put "mistakes" in their quilts. It's always fun to look for the mistake!
Q: What qualities should I look for when buying quilts?
A: We have quite a list of qualities we look for when buying quilts, and you should too!
- The condition of the quilt - is it dirty, smelly, ripped or torn?
- Is it hand stitched and hand quilted with at least 6 to 7 stitches per inch (spi)?
- Are the colors desirable? Is there any fade or splotching of the fabrics?
- Is the pattern one you like? Is it well pieced?
- Is the quilt crisp (seldom laundered) or limp (had many washings)?
Q: How do you date your quilts?
A: We date our quilts by the fabrics used in the construction, and are usually within 10 years (+ or -) as many quilts were made later from scraps of material used to make clothing.
Q: How do I care for my antique quilt?
A: We provide a "Care & Use" info sheet with all of our quilts. This information can also be obtained through the internet.
Q: Which is worth more - an unwashed quilt or one that has been laundered?
A: It's really up to the individual to decide - please refer to our "Why We Hand Launder Quilts" link. We are of the opinion that stains left in a quilt can actually do more damage left alone than if the quilt is professionally hand laundered. "Patina" is a word often found when describing antiques, especially furniture. Patina is obtained by years of polishing furniture and rubbing dirt and grime into the finish. Patina on furniture is good; patina on fabrics is not good. Many of the stains we see are actually caused by mold or mildew which continue to eat away at the fabric over time. Thinking that an unwashed & stained fabric is worth more seems ridiculous to us. After all, quilts were a household staple made to be used & laundered and usually made with cotton fabrics. Many products exist to gently and safely clean antique fabrics and can be found on the internet.
Q: What size quilt will fit my Queen sized bed?
A: We have provided a link "Quilt Sizes" at the top of our items that give you sizes.
Q: How do you measure your quilts?
A: We have found less than 10 percent of our quilts to be "square" (the quilt measures the same from side to side at the top and bottom). When we measure quilts, we line up all the corners (with the quilt folded in fourths) and list the smallest measurement. Quilts with scallop, cone, or Prairie Point borders are measured inside the scallop, cone or Prairie Point.