I went antique shopping last weekend in Benton, Illinois, and came home with a treasure. I found this quilt for $70. It is perfect except for two small stained spots—there are no holes, rips, or frayed fabrics. The blocks are unusual because the pieces are dimensional—slightly puffy—and all the blocks match exactly, and the fabrics are the same quality. It seems as though the fabrics were purchased at the same time with the intent of making this quilt. It is all hand quilted (although the quilting stitches are not especially fine) and the edge is finished in a double line of black perle cotton topstitching, which matches the stitches on the flower centers. The back is an off-white muslin of a coarser quality than the fabrics in the top and is folded over to the front for the binding.
I estimate the date to be 1920 to 1950, probably 1930s. I hesitate to wash it because there are still some pencil marks visible, but I also hate to bring anything into my house that is NOT washed. (Dust mites? Bed bugs? Years of dirt? Yuck ….) I am pretty confident I can hand wash it in the bathtub to get out the dust, at least. I am going to a quilt show in Springfield, Missouri, tomorrow, and I think I’ll put the quilt in the car. There is supposed to be a quilt appraiser there, and if she has a time slot available, I’ll have her appraise it and get her advice.