I went to my first estate sale Friday by suggestion of an antique collecting BIL. Not sure of what to expect or how to make deals, I think I did very well. I came across two 22 gallon storage containers overstuffed with fabric! The story from the young (and oblivious) man and woman was that their mother had kept her mothers' projects and fabrics stored for decades. Their grandmother passed in '69, so all of these items were from the 1930-60s. ( I found her newpaper templates that are dated and have 1938 movie review starring Loretta Young). These two heirs saw old rags whereas I saw a gold mine. As I quietly looked through each box, the man repeatedly said that "only people without televisions made quilts". He also mentioned things that translated into 'old was not good' these days. Little did he know.
I understand how people need to 'get through' estate sales to move on to bigger tasks regarding estates. And I also know that families do not sell things that are significant to them. However, this was crazy!
From the Grandmother's stash, I now have 3 hand sewn Qsz tops and enough sewn blocks and cut fabric to make at least 4 more quilts. The heir initially wanted $15 for each top then agreed to 40 for all of it. I am not even including all of the fabric in different sizes and styles. I threw in some rotary blades and appliques scissors to the mix and almost feel guilty for getting such a great deal.
Yesterday, a quilting sister came over to help me go through it again and I gave her the Double Wedding Ring that had 7 rings hand pieced together and all of the many templates and cut fabric pieces. I have 20 sewn Dresden Plates that will make another Qsz top. Fan blocks and other patterns I haven't identified yet make up the rest of this woman's beautiful handiwork.
My thoughts have been mostly about this quilter? Were her quilts being made for her family or friends or a charity group? Are all of her fabrics from clothing she wore. Were calicos her favorite print or just most available? Already having way too many of my own WIPs to complete, the idea of jumping right into her projects is not happening here. The discovery of this woman's creations in varied stages has me thinking about what will happen to my things when I pass on. I, too, have blocks waiting to be joined to form a quilt top. Almost a dozen tops waiting to give warmth one day. More than enough fabric ready for piecing.
Hopefully, my son has learned from me what my thoughts are about quilting as to not box everything away for decades only to have his kids practically give it away at his estate sale.