It’s no secret that along with vintage clothing, I have a real love for vintage textiles. I just find it hard to look at one without considering the other. So I’m always looking for a chance to see more vintage textiles.
Several years ago my sister-in-law suggested that I check out the annual quilt show that is hosted by the Cruso Friendship Club. I made the drive to this remote corner of my county and was thrilled to find that the show was not just for newly made quilts, but also for vintage ones. I’ve tried to go every year since, as there are always a nice selection of vintage quilts, and besides, they have one of the best thrift stores anywhere.
I’m not a quilter, but I do have a healthy respect for the skills required. And vintage quilts are a great example of how people in the past were such better users of their resources than are most people today. Look carefully at a vintage pieced quilt and you see recycling as art.
This is a closeup of the quilt at the top of this post, which was started in the 1930s. I loved that sailor fabric.
I usually think of the Victorians when I think of crazy quilts, but this one is from the 1940s, as is evidenced by the fabrics. Can you imagine a dress made of that Paris novelty print?
Some of the quilts in the show are a mix of old and new. Many of the quilters search out vintage pieced tops that were never completed. In the one above, the quilter found the old top, and then added the batting and backing, and then machine quilted it. It’s faster than stitching by hand, but I think the hand stitching looks better with a vintage quilt. Note the cute Scotty dog fabric.
This quilt was one of my favorites. It is newly made of vintage feedsack fabric. Years ago someone gave the club a pile of old feedsacks and just last year they got them out, and pieced them into this lovely quilt.
This is one of the feedsack squares.
More vintage prettiness
I thought this was an interesting take on quilting. It was made in the 1960s, and is proof that quilts don’t have to be all girly. It’s all wool except for the backing which is a cotton leopard print.
This modern baby quilt was made by my SIL. The heads and tails are 3-D. Note how the simple shapes of the turtles’ bodies are not so simple given a close look.
Another modern quilt, this one of cats constructed of various pieces of fabric. Quite impressive!
One last photo, this of the location where the show is held. This is the Cruso Community Center, which was formerly the Cruso School. It was built in 1928 of rock from the nearby river. When the school was closed in 1967, it was purchased by a local philanthropist and turned over to the community. It has been used as a community center ever since. The Friendship Club works hard to maintain the building and the quilt show is just one of their many yearly events. Photo copyright Cruso Friendship Club