How many is too many?

After I made my first quilt about 6 years ago

I started to make great plans for all of the new and wonderful quilts I could make.  Then I found an old dirty double wedding ring quilt top at a flea market, and I just felt like I had to “save” it.  Here it is after I quilted it.

Lots of hand quilting and lots of time went into it….it was only the second quilt I had done and I didn’t even have a thimble ( I used tape) or really know what I was doing but it worked.

After I finished that quilt I thought that there must be more of those quilt tops out there that needed me….and I found eBay….yikes!!  so many!!!  I started buying tops to “save”. At first I only wanted to buy those that didn’t need any extra work, just quilting.  I collected quilt a few and quilted away….My quilt appraiser Shari sent me this picture

Superman “saving ‘ a quilt.

I guess it still is my mission to save quilt tops and make them into the completed quilts that they were always intended to be.  I have to do some organizing  and re-packing of some of the many quilt tops that I have.  I can get about 15 completed tops in one of my storage containers (I just bought 6 new ones to fill)   I have also started to collect blocks that I can make into tops, and tops that I will take apart and re-make and re-design …so does 200 sound like too many?  Can I ever get all of them quilted?    I don’t think it matters if I ever finish them all I just hope that some day someone will…and for now they are safely packed away waiting for their time to become quilts.

Here are some pictures of the contents of 2 storage containers ( I need to update the files because I see one of them has been quilted)…one container of tops and one container of blocks and unfinished tops (click pictures to enlarge)….doesn’t it make you want to start quilting?

I need to get to work!

Happy Quilting


28 thoughts on “How many is too many?

  1. Sara says:

    Yep, that’s too many, you need to set up your own ebay on your site and let us all bid on them! And only give US the right to bid! 🙂

  2. Vicki says:

    Too many is NEVER enough! Keep calm, and QUILT on!!!

  3. antarabesque says:

    I feel tired for some reason… 😀

  4. Ann Hancock says:

    Well, there’s the old saying —
    “She/he who dies with the most (insert correct word here, in this case, QUILTS ) wins!”
    So, you can never have too many! I love reading about your projects!

  5. Barbara Wells says:

    You make me feel so good-I have been quilting for 40+ years and collecting for 20+ of those-I have approximately 40 tops unquilted-been downsizing. My kids homes are full to the brim-working on future quilts for the grandkids weddings and future great-grandkids quilts. I am happy there are others out there collecting and finishing up beautiful old quilt tops. If only they could talk! You and Teddy keep up the good work!

    • timquilts says:

      it would be great if they could talk!….I often wonder who made them…why they didnt finish…what was the quilting plan….but it is fun to wonder about …and do the best I can to finish them as I think they should be done….glad to know I am not the only one who enjoys it!

  6. Karen says:

    OMG Tim you will never get done with your quilting at this rate and here I moan and groan that I will never get caught up with my quilting and I only have 4 completed waiting in line and two more almost done waiting in line!
    If you ever need to make some money you can start doing ebay on your tops 🙂

  7. I’m coming back to this post next time I need inspiration! I love looking at old quilts (although I don’t seem to finish them like you do). In fact, after I finish two of the ones I’m piecing at the moment, I think I take a stab at that lantern quilt (with the blue binding…)

  8. Dolores says:

    I say keep on doing what you’re doing. I think it’s commendable of you to take unfinished and sometimes poorly made quilts and finish them – the way you think they should be completed or the way you think the maker wanted them done.

  9. You have an amazing collection….which I think eventually you will need to store in “Tim’s Quilt Museum”! You are indeed the Superman of Antique Quilts…you save, renew and protect them. A very noble and important role in the quilt world. Even if you don’t quilt all of them, you have documented and stored them for the next generation to enjoy!

  10. I think this qualifies as a conservation effort. Too many just want finished objects and UFOs are lost to the garbage bins. I say good rescue and keep going. These are a valuable piece of history in good hands.

  11. audrey says:

    You have an incredible collection of old/vintage quilt tops. The thing is, you can’t quit buying because you know the next great top is just around the corner, er, screen. Anyway, one great finish leads to another and the creativity continually builds. Just enjoy the journey and when you weary of it or grow too old to enjoy it, form a conservation group for old quilt tops or start doing (paid of course) speaking events at quilt guilds etc.!

  12. Gerrie says:

    I’m swooning. These are lovely old quilt tops. I can see what caused you to get them… each has its own special something, like each child is an individual. You might tell yourself what I tell myself anytime I do/get too much of anything… I tell myself, “The value is in the process…” of doing/getting, not necessarily in the act of finishing. Wipes away all guilt and sense of urgency and lets me just enjoy the process! (Now where the heck do I put all this stuff?!)

  13. Lynn says:

    I have the same save/rescue gene! I am trying to stop, but when I see a great looking unfinished top ( that just needs a little help) I have a hard time passing them up. You make a lot more progress than I do on completing. You are a great inspiration. BTW–I am going to visit the quilt exhibit at the museum in East Lansing tomorrow.


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