Ohio Quilts

I recently did a lecture/trunk show for the Black Swamp Quilters Guild in Bowling Green Ohio.   One of the members, Louise Kimpel, said that she had 2 quilts that she would like me to have.   I was very happy to accept the offer and they arrived today.

I almost never know who made any of the quilts in my collection so it is a real treat to know about these.

They were made by Ida Mae Dearth Eckhardt, a Lutheran minister’s wife, in the 30’s or 40’s in Lima, Ohio.

and they are wonderful!

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I am not a fabric expert but I suspect that the majority of the fabric is rayon.

Rayon was the first manufactured fiber developed, it made from wood or cotton pulp and was first known as artificial silk.
The Swiss chemist, Georges Audemars invented the first crude artificial silk around 1855, by dipping a needle into liquid mulberry bark pulp and gummy rubber to make threads.
The method was too slow to be practical.

In 1884, a French chemist, Hilaire de Charbonnet, Comte de Chardonnay, patented an artificial silk that was a cellulose-based fabric known as Chardonnay silk.”
Pretty but very flammable, it was removed from the market.

In 1894, British inventors, Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle, patented a safe a practical method of making artificial silk that came to be known as viscose rayon.
Avtex Fibers Incorporated first commercially produced artificial silk or rayon in 1910 in the United States. The term “rayon” was first used in 1924.


I imagine that they were all dress fabrics.

The first one is in great shape

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and has a pale blue backing fabric


The colors go well with Teddy 🙂


The crazy quilt has applique flowers

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as is often the case with old fabric there is some disintegration , it might be hard to see in the pictures but look for the white spots, that is where the backing is showing through.

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The backing is a pretty floral


It is still a beautiful quilt and fine for display, and use in presentations but this one will not go into the washing machine!   the delicate fabrics would be gone…..I will enjoy it as it is!


Thanks so much Louise for sending them my way, and thanks to Ida Mae for making them

Happy Quilting


16 thoughts on “Ohio Quilts

  1. Pam G. says:

    How exciting to add these to your collection! What a treasure.

  2. Sara says:

    Wonderful additions to your collection of quilts!

  3. Susan Dileanis says:

    Wow! When I first glanced at it I thought it was a new quilt made of batiks.

  4. katechiconi says:

    What patience, to work with fabric as slippery as rayon… I admit I prefer the first one, I’ve never been a great fan of crazy quilts.

  5. karenfae says:

    what neat quilts those are and how nice that you were gifted with them – always nice to know old quilts go to a good home where they are appreciated.

  6. Deb says:

    Thanks for sharing these lovely quilts! They were a great pleasure to see !!

  7. Rose in VT says:

    Tim: Those are beautiful! The bars one looks very contemporary. What would you do with crazy quilts? I have 3, one unfinished top. The two finished ones have shredding fabrics so would be difficult to repair. I’d like to use them or display them, but not sure how to go about that.

  8. Mimi says:

    I am glad to know the process of how rayon developed. I have been told by “old” dress saleswomen that rayon was a natural fiber. Never did figure out how, but your explanation makes sense. Does not feel like cotton, silk, or linen but still. Thanks.


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