Can you guess?

What is that?

here is another picture
one more


I went to the beach yesterday.   These are pictures of the snow and sand in Grand Haven MI on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Here is the lighthouse

It is really amazing what the wind and water do.   It was pretty cold with the wind off of the lake but I am glad I went to the beach to see how it looks in the winter. It is a bit different in the summer.


I was in Grand Haven for a quilt presentation for the Lighthouse Quilt Guild  and it was a great group!  I think I brought 25 quilts to share and had great fun.  Thanks to all.

While I was intown I stopped by a shop called Old Things.  They had an old quilt which I couldn’t pass up.


It really is not normally one of my favorite patterns.

I do have a few old tops in the pattern.

2010_0113top-inventory-tub50061 2010_0113top-inventory-tub60081

These are sort of oddballs the first one, from the 40’s I think, has a sort of random look because the paths are not all one color.  The second one, from about 1900, when new would have not had any tan in it.   Red Dyes of the time (non Turkey red) were pretty unstable and even without washing the red faded to tan over time.   This maker had 2 different red fabrics, one stable and one not, but would have no way to know at the time what it would look like 100 years later.

Back to the new quilt.


It really is quite common to see Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts from the 30’s.  It was a tremendously popular pattern.  I think what attracted me to this one is the red.   It was much more common for the paths between the flowers to be green.  Hexagons have had a real resurgence in the past few years and they are usually English paper pieced these days.   These quilts from the 30’s were generally not paper pieced.   Just plain old hand piecing.

The piecing is well done on this one.   The quilting not so much.

DSCN5624 DSCN5623

The stitches are pretty large and uneven but the quilting is done in the most traditional way for this pattern, each hexagon is outline quilted.  The backing is blue


there is no binding, the edges were turned under and whip stitch closed.


It is hard to tell from the pictures but it was pretty dirty, most likely from storage.


I can tell that it has been previously washed.   Again it is hard to tell in the pictures but the white fabric is sort of pale pink, the red fabric ran in the wash.

Since it was a sturdy quilt, with no real wear and since it had previously been washed I decided to was it again.

Some antique quilts should not be washed, very rare, old, fragile quilts might be ruined in the wash.   This is none of those things, it is not that old (relative to quilt history) it isn’t rare, and it isn’t fragile, and dirty as it is it isn’t usable.   So I washed it in the machine, with OxiClean and Tide and hot water and then dried it in the dryer. Some of my quilt historian friends are probably cringing at the thought! This is pretty harsh and some people will start with a much more gentle treatment such as hand washing with Orvus   But don’t worry I know it will be fine.

Here it is fresh out of the dryer, all stains gone.


DSCN5634 DSCN5637

Now it is clean and I won’t be afraid to use it.  It is about 85″ x 74″ , the batting is pretty thin so I think I will save it for spring.

I knew it would be a late before I got home from Grand Haven so Teddy spent the night at The Elegant Pooch and got groomed by his girlfriend Julie.  Today he got to try out the freshly washed quilt.


He knows when he is looking good 😉 His new bandanna from the “spa” has little hearts on it.

I have a ton of quilts to put away so back to work.

Happy Quilting




36 thoughts on “Can you guess?

  1. katechiconi says:

    I think most quilters of the past would be astonished if their hardworking quilts were treated with kid gloves. I would have washed it too, perhaps not in hot water for fear of dye running, but certainly with a good enzyme detergent and a stain remover. It’s a nice quilt, and I’m glad it’s coming out into the sunshine again to do its job.

  2. Patty Gal says:

    Love the red as well, Tim. This is not my favorite pattern either but your new one has more appeal than most. Glad it survived the horrific washing and drying. You are much braver than I am. As always, Teddy is looking very dapper! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  3. Kate says:

    I love the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Got my BA at Hope College in Holland. I often saw the beach with snow and ice.

  4. Lorij says:

    The Great Lakes are really pretty in winter but, oh so very cold. I use to live in Buffalo and lake Erie was beautiful in winter but, Lord have mercy!! COLD!!!! especially with that wind blowing off of it.
    The quilt is very pretty and the washing makes it look new. Quilts made in past years were made to use. Because of that, I don’t think a good washing hurts one unless as you say it’s in fragile shape.

  5. Sue says:

    Thanks for sharing both the quilts and the beach pictures. So Teddy’s in love with his groomer?! My cat Tiger is in love with the furnace guy, who spent 3 days in my house putting in a new furnace and heat pump. I was at work, but heard Tiger made himself quite a pest. Fortunately the furnace guy really loves cats, and I think there was mutual love going on.

  6. Sandra B says:

    Like some of the others….this is not one of my favorite patterns either…but I really like the red “paths” in this quilt….the red makes the other colors pop….the quilt looks great after the washing and drying… And Teddy looks especially handsome, sitting on the quilt, wearing his new bandanna!

  7. Dirinda says:

    I just love the old quilts. And the new patterns too 🙂 and that quilt is really lovely. No wonder you couldn’t pass it up. 🙂
    I’m sure everyone enjoyed your quilts and you. Teddy looks great in black and white!

  8. Jaye says:

    The red path really makes that flower garden quilt! Good eye.

  9. Pam G says:

    I knew immediately what your ‘can you guess’ picture was! Brrrr. It’s a balmy 76 here right now. Love the GMFGs. I should send you a pic of my project. Teddy is lookin good!!!

  10. Lesley Petri says:

    30deg in Sydney yesterday! Tim I really enjoy your blog and have a book where I write ideas from your fantastic quilting. I’m near completing my Grandmothers Flower Garden in French General and cream for the path. I would love suggestions for batting and hand quilting.

    • timquilts says:

      I guess it depends on the overall look you want, It would be most traditional to use a thin cotton batting, Like Quilters dream Select, and hand quilting on Thank you 🙂
      these is usually done by outlining each piece 1/8 – 1/4 inch inside the seam allowance , I imagine that is what i will do for the 2 others I posted today

  11. Didi Salvatierra says:

    Loved these photos. I lived in Holland for 12 years and the distinctive Big Red lighthouse is a favorite image of mine. Grand Haven’s comes in a close second. Lake Michigan is awesome and its power is amazing. So glad you had a good turnout for your program, and your new old purchase is nice. GFG is not my favorite either, as I have quilted several, but hexagons are all the rage right now, which I don’t quite fully appreciate. Oh well, to each his own! And Teddy as always is such a handsome boy and makes any quilt look wonderful! Stay warm and stitching,

    Didi Salvatierra

    Sent from my iPad


    • timquilts says:

      There are similar lighthouses in the upper peninsula as well, they must have been made at about the same time. I have visited several of the very old ones, and hope to be able to see all of the MI lighthouses eventually. I don’t quite get the hexi trend either, but having old tops will assure that I won’t ever have to make one myself 😉

  12. Rose in VT says:

    Teddy looks quite proud of his latest quilt! That was quite a find, and yes I was also cringing when I read the part about the hot water…:)

  13. annetisell says:

    A truly wonderful post!Thanks!

  14. Carolyn in Maine says:

    I liked the pics of the lake shore in winter. I grew up on the shores of Lake Ontario (Port Hope), and the beach would have lots of hillocks and humps of ice in winter – very weird! It looked like another planet!
    Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a fav of mine, so I liked seeing those quilts too. My first quilt was hexagons, English paper pieced, in a flower basket design – one large brown basket in the center filled with flowers and leaves, surrounded by more flowers.

    • timquilts says:

      it does look like another planet, sort of eerie in a way…..
      your hexagon quilt sounds pretty….lots of attention to getting those pieces in the right order required to make the design

  15. Di werner says:

    Really like that red path in your new quilt which I would have been afraid to put in hot water. I have caught the EPP fever and currently have a couple projects going.

  16. Matthew says:

    Have you ever used that Retro Clean product where you soak it for a day or two in the bath and then wash, rinse and dry it? Its supposed to brighten up an old quilt but what you did looks great.

    • timquilts says:

      I have heard very mixed reviews on it, some say it works miracles but some say it takes out a lot of the color and should only be used on white, some day I do plan to try it

  17. Susan says:

    I love the quilt and all the pictures you used to demonstrate reds in the last couple of posts. Teddy looks quite handsome!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s