70’s Vintage

Some quilts call my name and I just can’t resist.   I have 2 today from the 70’s.

First is a polyester double knit quilt top.  The design is pretty great.

The fabrics might not be for everyone but I think they are great.

DSCN5713 DSCN5712

It is all hand pieced, but it is poly so the seams don’t press flat.


It is going to be a great quilt some day.

Next is another 70’s top in the trip around the world pattern


It is far from perfect but something about it said save me.

The fabrics are an assortment of cotton and cotton poly blends.

DSCN5723 DSCN5722 DSCN5721

It is hand pieced.


however not well made


I do not plan to over fix it.   I think I will just hand quilt it as it is.   Not every quilt needs to be perfect.   I think it is easy for us to lose sight of the real intended use of a quilt.   They are to keep us warm.  Most quilters of the past would never have imagined seeing their quilts hanging on a wall and considered a work of art.  Sure they wanted them to look good and some were amazingly detailed and elaborate but for many quilts function came first.

When I make a quilt myself I do try to be accurate.   I measure, I try for even seam allowances etc. but I have a lot of advantages over the quilters who made these.   I have a cutting mat and rotary cutter, and lots of templates, and rulers, and fabric that is so much easier to work with.  We also have so many resources.  Information for us is just a few clicks away on the internet.   I have no way to know who made these or what their background was, If anyone taught them quilting or if they were figuring it out on their own, or how they intended to use them.   I do know that they appeal to me in a much different way than a beautifully made show quilt.    When I was a kid there was nothing better than getting home from school or church and changing out of my “good” clothes and into my “play” clothes (I still feel that way). These quilts are like the play clothes…meant to be comfortable and sturdy and no worry about ruining them.

Teddy decided he wanted to play on this one.   He brought his bone for his picture


I did another block on the string quilt.


One of these I did by machine, and seeing the picture I can’t tell which one.   I am going to finish it all by machine.   It went a lot faster and the results are about the same.    only 10 blocks to go 🙂

Happy Quilting


55 thoughts on “70’s Vintage

  1. Deb Bear says:

    I like the first quilt top , the pattern is neat!!

  2. Kristen says:

    Don’t kid yourself, Tim — the quilts tops, they are not dumb, they talk to each other. They say, “Yeah, I heard his name is Tim, Tim Latimer. Just call him. He won’t be able to resist.” Next thing you know, on the doorstep in Lansing.

  3. Carolyn in Maine says:

    I like your attitude to quilts – that their inherent functionality is an important thing, and is part of their beauty. That unusual polyester one will be very warm indeed! But I also appreciate that you make astonishingly beautiful quilts too (your whole-cloth quilts are amazing).
    I like the melon one you’re working on, but I think I’d have chosen navy or royal blue for the background, rather than black.

  4. Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing the polyester quilt. I like the shape of the block and it was nice in the background of your other quilt.

  5. Sandy says:

    My late Aunt who grew up during the depression era made me a yellow polyester & flour sack snowball quilt over fourty years ago. The yellow polyester were leftover fabrics from clothes my Mom made for my baby sister (whom we lost to cancer a year and a half ago). It is one of my favorite quilts. It drapes over the chair I sit for quilting. I’m so glad you’re so open & appreciative of these quilts. They used what they had.

  6. The colours of those quilt tops are lovely, and they will be warm when you have quilted them. Your blocks are just beautiful, and I can’t wait to see them put together!

  7. Ann thomas says:

    Teddy and I good tastes. We both picked the Trip Around the World quilt. Hi, Teddy. You cutie.

  8. Pam G. says:

    The first one is my favorite! And as always, Teddy is such a cutie. Guess what Tim?! You may find it hard to imagine, but I’m leaving sunny Arizona next week to come to Michigan for 10 days. Not sure I’m ready for this. Haven’t been to Michign in the winter since the mid-80’s.

  9. Love your comment about some quilts being like play clothes 🙂 I’m curious – how do you find all these rescue quilts?

  10. Sandra B says:

    Really like both quilts, but the second one just speaks to me….I laughed out loud when I saw that Teddy picked the same one! The string blocks are looking good…cannot wait to see the finished quilt.

  11. Rose in VT says:

    Loved the graphic effect of that first one, but after seeing those seams from the back thought the easiest way to quilt that would be with some
    same era buttons (tied). What are you planning to do? Love those melons!

  12. glendajean says:

    Morning Tim and Teddy, how I enjoy dropping it each morning to see if you have yet rescued another old quilt to be. I agree with what Kristen said LOL. How I love that string melon quilt you a re working on, it has reminded me of a large pile of 1930’s string 4inch squared I rescued about 20 years ago and started to make in to 10inch blocks by joining 4 together with a yellow strip I will have to try and find them and do some more work on them thanks for the reminder. . Cheers Glenda Australia.

  13. janet says:

    Love your play clothes comment. Utility quilts are my favorites. They usually represent the fabric of a family’s life, not fabric purchased to make a ‘good’ quilt. I have utility quilts made by my great-grandmother and I see work shirts, aprons, and kid’s pjs. I follow in those footsteps – I make quilts to be used…and make no apologies for that! Your string pieced melons will make a striking quilt.

  14. beadingnurse says:

    Bless you Tim for saving these old quilts! My grandmother made many, many double knit quilts and she loved the forgiving nature of knit fabrics. She grew up poor and in a thrifty time so of course she would use any fabric scraps left over from clothing. She made quilts from old work shirts, jeans and wool coats in addition to our dress fabrics.

    My “favorite” thrift item she made me when I was a teenager was a tote bag made from Clorox bottles cut into squares and crocheted around. She had to use a hole punch to create holes for the crochet thread so it was quite labor intensive. I am sad to say I was a typical teenager and while I thanked her profusely; I never used the tote bag for its intended purpose as I was WAY too cool for that. ;). I wish I had it now! I’d carry it and tell everyone about her.

    Thanks for saving and sharing your treasures with us. 🙂

  15. kathleen Campbell says:

    Tim, You have good taste -very good taste! I love the colors in these quilts. Never saw one like the first one.
    Thanks for posting these as a bright spot on this snowy/sleety Saturday eve.

  16. Donna K says:

    I love the graphic nature of that first quilt, wowza. You rescue the best tops!

    Teddy is a gem. How old is he?
    I miss my dog so much. She’s been gone quite awhile, maybe 8 yrs. It’s so fun to see you feature your friend who happens to be a dog.

    Don’t miss the walking of missed dog, especially in this Midwest icebox that we have going on here in Wisconsin and your Michigan.
    Keep Teddy warm for all of us followers.

    • timquilts says:

      Thanks Donna….Teddy is 7 and he is no fan of walks in this weather!……he gets right to business and then needs to be carried home….his feet really get cold…good thing he is little 😉

  17. kathleen Campbell says:

    BTW….This background hexie is WONDERFUL!

  18. Diane says:

    Wow…great saves.. I love them all

  19. Sue says:

    I opened up the email, began scrolling down and WHOA!! Freaked me out – it was moving – it was alive! It almost made me feel dizzy. Quite the quilt top!

  20. Janice says:

    Your melon quilt is lovely. I am not totally sure I understand how you are piecing it though. Is the center black portion in quarters ( with each melon and the corresponding black making up 1/4 of a block?) or is the entire center section one piece?

  21. Kim Brandt says:

    I love saving old quilts…..and those poly quilts are heavy and very warm.
    Happy Sewing

  22. Julie says:

    Hi, I just have a question about the first quilt pictured here. Do you think they pieced it in columns or across the rows? I hate Y seams, but I really want to try that pattern.
    Let me know what you think please.

  23. Kathleen Campbell says:

    I don’t remember seeing your screensaver quilt before this posting of the polyester items. I really like the red background. and I think fabrics from the 30’s and 40’s.


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