Zipper Quilt Top

I couldn’t resist this one.   I purchased this top from eBay.  It was made by the seller’s grandmother sometime between 1968 and 1978 which certainly fits with the fact that it is made of polyester double-knit fabric.

I can hear several groans out there.   Who would ever want a polyester quilt!?    Believe it or not there is an emerging group of people who collect polyester quilts.   Keep in mind that the quilting community in the 70’s was very different from today.  There were not many shops that specialized in quilting and fabric shops were chock full of polyester fabrics. ( I wasn’t a fabric buyer at the time but remember going to Minnesota Fabrics with my mom)     Quilters used what was available and the bonus to us today is that the fabric will likely last for another hundred years without any fading or deterioration. Collectors are sort of nostalgic for the era of their youth so for people of a certain age these quilts are cool.    I do plan to hand quilt it, and I plan to use polyester batting.   I might even try to find polyester backing fabric.

I don’t know what the maker would have called the pattern but it looks like zippers to me.


It is a very simple pattern.   The pieces are 3 inches by 8 inches.

It does have a few places where the seams need repair


And there are plenty of thread tails to trim off of the back


but because it is polyester double-knit there is no raveling.

Teddy couldn’t stop looking at the fabric


He is not sure what to make of it.

I think he will approve once it is done…..or perhaps not since he is not old enough to remember polyester.

I have been snowflake obsessed and I think this last batch has got it out of my system for a while.

I added another set of 10 patterns to my Etsy store

here are a few

I bought the finish for the quilt frame and I want to get that done….and I have a few other holiday projects in mind for the weekend…..but likely I will be quilting away and wonder where the weekend went.   So many quilts so little time.

Happy Quilting



Blast From The Past

I recently purchased a quilt made entirely out of polyester double knit fabric.   Before you become totally horrified at the thought of that let me explain why.

I believe that these quilts are an important part of quilting history .  Quilting was for a long time assumed to be dying out of popularity.

We tend to think of America’s 200th birthday in 1976 as the beginning of the latest quilt revival.  Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof began collecting quilts at the end of the 1960s. In 1971 they were able to display the most fascinating of their quilts at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

These 2 events caused a  gradual increase in women wanting to learn to quilt. Popular women’s magazines began to include more articles about quilt projects.  Quilters used the fabric at hand which was often double knit. Double knits went out of vogue for clothing during the 1970s but they were used to make quilts.

So these double knit quilts do fit into the history of quilting.  They were really at the beginning of the quilting world that we are in now. By 2010 it became a 3.58 billion dollar industry…with patterns aplenty, the most complex of machines and tools, hundreds of magazines….blogs!

Poly quickly went out of use as quilters started to look for more traditional materials….and shops dedicated to the quilter began to operate.  In many ways the polyester quilts of the 70’s are the grandparents of the quilts of today.

My quilt is tied not quilted.  The backing needs replacement because it is rather worn and the batting is in shreds!  Older batting was not resin bonded and needle punched so after several washings it ended up clumpy and bumpy and migrating everywhere, and with a tied quilt there is not quilting to hold that batting in place.

Poly X 013

But the top is in great shape!  The double knit fabric will seemingly never ever wear out!  So I plan a bit of a face lift for this quilt.  I will replace the backing and the batting, and I will do some simple hand quilting….once that is done it will last for many more years of use.

Poly X 006

Here are some pictures of the quilt (click to enlarge)

I put the rings quilt on the couch and Teddy decided that was pretty cool….but when he gets up there he always lands in the center of one of the circles.

Poly X 017 Poly X 018

Today I spent the day on the MSU campus for the annual plant sale (I bought a few myself and will write about that when I plant them)  Tonight I am going to work some more on my whole cloth quilt.  I have the center of the quilt in the hoop today and I will finish that area tonight.  It still drives me crazy that the seam is right there in the center but I am trying to get over that.  Also I don’t think I need to be driven crazy…I can walk from here.

whole cloth center 001 whole cloth center 002 whole cloth center 003 whole cloth center 004

Happy quilting