Field of diamonds and thrifting for vintage quilts

I really, REALLY love vintage quilts. When I’m off antiquein or thrifting I am like a magnet, seeking them out. 

When there is no local estate sales or antique stores around me, I head to EBay or sometimes even Etsy. 

eBay tends to be much cheaper than Etsy and they usually have more variety when it comes to vintage quilt tops. There is always a chance of you getting something at a steal from someone who just wants to unload it. 

I’ve purchased some under $20 before. And if you can find a nice looking quilt top, needing minimal mending and not stained up too terribly, you snatch it up quicker than you can yell out “mine!”  

So now that you have your quilt top. You will most likely find that it most likely smells stale or worse, that it stinks to high heaven. 

You do not want to wash and dry it in your machine. It could unravel since it is unfinished. 

And many of the ones I buy are hand stitched. I don’t know how delicate this can be and I don’t want to take any chances. 

I also don’t want to work with a stinky quilt top so I give it a bubble bath. I use my laundry detergent and fill the tub up with warm water and let it soak for at least a day. 

You might be surprised to find when you come back to check on it that it’s sitting a tub full of dirty water, leaving you wondering what on earth has this quilt top been through.

Let your quilt top hang dry. 

After its dry I usually give it a good pressing since it gets a little stuff in the sun. 

Now you are ready to finish your vintage quilt top. 

The best part is that at the very beginning of this job you are already almost done. Your quilt top is DONE!

Next best part is that you are finishing the work of a fellow quilter. A quilt that for whatever reason she/he never completed. 

Take a moment and think about that. 

That quilter might no longer be with us. This quilt top could have been made eighty years ago (i really wish I knew how to date them by their fabrics. Someday).   This gives me this warm feeling inside.   It’s like giving an antique a good home, but much better than that because you are finishing somebody else’s handmade work. All that time they put into this. 

And when you make something with your hands, so much more than time is going into it. It’s more appreciated. Filled with love, energy, hours of effort, creativity. 

I’m rambling…..

I bought this one. Completely hand stitched with one inch hexagons. The shade of green is my favorite. It’s not too bright and not too dark either. I like the use of the solids. The prints are only used in the third ring of each of the diamonds. All the diamonds feature yellow centers meant to be the center of the flower. 

From what I’ve read, this design is called ‘field of diamonds’, and it’s another take on ‘grandmothers flower garden’ pattern. The green is supposed to be the garden. 

When I look at this one, especially on the wall when basting, I couldn’t stop finding the secondary patterns that this particular design makes. 

On the back I chose an Amy butler print with yellow and Aqua. And on the binding I used a brown on cream fabric that I just love against the green. 

I quilted all over it in a meander design. This quilt top was in phenomenal condition. Wherever it’s been all these years, it was well kept. 

Not a single hole or torn seam. 

It’s happy and bright. And has that whole granny chic style to it that I am constantly drooling over. 

The Aqua on my backing didn’t quite match, but I thought it blended well. And who wants everything all matchy matchy anyway?

I labeled it: quilt maker unknown. Rescued and quilted by Melanie Traylor 2016. 

And this is where it will live until it finds its new home, right here on the back of my sofa, looking like a ray of sunshine against all my neutral background. 

The Field of Diamonds quilt is a twin size and is located in my shop here if you are interested in having it for yourself. 

As you can see from my porch pictures I have many more vintage quilts to finish so stay tuned. 

💜, Melanie 


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