What Do You Find When Cleaning the Basement?

Over the years boxes seem to multiple in our basement and at some point it is necessary to stop the spread and finally go through them. This is what hubby has been doing off & on for the past several months.

One discovery was some old letters. One was written by my Mother to her Grandmother when Mom was 10, and the other was from my Grandmother to my Mother documenting some of my maternal genealogy. Note the cost of postage.

Old Letters Found

Another find was a family picture, probably taken by my Father. He liked taking pictures and even had equipment for developing black & white photos. This picture has my Father’s parents, my mother, my sister, myself and my Father standing on the back outside stairs. The notation said it was Thanksgiving 1951.

Thanksgiving 1951
Thanksgiving 1951 – Paternal Grandparents, Mom, Dad, Older Sister & Me

There are also boxes from my hubby’s family. He found this quilt, washed it and brought it up stairs to show me.

Circa 1955-60 Polyester Queen Size Quilt
Polyester, Hand Tied Quilt circa 1955-60

Hubby remembers that his Mother made it for his Father, probably to wrap up in after he came home from work. It is a utilitarian quilt made from all polyester fabric, machine pieced and quilted by tying. It does not have any batting in it.

My Mother-in-law was a productive quilter and many of her quilts were hand pieced and hand quilted. Hubby’s Father mounted a quilting frame hung from the ceiling in their Living Room. When not being stitched, the quilt would be raised up to hang out of the way. Often his Aunts would gather with his Mother to work on quilts.

Back to the quilt. There is no label on the quilt and both my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law are no longer with us, so we can’t ask about it’s history. But this is what I think might be part of it’s story .

Circa 1955-60 Polyester Queen Size Quilt
Close up of center of the quilt. The quilt has been hand quilted with embroidery floss.

It appears that the quilt was made with yardage of polyester. I don’t think it was made from scraps, but it is possible some of the blocks may have come from clothing. It covers the top of our Queen-size bed and even the backing is polyester. Polyester fabric was popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but became less popular in the 1970’s and after.

My Mother-in-law got a Singer Featherweight in 1951 and that machine does not do zig zag. This quilt has the backing turned to the front and sewn with a zig zag stitch. She had another Singer that did the zig zag stitch sometime in the mid 1960’s, but probably not much later. We know it was not after 1972.

Circa 1955-60 Polyester Queen Size Quilt
Close up of border and backing turned to the top & stitched with a zig zag.

So, we don’t really have the exact history of this quilt, but this is the best we can piece together. Since it is under 100 years old, I don’t think we can call it an Antique. We’re assuming it may be 50-60 years old, so guess we’ll call it vintage. I think I’ll make a label for it with what information we have.

Do you have any boxes you need to go through? You might find something interesting.

Happy Stitching!

Quilt Mouse


About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
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4 Responses to What Do You Find When Cleaning the Basement?

  1. Brenda @ Songbird Designs says:

    So bright and cheery!! I’d definitely make a label with the info you have so the next generations will have a record!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when postage went up to 8 cents. I have 2 double knit quilt tops from family members. My mother in law remembers some of the fabrics in one of them (made by hubby’s grandmother). I also have a couple of other ‘family’ quilts. Treasure your quilt from your grandmother.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My grandmother made a few polyester quilts that look similar, though she shaded towards browns. They will never wear out!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh,yes, do make a label with what you know. Those colors are very bright for a quilt of that age, it has been stored well.

    Liked by 1 person

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