Wednesday, October 13, 2021


Today I learned Laura Fisher passed away this week. She was a quilt dealer living in New York City, and I was never fortunate enough to meet her, but we'd been in touch for probably 20 years. We have two quilts that came from Laura.

The first one was made around the turn of the century and it is a red, white and blue one-patch in a blending zig-zag design reminiscent of Bargello. It is exceptionally modern for a quilt that's over 100 years old.

The second quilt is well known to quilt experts and anyone else who has seen Bob Shaw's memorable book. The quilt is on the cover. It is velvet and has a fan design arranged in a medallion style. Unique! 

The quilt world mourns the loss of Laura Fisher. I'm very sad we never connected that last time I was in New York. I remember speaking to her on the phone shortly after 9/11, and I felt like we were old friends. Thanks to Laura for finding so many remarkable quilts. She was a beacon, and her legacy is deep.

Monday, February 15, 2021

coming soon - epic pieced scrap quilt top from Oregon

Last week we were on a quilt selling spree. Nine quilts will soon be on their way to new homes. But we're always looking, and while browsing we found this gem and had to have it. 

It's a large crazy quilt top made of cotton fabrics from the 1930s to the 1950s. The top is foundation pieced on plain cotton muslin fabric and each patch is outlined with black decorative stitching. Dimensions are 89" x 75". Here are some photos.

Wow, what a stunner. It's coming from an estate in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, which is slightly southeast of Eugene. Can't wait to see it in person!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

looking at quilts in a new way

we loved this quilt but sold it two days after we found it

We love quilts and have a lot of them. Many were featured in print publications, magazines and books. We always felt the quilts gained a little something by being published. They were famous in their own way, so we needed to hold on to them. 

A favorite quilt from "Modern Roots" - sold.

Now we're looking at these quilts in a new way, or maybe we're seeing them the same way from a different angle. We always wanted people to enjoy them, but didn't sell many. Maybe it was time. 

Scrappy 'Stacked Bars' quilt from Modern Roots - for sale on Etsy

Over the last couple years, we started picking up quilts at thrift shops and reselling them in a booth at Antique Alley, a local antiques and vintage co-op here in Portland. A lot of these quilts were made in the last 20 years, in good condition, and some were even mass produced. It didn't matter. People wanted them. They also wanted to repurpose handmade quilts in poor condition, so they bought those-- plus antique and vintage quilt blocks and tops.

Published quilts are different, though. We want people to know where they've been, so we have to find a way to transfer that information. 

T-shaped quilt from New Hampshire, available now on Etsy

Maybe it's be OK let other people enjoy them, in the cloth. Maybe our friends out there in the world need the quilts as much as we did when we first found them. Maybe our work is done, and it's time to let go and share the love.

1930s Double Wedding Ring, available soon!

The quilts don't need to be archived any longer. They don't need to be in storage, waiting for us to do something else with them. We are plucking them out of storage one by one and offering them up. There are a few in our Etsy shop, but we sometimes post on Facebook before listing them. It's easy and direct, and sometimes we already know the people who may want to buy a quilt.

Our Etsy shop is called Vintage House PDX, and we'll be listing quilts, jewelry and other objects. you can also find us on Facebook and at Antique Alley, 2000 NE 42nd Avenue, lower level in case #36 and booth C-1 in Portland. Antique Alley is open 11am-5pm Monday through Saturday. We thank our friends for helping us look at quilts in a new way, and we appreciate your support in our quilt rehoming effort.

Friday, February 5, 2021

modern ideas in an old quilt


detail of mid-19th century quilt from Baltimore

We love seeing signs of modernism in old quilts. This mid-19th century quilt came from an eBay seller in Baltimore some time around 2006. 

Its large, concentric square and bullseye medallion design is incredibly modern, which is why we included the quilt in our second book, "Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration" (C&T/Stash, 2016). The patchwork design is a big part of the picture, but there's much more to this quilt.

The quilting is simply exquisite. It could've been featured in the following book, which was full of free-motion quilting designs inspired by very old quilts. But it wasn't. We wanted a completely different group of quilts, so regrettably we didn't showcase the quilting of this masterpiece.

Beautiful, double-row quilting in botanical designs is balanced by striking grid quilting in the red. The dense echo quilting in the center medallion makes us weak in the knees.

Today's machine quilters work with similar methods, filling areas with varied types of quilting for contrast and visual interest. This remarkably modern old quilt has such incredible details, we thought it was worth another look. Thank you for visiting our blog. We hope you enjoyed the photos.