A Neighbor Told a Neighbor

A neighbor told a neighbor I quilted.

While I was out raking leaves the neighbor who heard I was a quilter stopped to talk with me while they were out for a walk. His name is Dan (abt 65) and his mother’s name is Velma (abt 85). Dan told me they had a chest full of fabric and some old quilt squares that belonged to his grandmother, Velma’s mother. If I would like them, they were mine or they would be going to our local recycle store.

A few days later with the neighbor who told Dan and Velma I quilt; I call her Poodle Nancy because she shows champion Poodles and yes you might have even seen her in a nationally telecast dog show or two) we went over to their home to see the ‘fabrics and quilt squares’

What was neglected in the original invitation was that everything was in an old chest full of moth balls ~ oh goodness ~ I kid you not, I thought I would pass out from the fumes. My initial reaction was the material was ruined, unsalvageable but how could I possibly pass out this gold mine of fabric?


Ok – it did not look like this or smell as amazing as it does now. This has all been washed in vinegar and baking soda, laundry detergent – at least half a dozen times.


Now ironed, and folded and ready to go it has all been salvaged!

Next came the quilt squares ~ log cabin patterned, pre quilted squares in brown and soft orange fabrics

logcabinsquares .jpg

I was really nervous about washing them but in the washer they went, two, three, four washes. I thought for sure they would fall apart but look at them…gorgeous.

The oddest thing with these though is they are hand quilted already, pre sewn and fiber filled to the backing, I have never seen this done. Have you?

logcabinsquares 2.jpg

At first I tried ripping out the stitching but to do this would mean actually dismantling every square and starting from scratch. I did not want to do that. I took the risk and thankfully they came out in perfect shape. I am going to do a small lap quilt for Velma of her mothers quilt squares. I am not really sure however if they really are her mother’s or something Velma did years prior but I will get to the bottom of this at a later date and let you know. In the meantime what I do know is Velma loved that I offered to finish this for her.


I’ll be using this brown pin striped & brown flower print material to frame in the squares  (I got from Velma) I am pretty sure I have amble amount of the peach floral of the last log above to use for the backing. The tricky part for me is the fact that the squares are already pre quilted and I will be adding the framing.  I’ll add another layer of fiber filler and then hand quilt 9 blocks for this lap quilt. I don’t know any other way to do it.


While Dan and Velma rummaged through the chest Dan pulled out something they had totally forgotten about. This actually not only took my breath literally way but it took me to a whole other spiritual quilt dazed level.

An old and tattered, faded and torn quilt most definitely done by Velma’s mother. This had to be at least 100 years old from the conversation I was listening too.


This quilt was going into the trash but not before I salvaged the only 2 squares that could be saved.


I have taken the two squares to be framed behind glass. I choose this beautiful frame and I think they are going to be stunning for gift giving this holiday for Velma and Dan. I will keep one for myself but give them choice of either one. (once separated from the quilt and out in the air for a few days and once under glass, the moth ball odor should be ok..it wasn’t to bad)

VelmasMom2.jpgred tone frame

VelmasMom4brown tone frame




7 thoughts on “A Neighbor Told a Neighbor

  1. Deb November 25, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    If you measure the width of your lovely vintage fabric it will give you an idea the age of the fabric. Prior to 1915 fabric widths were under 24″
    1920s to 1930s widths were 30″ to 34″
    1940s to 1950s widths were 36″ to 39″
    In the 1960s fabric widths expanded to up to 45″ and that is where it hovers today.
    I love that you are going to frame though blocks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady November 25, 2018 / 11:51 pm

      Thanks Deb on the width measurement dates…I’ll be doing that! I’ll be sure to post the framed blocks too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kathyreeves November 26, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    What a wonderful adventure you are walking into with this fabric! I love your framing idea, the family will be so appreciative! I’m looking forward to seeing the results of your measuring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady November 27, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Thank you Kathy – I had framed a 5 very sections from a quilt, that was given in the hospital, to my husband when he was passing away. (All 5 daughters wanted the quilt but I took it) That is where I go the idea. Those I had framed but with out glass so they could be touched. I gave them as 1st anniversary keepsakes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KerryCan November 27, 2018 / 1:28 pm

    Wow–bonanza!! What a great treasure you’ve been given and it’s so nice that you have ideas for finishing some of it and giving back. Those pre-quilted squares came out of the wash beautifully–I’m really surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady November 27, 2018 / 1:38 pm

      I was actually shocked – in fact I had told Dan that I was skeptical I could save the squares. ‘who ever actually hand worked these blocks did a fabulous job. Bonanza is the exact word I was looking for! ~


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