Vintage Embroidered Baskets Quilt Top

This top was purchased on ebay a couple of years ago, and it was so cheap — $20, including shipping. It’s difficult to determine the age of the top since there are no prints. If I had to guess, I would say 1930s or 1940s just because of the color and weight of the green fabric.

There are some interesting features in this quilt. Despite having exactly the same design, each of the 12 embroidered blocks is neatly stitched with unique basket, leaf and flower colors, although the cross-stitching on the bottom of each block is the same. It is completely hand stitched (did she not have a sewing machine?), the blocks are 17″, and the borders are unusually wide which results in a rather large top.

Condition problems are minimal for a vintage top — only a few light brown stains and a couple of tiny pin holes. The stains look like they’ll respond to a soak in Oxyclean, and I’ll darn the little holes. There is some fullness in the horizontal sashing, but it’s not terrible. If I decide to quilt this as it is (and I haven’t decided this yet), I think I could quilt this out.

When the top arrived in the mail, I was certain I would redo it — I thought there was too much white in the blocks, and the borders were too wide. Now I’m not sure. I could do some nice quilting in the green and I am a little hesitant to remove all of her nice hand stitching. What do you think?

Embroidered Baskets Quilt Top
Unknown Quilter
hand embroidered, hand pieced
75″ x 95″

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