Beach House Quilts

I’m not sure what happened to the end of last week! It just kinda flew by… So this weekend’s post wraps up my Southern Adventure series! We made it from the top of the state where I found the Steel Quilt Company, to the middle of the state for the Doo Nanny and Gee’s Bend, to the Gulf and our beach house where I crafted a Bear and his best friend Pear!

The beach house is a wonderful place that my Grandparents bought with friends back in the 50’s. It’s been such a happy place for us for so many years. I grew up going there and now my son is growing up with his summer trips to the beach house!

In the back is the shed where all sorts of things are stored! As we were packing to go (insert frowney, sad face here) my husband starting cleaning the shed a little bit to give us some more room to store things. Unfortunately the shed has become a home for more than our things, but also bugs and rodents and those rodents that look like cute little mice, but are bigger and not cute… I don’t even like to say the word, but I think you know what I’m talkin’ about….. YUCK! Anyway…. As he was cleaning, he found these great quilts!!

They are filthy (remember the big ugly mice….)! But beautiful! But unfortunately, they belong to the other owners… I’m thinking that they probably don’t want them since they have been sitting out in the shed unwanted for the last 30 or so years, but I left them there until I get the final word that they are truly unwanted. Then I’ll get them!!! I can’t wait for the final word to know if I can keep them or not.

You probably have caught on that I typically lean toward the more modern quilts… And I think I’ve mentioned that my husband leans more towards the traditional. Anyway… The thing that I love most about the red and white quilt is the ‘breaking down’ of the pattern. There are two spots where the red pieces are replaced with white and the pattern dissolves. I wonder what the maker of this quilt was doing at those spots. Did she run out of red? Was it intentional? We’ll never know…

What is it about the blue one that catches my eye… It’s a traditional pattern, but the placement of fabric and the lack of symmetry in the color selection is what grabbed my attention with this one!

But once I find out if I can have them, and I’m going with the idea that I’ll find out that I can have them, they will have to be cleaned. I’ve been studying up on exactly how to do this since they are so old and thought I’d share some helpful tid-bits and links about how to clean them.


vacuum First, if there are no beads. And when you are vacuuming, put a pantyhose over the suction or use a low suction vacuum. Another way to use a screen is to get fiberglass screen from the hardware store and lay it over the quilt before vacuuming.

If you don’t need to wash, don’t. Just airing them out gets a lot of the dust and smell off of them.

Hand wash and dry flat! Preferably wash in something where you can wash the whole quilt, opened and flat. Maybe a kiddie pool… This tutorial shows a quite interesting set up to do this.

I’m pretty amazed at The Colorado Lady’s tutorial on cleaning antique quilts. She does use the washing machine to rinse, but I’d be scared to use it on these old ones. Although she doesn’t show before pictures I can only imagine them before, but based on the after pictures I really want to try her cleaning recipe!

And the website I found most helpful was Hart Cottage Quilts article on cleaning quilts. have you heard of Orvus for cleaning quilts? I have seen it a lot, but wasn’t real sure what it actually is… They explain it in detail!


Do you have any cleaning tips for us? Which one is your favorite? the red or white one? This would have been a good 4th of July post with the colors of these quilts! I just realized that! Ha!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Southern Adventures!  It’s been beautiful here in WA since we’ve been back. I guess it rained a lot in April, but we wouldn’t know since we were in AL! hehehe! We’re home and summer is coming. I look forward to sharing all sorts of new projects soon!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your trip, I so loved all the places you visited.
    I too share your love of the modern quilts. Both of the quilts you found are treasures.
    I’m wondering if your from Washington State as thats where I’m from. Your drove to Alabama, oh my, what fun! What memories…..

    • Yes, we live in Seattle! We actually flew to Bama and then rented a car for the time we were there. We almost drove down, but decided it was tooooo long of a drive for right now!

  2. You lucky dog! i’m drooling over these old quilts you’ll (probably) be getting. I think I love them both equally. It’s a “Sophie’s Choice” moment. I don’t think I could choose, eep!

    That picture of them folded on the old steps should be in a magazine, by the way.

    Anyway, I’m totally freaking jealous.

  3. such beauties and such a shame they were relegated to the beach house shed! the red and white one is my favorite! do you think that was english paper pieced? sounds like you had a lovely time and i think its so great you have a beach house in the family.i dream of something like that

    • The red and white one is my favorite as well! I’m still trying to get the word as to whether or not I get to keep them… Tonight my mom referred to the beach house as hers and my 3 year-old corrected her and told it is ours! funny!

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