Archive for April, 2010

Another Lovely Vintage Bucilla Applique Quilt Kit

I just got back from the post office where a box was waiting for me. It contained this lovely Bucilla Garden Poppies Applique Quilt Kit  #8971. It is the red version and is 84×100 or double/queen size.
It is unopened and in immaculate condition. Very tempting!!! But having just accepted a couple more custom quilt orders, I really don’t have time to do it myself, so will pass it on to one of you collectors out there.
Let me know if you wish to reserve this one for yourself – it won’t last long.
Price: $285 USD + $20 USD shipping in North America = $305 USD

There is a hold on this quilt for a prospective purchaser


While waiting for my many new to me Vintage Applique Quilt Kits to arrive and be listed, I thought I’d ramble on about one of my side interests:

For many years now, I have picked up bits of vintage handmade lace here and there, enchanted with the delicacy of the designs and workmanship, and respectful of the women’s history embodied in many of the artisanal textile activities like lacemaking.

By chance I came upon pictures of Maltese women making lace, and saw more when I asked a relative living there to keep her eye out for information on lacemaking. I have also acquired many nice small pieces of Maltese lace and a little more knowledge about what sets it apart from lace made in other parts of Europe.

Malta, Comino, and Gozo are the main islands of the Republic of Malta which is located in the Mediteranean Sea south of Sicily and northwest of Tunisia. It’s strategic position in the middle of the ancient ”inner sea” has made it a crossroads of cultures since pre-historic times, and during this millenium it acted as a base for the crusades and the order of St.John of Jerusalem, and as an Arabic possession; still later it belonged to Italy, then France and from Napoleonic times well into this century was a strategic base for the British first as a waypost to Egypt and India and a coaling station for steamships; and then later while fighting World War 2, as a base from which to retake Northern Africa, Greece and Italy.

Left: a modern day re-enactment of a 16th century Maltese wedding.

                         Right: Maltese lacemaker early 20th century

During the Italian period, during which time lacemaking became a lucrative artisanal activity for many European women, groups of Maltese women were trained to make exquisite lace in their homes to help supply the men and women of upper class Europe with the new fashion adornment. The Industrial Revolution did not affect Malta to any great extent, and lacemaking was not mechanized there as it was in France and England in the nineteenth century.

As time went on, lace adorned clothing and various household pieces continued to be prized and treasured, and because of their ease of transport beame a favoured souvenir to take home after tours and visits, and a logical gift for servicemen to send their womenfolk back home in Britain.

There are many qualities of lace available today – the most prized of which are made using silk thread or linen thread; and fine silk broadcloth or very fine cotton cambric as the background fabric of choice on handkerchiefs and tablemats. A common feature of Maltese lace is the use of the traditional Maltese cross.
Some table linens and doilies appear to be currently made in the far east and are billed as “vintage Maltese lace” but are clearly of inferior design and quality.

In the last ten years or so, concomitant with the rise in tourism, the Maltese government has begun to support the various artisan disciplines by formal training and apprenticeships and with support for small businesses with help in marketing arts and crafts. It is hoped that a resurgence in popularity of traditional crafts will keep them from disappearing.

I have included a few pictures and a map to help in visualizing life on a very warm and very lovely island.

My next post will show you some examples of various pieces of lace I have acquired and will be offering for sale.


I have this lovely vintage kit in inventory again – it is indeed a beautiful kit and this time the first owner carefully cut out all the applique pieces and only got so far as attaching one small leaf very badly before giving up and tucking it away – the leaf is easily removed as the stitches used are huge!
When the estate was inventoried, the pieces were packaged along with the quilt kit top and the embroidery cottons in a sealed plastic bag which has protected it nicely from dust and other damage. I cannot tell if the bias binding, which was usually green is in the package, but if not a simple match using kona solids or if you don’t want to make the binding yourself, Moda has it available.
The kit is of course, 100% cotton and measures in finished size 79×97. These kits are becoming very hard to find and when they can be found go at premium prices.

PRICE: $250 + $25 shipping


I want to give collectors a heads up. This week has been a very lucky one for me. I’ve managed to find two very desirable vintage applique quilt kits which are on their way to me.
The first is Progress #1427 – Tree of Life – and it is excellent condition – in its original packaging and complete. 100% cotton of course and 79×97.
The second one is a complete and perfect Bucilla Dogwood Blossoms, double/queen size.
Now to make my trifecta complete I need to find a Pansy kit, but that is not too likely.
I will post further details on these quilt kits as soon as they arrive and I can confirm their condition. Contact me at mailto:janet@novascotiaquilts to reserve either of these lovely and very sought after vintage applique kits.


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