Archive for January, 2013

WHOLECLOTH QUILT KITS: queen/king sized

I’m back again as promised with my current listings of classic queen/king sized wholecloth quilt kits. These kits are all vintage, manufactured in the USA of high quality 100% cotton muslin and are very hard to source these days. Handquilting one of these museum quality quilts is always a pleasure and when finished you will have an heirloom you’ll be proud to pass down through your family.

Above is an illustration taken from the packaging of  Benartex Feathered Pineapple which by Holice Turnbow, who designs lovely quilt kits based on museum pieces completed in the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century in North America. This kit is in stock in a natural shade and measures 88×106 and matching binding is included.

                                           PRICE:  $250USD + $25USD postage = $275USD

                                                            SOLD: JUNE 2013




Another design by Holice Turnbow, this time for Penn Prints which was another name under which Spartex Doublestencil traded;  this kit is Hagerstown Feather,  available in natural with matching binding. Size is stated as full/queen on the package which means that width is 90 inches while length would be at least 106 inches.

                                                          PRICE: $250USD + $25USD postage = $275USD


Shown above is Doublestencil American Heritage Quilt Collection’s American Star – the illustration from the package reflects what I was saying in my last post about the difficulties in photographing these quilts. You’ll have to trust me on this one! The pattern is a lovely central medallion of a star surrounded by designs common in the nineteenth century and  set off by a cross hatching and a surrounding border.  Measuring 90×113 with matching binding supplied, the kit is in antique white.       

                                           PRICE:  $250USD + $25 postage = $275USD  SOLD!!


And my last listing is a matching set of pre-printed quilt top, binding and quilt backing by DoubleStencil – this beautiful, still unopened set  is Queen Anne Star sized at 90×108 in natural colour. This is another of Holice Turnbow’s designs and is specially priced at the moment. All you have to add is thread, needle and batting.(I recommend Quilters Dream Request weight 100% cotton – it drapes beautifully)

                                    PRICE: complete kit $295USD + $35USD  postage = $330USD  SOLD!!


BACKING:  still sealed in package, manufactured by Spartex Doublestencil of the same fine 100% cotton muslin used in their pre printed quilt top kits, in antique tea dye.  92x 117.

                                                      PRICE: $75USD + $20USD postage = $95


Contact me: to place a hold on any of these kits – postage is always adjusted downward for multiple purchases. International money order or personal cheque in USD are both fine.

Also if you wish to sign up for my monthly newsletter which introduces a special offer each issue, please send me an email with “Sign Me Up” in the title.


WHOLECLOTH QUILT KITS: wallhanging, crib and throw size


I’ve had several inquiries lately about wholecloth kits, and since I’m doing inventory at the moment I thought I might start posting my entire inventory – I’m checking and some items haven’t made it to a post yet. So here goes – I’m starting with the smaller kits – up to snuggle size 60×60.

First a few words about the quilt kits themselves – all of them were made in the USA before so much manufacturing went offshore. They have been made with the very finest of 100% cotton muslin and are for the most part based on the traditonal quilts found in museum collections and dating to the second and third quarter of the 19th century.

These quilts when finished may look delicate but they wear and wash well and look better with each passing year – I have made several to be used with babies, and know that the quilts are used on the floor, outside and all around the house and babies being babies they are washed frequently.

The next issue with these quilts is getting an adequate picture to show them to advantage – you need the light hitting the quilt at an oblique angle, as at sundown, but so often the pictures on packaging is dark and underexposed. It’s sufficient to say that very few pictures do these lovely quilts any justice at all.  Above is a small quilt I made for a customer and I think as a picture it’s as good as anything I’ve seen, but that is not saying much.

Now on to the vintage quilt kits:

Above is Benartex Feathered Star in the wallhanging version  40×40 in natural, complete with binding and backing.

PRICE: $150USD + $20USD postage = $170USD

SOLD!!!  JUNE 2013



Above is Medallion Star by Spartex’s American Heritage Collection, size 42×42 in antique tea dye – the wallhanging is what is on offer – comes complete with backing and binding.

PRICE: $150USD + $20USD postage = $170USD


Above is National Star by Penn Prints which was another line of Spartex/Doublestencil. I must apologize for the quality of the picture – the quilt top itself is beautiful in ecru and a lovely design – i’ve made this one and it’s lovely! Available in ecru, size approx 40×40 and back and binding in the package too.

PRICE $150USD + $20USD postage = $170USD


Above is “Floral Bouquet”  sized at 40×48, this could be a baby quilt or a wall hanging. Part of the American Heritage Collection, it comes in natural. I can vouch for this one too since I’ve made it up – lovely! 

PRICE: $150USD + $20USD postage = $170USD


Another beauty above – this is a very versatile design and size – carrying a nautical theme with anchors and rope  along with lots of crosshatching this kit measures 40×54 and is in ecru. Great for any  room in the house!

PRICE: $150USD + $20USD postage = $170USD   ON HOLD Jan 30/13


Above is Benartex Floral Fantasy in natural, this kit measures 40×54 and is a lovely design.

PRICE: $150USD + $20USD postage = $170USD



And finally – above is American Heritage The Rising Sun 60×60 lap or snuggle quilt kit in antique tea dye. This is an unusual size  and makes a wonderful buy as it is complete with backing and binding too – all you need to buy are the quilting thread and the batting.

PRICE: $250 USD + $25 USD postage = $275      MARCH 27/13  ON HOLD


If you re interested in any of these lovely kits get in touch with me: and please note that kits are mailed with adequate insurance and are trackable all the way.


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                                     Until the next time – good night!!!



The commonest question I receive, apart from requests for copies of instruction sheets is from quiltmakers who have become concerned that the printed lines and quilting guides on their quilts made from kits aren’t going to wash away completely.

The markings are usually in a light blue and are typical of all vintage appliqued quilt kits, cross stitch quilt kits and wholecloth quilt kits.

The technology of the “wash-out” markings has never been totally foolproof and there are almost always traces to be seen if one looks carefully at a quilt made from a kit. As a child and young teen I did a lot of embroidery using ‘iron-on’ transfers and this was always an issue with them too, although there are things that one can try to mitigate the problem.

Below is a very lovely and very early quilt made from a kit that is in my inventory at the moment.

This is “Scattered Morning Glories” by Home Needlecraft Creations, made in the late 1930’s. It is #7127 and finished size is 79×97 – I took it out earlier this afternoon and examined it carefully in strong sunlight – there are two places – one on the front and one on the back where the word ’seam’ is clearly visible on the fabric, and on the white background if I really look closely, I can see traces of colour under the quilted lines.

PRICE: “Scattered Morning Glories Home Needlecraft kit #7127, 1930’s, finished and ready to use 79×97, $575USD + $25USD shipping = $600USD total

Below, the word ’seam’ on the quilt back.

The first step to take when doing either applique or cross stitch on the quilt top is to try to ensure that the printed lines are covered by your applique seams or your cross stitch embroidery. Try not to expose the quilt top to strong natural sunlight or to the heat from light bulbs as this might set the colour - I always try to keep my work in a fabric bag out of strong light and away from heat sources when it is not being worked on.

Do NOT succumb to the temptation to start ’spot treating’ the markings to see if they will come out!!!Wait until you’re finished!

Next, after you have sandwiched your quilt and are ready to start quilting try to keep your quilting stitches precisely over the dots you will be following – the stitching helps to break them up visually.

A word about finishing materials – BATTING: Quilter’s Dream 100% cotton Request weight in pure white if the background of the quilt is pure white; or in natural if the quilt background is ecru or antique white. I always use BACKING in the width required by the quilt top and choose natural rather than stark white, but that’s my personal choice. Again 100% cotton. Now your three layers are all 100% cotton and if shrinkage happens it will be uniform. Washed quilts always drape better than unwashed as what sizing there was breaks down and the quilting stitches get a little puckered – lovely!

Finish and bind your quilt.

WASH the finished quilt: Hopefully you have access to a large capacity washing machine. Run a full cycle through your empty machine using lukewarm water no soap - this will clear out any residue of washing detergent usually used in it, and ensure your wash will be pure and clean. Having obtained an oxygen based product such as oxyclean or a cleaning agent specifically for vintage quilts and linens, fill your tub after adding the agent with  WARM (comfortable to the skin)  not cold and not hot water and agitate to disperse the washing agent through the water.
Immerse the quilt in the water and gently push it down to be sure it is totally wetted. Agitate on ‘gentle’ for a few minutes. Stop the machine and soak for 15 minutes to a half hour. Drain machine and refill with WARM water, soak and run the agitate cycle on gentle again. Allow the machine to go on to rinse and completely turn itself off. Carefully supporting the wet/damp quilt from underneath – bending over the tub slide your arms under the quilt and lift it from below – never suspend a wet quilt as the stitches can/will break and damage the quilt. Make sure your clothing is well worn so that it will not transfer dye to the quilt if you hold it against your body.

Transfer carefully to the dryer on gentle/warm setting and dry to damp dry.  Do NOT use a dryer sheet and do not over dry! Carefully remove and fold finished side out and hang a clean white towel over a door or your shower rail and lay the folded quilt on top of the towel – let it air dry while folding and refolding to allow for even drying and be certain that the quilt is 100% dry before removing it.

Examine the quilt in a clean dry surface to assess whether you still have an unacceptable residue of blue ink. In my experience, at most I’ve had to wash the item once more – never more than that.

Put your treasure on your bed and enjoy!

Words about printed marks remaining on vintage quilt from kits:   ManyQuilt Historians acknowledge remaining marks as “beauty spots” – part of the way they document a quilt’s provenance. At the time that these kits were being made up, it was common knowledge that the washout ink technology was imperfect at best, and definitely the machines in which garments and bedding were washed then were in no way equal to what are commonplace today. Soaps were limited to Ivory soap, either flaked in the box or shaved by hand for gentle washing , while tougher textiles were exposed to Fels Naptha or Sunlight Soap – again shaved by hand with a dash of 20 Mule Team Borax to whiten.  Pretty rough and ready by our standards today.  There simply were no dryers for domestic use. Laundry  got pegged out on the line or draped over something to dry. Women didn’t have time to mess around and they were usually satisfied if it was’good enough’ . One can see the same standard being expressed in vintage piecing – if you ran out of a fabric you used the ‘best’ match you could find as ther were no resources beyond the twice yearly catalogue and what the stores near enough to you carried.  And if you made a mistake that was fine too since only God was perfect.

My personal take on the issue of remaining washout ink marks is that we must set aside today’s standards when assessing vintage treasures such as quilts and learn to accept that at the time these kits were popular different standards of perfection existed. I am the first person to refuse to accept anything less than perfect piecing on the contemporary quilts I make, but can also see the beauty in and collect quilts from 50, 60 or 75 years ago which were less than perrfect when completed, but still loved and treasured.


NEWSLETTER sign ups! Get in touch with me if you wish to receive my monthly Nova Scotia Quilts newsletter – – you will find lots of new additions to my inventory and special offers to help you save when buying kits/quilts from me.


Keep Warm and check back with me often!

Hugs – Janet




It’s been said that patience is a virtue, and I’m feeling really virtuous lately, because  after a long dry spell with few really new finds, I’ve had a couple of very good weeks, finding some very scarce, or some very old and scarce kits in great condition! I want to present several here for you today.

This darling kit shown above is becoming increasingly hard to source, and it seems I no sooner have one of the three different models in stock than it is snapped up. JCA, which  specialized in baby quilts did several kits drawing on the classic Beatrix Potter  illustrations so popular over the years. The kit which is 38×43 inches is stamped on a prequilted textile and comes complete will instructions and all necessary floss – this is simply darling.

Price: JCA Beatrix Potter Mama Bunny 38×43 complete and ready to finish: $125USD +$20USD for shipping = $145USD

If you are looking to complete a whole nursery decor, I have several patterns and kits for cross stitching birth samplers, growth charts and pictures. As well I have a selection of the darling children’s pottery dishware made by Royal Doulton and Royal Albert. Email me at: for your needs.


I recently acquired this Paragon 01096 The Farmer in the Dell this child’s quilt is 40×60 inches and is printed for cross stitch on eggshell percale. Dating to 1943, this 70 year old kit is rarely seen. If necessary I can supply floss to complete this kit from my large stash, some of which is vintage.

 Price: Farmer in the Dell, Paragon 01096  $160USD + $20USD shipping = $185, floss extra if needed.

August 11/13 this sweet kit has been placed on HOLD!!

Contact: if you wish me to place a HOLD on this treasure



Above is the earliest version of Paragon’s #0111 “Tradition” measuring 90×113 inches. This early version was published in a box with a black and white picture on the front. Judging from the style of the instructions and from the reverse side showing Paragon Needlecraft kits displayed in room settings so typical of the late 30’s and 1940’s I suspect the kit dates from that period. Definitely it was before the adaptation of Zip Code on July 1, 1963 as the corporate office is listed as being in NY10, New York. The kit does not come with floss, but is meant to be done in one colour choice to suit your decor. Original box and printed instructions are of course included.

PRICE: Paragon #0111 90×113 Tradition $260USD +$20USD shipping = $280 USD


The complete original floss kit is very seldom seen for this lovely Paragon kit. This is the 1978 “Colonial America ” cross stitch kit in double bed size at 81×97 inches. There is some very minor age spotting which will likely soak out when the quilt is completed. This kit is opened, but not started in will come to you in a strng ziplock project bag. Below is a picture of the floss kit.

Price: Paragon “Colonial America”  81×97 includes floss kit $290USD + $30USD shipping = $320USD


And finally, a treasure I’ve been waiting for years to acquire. It is beautiful, and was well worth the wait! The top picture is of  Progress’s The Apple Blossom #1438. The bottom picture is off the stamped applique pieces;. This kit was published also before Zip Codes came into effect and I suspect in the late 1940’s or erly 1950’s. Complete instructions come with the kit, but as is often the case, the binding is missing. This is easily remedied by matching your favourite colour among the applique pieces, and making your own bias binding for the scalloped edges of the quilt.

PRICE: $450USD + $20USD shipping = $470USD




Nova Scotia Quilts Monthly Newsletter went out last week to those who have signed up – if you haven’t done so already, send me an email and tell me to sign you up – you’ll get a monthly digest of all my news including new acquisitions before they go up on my website, and special offers that change on a monthly basis and are for newsletter recipients only. Give it a try!

Keep warm and enjoy those winter quilting  projects!




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