Vintage Patchwork, there’s nothing quite like it and once in a blue moon something really exciting turns up.


The shabby cardboard box didn’t look that promising but you can just make out the writing ‘Quilt – to be finished’.

It was lying unceremoniously underneath a table of quite ordinary ‘collectable’ gubbins. And here’s the thing. It was a man selling it – and sometimes men, even those in the trade, don’t place any great value on women’s work. In this day and age it’s still a sad truth, but the upside was that it was a real bargain.


And the contents? Neatly folded and smelling ‘old’ in a really good way, with all the brown papers and tacking stitches still intact.


It’s a social textile treasure trove. There are teeny tiny dress prints, bolder heavier weight print cottons and wonderful stripes, possibly shirtings.


Dating is difficult. It is probably the work of decades – from the beginning of the 2oth century to the 1930’s at least. It was someones life’s work, or maybe more than one life, it must have been passed down the generations – ‘to be finished’ – only no one ever quite did and it’s all the more beautiful for that.

The hexagons are just 4.5cm across and it measures about 170 x 125cm with wobbly incomplete edges. Oh the hours that have gone into this!


And there are even some good sized and very pretty fabric pieces obviously intended to be used sitting in the bottom of the box.

Now that’s a find and a half.