Saturday, April 13, 2013

Double Knit Quilts

 One of the things that intrigued me the most
about the 
Art of Quilting Show
at the Gilbert Museum
was the collection of 
Double Knit Quilts
shown by 
Gail Van Horsen
Could anything beautiful come from Double Knits?
I lived through the 1970's
and I considered the thick polyester scary even then.
It was a fabric trend that passed through quickly
and my only comment is
Thank Heavens
Cathedral Windows-completed 1971
As Gail was studying to become a quilt appraiser
she noticed there was a big gap in quilting
between the late 1960's through the mid-1970's.
You guessed it.
She wrote
"I found that polyester double knits, 
a fabric normally shunned by quilters,
 was the most 
available fabric during that time."
 Gail went on a quest to see if there were any 
Double Knit Quilts 
"out there".
She could not find any printed material on the subject.
Her first DK Quilt acquisition was through an E-Bay search.
 In fact, Double Knit Quilts may be such a rare find,
that Gail might possibly be the only known collector.
What an interesting position as a quilter!
Gail is a AQS Certified Appraiser of Quilted Textiles.
She will be presenting more about her collection
May 4th
10 a.m.
at the Gilbert Museum
 This Cathedral Window was made by the traditional method
of using muslin for the body,
but all of the colored windows
are polyester double knit.
 Grandmother's Flower Garden
Gail wrote
"This quilt was given to me as a collection 
of machine pieced flowers."
She completed the piecing by hand
and is currently in the midst of 
hand quilting the top.
 There are several 
Double Knit quilts currently on display
at the show that runs through May 31st.
I will show you a few more pictures in the next few days.
Be prepared for a trip down memory lane.
This lime green Leisure Suit 
was made by Fern Zebisenski
for her husband in the 1970's.
Yes, he actually wore it in public.
And Fern added 
"He fit right in with the crowd."


Sara said...

I am another one to be glad when double knits went away. UGH!! I graduated from high school in 1972 and I'm sure I was wearing double knit. My husband wore a double knit leisure suit at our wedding. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

And my mother did make quilts from double knit. None of them remain as far as I know.

ShannonJ said...

I am the proud owner of a quilt top that is double knit. My grandmother piced it by hand and traded each square in the quilt from a piece of cardboard (cereal box).She made one for each of her 7 grandaughters. The others were also hand quilted on a frame in her back room, unfortunately mine was not quilted as she became too ill since I am the youngest. It is stored in a box and someday I will probably pay someone to quilt it for me.

Me and My Stitches said...

I have a double knit quilt too. My husband's aunt made it. Just squares, and it's tied. I have to say that I'm glad we have other options today!

Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...

Fun to see a little piece of the past! I guess a few quilts and some odd clothes will be the lasting legacy of double knits!

pklaw said...

I made many outfits for my MIL during the 70's and 80's and had scraps from which I made several quilts. Like "Me and My Stitches" my quilts were squares cut from a cardboard template and tied. I have a couple of them - they are very warm!