MD Gallery: Mid–Century Vintage Quilts

“The 1970s quilts embody my childhood. The colored television, the bright clothes – these quilts just bring me right back to being a kid.” 

We had the pleasure of visiting with Bill Volkining, Quilt Historian and Collector, in the gallery to discuss the highlights of this collection he’s shared with us. These pieces represent a history of quilts ranging from 1940 through the 1970s.

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Left: Fans | Cotton | Maker: Unknown | Texas | c. 1960
Right: String Crazy Block | Mixed materials | Ruth Daggard | Hillsboro, OR | c. 1970

From delicate cotton to heavy double knit polyester, the use of fabric changed drastically over time. The resourceful nature of quilters allowed them to utilize scraps from clothing to create the heirlooms we see today. No matter the era, there is something special about each quilt we have on display.

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Left: One-Patch | Maker: unknown | Michigan | c. 1970
Right: Coffee Cups | Cotton | Maker: Unknown | Texas c. 1940

The use of color, fabric, design, and finishing technique makes each quilt tell a story of its time. “Quilts from the 1950s were handsome,” Bill told us, “and rare. There was very little quilting in the 1950s. In fact, it is easier to find a quilt from the 1930s than from the 1950s despite their age.” The 1950s is a special era for quilts. Due to so few quilters at the time, it has become unchartered territory for many collectors.

vintage quilts | Modern Domestic

Left: Drunkard’s Trail | Cotton | Maker: Unknown | Texas | c. 1960
Right: One-Patch/Four-Patch | Cotton | Maker: Ruth Daggard | Hillsboro, OR | c. 1970

Bill Volchining | Modern Domestic | Vintage Quilts

Left: One-Patch | Cotton | Maker: Ruth Daggard | Hillsboro, OR | c. 1960
Center: One-Patch / Boston Commons | Polyester double knit | Maker: Unknown | US | c. 1970

Be sure to join us at our Vintage BERNINA Rally to see vintage machines, meet Bill and tour his vibrant collection of mid-century quilts. This collection will be on display in our gallery through June.

Vintage BERNINA Rally at Modern Domestic

Check out Bill and his quilts here and on Instagram.

One Response to “MD Gallery: Mid–Century Vintage Quilts”

  1. Vintage BERNINA Rally: RECAP | Modern Domestic

    […] of hosting the first Vintage BERNINA Rally. Our classroom was full of well-loved machines and vintage quilts. It was an afternoon we will not soon forget! Thanks to everyone who brought your BERNINA to show […]

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