Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tumbling back to the 80's

Way, way back in the dark ages before the internet opened up rapid fire ways to see quilter's projects and ideas, we had magazine photos as one of the main ways to find inspiration. I had a good sized fabric collection back then but when the idea of wanting to make a charm quilt
popped into my head, there needed to be a way to exchange charms other than with local quilt friends who had the same fabrics I had. In some of the quilt mags of the day, you could find in very tiny print on some obscure page next to bad advertising, requests from ladies who wanted to exchange charms one for one with anyone answering their ad.
I happened to answer a few of these request ads and if you wanted your request to be passed around to even more traders, it was done. All thru the mail. Some wanted 5" charms, some 6", always prewashed. It was always one for one. Every now and then someone didn't play by the rules and would send nasty and not quilting cotton fabrics where I would send it back to them for not playing right. :-)

Here is my tumbler charm quilt made from those exchanges that were so fun to receive in the mail.

And a closeup of some of the 1980's calicos of the era: My tumbler quilt has charms traded from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Nevada, Arkasas, New York and Washington. I also received packages from Australia, too. Getting the mail was so fun that summer.

Since I have been seeing big and small tumbler quilts on blogs for months now, earlier in the year, I also made a small doll size one, called a thimble quilt.

Now I am cutting tumblers from blues and browns to make another and maybe I can show my progress on the next post. In the meantime, here are the tumbler and the thimble one together.
Who knows, maybe a blog reader was a charm trader with me back in the day and has one of her trades with me in my quilt.


Dawn said...

Nice quilts. Wasn't swapping back then, but do have the 1980's shop sample cards for ordering. Fun to see those old VIP's
Love the binding on the thimble quilt!

Karen said...

I traded charm squares via the mail for a while (pre-internet). I signed up for a listing in Quilter's Newsletter magazine. I had trades from people around the world. Then I found a little newsletter that came out a few times a year with people listed wanting to trade charm squares and quilt blocks. It was so much fun.

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

What a fun post! And while I love the ease and speed of email, there is nothing like a good mail day.

Lori said...

What fun memories!! And two terrific quilts!

Barb said...

I was a charm trader through the mail in the 90's. I remember because it around the time my daughter was born and that was 93.
I did a brick quilt with 999 pieces.
You have a lovely blog.

Kathie said...

Love your tumbler quilts, just beautiful
I love making them too!
I have made a few thimble quilts too, aren't they fun?
I try and cut one out of every fabric I use and put them in a box. someday I would love to make a queen size quilt from the thimbles :)