My vintage quilting treasure, quilt contest entry

I mentioned yesterday that my family from Texas had brought along a little treasure for me.   A 9+ foot treasure!

It’s part of an old quilting frame that belonged to my Great Grandmother.    My aunt has been keeping the two remaining boards.

My Great Grandmother was a quilter as is my Aunt.  When she found out that I had started quilting, she thought I might like to have a part of the quilting history in my family.    This board is 138 years old!

I don’t know what the heck I will do with it, but I truly cherish it.










There are holes at each end where the boards were tied so they could be lifted to the ceiling when not in use.  On the other side are tons of nail holes and even some nails still in the board.   I can’t figure out if maybe they nailed the batting to keep it taut?

Here’s a shot of what it would have looked with all four boards.

Any ideas on what to do with it?

Also,  my scrappy Mod Circles quilt is in the weekly quilting contest over at    I’d love your vote, if you’d be so inclined!  It’s about the 15th or 16th one down.

Vote in the Scrappy Quilt Contest




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  • Maybe you could find a wood worker who could create a quilt hanger out of it for your wall. That’s really cool to have a piece of your heritage like that.ReplyCancel

  • I like it leaning against the wall like a piece of art. You could hang it as well. How amazing to have a piece of your families history!!ReplyCancel

  • Nissi

    How amazing to have that keepsake family history!! SO cool! And your quilt got my vote…and would of even if I didn’t know who you were. Yours was totally the coolest 😉ReplyCancel

  • A quilt hanger would get my vote. You may even be able to get 2 or 3 out of that board. I’ve quilted on frames like that and we’ve thumb tacked the quilt down to the board to hold it taut.ReplyCancel

  • Have it running above your curtains–a type of quilting cornice and quilt art. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • annabelle

    What a wonderful piece of family history and I say hang it as well. I would let it rest on pegs (simple wooden pegs) then you could easily take it down to show someone. I would use some twine and clothes pins attached to the pegs to create a place to hang quilt blocks as art or anything that inspiries you.ReplyCancel

  • Karen E.

    lindsey, I am old enough to remember this type of quilt frame hanging from the ceiling at my Great grandmas. I have the remains of the frame, in a zillion pieces and don’t know what I will do with it either. I thought of calling our local museum and offering it to them. Anyway, you would roll the backing the quilt around the wood and tack it on to have the backing taut (taunt?) as you did your hand quilting. At one time, she may have rolled excess fabric on these and then safety pinned the backing to that fabric so the backing wouldn’t rip. Yes, they would pull it up to the ceiling and out of the way when not being used….can you imagine if we could do that in our sewing rooms today/?? just pull up the ironing board, the machine, whatever and get on with business ….Ha!ReplyCancel

    • That would be fabulous, instant disappearing mess! As long as you didn’t look up!


  • Barbara

    I have three quilt frames… was my grandmothers, one my mothers ( baby quilt size boards) and then I inherited my mother-in-laws frame …I was the only daughter- in- law that quilted.
    Two of the frames are being used as quilt hangers and the baby frames are in a closet. My hubby made me brackets that have a large hole in them that the frame boards fit into and then a quilt can be laid over them. Makes a different hanger and one that has alot of history too. There are brackets at Lowes and Home Depot that would work for your one board…..I love being able to hang my grandmothers quilts on her frame hanger. BarbReplyCancel

  • hang it on the wall the long way and temp. pin a hanging quilt from it. love it!ReplyCancel

  • My grandmother use to hang her quilts exactly like that and I have all 4 of her boards in my attic just waiting for me to do something with them. I keep thinking I will make a special quilt to pay honor to my grandma and put the frames around it and hang it somewhere in my house. I need to get on that!ReplyCancel

    • That would be so special to make a quilt to honor her! I do think I want to use it as a quilt hanger. Wish I had the others!


  • I’ve never come across a quilt hanger before, the patina on it is beautiful and what an heirloom with that history-wow!ReplyCancel

  • pam

    I have an old quilting frame like that with the wooden pegs was my grandmothersReplyCancel

  • I have 3 of these boards very similar to the one you show in the picture. I was doing a google search to find out more about them: value, scarcity, market, etc. Are you aware of any further resources to help in my inquiry? I’m certain that my grandmother would want someone that has a passion for collecting such things to have them in their collection. I’ll post pictures on my instagram if you could take a look.ReplyCancel

  • Chris Storm

    Hi Lindsey,

    I’m not a quilter. But my Grandma was. I remember she would have her frame up
    in her house. Her living room was so small there was no where to put a chair for
    her to work on her quilts and she would stand up and work on her quilt. We would
    have to crawl underneath or walk on the furniture around it to get to the other
    side of the room. The room was very small. She lived in Saginaw, Michigan. like one
    of your pictures but those ladies were using it outside.
    She also had a quilting frame that has nails in it. It was used to hold the batting in
    place and tight while she quilted, or the quilt in place while she worked on it.
    My Grandma has passed and I have her frame with the nails in it. I would like to
    donate it to a Quilting Museum. Do you have any suggestions where I could contact
    someone about donating it. Please let me know. Thank you for your time
    Chris StormReplyCancel

    • admin

      Hey Chris! Thank you so much for sharing her story. I’m sorry for the loss of your Grandma. A great option since she lived in Michigan would be the Great Lakes Quilt Center located inside the Michigan State University Museum. Here is a contact email:

      Let me know if you are able to get it donated, that would so exciting!ReplyCancel

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