Monday, March 20, 2017

Vintage Knock-Off

One of the quilts given to me in Washington last month was this "vintage" knock off! After closer inspection I'm thinking it is from the 70's. It has cotton batting and no tag. The quilting and binding construction seems to be the giveaway. 
I did quite a lot of reading on Tim Latimer's HERE. There is some good info here especially if you plan on opening your wallet for a quilt.  This one, along with 4 others was given to me. There isn't anything wrong with having and enjoying a knock-off, there are just too many folks trying to sell them as old or antique.  If this one is from the 1970's than it is 30+ years old! 
This is the first time I was able to open it up and get a good look. I facetimed with my friend Laurie and that is when we came to the conclusion it was a newer overseas made quilt.  It is certainly cheery!

 I washed it to try and clean it up a little and it definitely wrinkled a lot.
 This is actually the backing- I love how that little piece is sewn in there. This is wrapped around the front to bind the quilt.
Here's another view from a distance.

Someone will enjoy this quilt, but it won't be me.

FINAL CALL for the little quilt swap! I'll be drawing names later today.


  1. Well, it is still a treasure. I think Bill Volkening would be interested in seeing it. He has quite a collection of 70's quilts now. I have seen lots of Chinese knockoffs (especially in the 1990's) and I have never seen one with cotton batting. Thanks for rescuing it!

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  2. I bought a Chinese quilt in the 90s and made a bath robe. Definitely had cotton batting. Given the huge geographical area of China, we probably can't make many generalizations. The goal for the makers was to support themselves and their families, something that became even more frightening and the results of China's 1980 enactment of the one child policy was impacting the number of people trying to earn enough to support a family.

  3. For me the hand quilting is often the giveaway. The knock-offs are usually closer to a "big stitch" quilting style, with uneven stitches, and not very dense quilting, either.
    But this quilt is very happy. I wouldn't be afraid to put it on a child's bed and let them play on it. : )

  4. Yellow is not my favourite colour but I admit this quilt is beautiful !

  5. Although it's a knockoff it's a very pretty pattern. Very cheerful and happy. Would love to have it cheer up my house.


  6. Interesting post! I didn't realise the imported quilts were as early as the 70s. I thought the idea started in the early 80s after the Whitney Museum show created a resurgence in interest in quilts. If this quilt dates from 1970, it is almost 50 years old! [47].
    For me the clues to a fake are: poor quality fabric, messy careless applique [worse than mine!,lol] , huge handquilting stitches, and that ao so odd turned in lumpy ''knife edge''. Plus just an allover 'wrong'' effect/ impression.
    However, it s a sweet, pretty quilt that someone [Chinese sweatshop labor?] handmade. Good for picnics or the beach, or porch decor, etc.
    Too bad the imports ruined the value and desirability of handmade American quilts.

  7. Vintage, eh? If you had paid a lot for it, it would be bad. Got my Swap Partner. Excited to start my quilt.

  8. They are very interesting quilts and the stitching really is often hand done. I bought a couple of these several years ago at a vintage fair and then finally decided they just weren't my thing. They do serve a purpose though I'm sure to people who don't want to take the time or effort to make their own!

  9. It is a very happy quilt, kinda like Easter Chicks. Yes, I know what you mean about people selling knock offs, you really have to know the difference. Thank you for sharing.

  10. It's still a very cheerful quilt. I always think of someone working under pressure to turn out products. I'd starve if I got paid per quilt.

    Thank you for sharing pics of the quilts and for sharing the information, too.


  11. I came across another "vintage" quilt in a NC antique shop earlier this week. I'm pretty good at spotting them 'a mile away'. :-) Even tho the binding on yours was turned to the front, if you look very closely, you still might be able to spot where the tag (required by law) was. This last one I saw had the tag cut off very neatly and cleanly, but the remainder was still in the corner. Many times, you can find where they open it up, remove the tag and not so neatly, stitch it back up with thread that doesn't quite match. We visit antique shops regularly and I have probably sighted a couple dozen of these Chinese quilts attempted to be passed as 'vintage' American. In general, shop owners don't seem to care. We had a vendor in a summer show here that was selling "mountain made" quilts for hundreds of dollars. They were not invited back the following year thankfully. So yes, school yourself on what to look for. The signs are there since imported quilts have always had a tag in one corner.


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