Crazy Quilts – 1970s Style!

Submitted by Mod Betty June 21st, 2012
Certifikitsch Winner

I’ve got two crazy quilts in my collection of fun stuff even though I am honestly not a quilt person in the least! But when I saw this first one in a pawn shop in Dover DE circa 1999/2000 I immediately loved it.

(The quilt is a little too heavy, but it’s perfect as a layer between me and our wonderful vintage but scratchy couch! My fave thing to do is lay on the couch and read.)

I totally loved the bright colors, and even better – the wonderful scraps of vintage kids clothes – and grownups clothes that went into making this cheery piece! I swear I had some playsuits or rompers that were made out of some of these same patterns. Here’s a closeup:

See those patches with the “topical” messages – like Pollution, DDT, Dirty Water? That’s what makes me think that it was from the 1970s as I remember as a kid the whole “don’t pollute” and “don’t be a litter bug” message was drummed into our heads. So sad that people gave up on that, and now it seems like things are made to be specifically disposable, with more packaging and waste than ever! But I digress.

Here’s another closeup, where you can see the stars and stripes theme as well, totally Bicentennial! This quilt is really well made, with little yarn bows at each point of the triangles.

And the best part about this quilt is the sweet story that goes with it: As I mentioned, I saw this in a pawn shop in Dover DE when Retro Roadhusband and I had just started dating. I showed him the quilt, and he could tell how much I admired it, but it was pretty pricey for me at the time (I think it was between $50-$65, but I wasn’t working a good job at the time so that was an indulgence.) Fast forward to my summer birthday- the first one I celebrated with Retro Roadhusband, and what does he have for me as a gift? The quilt I had seen months before! I honestly was floored because for the first time in my life someone actually listened to me, and what I wanted, and was nice enough to get it for me! Such a sweetie, to this day!

Here’s the other quilt, which I picked up last year in a thrift store in Texarkana, on the way back from Austin TX:

I am such a sucker for bright cheery colors that I had to grab this immediately in the thrift store. And I laugh b/c when the lady told me it was $20 I thought that was a lot of money – remember, I was in a thrift store, and I think anything over $6 is kinda pricey! I then imagined this same quilt in a vintage store, or worse yet- Urban Outfitters, and realized $20 was a steal.

Each flower block is made of wonderful scraps of 70s polyester fabric – most of it “double knit” or as an uncle of mine would call it “bulletproof” – I hated this scratchy fabric as a child, and do totally remember having a pair of pants in that red gingham pattern. But these colors were so fun and happy, I had to bring it home with us.

The nice story with this quilt is that my across the street neighbor Phyllis – who does quilting- was kind enough to offer to help finish off the back of it, since it had never been properly completed. All I had to do was bring her a king size bed sheet, and she did the rest – and didn’t even ask to get paid! We really have some swell neighbors.

Though it’s getting too warm to have something like this on the bed (we don’t have A.C. in the Hacienda) I loved being able to change out the heavy boring winter comforter for this one when springtime came around!

3 Responses to “Crazy Quilts – 1970s Style!”

  1. Allee Willis

    Love the quilts as well is your excellent documentation of them!

    I’ve never been much of a quilt lover. Too much going on for me. But if ever I were to invest in them these would be the ones I’d go for.

    On the first one, I love the little 70’s – 60’s or 70’s is where I’d place this too – messages. It really looks like someone saved up their absolutely most favorite scraps of fabric to make this. And they thankfully had very kitschy taste. It looks pretty huge too.

    Love the big flower works on the other quilt as well.

    Now I think we must see the big scratchy couch underneath as well.

    • Mod Betty

      I am definitely not a typical quilt person either, but I swear I’m such a sucker for those hyper-saturated 1970s colors, I swoon.

      I’ll definitely share a photo of the couch – I love it, but we’re in the process of rearranging the furniture and the Hacienda is in a bit of a mess!

  2. Nessa

    I am in love with these quilts! I am a vintage fabric nerd and the variety here makes me happy. I am astounded at seeing “DDT” on a fabric swatch!