Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Unexpected Treasure



Okay, here we go again! I have tried to post several times today but Blogger was having none of that!!! We recently moved my husband's 94 YO mother into assisted living. Same retirement complex--different apartment with a little more help. Her new apartment is considerably smaller so she had to do some more downsizing. She gave me a box of some of her old patterns she had made years ago when she was making dolls and stuffed animals to sell at charity bazaars. I was tickled to get them. When I got home and started really looking at what I had, I found these old quilt patterns from the Kansas City Star--dated from 1929 to mid-30s. Wow, what a treasure awaited at the bottom of that box! The flower bouquets are Evaline Foley applique patterns. I love their art deco look. The others are miscellaneous patterns, just so wonderful. My dilemma will be how to keep them from further deteriorating. They are pretty yellowed and a bit crackly.

27 comments:

Tracey said...

I think that laminating them might be a good plan to prevent further deterioration and damage from use.
It would cost a little bit, but would be well worth it. Staples or some other such store could do it for a small fee if you don't otherwise have access to a laminating machine.

Pam said...

Contact a scrapbook store, or a Creative Memories consultant. They should be able to tell you how to preserve them.

Wow! what a treasure. I can totally see these as a collage in a frame.

Clare said...

I agree with Pam, but in the meantime keep them away from daylight - have you an old photo album or something you can keep them in for the time being. They are beautiful

Carol said...

What a treasure!

Gail said...

Wow! buried treasure in a senior center. Maybe photo copy for something to use, then laminate (check first with someone who specializes in paper archiving, maybe your local libray would know).

Shelina said...

What a lovely treasure! I too would recommend asking an expert. There are also websites that tell you what to do with old documents.
My first thought was to photocopy them so you would at least save the pattern even if not on the original paper, but I am afraid the bright light on the photocopier might damage the original paper.

joyce said...

I would definitely scan or photocopy them but I would hesitate to laminate them. (I watch Antiques Roadshow and they seem to always advise against doing that.) I think consulting an expert would be the best route. THey are very beautiful and could be quite valuable. I hope you make a quilt using some of them.

Libby said...

What a treasure !!!! As for conserving the paper, probably a museum or library could tell you the best way to protect the paper -- and probably be happy to have a look at your treasure, too *s*

Dawn said...

Oh what a wonderful treasure and find!

Meredith said...

Will you use some of them to create a new quilt? Good luck on preserving them. What a guft!

Patti said...

What a marvelous find! Pam's suggestion is a good one, I think. My first thought was for you to call your library. Obviously librarys must know a lot about preserving old printed materials.

Thanks for your message this morning!

Judy said...

For now I would slide each one into an acid free sleeve of clear plastic so you can see them and trace, but not touch with more hand oils

comicbooklady said...

What a find! I wouldn't laminate either. In our comic store we use a sleeve called Mylite 2 for our expensive old comics. The bags are made of Mylar and come in varying sizes, and the 2 indicates its thickness. You can also get acid free cardboard to insert inside the sleeve with the document. A good comic store should carry these, or you might want to try a used book store that specializes in rare books to see what they use, although often they just wrap the dust covers in mylar. Also a company called Ultra Pro that makes varying size sleeves for the comic and sports-card market, they are a little cheaper, but I don't they are as good as the Mylar.

Also I think making a quilt from those lovely designs as a good way of preserving those designs!

comicbooklady said...

oops, let me correct that it is Mylites 2 (with an s)

Mary said...

What a great find!

I did a quick search on the web and found several articles on preserving newspaper clippings - this one from the library of congress.

http://www.loc.gov/preserv/presfaq.html#7

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I would hesitate in the laminating department - unless the machine is running perfectly and the temperature is perfect and everything else is perfect, perfect - you will get tiny air bubbles. Check into buying archival quality sleeve protectors and storing in a 3 ring binder - with a cover page explaining what treasure is inside, of course! How fun.

Cheers!

Evelyn

Jane Ann said...

Oh, my gosh, Vera! What treasure! They have great personal value, but they may have historical and monetary value as well. I definitely wouldn't laminate them, but I would get in touch with a rare book vendor or a librarian at your state library and archives for advice on stablizing the newsprint. I have seen a thin woven fabric (likely all-cotton or linen) used to stablize old book pages. What a discovery!

Jane Ann said...

Now that I think about it, you might contact Nancy Kirk at:

http://www.kirkcollection.com/

for advice. Her niche is restoring and preserving old quilts and quilt materials.

Susan said...

That is a wonderful gift. So many people kept these in shoeboxes! I've seen it many times. Unfortunately, none of them came my way. =) I did get a few 1800s articles from an antique dealer in NYC before the big quilt boom, and that was nice.

Why not contact a museum near you to find out the best way to preserve them? There may be some kind of preparation that can be applied to strengthen them, the way they do with bones.

Sandra said...

What a fantastic find! Priceless treasures from something as simple as old newspapers.

Tazzie said...

Wow Vera, what a lucky find. They're definitely treasures. I know that when my parents received some books of sketches and artworks of my great grandfathers, they were able to get in touch with a heritage group that specialised in preserving old documents. They were able to do preserve everything and in a safe way.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Aunt Jenny said...

Wow...wonderful treasures!! Lucky you!!! Sounds like everyone has some great ideas for keeping them safe. Laminating sounds like a great idea.
I loved reading your blog!!

Maureen said...

They must have been a treasure for your MIL too, that's why she saved them.

Ms. Jan said...

Lucky you!!!!

JudyL said...

You're right . . what a find!! I'll be anxious to see what you decide on how to retain them.

Judy L.

Vicky said...

I knew I had this saved somewhere in my Favorites -- I drove myself nuts until I found it!

http://tinyurl.com/3amdhf

Just an idea of what to do with your wonderful find!

(Hugs)

diva of quilts said...

Wow! What a treasure! You should scan them into your computer.

Those flower patterns would look great in so many different kinds of fabrics.