Late Friday afternoon I dashed into Main Street Art and Antiques to look for teeny tiny treasures to fill Charlotte’s Advent calendar’s teeny tiny boxes with. While there, a lovely red, green, and cream antique applique quilt caught my eye. The red tulips with green stems, leaves, and flower pots is similar to quilts from the 1930s I think. The stitching is exquisite and there were no tears or holes as far as I could see. Unfortunately, the whole quilt was very badly yellowed. After talking to proprietor Kimberly Cox (David Cox’s daughter), who offered the quilt for a very fair and reasonable price, I decided to take a chance and see if the yellowing and stains could be removed.

It had been a while since I had purchased vintage textiles. On my way home I stopped at Stop and Shop and was in luck with a small box of Oxiclean. The directions are vague but after reading a bunch online and taking advice from the lovely sales girl at Main Street Art and Antiques, I first wet tested a corner of the quilt to make sure the red wasn’t going to bleed everywhere. After half an hour, all clear, with no bleeding! Then filled a large plastic tub with icy cold water and two scoops of Oxiclean. For the next several hours, I stirred the quilt very gently every twenty minutes or so. After three hours, the tub was filled with a deep orangey yellowish water. Drained all, rinsed repeatedly, refilled the tub with cold water and one more scoop of Oxiclean. The water stayed fairly clear and the quilt was beginning to look amazing. I drained the tub again, and being very careful not to let the weight of the quilt pull on its self, to avoid damaging the fabric, I put the quilt in the washing machine. The settings were on delicate cycle, extra rinse, and cold water but with no additional soap added.

The quilt washed and dried beautifully. The applique and quilt stitches are phenomenally tiny. I am so glad I took a chance with this exquisite quilt from Main Street Art and Antiques!

Thank you to my darling daughter Liv who took the snapshots and video with her new iPhone14 camera. See more from Liv on Instagram here.

This is our first Christmas with a white cotton duck slipcover and I am having so much fun changing it up for different seasonal looks. Our former sofa upholstery I absolutely loved but was 20 plus years old and somewhat limiting in choice of coordinating fabrics. The quilt goes beautifully with the red, green, and cream Colefax and Fowler block print fabrics that I made new pillows from (thank you Zimmans!) and our new winter red and white striped cotton rug from Annie Selke. The rug is wonderfully textured and cozy on the feet! Last night I made some new Christmas stockings to hang around the house with remnants from the pillows. A sort of French-Indian-American blend of fabrics and I think our little music/living room is feeling very hygge 🙂

Main Street Art and Antiques is located at 124 Main Street, Gloucester.


Friday 11am – 5:00pm

Saturday 9am – 5pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm

Kimberly Cox shares that her Dad, David, is often in the shop on Wednesdays if you want to pop in and say hello <3

There are holiday and home treasures to be had at all our local Cape Ann shops. I’ve only touched on a very few here and with Christmas just around the corner and our daughter home from LA, I don’t think I’ll have time to write more. Enjoy the lights, the coziness, the friendly proprietors and staff and have fun shopping local!


  1. Sandy Shaw

    Really great results on brightening up the quilt and the whole picture including the kittens is perfect!


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