Antique Compass Rose

I purchased this beautiful Antique Compass Rose quilt top at an antique store in Vincennes, IN for $48 in 2010.

Another name for Compass Rose is Mariner’s Compass.

It is unusual because it is all in solids. I had never seen another one like this. It was hand pieced, and the stitches are wonderful. The quilt did not come with any maker information.

Old fabrics:

I believe the top was pieced about the time of World War I based on two ladies in my own family. One is similar feeling fabrics that are from my grandma. She knew her fabrics and passed that info on to me with the inherited fabrics. The other is my aunt who owned a well-known antique shop at home for a quarter century. Many antique quilts passed through her store, and she knew textiles!

I happily paid for top and took it home. After washing it in vinegar and cold water – it was thrilling – the colors did not run!

Yes, there are a few stains and/or age spots, but hey, none of us are getting younger.

I wanted the top bigger than the original, so I pieced on the muslin borders.

Then I got distracted with a different project. Yep, this beauty ended up in the closet and promptly forgot about.

Hand quilting:

hand quilting along

Months later, it dawned on me that this antique Compass Rose (Mariner’s Compass) would be perfect for the demo quilt at the local living history event. It’s fairly small at 71″ square.

I hand quilted it (with occasional help from event visitors) for those 2 days and got about half of it quilted. The stencil I used looks like a wave. Outlining the stars completes the quilting.

In the quilt frame.
In the quilt frame.

The following year at the same demo, I finished up the other half. The top is cotton, with a wool batting, and a plain cream backing.

Just out of the frame - on far left
Just out of the frame – on far left

I finally got the binding and tag on this beautiful antique Compass Rose during the fall of 2014.


Do not be afraid to buy quilts for yourself – antique or not.

If your budget will handle the expense, and a quilt “speaks” to you then take it home.

Nothing extra in the budget? Trade fabric, quilting, or a quilt for another one.

I can’t tell you how many old quilts I have found at Goodwill over the years for cheap. Even if you can only salvage enough for a doll quilt or pillow it is worth the few dollars spent.

Antique Compass Rose
Complete and beautiful!


FB 09-05-2022/P 09-05-22/I 07-13-22

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email
Verified by MonsterInsights