Many years ago, so long ago that I don't remember where, I bought a quilt top. I believe it was in an antique/second hand store, but I'm not even sure about that. I do know that it was before I knew much about quilting, and for several years I bought quilt tops in places like these and quilted them.
Fast forward to 2004 or so, the quilt guild I belong to had a program one night on Turkey Red quilts. I had never heard of them before, but it got me thinking about that old quilt top that was in the cedar closet in the basement. You see, I had sandwiched it with muslin and safety pinned it with a polyester batting, high-loft. The fabric was thin, too thin for the batting, and I had started hand quilting it but abandoned the project. Some months later, thinking perhaps the quilt top was more valuable than first thought, I removed the safety pins and undid the little stitching that I had begun.
Last weekend was the Evergreen Quilt Show here in Green Bay, WI. They had an appraiser, and I made an appointment to take the old quilt top. Well, you guessed it. It is dated between 1890 and 1910, all hand pieced (I already knew that), and about 74" square. Thank goodness I got those safety pins out of there when I did. The appraiser said I should quilt it. That doing so would give the 100-year-old hand stitches some foundation and help to preserve it.
I went out the next day and bought appropriate backing and just spent the morning getting the backing on to the quilt frame, only to discover that the cotton batting I planned to use is not wide enough. Oh no! Another trip to the fabric store.