|Vintage Quilt Top On My Design Wall|
|Detail of Damaged Section|
|See the Color Difference Beneath the Binding?|
|Quilt Was Originally Tied at Four Inch Intervals|
|Back of Quilt Top, With Mysterious Seams|
|Giant Hole to Repair Revealing Ripped Foundation Fabric Beneath|
My friend's husband told her she should just throw this quilt away, but as a person who makes quilts myself, I just know how much it would mean to the quiltmaker to know that her granddaughter still loves and uses this quilt so many years later. So I'm going to do my best to make it functional again (although I'll warn them that this quilt is best enjoyed indoors and out of direct sunlight from now on).
For the patches that need to be replaced, I wanted to find fabrics that would blend into the quilt top without standing out as obviously newer or different in style. I found some things in my stash that were possibilities, but the colors were way too bright and saturated so I bleached them. Very happy with the results! Do you think I can sneak a leftover scrap of Disco Kitty fabric into this quilt? I just don't want the new patches to draw too much attention to themselves. The goal is that, when I'm done with this and give it back to my friend, it still looks like her grandmother's quilt to her. Not sure if the kitties draw too much attention, but those Kaffe Fassett jelly roll strips on the left look fantastic after bleaching -- they will definitely blend in with the original fabric prints. Too bad I didn't have larger pieces of those!
|Bleached Fabrics, Possible Replacement Patches|
And so, I'm linking up with To Do on Tuesday at Stitch All the Things, and I'm setting a GOAL for this week: My goal is to get all of the triangles cut out for Lars's graduation quilt! All of the pieces for all 48 blocks, all cut out and in the proper baggies so that I can work on paper piecing at Saturday's Sit and Sew!
That is quite a challenge you took on. I’ve had to repair a quilt I made in in 1977-78. It was made if fabrics from the day and a lot was polyester or blends. Not at all what is considered appropriate materials today. Fortunately I did have a few orphan blocks I had not used int the quilt and used those. Not being used outside this was okay. They were a bit brighter but not too bad. The layout is now different as the blocks replaced had to be from what I had and not originally intended. I’ve been thinking that the future repairs should be crazy quilted to show intentional repair and not try to match the original fabrics as they are all gone. It still isn’t done as I’m not convinced. My mom hand quilted the quilt so I really don’t want to take it completely apart. There is polyester batting. Again, I’m not sure if I should just patch over that area or pad with a light weight batting that is fussy cut to fill in or use a muslin type of approach. It is not the top of my priority list so sits in a cedar chest waiting it’s turn for inspiration.
What you have taken on is much more detailed and fragile. Bleaching the fabric is quite an inspiration. It will take some real thought and time which it sounds like the owner is more than willing to wait. It’s amazing what we decide to do at times. You will find a way to make it happen and the owner will never know all the challenges. If I was the owner I would treasure the pictures you are taking as much as the finished project. Knowing how grandma put it together by peeking inside would be a nice addition to the memories.
Good luck and enjoy your sit and sew.
I have repaired two old quilts now and you have taken on a job for sure. The first quilt I did didn't need a lot of repair it was not used outside and mainly had been folded and put over a chair - the binding needed to be redone and a couple patches to the end. I tea dyed fabric to get it antique enough. One the second quilt I had to do some patchwork and again I tea dyed and clipped out pieces and sewed them back in place and hand quilted matching the stitch work. I wouldn't want to tie a quilt - I think I know how to do it but don't care for it.
Just work on your son's quilt first and fit this in between we all know we need those breaks now and then from the main quilt we are working on
That is a LOT of work! You are so kind.
Wow I wouldn't know how to repair a quilt like that, having done nothing like that. Is it possible to keep the foundation and fuse a stabilizer on the foundation to protect both layers?
Whoa, what a challenge is before you. Good luck with it and Lars quilt!
Wow, what a project! This must be a very good friend. At my current abilities and no experience, I'd probably suggested to her to baste it to a backing fabric, like a sheet. This would support the whole quilt. And then fold it carefully for display only.
Does it really need to be returned to a full quilt? What about making it into a "summer quilt". Add a sturdy well washed and preshrunk fabric (maybe a bed sheet?) backing to the whole thing. Then quilt it fairly closely. My thinking is keeping it as light as possible would help reduce stress on the old fabrics. And for the bits that are totally shredded and need replacing, don't forget to look at the back side of the fabrics you're considering. That may blend in to the faded ones.
I remember reading once that fabric, once bleached, continues to deteriorate unless the the bleach is neutralized. I think WikiHow has a page describing solutions to soak fabrics for about 10 minutes and wash and rinse well. Good luck on the project. It is more that I would take on. Any chance you could look for an assortment of fabrics with the same floral/vintage feel and make a nice, new quilt?
You were wonderful to offer your services and it does sound like a challenging project. I agree that if the owner isn't in a hurry, focus on the graduation quilt and just steal moments here and there on this one until it can move up into the priorty project position. I also agree with JustGail: what does the owner plan to do with it now: use it or just cherish it (in which case maybe they can assist you with some of the work on this which will make it even more meaningful for them)? I think what you've already found is enough to advise against using it. That leaves it open to maybe be just have a portion of it framed (with a picture of the maker?) or made into a wallhanging as a momento, saving a lot of repair work. Or make it into a smaller useful item like a pillow or journal or keepsake box cover using one of the stronger areas or the owners favorite fabrics for that. If it must be a full quilt, I had the same question as Shasta Matova: can that stabilizer be attached to the foundation? Quilting it will keep the top fabrics from shifting and forming more stress tears so attaching it to the fabrics themselves may not be needed. I had not heard of that stabilzer, have to check that out and love your bleaching fabrics idea -- also try using the backs of fabrics for a similar effect. Good luck, I think you are going to really enjoy this journey!
What a wonderful gift to repair such a treasured quilt. I'm fascinated by the process and will be interested in seeing how the repair goes. I wouldn't have a clue where to start, so I'm looking forward to learning!
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