Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Vintage Corn and Beans Quilt Repairs, Part 3

I made some more progress on the vintage Corn and Beans quilt repair project.  The second of the two blocks that needed to be completely remade and patched over has now been made, attached to the quilt, and requilted.  In case anyone is curious, it took me two and a half hours to piece each of these corn and beans blocks from start to finish, including cutting and pressing the blocks.

Two Blocks Replaced and Requilted

The turquoise and pale blue block was the one that my client's dog had chewed through.  The block next to it needed replacement because both of the fabrics in the original block were disintegrating:

Original Block with Disintegrating Fabrics

I could not find exact matches for these fabrics, but I did the best I could to replicate the look and feel of this block with new fabrics.

Replacement Block Next to Original

As with the turquoise block, it was necessary to add muslin coping strips around the new 12" block in order to completely cover the odd-sized, not-quite-square original block and fit between the sashing posts.

Two Blocks Replaced, Not Yet Requilted

After patching the two blocks, I still needed to requilt through all three/four layers of the quilt to secure them.  This step took about three times as long as I'd anticipated.

Replicating Walking Foot Quilting on Domestic Machine

Why did it take so long to quilt two blocks?  This quilt was made in the early days of machine quilting, before it became commonplace for machine quilters to adapt traditional hand quilting designs for continuous stitching.  A hand quilter can just slip the threaded needle between quilt layers to travel from one line of stitching to another disconnected line, but on a sewing machine you have to stop and start and secure stitches and trim thread tails with EVERY. SINGLE. TRIANGLE.  Very fiddly and slow-going.  It's been a long time since I wrangled a big quilt around under the needle of a sit-down sewing machine and I forgot how heavy and cumbersome it is to be constantly pivoting at points, twisting and shoving the quilt around every time the stitching line changes directions.  I'm very glad that part is done!

Block Repairs Completed, Back of Quilt

In the photo above, you can see what the repaired section looks like from the back of the quilt.  My backing patch is a better color match in real life than it looks in the photo.

Front View of Completed Block Repairs

The two new blocks will soften, pucker, and blend in with the rest of the quilt more after washing.  But I'll leave that up to the client.

There are still a million little things that I could keep fixing on this quilt: broken quilting lines that could be requilted (with endless stops and starts), very small holes and worn spots that could be patched, and small areas where seams have popped open.  However, I've already put in more than the 12 hours I estimated for repairs on this job, so it's time to stop and move on to the last step, replacing the binding that has worn clean through all along the edges.  I'll be using the same mint green fabric for the binding that I used for the backing patch.

I do have one more vintage quilt repair waiting in my queue after this one, but that one is minor compared to this one.  Then I'll be taking a break from vintage repairs for awhile, returning my focus to the quilt tops that are lined up and ready to be quilted with the new Bernina Q24 and Q-Matic!

Here's my To-Do list for Tuesday:

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


To-Do Tuesday at ChrisKnits


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree

Sew and Tell Thursday (on BerninaLand Groups.io)


Darlene S said...

Excellent progress on the quilt repair. I love your selection of fabrics and approach to repairing this quilt. I think the owner will be very appreciative too! It will be an heirloom to be enjoyed for many generations to come.

Kathleen said...

You did a great job and yes, we could always do more. Good to take a break and resume when you feel the urge. Can't wait to hear all about your new machine!

Cheree @ The Morning Latte said...

Can't quite decide if this would not be my thing, or it would be very fun and challenging--a problem to solve! (I think if I didn't have other projects calling to me...!) Either way, a rewarding finish!

Sandy said...

You did a phenomenal job on that quilt, Rebecca Grace -- not that I'm surprised! Enjoy getting acquainted with your new Q!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

You did a great job repairing this old quilt. Fascinating read. Thanks for sharing the process on Wednesday Wait Loss.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Nice job! I know what you mean, after doing a few repairs I am ready to stop for a while. There is such a need to people who can do this, and are willing to work on well loved quilts. I am in the process of putting together a Zoom class and in-person program on this subject, and hope to have it ready by the end of summer.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I wouldn't want to spend my time repairing old quilts but it is nice that you do this now and then -

Muv said...

Amazing work! I bet you'll be relieved when it's all finished. I would have been too terrified to start.
Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
Love, Muv