Monday, July 19, 2021

Vintage Economy Quilt is Headed Home: The One About the Super-Wide Binding

Good Monday Morning, Quilt Lovers!  This vintage Economy Block quilt is finally all stitched up and ready to ship back to its owner this morning.  I really love how modern and fresh this 80+-year-old quilt looks after all these years, and I'm glad to have extended its useful life so the granddaughter of the original quilt maker can continue to enjoy it.

Vintage Economy Quilt Repaired, Ready to Go Home

Although there's another, more familiar quilt block named Economy, I identified this quilt block as the Economy pattern that was first published in the Kansas City Star in 1933 using Barbara Brackman's definitive Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, 3rd Ed.

Economy Block, First Published in the Kansas City Star  (1933)

I think this quilt was made sometime during the 1930s-1940s, based on the the date the block pattern was published, the color scheme, and clues from the construction methods and materials used in the quilt.  It was well cared for by its owner and looks great for its age. 

When the quilt came to me, there were holes/open seams on many of the hand pieced quilt blocks, and the single fold binding was badly worn and needed to be replaced.  The hand stitched repairs in the quilt's interior were extensive, and my client elected to have me replace the original 3/4" finished with binding with a machine stitched binding rather than hand stitched binding to make the repairs more affordable.

Before: Binding Disintegrating, Missing Batting Along Edges

Although I sewed the new quilt binding completely by machine, I did replicate the unusual 3/4" binding width, and I'm very pleased with how well it turned out:

Same Quilt, New Binding

Since the owner of this vintage quilt was referred to me by Carole of My Carolina Home in the first place, and since I learned nearly everything I know about vintage quilt restoration from reading Carole's blog over the years, I felt very comfortable following her recommendation to trim away the worn edge of the quilt to get a straight, stable binding edge that will be stronger in the long term than my original convoluted idea about trying to add the missing batting back along the edges with scraps.  Thank you so much, Carole!  I only had to trim 1/2" from the edges, and it was so much easier -- and I think the results look much more professional than they would have if I'd struggled to try to do it any other way.

Trimming the Old, Disintegrated Portion of the Original Binding Away

After trimming the edges, I was able to bind the quilt the same way I would do any other quilt.  I stitched my new, double-fold binding to the back of the quilt first using a 5/8" seam allowance and my walking foot, due to the extreme thickness of the quilt and wanting to make sure that the extra-wide binding would feed smoothly as I was stitching.  Then I top stitched the folded binding edge to the front of the quilt, covering the previous stitching line by about 1/16" or so, using my #10D Dual Feed Edge Stitch foot.  I used Aurifil 50/2 cotton thread with pink thread in the needle to match the binding and off-white thread in the bobbin, to match the backing fabric.  My personal preference for binding my own quilts is hand stitching, even if it takes me several days to get it done, but when I'm machine binding a client's quilt I want it to look as beautiful as possible on both sides of the quilt.  

Love My Dual Feed Edge Stitching Foot for Machine Binding Quilts

Here's the front:

Front Side of Finished Binding with Pink Needle Thread

And here's the back.  Sorry this picture is so dark; you get the idea anyway:

Back of Quilt with Off White Bobbin Thread

One final before and after, of the worst hole I had to deal with in this quilt.  Some kind of acidic stain had eaten through the fabric in this white square:

Prior to Repair, Large Hole in White Square

Here's that same block after I patched the hole with a hand stitched appliquΓ© of coffee-stained fabric and requilted through the patch where it covered a line of hand quilting stitches:

Same Block, Patched and Requilted

There is more machine binding in my immediate future -- that all-white quilt that I've been working on for another client is trimmed and ready to bind today.  I cannot wait to get that one back to its owner, too, because it is just stunning.  Exceeding my wildest expectations, seriously -- even though it took an eternity to stitch this out, I will absolutely be using this quilting design again.  I'll get nice photos of the entire quilt after it's bound, but here's a glimpse to whet your appetites for more:

Detail of White On White Quilt with Bailee E2E Quilting Design


Can you imagine how amazing this design would look if I stitched it on SILK?

Okay, I need to get off my computer and upstairs to my studio to get that white quilt bound and ready for my client to take it with her when she flies to her mom's in a couple days.  

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


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

10 comments: said...

Wow, your repairs to the vintage quilt rejuvenated it beautifully! I wondered how your were going to "stuff" the binding when you first wrote about it. I think it made a lot of sense to cut the worn part away so you had a good base to bind. That all white quilt is stunning all ready. Your binding technique worked well. I wish I could achieve similar results!

AnnieO said...

Excellent repair jobs--cutting off the old binding must have been nerve-racking but the finish looks very professional--as do the patches. I'm sure your client will be so happy.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

You did an awesome job, I am sure your client is over the moon with joy to have it back again.

piecefulwendy said...

You make it all look so simple. Oh my goodness, that white quilt!!! Amazing.

MissPat said...

I'm always amazed at the repairs Carole is able to make to damaged quilts and it looks like you are following in her footsteps. I'm sure your client is delighted to have a well-loved heirloom restored.

Sharon Kwilter said...

Wow, that long arm quilting design! Just wow.

Sandy said...

Beautiful work, Rebecca Grace! Just beautiful!

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

great job - the binding turned out perfect and blends in really well with the old

The Joyful Quilter said...

Wow! You've had some really interesting projects to work on lately, Rebecca. You've done a lovely job with them!

Lynette said...

You did a really nice job on this repair work! I just love vintage quilts and getting to help bring them back to usefulness.