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Thread: HELP for inheritance quilter!

  1. #1

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    My mother passed away unexpectantly, leaving me with 11 quilt tops pieced and ready to be quilted and 5 tops with the pieces cut out but not pieced. One of the tops just pieces is the "Coal MIner". The pieces are cut out but I don't have any instructions or any idea of how to put it together. Also, one of the pieced tops is a family heirloom. My great-great-grandmother pieced it sometime in the 1880's. It is made of silk and has never been quilted- just passed down through the generations. I would like to break this pattern before the top falls apart but I don't know what I should line it with or if today's batting would be acceptable to quilt it. Can anyone out there help me? Please?

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Welcome to the quiltingboard. I am sorry for your loss. I know how much you will miss your mother. It is wonderful that you have her treasured work to preserve. I would so much love to see photos of her work and your gggrandmothers pieced in the 1880's.
    Posting photos is not hard, don't be shy trying it. We all had to learn. Go to our Home page. Click on Pictures. Click on How to post pictures. If you have questions just update this post and we will help you./Regards, Dorothy

  3. #3

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    Cotton batting is fine for this but with silk crazy quilting with embroidery stitches would have been the most common. There is a book called Elegant Stitches and if you don't embroider just follow the pictures its great. Cotton backing is also fine. Just don't store this in plastic. Cotton pillow case or frame it.

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You may want to think twice about "finishing" the silk top. A newly quilted old top becomes a new quilt and if the top is of unique design it is frequently much more valuable left "as is". Both sides of the issue are found here: http://www.quiltersreview.com/articl...t/010409_c.asp

    This would be especially true if the silks are cigarette silks or if the top was intended to be a crazy quilt. Victorian crazy quilts had no batting and no practical purpose. They were simply "for show" and were not really quilts at all. Learn more here: http://www.quiltersmuse.com/crazy_quilts_in_America.htm

    A local antique dealer, quilt appraiser, or even a knowledgeable quilt shop owner can help you determine whether it would be better to leave the silk top alone.

  5. #5
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    I agree, don't quilt the silk top! Roll it up on a tube covered with acid free paper and wrap it in more acid free OR take it to a cleaners and have them package it for you. It will keep it's value more thus.

  6. #6
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome !

    So sorry for your loss

    I wish you luck on finding the pattern you need :thumbup:

  7. #7
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    When I Googled Coal Miner quilt it showed a quilt that appears to be applique . Is that what you have ?

  8. #8
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handmedownquilter
    My mother passed away unexpectantly, leaving me with 11 quilt tops pieced and ready to be quilted and 5 tops with the pieces cut out but not pieced. One of the tops just pieces is the "Coal MIner". The pieces are cut out but I don't have any instructions or any idea of how to put it together. Also, one of the pieced tops is a family heirloom. My great-great-grandmother pieced it sometime in the 1880's. It is made of silk and has never been quilted- just passed down through the generations. I would like to break this pattern before the top falls apart but I don't know what I should line it with or if today's batting would be acceptable to quilt it. Can anyone out there help me? Please?
    Hello, and welcome to the QuiltingBoard! Glad you are here. So sorry about your mother passing away so unexpectedly, I know that must be hard.

    My feeling on vintage quilt tops is this - some people feel that they should be preserved just as they are without any finishing, and I can understand the historic value in doing that. However, my feeling is that something tucked away in a drawer is exactly that - tucked away in a drawer - not being used and enjoyed and loved. My wife and I are good friends with an older couple and he has about a dozen quilt tops that were made by his grandmother before she passed away in 1937 at age 93. They want these tops quilted and turned into quilts, as she intended, so I have been quilting them for them. I've done 7 so far and they are using these quilts on their beds, displayed, etc. As she put it, they wanted to be able to see them everyday and have them be a remembrance that they could actively enjoy.

    So it really depends on how you want to eventually pass along the top to the next generation I guess. It's a personal decision we all make about our heirlooms, so just do what seems right for you.

  9. #9
    Super Member earthwalker's Avatar
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    I agree with Eddie...but I do see the point of leaving it "as is" if ever it would have to go to auction or be sold for some reason.

    Personally, if I leave this life with a quilt unfinished I would love it if a family member finished it, kind of completing the circle.

  10. #10
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    I agree with Eddie. Stay tuned and you will get lots of advice.

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