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Thread: How to care for a vintage quilt top

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    I had to hunt to find them but here they are. there are 13 of them. I do want to put them together someday
    Those are awesome! What a unique pattern. Those look like 1930s prints! Do you have any ideas about how you will put them together?

  2. #12
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    What a beautiful quilt top!!!

    I purchased a hand pieced hand quilted quilt from an estate sale. It had several areas of stain from someone accidentally walking on it. By the time it arrived, the stains had set.

    I took it to my local fabric and quilt store. The owner said to wash it in my bathtub with very mild detergent. Gently agitating it with my hands and allowing it to soak.

    Then to rinse gently but thoroughly and dry outside.

    I hope this helps.

  3. #13
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CissyQuilts
    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    I had to hunt to find them but here they are. there are 13 of them. I do want to put them together someday
    Those are awesome! What a unique pattern. Those look like 1930s prints! Do you have any ideas about how you will put them together?
    I am still pondering on how to deal with the 13 block issue.Do I make a few more, one with my name but what on the others? Just dont know how to go about it, You got any ideas? I think I will have to put a sashing around them because they dont line up real well as far as the pattern on them.

  4. #14
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Good morning Cissyquilts......I just saw your wonderful GFG. You are so lucky to have it. If it were mine, I would not wash it before quilting. After looking at the back, it seems some of the seam allowences are perhaps a tad less than the usual 1/4 inch, and I would think it might ravel some. If you do deceide to wash it, I would do the bath tub method as recommended here by some of the other ladies, and perhaps cool water. Good luck in what ever you deceide. It's beautiful!

    mgshaw........your siggie blocks are also beautiful. It surly would be nice if you had some history on those ladies. Don't you wish we could go back in time and visit with them!?

    Phyllis


  5. #15
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgshaw
    I am still pondering on how to deal with the 13 block issue.Do I make a few more, one with my name but what on the others? Just dont know how to go about it, You got any ideas? I think I will have to put a sashing around them because they dont line up real well as far as the pattern on them.
    Sashing seems the perfect solution. you could also use the loner and build it out to a block the size of 4, either with applique or diamond-in-a-square piecing, to make a center medallion, surrounded by the others.

  6. #16
    lisae's Avatar
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    I recognize some of the fabric on your quilt.

    I haven't been reading these boards a lot and just came across this thread. It may be too late, but I wouldn't wash the top until after it is quilted. The top may ravel if you wash it. Certainly the seems unvravel.

  7. #17

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    Thanks, lisae. I decided not to wash it. I started hand quilting it about a week ago. It's going to take me a while to finish it.

  8. #18
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    I had an antique quilt top given to me, the blocks were sun bonnet sue appliqued on a white background. I put it in my washing machine on gentle cycle with a sheet of color catcher in it and it came out beautiful. Then I sandwiched it and hand quilted it. Finally finshed the whole thing this week, put it back in the washing machine to get the marks off it where I quilted it and I love the results. Have no idea who made this top. wish I did. Marge

  9. #19
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    I have some experience with this subject.

    First, the fabrics look to be in good shape, but those seam allowances are very small. Even a little agitation in your machine could cause raveling to some of the blocks to the point that you will also be having to restore some of the blocks. Been there, done that.

    Every top should be checked for fabric stability.

    Older tops don't usually hold up to modern quilting. Been there, done that, too. I just dont listen, have to find out for myself.

    So, I suggest you hand wash in a tub or large sink with a mild soap like Orvis, Oxy-clean or Shampoo for died hair(yes, I mean shampoo. Orvis is really a shampoo for horses!) I use Treseme on my silks.

    You can then put in your drier on a low temp until it is damp/dry. Then take it out and lay it on you bed to completely air dry.

    You can then carefully press the seam allowances and quilt.

    Fabrics from this period should hold up well to quilting and use.

    Once the quilt is done, you can wash in your front loader on a gentle cycle. At that point it is the spinning that can cause week fibers to break so gentle, gentle, gentle.

    You should end up with a beautiful, and very useful vintage quilt. As for historical dating, once you quilt it with modern fabrics, it will no longer be considered a 1940's quilt but a 2008(or whenever you finish it) quilt.
    So your label should tell the whole story and add your name and date as the quilter. I personally think that future historians will find that these multi generational quilts will be an important piece of quilt history.

    Another extremely long post by me, Judy

    Sorry girls, I get a little be windy...

  10. #20
    lisae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CissyQuilts
    Thanks, lisae. I decided not to wash it. I started hand quilting it about a week ago. It's going to take me a while to finish it.
    I'm glad to hear you decided not to wash it. I've hand quilted several quilts that took me years to finish because I would start and stop. Enjoy quilting your top. It is beautiful! I think there is something special about quilting an older top. You get to know the fabric and the maker of the top.

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